Category: Community Writing
Aunt Silvia’s Father Denis Simons was from Kingston, Jamaica
Aunt Silvia Simons has an English name because her Father Denis Simons was from Kingston, Jamaica; however, Aunt Silvia Hung-Simons lived in Santiago de Cuba on Santo Tomás Street, near José Martí Avenue where my Grandfather Santiago owned a Café Bar Restaurant while her husband Miguel Hung worked with my Father Roberto Hung during the time that he was studying for Law School at the University. Silvia speaks English as a native language like all her family. She also taught English as a Second Language following her training at the Teachers’ College in Santiago de Cuba, Normal School for Teachers in Cuba, where she met my Mother who was also a teacher after she lived in Kingston, Jamaica. In addition, her oldest brother Marcelino Simons was married to Ana Maria whose mother Ana Dela was a professional seamstress and embroidery craftsman in Santiago de Cuba. Silvia’s oldest sister Peggy Simons lived in Kingston, Jamaica with the family estate. There is also another brother named “Chino” who moved to Caracas, Venezuela with all his family from Santiago de Cuba. While the youngest brother named Sam Simons lived in Santiago de Cuba.
My Father Roberto Hung was a good family friend and brother-in-law to Silvia and her husband Miguel Hung, his oldest brother. When my Father became seventeen years old, Silvia gave birth to her first baby girl whose name is Olivia Hung-Simons, born on June 7th, the same date as my Father’s birthday. So, Roberto Hung became the Godfather of Silvia’s first daughter with Miguel Hung, his oldest brother.
Silvia Simons’ family name has a British origin from South England and the eastern coast of the United States, in the area of Raleigh, North Carolina and Virginia.
Thirty-one (31) years ago, in 1982, Aunt Silvia, my Uncle Miguel Hung and family invited me to visit them in South Miami, Kendall County, Florida during the summer to go with them on a Walt Disney World vacation for the 10th Anniversary of the amusement park and the grand opening of the Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida. Silvia drove her car with her two youngest sons, Santiago and Ray Hung-Simons, and made reservations for the Best Western Hotel at Disney World for everyone—four people. Since then, Silvia Simons has been a member of the Walt Disney Vacation Club around the world whenever she travels with friends and family on vacation during the year.
For the last thirty-one years, Aunt Silvia has become older while she has been a working senior widowed after my Uncle Miguel Hung died in South Miami, Kendall County, Florida.
Since 1982, I have not seen Aunt Silvia or her family. Four years ago, in 2009, Silvia’s daughter Olivia and her second granddaughter Michelle Leaver, were visiting Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois when they called me to arranged a meeting during on August 16, 2009, while Michelle was attending Columbia College Downtown. Olivia gave me Silvia’s home telephone and I called her during 2009 and 2010.
Three years have passed now in 2013. Aunt Silvia does not live at the same Miami address nor does she have the same home telephone number in Florida after she moved near her daughter Olivia and family.
Aunt Silvia may have changed her name over the last thirty-one years and remarried after my Uncle Miguel Hung died.
While Silvia Simons has become older woman and travels in the Chicagoland area and the Midwestern states of Indiana, and surrounding areas during the summer, she has never tried to contact me by telephone nor meet me in person. Even when she has a mobile telephone available, Silvia Simons never calls me nor does she arrange to meet me when she visits Downtown Chicago or Oak Park, Illinois. When Silvia travels with her Venezuelan family relatives, she does not want to meet the family of Roberto Hung in Illinois, USA.
When my Father Roberto Hung died on June 18, 1998 and he had his funeral at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Lombard, on June 25, 1998, Silvia Simons did not call nor did she send any sympathy card on behalf of the Simons Family.
Even when Silvia and her daughter Olivia Hung-Simons visit Illinois with her granddaughter Michelle and great grandson Joseph, she does not arrange to meet the surviving family of Roberto Hung or her niece and nephew who have been troubled by the crimes committed by Silvia Hung-Simons’ friends and family relatives from Venezuela in South America and the Caribbean.
Aunt Silvia Simons and the Hung-Simons family do not meet me when they visit Illinois in the Midwest, even when her son Miguel Hung-Simons and his family have visited the Chicagoland area.
