C. K. Henry Building; Also known as the Henry Building (1909) is located at 309 SW Fourth Avenue, corner of SW Oak Street and SW Fourth Avenue Portland Oregon.
The architect, builder, or engineer:
Francis J. Berndt.
Architectural style: Chicago.
In U.S. National Registry
of Historic Places
Frank and Sharon 2012
What's this about China? Frank's dad Francis (also Frank) was born in Chicago in 1875 named Francis John Joseph Berndt Esquire. His father Hermann was born near Austria and married Christine. Frank's dad Francis, Sr. died in 1942. He married Amelia of Chicago in Milwaukee in 1894. Then married Mary of San Francisco in 1914. Both marriages ended in divorces. Francis, Sr was an architect in Shanghai for 18 years and was bombed out by the Japanese in 1937. Common-Law with Helen during that time in Shanghai. Helen was born in Seoul Korea 1896. Mom Helen had 2 other sons John and Joseph teen agers in the early 1930's.
Let's see now.....Frank Jr. Frank Esquire. Helen. John. Joseph. They are in China, right? And here is something else. Frank Esquire used to refer to Frank Jr as Junie (short for junior). Well let's muddy up the water a bit. Helen is of Japanese decent born in Korea. How come the name Helen? Is she not Japanese? Since Junie was 1 to 7 years of age before leaving China, and does not know all the details of his early family, more questions than answers are available !! How are you doing so far? Let's surmise a bit.
Helen's mom was probably Caucasian and her dad Asian. That makes her ½ Asian and ½ Caucasian. Frank Sr (Esquire) is European Caucasian. His dad Hermann was born near Austria. Little Junie was frequently badgered by those here in the United States about what race or nationality he was. Junie has been labeled Filipino, Hawaiian, American Indian, and Chinese when first looked upon with his slant eyes. By the way, at about age 75 he had surgery of the eyelids called Ptosis (the removal of some of the eyelids to allow seeing the ceiling). This surgery lessened the appearance of slant eyes somewhat. Anyway, having said all that, we can most likely see where Junie is probably ¾ Caucasian and 1/4 Asian. His 58 year old daughter (grandmother) would then be 7/8 Caucasian and 1/8 Asian. And her children Josh and Carla would be 15/16 and 1/16 respectively. Their children, Hailey, Rayden, Olivia, and Kathryn would then be 31/32 and 1/32 respectively. Their pictures are available by clicking on http://www.fsberndt.com our web page of more than 10 years.
Now what about John and Joseph (Junie's half brothers) ? Apparently not US citizens since they did not accompany Frank Sr and Junie to the States after the Japanese bombing of Shanghai. They must have been children of Helen by another marriage. Helen and Frank Sr. were living common-law which was customary in Shanghai. They were married US style in the US consulate when Junie was 7 years old so that Frank Sr could bring Junie along with him to the US.
Shanghai was divided into four districts, Russian, French, British, and Chinese. Dad, mom, and Junie lived in the British district; hence, Junie learned very little Chinese. He remembers itchi nee som sum and one two three four. Later in California life, uno dos tres quattro. Junie spoke with a British accent as
“Why? Cause pigs cahn't fly.” Also, tomahtoes. When Junie arrived in California playmates were surprised to hear a British accent come out of this slant-eyed kid. It did not take very long before the accent was lost and American slang replaced it.
Dad used to have European background friends come over to share listening to orchestral presentations like the Vienna waltz and dance around the floor with Junie on his shoe-tops. One day in the second story living room sat Junie in his high chair (he was about 2) next to the window. Somehow something happened where Junie fell out of the chair to the living room floor on the side opposite the open window. That frightened a few!
As Junie grew older, Dad would take him to a local cafe with counters and high stools like our drugstores had fountains to dispense sodas and light snacks here in the US. Dad loved buttermilk, so we would have that at the eating counter quite regularly. This trip was usually combined with a visit to the park bench overlooking the junks floating by on the Yangtze River (or yellow river by its color). Many Chinese actually lived on board these boats, eating their catch, and washing their dishes and clothes in the river on which they floated. Clothing was drying on board as they passed by.
