This Chinatown Remembered Project is produced by the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California. Please visit the CHSSC website at www.chssc.org
This project is made possible, in part, by a grant from the California Council for the Humanities as part of the Council’s statewide California Stories Initiative. The Council is an independent non-profit organization and a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information on the Council and the California Stories Initiative, visit www.californiastories.org
|Ruby Ling Louie, Ph.D.: A Multicultural Childhood|
|Written by Andrew Jung|
Ruby Ling Louie was born on April 11th, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois. Traveling seems to be a part of the Ling family tradition. Her parents came from a village called Tsingtien in Chekiang Province. Her mother was the eldest of seven children and her father was the youngest of four brothers. Trying to find a better life for his family, RubyÂ’s adventurous father traveled to Seattle, then to Chicago and finally settled in Los Angeles. An industrious entrepreneur, RubyÂ’s father participated in the WorldÂ’s Fair in various cities. In San Diego that the Ling family discovered the auspicious weather offered by California and settled in Los Angeles with a curio shop in China City, which sold Â“scholarÂ’s stoneÂ” carvings made by villagers from Chekiang.
Ruby helped work at her fatherÂ’s curio store. As the youngest of four children, she was allowed the luxury of running around and visiting her friends as opposed to her older siblings who had to constantly mind the store. In school, Ruby attended Alpine Street Elementary and later attended Belmont High School. She laments to this day how her Central Junior High School was closed down because she feels that if it had remained open, many of the different ethnic communities in Chinatown could have further intermingled. Ruby fondly remembers her China City; as a multicultural and multiethnic community where Â“honest immigrantsÂ” had an entrepreneurial spirit and creatively worked to better their familiesÂ’ lives.