Maxfield’s Pancake House is West Roosevelt Road in Lombard, DuPage County, Illinois
Four (4) years ago, both Michelle Leaver and her Mother Olivia Hung-Simons drove to the western suburbs for breakfast at 352 East Roosevelt Road, Maxfield’s Pancake House to meet me on Saturday morning for Brunch with Henry William Hochstatter, on August 15th, 2009, during the Summer of 2009. Michelle Leaver is the daughter of Wayne Leaver and Olivia Hung-Simons, who was staying at the Columbia College Downtown Residence while she was sent to study in Chicago, Illinois where her father Wayne Leaver was raised and educated. Wayne Leaver wanted Michelle, his youngest daughter to live and study in the Windy City by Lake Michigan, Illinois USA. Afterwards, Michelle Leaver moved to Oak Park and River Forest, near Concordia College.
When I received a telephone call from Olivia and Michelle, I was surprised to hear that they were both in Chicago, Illinois. I had not seen my Cousin Olivia Hung-Simons for more than thirty years. Olivia is the niece and god-daughter of my Father, the late Mr. Roberto Hung Juris Doctor who visited her Father Miguel Hung and family in Miami, Kendall County, Florida.
Friends of Roberto Hung’s family encouraged Michelle Leaver and her Mother to meet with me in Lombard because Michelle had a roommate who lived in DuPage County, and visited there regularly and over the weekends.
Maxfield’s Pancake House is a nice family restaurant to meet and reconnect with relatives and friends in Lombard and the western suburbs of DuPage County, Illinois.
The family meeting with my Cousin Olivia and her Daughter Michelle Leaver was pleasant over breakfast for four people since I had invited them to meet me with Henry W. Hochstatter on Saturday morning at Maxfield’s, a popular eatery on weekends. I had not seen Cousin Olivia since she had married Wayne Leaver or met her daughter Michelle who had been living and visiting in Chicago, Illinois for several years, unbeknown to me and my Father, Mr. Roberto Hung Juris Doctor.
During the family meeting, Michelle and Olivia wanted to take digital photos of our gathering at Maxfield’s. After breakfast, Olivia and Michelle were planning to drive to Rockford, Illinois and return in the evening for dinner. So, Olivia invited me and Henry to have dinner at T.G.I.F. in Oak Park by 7:30 P.M. At T.G.I. Friday’s we exchanged gifts for Olivia and Michelle Leaver.
Afterwards, Michelle Leaver left Chicago suddenly, got into a car accident, and became pregnant. Since then, Michelle Leaver gave birth to a son whose name is Joseph. During July 2013, Michelle Leaver and Olivia Hung-Simons have removed all the photos from Facebook and the Internet.
“Is Harvard on Halsted?”
The last semester at NEIU during the Fall of 1982 concluded in graduation after I completed Student Teaching at Lincoln Park Magnet School which included Middle School for grades 6th, 7th, and 8th, for Spanish with the teacher Manuel Verdugo, and French with Maureen Dolan and Maureen Breen. I was working with the NEIU Education Department and Foreign Languages Division under assignment by Dr. Bonnie Busse and Dr. Rosalyn O’Cherony who worked with Dr. Bruno Galassi, Chair of the Foreign Languages Department. In addition, I had already completed the French Program with Dorette Klein and other faculty there. The months of September, October, November, and December in 1982 took up all the time I had to finish my Bachelor of Arts degree in Education at NEIU and find a teaching job to place me in the working world after five (5) years of undergraduate studies at Northeastern Illinois University. I was pressured to finish school and get a job in the working world away from NEIU.
