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Some Odd Family Connections

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Before retiring, Jack worked at IBM for over 28 years. His articles have over 120,000 views.



In the process of writing my autobiography, and looking back at my family tree, I discovered some interesting facts. As it turned out, our family has a pretty extensive reach in the Chinese government of Kuomintang. This was the party of Chiang Kai-Shek that fought against communist China during the revolution.


When I was growing up in Taipei, my mother would bring my brother and I to visit her aunt and uncle living in Beitou district, a suburb of Taipei. I was very young about 8 years old and all I remember was he was a general of some kind and retired and now lived a comfortable life in a mansion full of servants.

They have a driver and an automobile which was rare in those days. We would take public transportation by bus to Beitou and the chauffeur would meet us at the station and take us up to the mansion. The house was huge with a circular driveway and a large garden in the back with a fish pond. The household have numerous staff of cooks and servants in addition to gardeners to maintain the grounds.

He had three wives which was an accepted practice in those days. My mother's aunt was the first wife and the head of the household. The second wife lives in the same house in a separate room. The 3rd wife we were told lived in a separate house which we never met. Apparently, she did not get along with the other two wives and were kept separately.

It is only recently, having reconnected with one of my aunts, did I learn the identity of this man. As it turned out, he was General Yu Hanmou. His claim to fame was being host to Ernest Hemingway when he visited Chunking, China in 1941, as memorialized in the photo in wikipedia.

© 2020 Jack Lee