Wong Shun Leung about Bruce Lee – Interwiev
BRUCE LEE AND HIS FRIENDSHIP WITH WONG SHUN LEUNG
Wong Shun Leung
“Heroes are still human beings when you know them well. I have seen how Bruce Lee grew from a small boy to a mature man. In my mind, he will never be a hero or a superman. I only know that he was a friend, a very good friend. He was also a funny man, one with whom you could expose your inner feelings without fear. You could be very frank with him, pointing out his short-comings. So what I am now writing about it, the Bruce Lee in my own eyes. I believe that it will be a more objective and real picture.”
————– Wong Shun Leung
The Early Days
As a young lad, Bruce Lee was a clever but naughty boy. He had studied in La Salle College in Hong Kong. He liked to fight and cared little about school work His academic results were not very good. Apart from English, he failed in all the other subjects. His mathematics was the worst. Moreover, he always joked with his classmates and his teachers. Thus he could not graduate from that school. Later, he transferred to another school to further his study. It was in that period that we came to know each other.
One day, about twenty years ago, I practiced my kung fu in Master Yip’s institute. I also helped my fellow learners in their practice. At that time, Chang brought in an Elvis like youngster. He leaned his body to one side with his hand on the wall. The other hand was in the back pocket of his trousers. His body was supported by one of his legs only. He swayed his body continuously. His manner was very frivolous as though he thought that he was smart. I really did not like his appearance. After he went away, I told Chang that I did not welcome this young man.
A few months later, he came for the second time. This time, he dressed properly and was more polite. Master Yip liked him very much, so he took him to be his disciple. He immediately came over and greeted me. This was so sudden that I just could not understand. We became fellow learners and friends. From then on, he brought me a lot of trouble. That young man was Bruce Lee, the famous international star.
At first, when Bruce learnt the fundamental boxing form of Wing Chun Kung Fu, he seemed to have a sense of suspicion towards it. It was true that the boxing form was a bit dry, so he did not seem to have much interest in it. However, he had seen how Chang, a youngster of the same age, won over his opponent. He also knew that his history of learning Wing Chun Hung Fu was not long. Therefore, he began to develop confidence in the style.
Chang’s father was a police inspector and enjoyed some special privileges, so when Bruce had troubles, he usually found Chang to solve them. Thus the two young men always came and went together. Two or three months later, Bruce began to understand the principles of Wing Chun Kung Fu and his interest grew simultaneously.
A short time passed. Chang had to go to study in Australia. He wanted me to teach and practice with Bruce, so he brought Bruce to my house. It was because at that time Master Yip’s health was not very good and I was five or six years older than Bruce. At that stage the difference in age was very evident already, and he listened to me readily.
Although he was small, he had many tricks. I remember one day when we practiced, he said to me, “Leung. My classmates Chiang and Ken want to learn from you. They will come a few days later. But I say, you should not teach them, it is enough for you to teach me.”
I thought that I should not have any bias or prejudice.
After a few days, Bruce strangely came at an earlier time. He had his own plan. In this incident, his character was exposed entirely.
On that day, he was ten minutes earlier. He seemed to have run a long way to my house. Without taking any rest, he claimed that he had to go out again, but before he went, he said, “Leung, I have to do something immediately, but I will come back in a short time. Please wait for me! Don’t go out! I beg you, please don’t! Thank you very much!”
So he hurried away. After about ten minutes, he came back. This time he had a relaxed look. Moreover, he learnt and practiced diligently on that day. A few days later, I learnt the inside story from the mouth of his classmate.
He had come earlier to make sure that his classmates had not arrived yet. Then he went down the street to wait for them. When he saw them, he met them as if he had just left my house.
He then said to them, “Hi! Leung has just gone out. I don’t know when he will come back. His family said that he had something important to do recently and would not be free. So, I think you have to see him on another day.”
After that, he pushed them down the road and got them into a bus and came back to me. When I got to know this, I just answered with a smile and did not try to persecute him. That was Bruce Lee, competitive and aggressive. If he wanted anything, he would try to have it at any price.
Another time, he wanted to have the sun-glasses of his classmate, Chen. He first offered him a good price hoping that he would sell them to him. Chen, however, would not accept it. Bruce then just took them from him by force.
