MISSY'S CHINA Contributed by Bob Arnold Jr., 8-30-09

Missy's China

Doris (Missy) Arnold
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In July of 1934, a new and exciting life began for the Arnold family. Doris, a "small town girl" (who, after China, would be known as "Misus" to her family), started wrting letters home to her mother and sister in Ilion, New York, first from shipboard and then from China. Each letter was long and rich in details, enabling the family to esperience "Missy's China" thorough her keenly observant eyes.

On July 18, 1934 the family arrived in Shanghai. George had already gone to Hangchow to his factory, so Doris and the boys were alone in Shanghai for over two months. Finding living quarters for the family in Hangchow proved very difficult and it wa not until October 1, 1934, that the family was able to settle there ina two-family compound. They were to remain there until 1937, a memorable three years.

It was while still in Shanghai that the Arnolds renewed their contacts with Col. Wong, whom they had met earlier in the United States and who, along with his wife, later became very special friends in Hangchow. (Unfortunately, after they departed China, in the subsequent years the family was never able to find out what became of the Wongs.)

We are so grateful that Doris wrote - and especially that her mother saved - these letters. She returned them to Missy, and in 1985 her son Scott and his wife started to put them into a computer - a process that wound up taking three years. Fortunately Missy lived to see some of the completed work. The boys would take the finished pages to the nursing home and read them to her. Thus Missy could relive - through her old letters and at the end of her long life - her memorable China experience.

Missy's China
Missy, Col. and Mrs. Wong,
with Scott in the background in 1935.


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