Graniteville, California

A historic mining town in the Sierra Nevada mountains

The Cook’s Helper

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Donald C. Kyle

As told by Barry Kyle: As a child my father would often play the role of the cook while in the kitchen of Graniteville’s old Golden State Hotel. He would entertain himself with the pots and pans until the adult employees tired of him and chased him outside. One afternoon, the aggregated cook, Ah Sing, threatened my father with a large butcher knife.

According to my father, Donald C Kyle, fearing the cook’s unusual behavior that day, he hid under the kitchen table and yelled for help.  Help did arrive and Sing was escorted out of building. It was rumored that he had been smoking opium earlier that day and the young  Mr Kyle (age 7) was too much for him in that condition.

Uncle Will McLean felt he had no choice but to fire Sing. Ah Sing left that afternoon on the stage to Nevada City, never to return. Years later, around 1958, my father spotted him in Chinatown in San Francisco. Ah Sing an old man now and they had a good laugh about the events of that day. After exchanging stories for about an hour, they shook hands and then parted as friends.

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