As he practiced more, he made less trouble. Yet sometimes he still insulted his schoolmates, and might even run into some rascals. I was milder, so I often tried to mediate for him. At times I also persuaded him to develop the right way and make less trouble. Because he had such kind of character, he was more diligent in drilling himself. In those days, he had seen how I punched at a short distance (that was the inch-power he later performed), and how I compared my wrist’s power with others. He even bought two steel bars to assist him in his training. To strengthen the power of his wrists, he used the sand discs. In nine month’s time, he seemed to surpass me. Therefore, I enjoyed practicing with him very much. Bruce Lee often asked me whether he could win over Mr. X or Mr. Y. I frequently analyzed the strong and weak points of his imagined opponent for him, and told him the way to win.
Later, he asked me when he would be able to win over Chang and me. He asked too much. I felt that he had fallen into the state of bewitchment. His competitive character caused me to worry for him. I feared that he would lose the aim in learning Kung Fu. I said to him, “To win over me is not difficult. I’m only the commonest of the commons. My history of Kung Fu learning, is only a few years longer than yours. There is nothing great in winning over me. I compare with other people not because I have good Kung Fu. It is only because I am not satisfied with the superstitious and mysterious elements people uphold in Chinese Kung Fu. I am young, I have an ideal. I want to alter people’s attitude towards Chinese martial arts in my own effort. In fact, Chinese martial arts is simply a kind of sport. Your potential is better than mine. Some day you will win over me. As to Chang, it is difficult to say. You two are of the same age, but his physique and combat experience are better than yours. You will not be able to subdue him now. Whether you can win over him in the future or not depends very much on your progress and your training. Even our Master will not be able to answer this question. To practice Kung Fu, we need to have a firm will and a continuous drive for improvement. That is to say, we need to win over ourselves. For example, if you want to win over A, and his conditions are more favourable than yours and you two have the same kind of training, you may not be able to fulfil your wish. At that time, will you feel disappointed? Or, suppose you don’t have any opponent, will you feel lonely? No. It is because you still should have one opponent, and that is you, yourself.”
He did not seem to understand my meaning, but later from his theory of boxing, my words proved to be acceptable. Nevertheless, he still asked the same question even though he had stayed in the United States. I always replied and said, “If tomorrow’s Bruce can win over today’s, will it be fine?”
After about half a year’s training, the time for an inter-school boxing match came. It was held in K.G.5 School. He asked for my opinion in joining this match. My opinion was to get combat experience was more important than any other thing. With the help of my limited knowledge in western boxing, I practiced with him. I attached his weak points and guided him to make full use of his strong points. Several months of training passed. He finally represented his school in the match. In the first match, he first displayed the form of Wing Chun Kung Fu so it did not look like the western boxing form. Many foreign students, male and female, jeered at him, but when he gradually took control of the situation, the attitude of the spectators changed. His opponent had been the champion of the match for several years. But he was knocked down by Bruce in the first round.
Bruce began to emerge. His interest in practicing martial arts also grew deeper.
Under the influence of his classmates, Bruce challenged two tall and stout Kung Fu experts to fight on the roof of a building in Kowloon. One of them was Chung, an assistant teacher in a famous martial arts institute. Bruce invited me to be his trainer. Because of our close relation, I eventually granted his wish. On my way to the appointed place, many meddlers stood here and there. The atmosphere was very tense and heavy as if a great thunderstorm was going to break out. Besides Bruce Lee and I, a friend named Chen also went with us. Chen practiced long boxing. He had also practiced Wing Chun for a few months. On our way, many meddling youngsters pointed their fingers at us. Bruce was very delighted. I sensed that he was very proud of himself. In those days, not many people knew Bruce Lee. I only heard them talking about me. They said, “That man is Wong Shun Leung. Here comes Wong Shun Leung. We’ll have something to see.”
Actually I was not the hero of this comparison. The hero was Bruce. The crowd seemed to grow larger and larger. I had a strange feeling. So I asked Bruce, “How come there are so many people? Did you tell them to come here?”
Bruce denied it. He said, “Maybe they learnt the news from the other side.”
Very soon we reached the destination. Bruce wanted to go straight up to the roof, but I stopped him. In a low voice, I told him to walk on. I believed that Bruce was a smart guy. He had already understood my meaning. I wanted to divert the attention of those meddlers so that they would not rush up to the roof of the building. We first turned round the corner, then went back to the entrance of the building. We went up the stairs but not directly to the top. Bruce had a friend who lived there. We stayed in his home for about ten minutes before we got up to the top of the building.
