I would like to thank all the people who have sent me e-mails and letters of appreciation. Among them, Larry Kaplan, who is a full time historian and Alan Sugano, who is a business man and writer. I hope the increased interest in Homer Lea will result in the publishing of more articles and books about Homer’s legacy.
      "I searched the Internet for any new information on Homer, since he was born to Hersa Coberly, my grandmother’s great aunt. This is the most information I have found on Homer and it brings great joy to my heart!" – writes a relative of Homer Lea. (Out of respect for her privacy, I will avoid mentioning her name.) I hope someday to meet and talk to more of Homer’s relatives.
       Michael A. Cessna, I thank you for your information about online copies of all three of Lea's books at the Internet Archive’s Canadian Library section. I have updated the "Book" web page with a link to them. I am glad to know how delighted you were to find my website. The design of the web pages is meant to be precise, concise, easy to read and easy to remember.
       Lastly, Ming Ming of South Pasadena sent me the book, Double Ten, with the author’s signature, Carl Glick, and the personal notes to Mildred K. Weekes, from Captain O’Banion and his wife, Myrtle, as a gift for his birthday. O’Banion wrote " Ho Si Gui! " In Cantonese, it means - It’s a wonderful world, or good world. We often wish someone good luck with these words! Besides the book, there are three old newspaper clips. One is about Eagle Rock, the rock where Homer Lea’s soldiers were trained by Captain O’Banion. The other two were about Double Ten, which had just been published. One of them, I would like to republish here and share with you. There is no indication of the date or which newspaper it was published in. The following article is from a newspaper entitled, “Living Legend Enjoys Thrill ”: (Above is the photo included in it.)
                   ‘Living Legend’ Enjoys Thrill
      “ It’s a darned big thrill getting to be a ‘legend’ while you’re still alive to enjoy it!”
       That was 69-year-old Capt. Ansel O’Banion’s youthful reaction to becoming the hero of a book recounting his exploits in helping Gen. Homer Lea and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen foment the Chinese revolution.
        Through publication of the book “Double Ten” writen by Carl Glick. O’Banion is renewing many old friendships that he had considered lost forever.
                             Meets  Old  Friends
         He has had tea in Chinatown with Frank Chew - who under another name raised a “broom-stick army” in China after being trained in O’Banion’s secret revolutionary “military academy” in Los Angeles.
         The fantastic story started in 1902 just after O’Banion finished fighting in the Philippines and “retired to civilian life. He received a communication from Homer Lea, asking his aid in training Chinese troops for the coming overthrow of the Manchu dynasty.
         In the months to follow, duly commissioned a Captain in the Chinese Imperial Reform Army, O’Banion engineered Dr. Sun’s various “entries” into the United States and shuttled back and forth to China and Janpan on secret missions.
         Today Capt. O’Banion lives tranquilly in Sierra Madre.
Caption of the above photo:
Exploits Recounted -- Capt. Ansel O’Banion shows Frank Chew the Silver Star decoration given for his part helping foment Chinese revolution 40 years ago.  In background is Chew’s daughter Coral.  O’Banion now is hero in a book recounting his exploits.  Chew was trained in O’Banion’s secret revolutionary “academy.”
        Two years before Double Ten was published in 1943, Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, wife of the Chinese Nationalist leader, visited Los Angeles to rally the American support for the Chinese war relief effort. A banquet was held to honor her in Chinatown after she addressed audiences at the Hollywood Bowl and Los Angeles City Hall. Captain O’Banion was invited to meet her. When O’Banion shook hands with Madame Chiang, he asked :" How do you know about me? How did you know where to find me?" Madame Chiang smiled and said :" You bet, we know all about you!"
       Captain O’Banion lived forty two of his eighty two years in Sierra Madre. He and Mrs. O’Banion boast three grandchildren and one great grandson. They had one daughter, Lorraine and one son, George. Today you can visit Captain O’Banion at his family plot in Pioneer Cemetery, Sierra Madre. I believe his house still stands today.
Thursday, June 5, 2008