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Growing up on Grove Street 1931-46
Sketches and Memories of a Chinese American Boyhood

By Duncan Chin

Duncan Chin has captured in his drawings and captions the multi-cultural, working-class world of a small, California agricultural community in the Great Depression. Thrown together and forced to struggle side-by-side, Chinese, Japanese, Croatian, African-American, Filipino, and Dust Bowl Refugees from Oklahoma created a wondrous community bound together by work. It is a world filled with character and characters. Here you will meet Duncan's fifth grade teacher, Sally Meyer, along with Cupcake Woo, and exotic dancer Ruby Chan. But most of all it is a story of the struggle of a Chinese-American family trying to make it through the worst of times.

"Not only is this book wonderful history, but Duncan Chin is a
very talented artist."

Howard Ikemoto, Artist Emeritus, Cabrillo College.

The drawings are remarkable in their ability to evoke the feeling of the time and place, and Chin's captions combine the view of a ten year old boy with the wisdom of an adult. The drawings of the night that Duncan and his friend Alfred liberated all the dogs in the Watsonville pound are unforgettable.

Duncan Chin

Born in San Francisco, Duncan Chin grew up in Watsonville, California, his familyís life centered on the familyís large, wooden apple dryer. He graduated from Watsonville High School in 1949, and then was trained as an illustrator, a career that dominated his adult life. The sketches in this book began with some boredom-induced doodling in church. His late wife, Anna, encouraged him to expand his drawings, and they are collected here for the first time. Chin now lives in Southern California.

Forward and Afterward

The book also contains a forward and afterward by award-winning historian, Sandy Lydon. Lydon puts Chin and his drawings in the context of Watsonville in the 1930s, and develops the remarkable story of Duncanís parents, and the lifelong devotion and dedication of his mother, Verna Chin. There are also many family photographs and an extensive map of Watsonville in 1940. Each drawing is keyed to the map so the reader can place the imageís exact location.

Appropriate Readers

Because of the adult nature of some of the drawings and incidents, the book is probably not appropriate for readers under 12. However, for teenagers and adults who wish to get a feel for world of friendship, work, and love, the book is a never-ending delight.

Title: Growing Up on Grove Street 1931-1946

Publication Date:1995
Length: 110 pages
Illustrated with sketches, photos and maps.

Soft Cover
ISBN – 10:0-932319-04-1
ISBN – 13: 978-0-932319-04-3

List Price: $18.95

Special website price - $15.00 with free shipping!