Although we had avoided many of the meddlers, there were still 20 to 30 people on the roof. Some sat along the wall, others sat on the parapet. All of them came to see the fight. After about five minutes, another group of people arrived. Bruce greeted them. They asked me to be the judge of the contest. I told the other side my role. I told them that I was Bruce’s trainer, thus I should not act as the judge. But Chung said, “Mr. Wong, we trust in you. We want you to be our judge.”
They also said that they knew that I was experienced in Chinese Kung Fu, and that I was capable to be the judge. I made clear that I was not only Bruce’s trainer, I was also a member of the Wing Chun School and it was not convenient for me to be the judge. Still, the other side insisted that I should be the judge. This was a problem to me. I could not do both things in the same match. However, they were so sincere that I could hardly refuse them. Moreover, I was still young at that time. I knew not much about life, so I agreed to be the judge. If this should happen today, I would surely refuse it. I gathered the two sides and said, “A match must follow rules, even if it is a friendly match. You all are young people, you are not qualified to represent your clans. More important is that this is not a duel. We have two rounds. One round will last two minutes. No matter which side wins, the comparison will end after two rounds. This is a friendly match, you all should aim at promoting your friendship. Do you all understand what I say?”
Chung and Choy said that they did, Bruce also agreed to follow my instructions. I then told them to rest for a while before they started.
Bruce then suddenly said, “Leung, it’s Chen who starts first.”
Chen was Bruce’s classmate, they were of the same age. It was so sudden that I was shocked. Chen was a new student. How could he fight with these people? Thus I called the two to my side.
I said “Chen, you are still green, you do not know how to fight.”
Chen claimed that he had learnt some other Kung Fu. He and Chung belong to the same clan. I then said that since they belonged to the same clan, they should; compare publicly, but Chen said, “It doesn’t matter, he is welcome!”
I smiled and replied, “Since you two belong to the same clan, it will be much more convenient for me to be the judge.”
I saw that Chen’s form were very confused. Sometimes it looked like long boxing, sometimes it looked like Wing Chun. Choy displayed the typical form of clan. Both sides used short punches which showed the characteristics of their own clan. However, both sides were very confused as to the use of their Kung Fu. Choy was more brave. He ran forward and hit Chen. Choy fought back with his long boxing. Because Chen was taller, it was very advantageous, Choy could only hit at his abdomen.
Punches flew in the air. Both sides we hit. Since Choy was more brave and more experienced, Chen began to fall back. Yet as he retreated, he still attacked. His punches were more useful. They reached their target Choy’s face bled. As Chen was hit at the abdomen, superficially he seemed to be alright. He thus seemed to have won the first round. After resting for a minute, the fight went on. The way they fought was the same. Choy was more fiery in this round. Chen was indeed young. He had fear in him so he drew back. Naturally, he was hit frequently, but the wounds were not as heavy as that of opponent. Choy took the lead yet he received more punches than Chen. It was difficult to say which side should be the winning side. This then ended the first match.
The second match was the climax of the match. The heroes were Bruce and Chung. Chung was an assistant teacher in a famous sports club, while Bruce was a child star in Cantonese films, so this match was very attractive. I gathered the two and the time-keeper and repeated the rules for the second time. Both of them showed that they were clear. The area of the roof was about 18 feet by 18 feet. They agreed to let Chung to start the attack first. I asked Bruce to stand near the mid-line. Then l signalled them to start.
Bruce’s stance was a Wing Chun style. His left hand was in the front while his right one was in the back. His stance slightly inclined to the left On the other side. Chung’s left hand showed a sword finger and his right fist was held near his waist. Chung circled around Bruce waiting for a chance to attack. Not a sound was heard. Eventually Chung took action. With a roar, he turned his fist against Bruce’s lower jaw. Bruce drew back a little, then used his left palm to push away the punch. However, he did not make use of the opportunity to fight back. Both retreated and waited for the second chance. Bruce was hurt. He was perplexed inside and wanted to withdraw from the match. After a while, Chung used his right fist to attack Bruce’s left eye. Seeing this, Bruce took one step backward, then tried to hit Chung’s chest with his right fist, but his step was a little slower. His left eye was hit. His face was covered with blood. Chung was hurt too, but the place was covered by his clothes. Since Bruce had been hit, he wanted to fight back. He immediately stepped forward and attacked with continuous punches. Because he was two steps from Chung, Chung had enough time to step back calmly. Chung also punched back. Both were hit However because Bruce was not calm enough, his punches did not hit decisively. Moreover, his careless attack left open many chances for his opponent to attack, so his nose and cheek were hit. As they were struggling, the time-keeper exclaimed that time was up. The first round was over.
