I forgot exactly how Stan Lou brought up the topic on Wednesday morning of keeping a journal to record his thoughts and observations of the 2010 Chinese Heritage Tour of the American West.

I think he knew I was keeping notes and taking pictures for this trip blog.

He mentioned that he recorded his impressions of the first day of travel – when the approximately 40 of us boarded a bus named “America” and headed east from Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum in search of places that Chinese American pioneers once lived and worked.

I asked Lou, a 71-year-old from the Washington, D.C. area, to show me what he had written. He opened up a folder and pulled out this half sheet, written on hotel letterhead.

I’ll retype the journal entry’s contents – slugged “Day 1 – July, 2010″ - as well:

I have a deep passion for hearing the stories of the Chinese American experience, i.e., living and assimilating in America as Chinese Americans. I prefer personal stories that are told by the persons who lived and experienced the situations. I know that these stories come after a comfort level is reached with a group, but on Day 1, I did talk with several persons who seem to be willing to share their stories and to listen to other’s stories. I feel that Rebecca has set a good mood for us in this regard by her narrations of the stories of Che Saw and “Charlie” Tai. My thanks to Rebecca for her excellent and personalized storytelling skill.

He was referring to Rebecca Hom, a storyteller from Olympia, Wash. During our bus trips, she would stand at the front of the bus and share stories about Chinese Americans in the West or other observations from her travels.

That included a story about Chinese immigrant Che Saw, a cowboy of sorts. He is believed to be the first Chinese immigrant to have a city named after him – Chesaw, Wash. I’ll have to backtrack and get all the details on this fascinating story.

But I thought it was nice of Stan to share his journal entry. After all, many journal entries are only meant for the writer.

Stan knew I was taking interest in his journal entry, especially after he showed me the handwritten piece of paper. I took out my digital camera and snapped the images you see here.

“So, it’s going on the blog?” he said.

I replied that it depends on my schedule during this trip.

So, Stan: I have time. And it’s on the blog.

Thanks for sharing your entry with me – and everyone who reads this blog.

– Brad Wong