April’s fool NOT!! Just an Interesting Day

2016-04-01 st louis steak houseI used to pretend to read newspaper when I was in kindergarten. One time I was trying to figure out the short comic on the newspaper during an afternoon dim sum with my father, a BEAUTIFUL waitress (you will know why I consider her beautiful later…) walked pass and told my father that I was a smart cookie who managed to read newspaper at such tender age. From that point onward, I made up my mind that I will fake it until I make it! Btw, she was absolutely gorgeous, right?

After a few years, eventually, I really made it! I have been ‘really’ reading newspapers on a daily basis since I was about 10 years old. How I started was quite ‘funny’. What happened was that back then, there was a gruesome homicide. A mentally ill young man killed his father’s sister, mutilated the body and kept it in the kitchen. That gave me many sleepless nights and I would stay away from my home kitchen even though I knew it was perfectly clean. That story also intrigued me into combing through the newspapers in search of perfect crimes… 🙂

Little did I know that it would become a life-long habit of newspaper reading, and I was known infamously at home for being the little kid who literally sat on top of the newspaper and only released it to my family members a segment at a time – only after I had read through it!

That was an obsession, I know. But it was important, right? So it was not an obsession!

If it happened that I was away from home for a stretch of a few days, I would ask my family to keep all the newspapers for me and I would go through them cover to cover upon returning.  Now as an adult, I would also make a point to get a local newspaper at most places that I travel to for visits or for work. I repeat, it is not an obsession!

As of today, a Hong Kong newspaper, Sun-daily (太陽報), closed down. It had been in circulation for over a decade and I have been reading the online version since its inception and I always made a point to purchase a hard copy whenever I visited Hong Kong as a form of support. I probably would miss it until I find a replacement… The good news is – I found another newspaper, thanks to the infinite size cyberspace.

Louis Steak House is a fixture in Hong Kong. It was founded by a St Louis School alumnus, our late Mr. David Yang. He graduated in the mid-1950s. The story was that he was a great student, a top 1% guy who showed that he was worthy to enter the highly competitive University of Hong Kong. However, he was the eldest son from a poor family. Thus he decided to enter the work force and provide for his family and younger siblings. He eventually founded a company called California insurance and opened the Louis Steak house in Hong Kong where many of his siblings worked together as a family team. A few of his brothers and the next generation went to St Louis too.

I eventually got to meet Clifford, who was a few years my junior in St Louis, and he is the son of the late Mr. David Yang. Mr. David Yang’s motto was: 天空下無難事, 唯怕一個勤 (Diligence overcomes all difficulties).  I saw the insurance company and Louis Steak house sponsored ads at the back of our school magazine but I never managed to visit the restaurant.

We visit my goddaughter and her family in Omaha, Nebraska once a year and I have my annual T-bone steak quota filled there. Simply great food!

My mother got baptized a few years back in Hong Kong. I made a reservation for a little family gathering/celebration for the occasion at the Louis Steak house. Their steak tasted absolutely familiar to me. It was a GREAT steak and it later turned out that it was Nebraska beef!! IMHO, it was the best steak in Asia! I did not say this because as a fellow St Louis boy, we enjoy a 10% discount.

Sadly, as of today, April 1, 2016 the steak house sees its last day in business. One of the official reasons was the ridiculously high rental increment. This hurts the customers, the tenant AND the short-sighted landlord in a long run.

Today also marks the last day of broadcasting of the first ever TV station in Hong Kong – Asia TV (ATV) which was previously known as Rediffusion, which had been around for a long time. A combination of issues, such as management and macroeconomics terminated its business life.

Leslie Cheung was a very famous Hong Kong Cantopop singer. He started his career through a singing contest in ATV. He was known for his beauty and flawless skin, and was not just handsome. He threw himself out of the window on April 1, 2003 – that was only a few months before my first kid was born. He was a good singer, entertainer, but IMHO, not an excellent one even though his popularity was sky high in Hong Kong (and beyond) around 1984. There were many speculations about why he killed himself including his personal life… He made that last decision when he was 46 years of age. A terrible choice.

So much for April fool! Some of them are no fools…

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