I went up hurriedly to see Bruce. He asked me at once, “Leung! Is my eye swollen?”
“Yes,” I said. “It’s bruised. Your nose is also bleeding, but it’s O.K.”
“My performance today is bad. If I am hurt too badly, my father will notice it. I think we better take it as a draw and end the match.
I replied, “Bruce, if you do not continue in the second round, it means that you surrender. How can it be regarded as a draw? Moreover, you are capable to fight on. Your opponent is wheezing now. If you withdraw, how will you answer your fellow-learners? You will regret it. As a matter of fact, whether you win or not is not important, but you must try your best. If you fight on, you will win.”
His competitive character drove him to go on. Bruce finally won the match. When Bruce heard “you will win”, he was refreshed. He asked solemnly for the second time, “I will win? Leung, are you sure ? ”
“Yes,” I replied, ” why should I deceive you? When you feel confused, don’t care whether your fighting method is correct or not for you are now in a fight, not a performance. When you are half a step from him, you must step up and punch only his face. Do not care whether you have been hit. Try to get close and attack. And be calm.”
Bruce nodded his head to show that he understood my idea. The time-keeper signalled that the time for rest was over. We started the second round.
This time Bruce attacked first. Chung was ready to fight. His left hand bent a little and was stretched forward. His fingers were turned into a claw. Chung’s right fist was placed beside his left elbow. He stood in low stance. In this round, Bruce was calm. He stretched out his left hand too, and his right hand was also placed beside the left elbow. His power was concentrated on his back leg. He waited for a chance to attack. After a moment he suddenly pretended to attack. Chung immediately jumped back. Yet Bruce did not move. He still stood in the same position and smiled. He repeated this action for two to three times. Chung began to loose his defence. At last, Bruce was about half a step from Chung. Bruce made a false attack again. Chung took half a step back, and at the same time sent out a right punch. Making use of that chance, Bruce swiftly attacked. His left punch hit heavily on Chung’s lower jaw. Bruce then took another step forward. He sent out a right punch which hit Chung’s mouth. Blood gushed from Chung’s mouth. Chung’s false teeth were also knocked out. The two were too close so Chung’s punch did not function well. Being seriously hurt, Chung fell back. He could not stand properly. Seeing this opportunity, Bruce did not give up. Like a wild beast, Bruce continued to send out heavy punches on Chung’s face. Finally, Chung fell beside the water tank on the roof. Chung’s friends at once ran forward to stop the match. Some of them complained that I should have stopped the match at an earlier time, but Bruce was very happy. He raised his hands up in the air and was very delighted.
After this incident, some people blamed me. As I think back, I really feel that I was not right. I was a judge, I should not have let emotion control me. I should not have taught Bruce only. I also should not have forced Bruce to go on. At that time, I was too young. I did not know that they would ask me to be the judge. Also, I was Bruce’s trainer. In fact, I really hoped that Bruce would win, so when Bruce wanted to withdraw after the first round, I did not permit it. I believed, if he had withdrawn, he would have felt shame and his history in martial arts would have ended. His victory in the second round really strengthened his confidence and fighting spirit. It taught him that one could not naturally become a successful man, one had to fight. Usually, a man’s success was due to the stimulation of a comment or an incident. Bruce was still young, and I did not want to see him being knocked down. I did not want to see him feeling discouraged, so I encouraged him to fight on.
When Master Yip was alive, he said this, ”If some day Bruce can achieve anything, it is your labour.”
Bruce had also said this, “You are the person who influenced me most. If on that day, I did not have you to back me up, I think I would not be what I am today. If you need my help, I’ll try my best to help.”
When I heard this, I just thanked him. Although I did not ask anything from him, I still thanked him for his kindness.
