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My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Monday, December 2, 2002


Green pancakes

>> Queen's Medical Center

Lying in his hospital bed, his right thigh heavily bandaged from a gunshot wound, Quinn Ah Sun was hit with a brain flash. And then another.

"It just doesn't make sense that Bobo Ah Sun would just disappear without a word in 21 years," he said to his cousins Lily and Laird, waving a sheaf of photocopies of old newspaper stories about the Ah Sun clan. "One of the few things we know about this guy is that he obviously loved the media attention. And as an entertainer he probably needed it for his career, right?"

"So what we need to do," Laird said, "is to go on back to the State Library archives to check on references to Bobo from then to now."

"Absolutely," Quinn said. "Meanwhile, there's somebody I think might be able to help shed some light on the mysterious Bobo."

"We've already talked to our parents and they're not saying anything," Lily reminded him.

"No, Lil, we've talked to your parents and my father."

"Oh my gosh! Your mother! How is Auntie Flo?"

"No idea. Haven't seen her in years. Guess I would've heard if she died though, right?"

"Auntie Flo!" Laird said. "I remember her. Green pancakes with powdered sugar!"

"You remember that?" Lily said. "You were, like, only 3 when Dad and Uncle Mits quit speaking."

"I remember that she was fun," Laird said. "So what happened to her?"

Quinn matter-of-factly explained that when he was 11 his mother left him and his father and moved to Las Vegas to fulfill her dream of being a professional gambler and living the high life in the city that never sleeps.

"She'd send little notes with money and call once in a while, but I never wrote back. And talking with her was so hard -- I was pretty PO'd at her in those days -- I finally told my dad to tell her I wasn't home when she called. After a while the notes stopped and so did the calls."

"Oh, Quinn, you've been so alone all these years," Lily said, showing more emotion than a mere cousin might. "First we left, then your mother. You didn't have any family." She squeezed his hand tenderly.

"Actually, my dad and me got pretty tight. There's a reason I'm a cop, you know."

"Any idea how to get a hold of her?" Laird said.

"She still sends a Christmas card every year. I got the address."

"So you're going to call her after all these years?" Lily said.

"She was still around back then. She must have known Bobo."

"Good luck," Lily said.

"Tell her I still remember the green pancakes," Laird said.

It was just one reunion after another for the estranged Ah Suns.




Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin
with weekly summaries on Sunday.
He can be e-mailed at dchapman@midweek.com



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