Futol, Albert

I Remember Manong Al

Manong Al’s talk stories over Chinese food or at Tommy’s Joynt. I remember him giving me advice on women, advice he got from one of those suave manongs wearing those Macintosh suits. I remember Manong Al’s talk stories, sharing with me and the younger generation the stories he gathered from talk stories he had with the generation before him, the manong generation.

I remember

Manong Al. The energy, the enthusiasm, encouraging me, encouraging the community. Telling me stories of the manongs. I remember brother Pete Yamamoto telling me with gusto, I used to live there!

Every now and then at the corner of my eye in a crowded street, in a crowded Muni bus, going through one of his busy daily routines from Sunset, Richmond, New Chinatown to the original Chinatown, right near old Manilatown. Wild stories from manong Al of the manongs in the days when they were still young. Knife fights in the old alleys over blondies. Wilder than the old Barbary Coast before the wild barbary coast became roaring wild Manilatown.