The roof-top affair brought along many troubles. The former master of Chen and Choy learnt that they had fought against each other. He thought that it was not right. He wanted to look into the matter. This made things worse. To find out the truth, the famous master and several youngsters waited for Bruce outside the school. They had brought along a basket. No one knew what was inside. It may have contained some weapons. According to my speculation, this may have been caused by Bruce’s pride. Seeing the situation was unfavourable, he gave me a phone call telling me the names of these Kung Fu experts. I hurriedly got to his school to take him away. Because I knew these people, they still wanted to preserve our friendship and did not come over to cause any trouble. In addition, Bruce’s father was also a friend of an elder sifu of that clan, so they did not take any action. I continued to take Bruce home for the next few days. Nothing happened. In this way, the affair came to an end.
In our lives, many unhappy incidents are caused by some very minor things. I think this kind of thing is very bad. Originally, a comparison is not a bad thing. You need it just like you need to experiment what you have learnt in the classroom. If they compare in a sincere and friendly way, it is good. A good comparison will give you more understanding about your Kung Fu. It will produce in you a deep impression. It will also make a contribution to Chinese martial arts. However, many elders are too narrow minded. They stress too much on winning. When their pupils lose their fight, they cannot stand it. This results in a struggle between the two sides. Frankly speaking, two young men will know each other better after a comparison and become good friends. On the other hand, whether one wins or loses is determined usually by the quality of the two fighters and not the quality of their clans. If not, there would not be any difference between two learners of same clan. In other words, the winner should not have pride for you are not defeating the expert of that clan. The loser should not give up. He should find out his weaknesses and work on them. It will help him a lot. If our elders are stubborn, our youngsters will find it difficult to behave. A good thing may become a bad one. It may also give rise to hostile feelings among different clans for a long time. This will give our people a wrong impression as to what martial arts is. For example, when Wing Chun and Choy Lay Fut Kung Fu have a match, the newspapers will publicise it to attract buyers. The propaganda will stir up hostile sentiments among the followers of the two clans. Misunderstanding will make it even more difficult to solve the difficult problem.
Bruce always loved to behave mischievously. However, sometimes, however, he would be very solemn. Ten years ago he had learnt Kung Fu for about a year at that time. One day, one of his fellow learners named Ng had a quarrel with a sifu name Li of another clan. This might have been the result of some misunderstanding. Li had been a sifu for many years. I knew him too. I had met him several times and sensed that he was a humble man. He would not cause any trouble. After the quarrel, Li came back to our institute to get help. He wanted a few men to help him. The first who reacted to this was Bruce. He wanted to go. He said, “You don’t have to take any action. Let me! I’ll teach that fellow a good lesson.”
He was excited about this. He tried hard to get involved in the fight. As they were discussing the plan in the institute, I came in. At that time, most of my fellow-learners were English school students, and I was one of the elders in the group. When they had any plan, they would tell me.
As I stepped in, Bruce came up to me and said, “Leung, we’ll have a match on Saturday. This should be my turn.”
“What match ? Have the other side agreed on the date and place?” I asked.
Bruce said, “We have not made any agreement, but every morning he will be there teaching his students. We will meet him there. You know that man too.” “Who’s that man? Who makes this proposal?” I asked.
“He’s Li, the former fellow learner of Chang. He makes this proposal.” Bruce pointed his finger at another boy. “I don’t believe chat he will challenge you. He’s a good man. I’ve met him. He won’t cause any trouble,” I said. The fellow-learner swore that that was the truth. After all, many of them were meddling youngsters. They wanted to see how they fought. I still did not believe that, but I did not say anything. I did not want to discourage them. I only said, “Don’t force him. It’s O.K. if he agrees to fight. I don’t want to destroy your plan, so I’ll stand and look at a distance.”
“If I’m there, they will fight. Just wait and see.” Bruce said.
On Saturday morning, at about eight, Bruce and eight other youngsters arrived at a deserted house beside the railway. They called that house “The House of the Demons”. Today it has become a garden. I followed them at a distance. There were about twelve people practicing Kung Fu in the garden of the house. Bruce went up and asked one of them, “Hey! Who is the one that wants to fight? Let me satisfy your desire. Quick! We don’t have much time.”
The man answered, “We will not fight.”
He walked away calmly.
Bruce continued, “You cowards! Go home, why practice Kung Fu?”
With his hands on his waist, he cried and said, “You are not a man. You challenge us to fight and I’m not a patient man. I won’t wait.”
