We started 8:30 on Sunday 21st, we drove around town passing by the Lombard street and Jeff had a special treat for us, he drove down the craziest hills in SF, the streets from the car chase in the movie Bullit with Steve Mac Queen , at the top before we went down, I said OH MY GOD really loud, I could not believe it, this is the coolest thing I had ever seen and going down was an incredible feeling!
That was a rush start for this beautiful day. We went down to Muni Pier where Bruce took this photo when he returned to live in San Francisco from Hong Kong in 1959 , Jeff even had his Bruce Lee glasses on !
We took a few pictures before leaving for Oakland , I remember being freaked out about that but Mikael told me if Jeff takes us there he knows what he is doing, we talked about this on the way. Jeff said he had to tell other guests to avoid go around with their camera in the streets of Oakland, Julie said people would get mad and ask why they need the pictures for and Jeff answered Oh no they will shoot you first. I laughed but at that moment I just focused on where my camera was and repeated in my head don´t take it out ! Driving on the main street we stopped at a red light, all of a sudden we heard a car behind us with high volume music bumping really loud. The whole car was silent at the moment none of the four heads in the car moved an inch, this red light was unusually long lasting, I was thinking Oh my god, that ´s it ! probably a car full of gang members, don´t move your head ! and what´s up with that red light !!!
Then it went green and as we came to another one the car behind us drove to our right side and stopped next to us, I tried to look without moving my head and at this moment all of us discoverd what was going on there : a regular and quite small girl driving her car with loud music !!!! now how funny is that ? we all laughed at the situation and were also really releaved.
Then we arrived at location number one: Bruce Lee original gung-fu school. The school located on 4145 Broadway St. which is now a car dealership, we took a few pictures in the front when a big guy came our way and asked what we were doing, surprisingly he was working there and invited us inside, we all were really amazed about this opportunity, we could take pictures inside the old oakland school, I remember thinking , I am standing in Bruce Lee´s school, now how cool is that ????? it was a really special feeling being there, for all of us.
We headed to location number two:James Lee´s grave, Bruce Lee´s friend. Jeff had no directions with him but Allen had told him the grave was next to a big tree, that made us laugh as there were many big trees and it appeared we would have trouble finding the right tree but Jeff found the location without any problem. It was such an honour to be able to visit the grave, I was very touched and the feeling of this day just did not stop being special a single minute.
Location number 3: James Lee´s house at 3039 Monticello Ave., amazing, I had seen pictures before and being there was a great feeling. We did not make any noise to not sisturb the people living there now but we all hope they too would come out and invite us inside 🙂
We were now done with Oakland and were on our way to Allen´s house.
It was a long drive and I felt so thankful all the time for what Julie and Jeff were doing for us. At the arrival at Allens house I remember the joy I felt, I had waited a long time to meet Allen again, I just could not believe he invited us in his house.
Meeting Annie was incredible, this little woman is so full of life and energy, 88 years old ? you got to be kidding me ! she´s got more energy than me ! Allen took us in his room and showed us a lot of pictures. Mikael had printed a picture of us taken at the seminar in 2009 with Allen and Ted. Allen was so happy he said he would frame it and immediately found a place on his wall for it. This was a great moment for Mikael and I. We went to lunch at a famous chinese buffe place, I even tried the chicken feet, I am french I eat everything but I was not a big fan of that one .
Anyway, after a great meal talking about a lot of things with Allen , we went back to his place and looked at more pictures , heard some incredible stories about their friendship with Bruce. Annie even showed us very personal items, we were sitting there and I remember thinking , how lucky are we?
After some hours we had to leave because another great event was waiting for us. Something I had thought about for a long time too: The Bruce Lee Room.
I knew it would be something big but it was bigger ! So many Bruce Stuff had I never seen before , I felt like a child in a toy store, and I felt so happy, and so lucky. The room is just incredible by itself but the story behind the items is what makes it more special. Jeff is not only collecting items, he is Bruce Lee biggest fan, this goes beyond what I had imagined before. The reason why and how he collects Bruce items, the energy, the time, the dedication , this is just incredible. I wish we´d had more time because Jeff has much more stories to tell, there is for sure a story behind every single items he possesses and he ´s got a lot! This is not only a room with Bruce Lee stuff , this is more and I could talk hours about the room but I think I will have to leave a bit of mistery to it because you have to be there to understand what I mean.
I will finish by saying that in life I did not come accross so many people like Jeff and Julie, who openned their house and took care of us a whole day. I cannot even find words to say how grateful we are. Mikael and I did not stop being amazed during the whole day and we could feel how much Jeff and Julie enjoyed the day as well, this is beyond any words I could write here. This day will be remembered for the rest of our lives, that is how great it was.
I really hope we will meet again and be able to return the favour. A big thanks to Jeff and Julie Chinn . That day will stay forever in our hearts.