Somehow I missed notices that one of my favorite business associates, Vince Dong, died about two years ago. He was a fine gentleman and editor, serving at the Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station in Berkeley, CA, for many years.
I sent the news of Dong’s death to several old friends who had encountered him often, as I did, at meetings of station editors. That resulted in some reminiscences, including an account of a dinner at the Dong home overlooking California’s most famous bay. The Dong family had lived in the San Francisco area for many years.
Although Vince was thoroughly American, he was proud of his Chinese heritage. In 2005, he and four other family members joined to contribute $50,000 in honor of their ancestors to help establish the Wing Luke Asian Museum, a branch of the Smithsonian Institution that features history of Chinese and other Asian immigrants.
I tried to take advantage of Vince’s specialized knowledge on one occasion, but it didn’t work out as planned. Dong and I were in a small discussion group at a national meeting in San Francisco when lunch time rolled around. The gathering was in a second-class hotel, so I suggested we go elsewhere for lunch and that, as a local guy, Vince should be the one to pick the restaurant.
I had visions of the finest Chinese fare available in a city known for it. Vince said he didn’t eat out very often, but one place he had enjoyed was nearby.
He took us to an Italian restaurant.