Still no one cared about him. Some of the elder ones started to leave silently. Bruce went up and stood before Li. He made a gesture which meant to insult Li. Then he did a few steps of cha-cha and murmured, “Oh! I beg you. Have mercy on him. I’ll let you beat me. I won’t fight back. O.K.? You don’t have to be afraid. I like you. Come, let’s start.”
Li was embarrassed by Bruce’s actions. When he saw me, he came over and politely shook hands with me. He said, “Mr. Wong, have we done anything wrong? Since we are friends, you can tell me frankly. I respect you and I don’t want to have any misunderstanding.” This time it was me who was embarrassed. This was because I had not agreed with this plan. Under these circumstances, to have a good ending was not easy. As I was thinking for a solution, Bruce called out loudly and said, “Leung please ask him to fight with me. Tonight I’ll invite you out to dinner.”
I stared at him. In my heart I hated him for he had caused me so many troubles. This time Li also did not seem to look good, yet he still paid his opponent respect and did not want to take any action. This was a problem to me. I walked up to Bruce and pulled him to the side. I whispered to him, “Bruce, cool down. Listen to me. Comparison is an ordinary thing. You should not force people to do it. Your behaviour is not very good. If other people know it, they will think that we are rough and rude. If Master Yip knows it, he will not be happy. It is useless to provoke him.”
Bruce shrugged his shoulder. I then went over to Li’s side. I laid my hand on his shoulder and said, “Those youngsters are still green, and some of them want to see how people fight. That is why they make so much nonsense. Forgive them for my sake. I don’t want to hurt our relationship. If there is anything wrong, come and tell me.”
Li replied, “Yes, that’s right. We are members of a family. I know that you, Mr. Wong, are a good man. I hope we’ll have more interactions in the future.”
As he said this, he put on his clothes and prepared to leave. However, Bruce did another naughty thing. He made a young lad to pretend to fight. Bruce himself acted as Li. His acting was good. He walked like a drunkard. When he was hit, he fell on the ground and looped back. As he stood up, his hands were on his chest. He swayed his body. You just could not do anything about it. Fortunately, Li hurried away and did not do anything. My burden was released. These youngsters still played on and did not want to leave. People of some other clans who practiced there also put on their clothes and left because of the disturbance caused by these youngsters. From this, we can see how Bruce loved to play and have his own way.
Apart from having good potential in him, he also paid attention to the use of machines in training himself Under my advice, he had made two steel bars to strengthen the power of his wrists. When he had time, he would train with his bars. This helped a lot in increasing his punching power. The things he practised every day included boxing, side kicks, wooden dummy and so on. When he had finished with all this, he would sit down and meditate on what he had done. He trained himself in this way for a long time.
He did this even in the United States. He used to write and tell me his progress in his training. Unfortunately, I have not preserved these letters, so cannot publish them. I am really sorry about that. Before Bruce went to the United States, he wanted to learn Chinese Northern Kung Fu so that he could perform it on stage. In those days, many people organised these groups to perform in the United States. He thought that some people might invite him to perform too, and so he needed to learn it.
On this matter, he asked for my opinion. Of course I agreed with him. He had learnt Wing Chun for over two years, so he should be able to distinguish the kind of Kung Fu that was practical. I said, “You should learn it as if you are learning a dance, then it’ll not disappoint you.”
He then learnt it with a master for ten days.
When he first arrived in the States, he taught cha-cha, but more and more people asked him to teach them Kung Fu. So he changed from teaching cha-cha to teaching Kung Fu. For this, he had to train himself even harder. He always sent me letters telling me his progress and achievement. He also asked me whether he could defeat Cheung. He asked this question in his letters to Cheung too. These questions were meaningless. It is because our greatest enemy is our own self. It would be very good if we could improve every day, then is not necessary for us to compare with other people. This was my answer to him. Later, from his words I think he had learnt this principle. Nevertheless, he still took Cheung as his imagined opponent. One month before he died, he still asked me the same question.
When he asked me, I replied, “You have improved. Don’t you know that? In the past, he had more combat experience than you. Today, because he has such a character, he will still have many opportunities to compete, but since I have not seen him recently, I cannot answer your question.”
Hearing my words, he remained silent for a long time. If I knew he would die soon, I would have said some good words to make him happy.