By Rachel A. Koestler-Grack
Born in San Francisco, Bruce Lee grew up studying how you can live to tell the tale at the rough-and-tumble streets of Kowloon, Hong Kong, the place he grew to become a mischievous punk and member of a highway gang. This biography finds why Bruce Lee is still an influential pop-culture icon, remembered because the maximum martial-arts fighter the area has ever recognized.
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Extra resources for Bruce Lee (Asian Americans of Achievement)
The two boys admired nightly singer Miss Fong Yat Wah from afar while they wooed women on the dance floor with their superb steps. Soon, Bruce’s charm caught the attention of Amy Chan, who became his first serious girlfriend. Bruce took Amy dancing whenever he had any money. But Amy quickly realized that dates with Bruce were a roller coaster of emotions. When they were alone, his quick wit would keep her laughing. indd 32 8/28/07 10:43:10 AM Fighting Crazy 33 as his friends showed up, Bruce turned into a show-off and somewhat of a chauvinist.
Indd 40 8/28/07 10:43:11 AM The Return of Bruce Lee 41 waiter on the work schedule. When he arrived, Ruby led him to his third-floor room, which Bruce described as “no bigger than a closet,” according to Bruce Thomas’s Bruce Lee: Fighting Spirit. He immediately took a strong dislike to his kitchen duties. “Now I am working as a waiter for a part-time job after school,” he wrote Hawkins Cheung. “I am telling you it’s tough, boy! ” The hot-headed street punk was not accustomed to taking orders from anyone, and customer complaints were not received with a polite smile.
He had heard of a martial artist who would teach kung fu to anyone. Wong was a staunch traditionalist. He believed that Chinese “secrets” should not be taught to Westerners, who already had natural advantages of size and strength. Wanting to build a reputation for himself, he challenged Lee to a fight—and added a wager. The loser would have to close his school. indd 63 8/28/07 10:43:15 AM 64 BRUCE LEE On the day of the contest, Wong brought along several colleagues and an ornate scroll announcing the challenge in Chinese.