So I found my first teaching job at Holy Cross High School for Boys managed and owned by the Christian Brothers in River Grove teaching Spanish and French for Elaine, a Hispanic woman from Santo Domingo who was pregnant and wanted maternity leave to have her baby. I started teaching in January 1983, earning a mid-year teaching salary of only $12,000 which was below the standard pay for teachers in 1983, even for Catholic Schools owned by the Christian Brothers. Holy Cross High School expected the teachers to clean up the classrooms and desks after school, in addition to teaching five (5) classes a day with more than one hundred students daily including extra-curricular activities for the Athletic Department inter-scholastic games, soccer outings, Spanish and French Club field trips, Homeroom, Lunch and Hallway Supervision. Elaine wanted to return to her higher salary after maternity leave and the other teachers for Spanish and French were already earning more than the meager salary of $12,000, expecting than the new teacher would do all the work demanded for less. I decided that I had been hired to teach French and Spanish, and not to clean up the students’ desks with gum sticking inside and under the tables at Holy Cross High School managed by the Christian Brothers. I was being paid the lowest salary of $12,000 at Holy Cross High School by the Christian Brothers and the Foreign Languages Department for the Catholic High School which now has become Mother Guerin College Preparatory in River Grove, Illinois USA. Christian Brothers Parochial Schools have been under investigation for abuse, crime, and corruption in the Archdiocese of Chicago.
In the Spring of 1983, I enrolled at the University of Illinois Chicago Circle Campus on Halsted St. by Greektown. “Is Harvard on Halsted?” There were many Harvard University professors teaching at UIC. I was referred to the Department of Communications and Theatre headed by Chairperson Anthony “Tony” Graham-White Ph.D., a British Shakespearean director, actor, and poet who provided recommendation for the Abraham Lincoln Fellowship at the University of Illinois Chicago campus. I was awarded the Lincoln Fellowship for Graduate Studies involving Communications, Rhetoric, Theatre, and Ethnography.
Anthony Graham-White placed me as a Graduate Assistant for Graduate School Communication Survey Research Methodology at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center, Emergency Room working with Elena Yu, Ph.D. Research Associate at the Pacific/Asian American Mental Health Research Center, with joint appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor of Sociology in Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Anthony Graham-White, Ph.D., Thomas Kochman, Ph.D., Alfred Jones, Ph.D.
In addition, Anthony Graham-White also assigned that I provided community services as the Abraham Lincoln Fellowship Graduate Assistant for the Chinese American Service League in care of Bernie Wong, Director, in Chinatown Chicago, Illinois USA. Upon completion, I received a Certificate of Community Service from Bernie Wong, Director of the Chinese American Service League (CASL) in Chinatown Chicago.
Plus, I had to research, develop, and write the Graduate Thesis about “The Chinese in Cuba: Assimilation and Acculturation” advised by Anthony Graham-White and Tom Kochman who were recommended that I write the ethnography as a graduate thesis project.
The UIC Department of Communications and Theatre also required that I study Voice, Speech, Rhetoric, Theatre, Japanese, Portuguese, Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Ethnography, Anthropology, and other courses as a Graduate Assistant recipient of the Abraham Lincoln Fellowship.
During 1983, 1984, and 1985, I became involved with the cross-cultural history of my Grandmother Gertrudis Salustiana and my Chinese-Cuban relatives. My cousin José Alberto Fong García from Harrison, New Jersey was also involved in the theatre as an actor and manager. When the Broadway musical “Hair” was showcased in Chicago, my cousin José Alberto Fong García was performing as a cast member and manager of the theatre production and he called me to get together downtown. My Father and I invited my Cousin José Alberto to brunch at the Drake Hotel on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Cousin José Alberto met my Father and I in the Lobby of the Drake Hotel for a special brunch at noon. I have not seen my Cousin José Alberto Fong García from New Jersey who is my Mother’s first nephew and son of her second brother Alberto Fong Ramos and sister-in-law Mirtha, since the early 1980s. My Cousin José Alberto and his brother David used to live in Harrison, New Jersey, USA.
In the early 1980s, I completed my Graduate Thesis as an Ethnography about “The Chinese in Cuba: Assimilation and Acculturation” under advisement by Anthony Graham-White Ph.D. and Thomas Kochman Ph.D. at the University of Illinois Chicago Circle Campus, also known by some as “Harvard on Halsted” for the number of faculty and graduates from Harvard University who share scholarly contributions and academic cooperation.
While I was a Graduate Assistant at the University of Illinois Chicago Circle Campus, I began to write letters in correspondence to Nathan Scott Wittler who was in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Platte based in Norfolk, Virginia. I found his name on the Journal Français d’Amérique.
Gardenia C. Hung M.A., B.A.
Consulting Media Arts Communications
Courtesy: GHung’s Blog, WordPress.