I met a girl last night…45 years ago.

Of all the strange experiences that seem to have come my way, the one that still feels the most surreal happened this week... so long ago.


“Wei shen me. Wei shen me”. She softly sang 5 days later, as she held my head in her lap as we sat on the wharf of Hong Kong Harbor watching huge ships pass in the night air.


Tears filled her eyes and mine, as she translated the words to this ancient Chinese folk song.


“A king, after becoming disillusioned with court life, had disguised himself as a peasant and lived for a season unrecognized in a far off village. He had fallen deeply in love with a beautiful peasant girl”.


Later, when forced to reveal his royal identity, and that he had to soon leave to return to his “world”..... her incredible sadness was simply expressed as: “Why…Why?”
We both knew, we were living out this sweet, but profoundly gut wrenching reality: I must go…and she must stay.


My “peasant girl” was a beautiful 21 year old Hong Kong tour guide, still living at home with her parents, and still with a curfew.


But I had a war to return to…after 5 magical days with my own “China Doll” straight out of Ricky Nelson’s song “Travelin Man”.


She made me promise to never forget her saying: “Promise is Promise”.


Forget her?


I could easily fill a bookwith every detail of that Hong Kong R&R.
How a kind Providence had provided me, out of thin air, with not an angel to touch my lips with a coal, but a sweet angelic beauty to touch my heart…after 9 months in Vietnam had nearly depleted my spirit.


On that last night together, I had given her a gold cross necklace as I shared how we could spend eternity together.


I told Miss Ling Yip, “Christina,” that Jesus had also made a promise.
Telling her goodbye was one of the hardest things I ever did.



Vietnam Vet R and R Hong Kong
Chinese girls were extremely shy. Christina would not rinse off in the beach Ladies shower house...but instead found a secluded faucet and rinsed sand off using her soft drink bottle. I "stalked" her as she walked away from the beach, and took this photo without her permission!

 Thomas Avery White

Down in old Hong Kong

Thomas Avery White
Thomas Avery White
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