After graduated from Jilin Institute of Electric Equipment/Appliance 吉林省吉林市电器学院 in 1958, came the job-assignment process. Beijing and Shanghai were on top of the wish list for the obvious reasons. The school asked each student if they had family in Beijing. It’s policy or courtesy be given to those who had family in the capital.
By then, Dad’s family had evaporated from Beijing and scattered everywhere: Mom and two siblings had gone to Taipei. One brother’s in Jinan. One sister’s in Tianjin. Auntie Jennie’s in Shanghai. Dad thought of bring up his half-sister who was in the ballet school in Beijing, and might be Mom: a fiancé was good enough reason/connection to be assign a job in Beijing. Dad and Mom met in the army but had no contact after parting from the military.
The school cadre asked:
“Do you have a family in Beijing?” because he was from Beijing.
Dad heisted. “No, I don’t.” He didn’t feel comfortable to claim Mom as his fiance becasue they never dated.
The cadre looked at him for a second, and then put down his red stamp on the transfer paper, “you’re off to Rongchang.”
So he blew a golden opportunity to live and work in Beijing, where job selection and living condition were far superior to the rest of the country. It would take him the rest of his life trying to move back to Beijing and never succeeded.
Accept responsibility for YOUR life. Know that it is YOU who will get you where you want to go, no one else.’
~ Les Brown
荣昌县? Had anyone ever heard of the place? It 煤炭工业部四川省 第三建井公司机器维修厂 Ministry of Coal Industry, Sichuan branch.
Dad went to Beijing on his way to report for duty in Sichuan Province. He stayed at his cousin 张煜 (二爷’s daughter) who married the head of Development Division 计划司司长 (Level 9th 级干部 cadre, a level below Minister). At time, Yu’s Mom 段奶奶 was still alive. It was during those few passing days, Dad called up Mom. And just told her to meet him at Beijing Zoo, without disclose his name. Xiaoyi and Jiujiu are still talking about this wild, secretar-agent-like first date. My Mom suspected it was him, so she went.