Dad liked his hard liquor and would share it with Junie. He knew Junie was fond of raw eggs and would drop one in a shot glass and fill it with Scotch knowing that Junie would drink the liquor to get to the raw egg. Junie was not too sold on the liquor. “Tiny bubbles in the wine, make me feel happy, make me feel fine, and it makes me warm all over”, as Don Ho used to sing in Hawaii in the sixties. Dad used to let Junie taste of Scotch, Wine, Rum and Vodka. It was enough to turn off Junie from all hard liquor since age 6. The thought of drinking hard liquor has been repulsive ever since. Also, Dad used to stay out late hours drinking and at times would come home at around 3AM, slam doors and abuse mom. The whole house was in an uproar as they went tooth and nail. A European delicacy (tartare) was that of taking raw hamburger meat and mixing it with raw egg and plenty of raw onions. Knead it all into meatloaf design and eat it raw. Yumeee Yum ! Calves brains melted in their mouths at the moment of touching the tongue. Very soft and gentle eating. And speaking of tongues, they also ate beef tongues sliced like roasts.
Dad used to say “Don't believe much of what you hear, about 10% of what you read and only ½ of what you see.”
He used to sing:
“Let me call you sweetheart, I'm in love with you
Let me hear you whisper that you love me too
Keep the love-light glowing in your eyes so blue
Let me call you sweetheart, I'm in love with you”
While singing this song today in front of Sharon, Frank Jr was happy to hear Sharon singing along with him. Frank Jr knew the song from the 1930s and it was still popular during Sharon's up growing from the late 40s when she was 4.
Junie and his half brothers were playing with the brothers' weight lifting equipment one day. You know, the iron bar with round weights on the ends. Junie had one of the round weights in his hands as he transported it to the living room. Yes, he tripped and his hands were squashed so that fingernails had to be regrown again over a period of time. Sometime later in life as a teenager, he was playing basketball on a hard wooden gym floor barefooted. He and others jumped up to get the ball and when he landed another landed with his heal on Frank Jr's toes. Yes, more nails to regrow over a period of time.
Junie was born Ceasarian and was nursed by Helen. Moma's milk was warm and delicious and made him warm all over and off to sleep he would go. They lived on Range Road in Shanghai. One day while playing as an airplane with arms outstretched with a broom handle inserted through the armpits, crucifiction style, he was with others doing the same. Yes, he tripped on the cobblestone street and fell head first hitting his head above the right eye on one of the rounded stones. He was rushed to the doctor's office where several stitches were made without anesthesia. He felt each needle insertion and knotted thread tie as the wound was closed.
Mom used to fix real Chinese food, unlike US restaurant style and content. She fixed salty seaweed and sparrow legs and white rice. Can you imagine eating a sparrow leg? Not like eating a chicken or turkey leg. Barely a taste ! But the same, only smaller.
Dad had at one time or another mentioned that he was in the Cavalry as a First Lieutenant. He would point to his right belt area at about hip height with fingers pointing downward and fist slightly unclenched as if holding a revolver and said that this is where he used to have his 45. Junie and Sharon have no proof one way or another to confirm his service in the Cavalry, but agree that he could have served in the Spanish American war and possibly been in Cuba around 1896 for the 3 month war. At that time Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders were in vogue. Time-wise, dad could have fulfilled this service at this time since the events talked about would fit into the time frame of other activities in his life which have been covered heretofore.
One bright warm sunny day in 1937 as dad and Junie were exiting the five story building the sky seemed to darken and the sound of loud engines disturbed what seemed to be a very nice quiet day. Looking up they saw the sky filled with bombers and tiny specks falling from them. Some of the specks landed and exploded on the ground as the earth shook. The other specks got larger when they landed on the ground as parachute troops of the Imperial Nation of Japan. Fear fell upon both of them as they saw machine gun emplacements erected at each end of bridges. That night, dad and Junie searched for a place to stay overnight and entered one of the bombed out buildings but were told they could not stay there since the building was not a safe place to be.
There is a big blur here as to what exactly happened now. As recalled here Junie and dad are on board a ship filled with refugees leaving Shanghai. Junie gets seasick in the bunk bed located about 4 stories below top deck and dad brings him an apple or other fruit after being able to eat the meals himself as served in the dining room. The fruit seems to help quell the sickness and soon recovery is accomplished. They dock in the Filipines for Junie to be hospitalized for 6 weeks with the chicken pox. Unknown where dad spent that same period of time. After recovering, shrimp chips (much the same as potato chips) were devoured by Junie. The snack was delicious and Junie has never since been able to purchase them. The taste was unforgettable and the craving unquenchable.
Then embarkation from Manila and on to America ! Disembarkation was in British Columbia just North of Seattle.