Who is the Asparagus King?
As a granddaughter, Sylvia Sun Minnick was more than two decades too late to meet her grandfather Thomas Foon Chew. People said he left a decided mark on the Chinese communities in northern California, more particularly San Francisco and San Jose. What type of a person was he? Did he live the life of the stereotypical hard-working, frugal Chinatown merchant or was he an entrepreneur who would have stepped out of the so-called Chinatown “box”? How extensive was his influence when even the mayors and other dignitaries of San Francisco and San Jose attend his funeral? Questions led to more questions and an eventual comparison.
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