Swapped a “Cheesesteak” to a Cal student.
She gave me a class project, three-ring binder, text and photographs, about growing up Filipino-American in Vallejo.
It was moving and amusing — and not totally unlike growing up Jewish in West Philadelphia. it was also an eye-opener. I realized I had never thought about Filipinos as a distinct group with a distinct culture. (Boy, I thought, could they use a good P.R. person.)
There is even a term, I learned, the title of her work, “Cocoanuts,” for those, like her, America-born-and-raised, an ethnic equivalent of “Oreos.” Brown on the outside; white on the inside.
My smile was broadened for days. Café book-peddling sure comes with varying rewards.