Mr. Raymond P.T. Chang is my grand uncle through marriage. I had got to know him well when he and my grand aunt, Mrs. Cecilia Chang, spent their roughly 25 years lived in the same state, New Jersey, as I do. Their time in New Jersey started at the same time that my first child was born so going to Xiao Gu Zhang Gong and Xiao Gu Bo’s house or a restaurant near their house for holiday meals had become a tradition and something we always looked forward to. Having out-of-state or -country relatives visit them would be extra bonuses to stuff banquet-style and delicious meals together.
Mr. Raymond Chang could be very picky about the food cooked or the way they were served, but he was always very kind and considerate to the younger generations like us.
Even though we were exactly 40 years apart, I felt we were much closer in age and shared a lot of common tastes and enjoyed doing activities together.
A perfect night out for us would be to go and have a pre-theatre dinner at a fancy French bistro, then go to the Mets to watch an opera, followed by a detour to see the lights on Fifth Avenue if it happened to be during the holiday season. We also did Fall leave peeping trips, especially if it was at a Rockefeller or Roosevelt mansion.
I am sorry that I won’t be able to enjoy those moments with him anymore but I will always treasure the ones that we had for the rest of my life.
Rest in peace, my dear Xiao Gu Zhang Gong!