Jack also dragged me into the 21st century with his patient coaching in the technical details of blogging.
As soon as I began writing, inspired by the Phyllis Shute photo albums and her extensive notes sent to me by her younger son, Trevor (whose name I changed in the blog for privacy reasons) I needed to do additional research. I started to google, and acquired a few very important correspondents.
Greg Leck is the author of Captives of Empire: the Japanese Internment of Allied Civilians in China, published in 2006. This is an exhaustive history of the period, and a beautiful book full of photos, documents and even the names of the internees, including my relatives. Greg provided me with a photo of the Imperial Seal, a copy of which he has framed in his home today. Greg has always been ready to dig into his archives to answer my many questions on this period.
Patrick Cranley is an American expert in the architecture, history and urban development of Shanghai. He was an organizer of the 2015 Shanghai Art Deco World Congress, as well as a creator of Historic Shanghai, an excellent site with tours, lectures and book promotions about Shanghai. Patrick lives in Shanghai, and when I first contacted him for help with my blog, it turned out that he lives in a building right behind one of my homes on the former Rue Boissezon! Patrick has sent me photos of my old homes, both on that road, but sadly diminished.
Who would have guessed that in my search for Shanghai Millionaire material, I’d run into Kent McKeever (via Google), the director of the law library at Columbia University! Kent generously opened up his collection for me to have a good look and a go down memory lane. Kent’s office was full of books and papers about old Shanghai, including a 1940 phone book, with listings of my various family members.
I realize now that there many people all over the world to whom Shanghai in the 30’s and 40’s is still very much alive. Their interest is helping preserve some of the beautiful architecture of that period. A brilliant book on that subject is A Last Look: Western Architecture in Old Shanghai, by Tess Johnston, photos by Deke Erh.
So to all who subscribed to joanshanghai.co thank you for your staying power through so many posts. If you loved that period, check out some of the references I listed above. Be sure to contact Patrick Cranley if you decide to visit Shanghai, as he will have many adventures to propose and even take you on.
Lastly, I take responsibility for everything I have written, but with the caveat that I write from personal memory. Some readers may disagree with my take on them. To them, I apologize. The past is vivid for me, but I can’t vouch for every detail. If, as I did, you lived through that time please recall that it was a long time ago, and not all stories played out the same for the different players!