In the 1940s, Siu Fong Yee Wong and Moon Tung Wong — also known as Frank — immigrated from China with their firstborn daughter, Suzi, and opened up a laundry business on Melrose Avenue, right in the center of Hollywood.
The Wong kids (Suzi, Eddie, Donna & Warren Wong) with a World Book Encyclopedia set in the early 1960s. Courtesy of the Wong family.
As Frank and Siu Fong Yee saved up for a house, the growing family lived in the back of the laundry.
It was a cozy setup: behind the business, the family carved out a living space. Their bedroom, play area and living room were all rolled into one, and the kitchen space doubled as a study and wash room.
Suzi and Donna Wong at their StoryCorps interview in Atlanta on March 15, 2022. By Hillery Rink for StoryCorps.
Sisters Suzi and Donna came to StoryCorps in 2013 and then again in 2022 to share stories of what it was like growing up just minutes from all the big movie studios in Hollywood, California… but a world away.
Siu Fong Yee Wong and Frank Moon Tung Wong, before their laundry closed in late 1984. Courtesy of the Wong family.
Originally aired March 25, 2022, on NPR’s Morning Edition.
Listen to Suzi and Donna’s story on the StoryCorps Podcast.