Friday, July 20, 2007

Rosario's memorial

It's amazing how long it can take to put together a couple of bouquets sometimes. It doesn't normally take so long, I don't think, but it took me 3 hours to put these 2 together today. I had to redo them each a couple of times; things were just not going my way. I also wanted them to be somewhat different.

So this first one -- mallow, clematis, 2 types of hydrangeas, hypericum berries, chrysanthemums. I was pleased that both the mallow and the clematis lasted well into the evening and still looked pretty good around 11pm. I was afraid that they wouldn't make good cut flowers (because I never see them as cut flowers), but they surprised me.

This one -- hydrangeas, oregano, 2 types of lilies, mallow, nandina, and a different type of hypericum berries than above. I really liked the hypericum berries in the arrangements. I'l use them more often now.

Then it was off to the memorial. 325+ people came, the line to sign the guest book went around the block outside the Chinese Garden. Lots and lots of people came to help. The staff and volunteers at the Chinese Garden, the board and volunteers of the China Council. When I finally left at around 11pm, people were still cleaning up.

There were lots of good stories tonight, and many talked about his connection to Dunhuang, how he's probably out there walking in the desert now. I almost talked about that too, but decided to tell another story, something a little more recent. So this was my story (more or less):

Last November, while Mike and I were at the movies, we saw an ad for the Metropolitan Opera's simulcast of The First Emperor, Tan Dun's opera about Chin Shih Huang Di. The simulcast would be at Lloyd Cinemas at 10:30am on a Saturday morning.

I emailed Rosario and a few other friends to see if anyone would be interested in joining us. And I said to Rosario, "Mike suggested that we should meet for Chinese breakfast before the show."

I envisioned a Saturday morning with a few friends.

On Jan 13, the day of the simulcast, Mandarin House opened bright and early at 8 in the morning for a delicious Chinese breakfast for 60 people. Rosario was busy chatting with everyone; I don't know that he had a chance to have any breakfast at all. A few people came in from the street, mistakenly thinking that the restaurant was open, and they too enjoyed a special Chinese breakfast. My Chinese isn't the best, but I think, In Chinese, you would say that these people tuo le Rosario de fu -- that they owed their good fortunes to Rosario.

Rosario also prepared a program for the event -- a synopsis of the opera and some information about the composer -- which he handed out once we arrived at the theater. The theater was packed, and our group was the envy of everyone, they all wanted to know where we got our programs; nobody else had them. I had so many strangers tell me how lucky we were that somebody had gone to the trouble to prepare a program for us. So here, there's no doubt that we owed our good fortunes to Rosario.

This is just my little story about how Rosario thinks -- it's about the community and it's about sharing. He didn't want us to just go off by ourselves to enjoy something when 60 people, and more, could be invited to participate. He wasn't satisfied with just learning all that he could about the performance, but he shared what he learned with us.

It was our good fortunes to have known him.


gl. said...

those bouquets were beautiful, shu-ju. it sounds like the world was a better place for having him in it, even for just a little while.

fingerstothebone said...

Yes, he was definitely one of those people that had tremendous impact because he made things happen. I do hope he's out walking in the desert at Dunhuang...