screenplay by Peter Sohn & Kat Likkel and Brenda Hsueh
directed by Peter Sohn
by Walter Chaw I tell this tale over and over again as I see echoes of it pop up now in a landscape temporarily interested in the particulars of the immigrant story, but my parents came to the United States in the early '70s to complete their educations: my mother her Master's in Secondary Education, my father a Ph.D. in Geochemical Engineering. They settled in Golden, Colorado, in the cradle of the Rocky Mountains, after getting married at the Justice of the Peace, saying their vows phonetically and anglicizing our family name before my father really knew how to write in English--if you were ever wondering why it is my name is spelled "Chaw" when it was more common to go by "Chow" or "Cho" or "Chou." My dad, he did his best. Rather than teach or pursue a career in mineral mining or oil, he decided he wanted to be his own boss. His temperament, I think, made it hard for him to work for someone else. So he opened a rock shop in Golden, learned silversmithing, and made and repaired jewelry. I don't know if it was his dream to do this, but it's what he did for the rest of his life until the stress and misery of it killed him at 54. My mom was pulled into it with him but quit when he died. I disappointed them both long before that, changing my major from Biochemical Engineering to English long about the time I ran into Differential Equations freshman year. We were estranged until my wife insisted we invite them to our wedding. My wife is the angel of my better nature and guardian of the tatters of my soul.