Saturday, November 15, 2008

In Memory of Mun Yuen


November 5, 2006 -- A Con Edison employee was killed on the job yesterday when he was hit by a car in The Bronx, officials said.

A 62-year-old woman driving a Ford Focus traveling southbound on Boston Road in Crotona swerved to avoid a bicyclist at about 4:30 p.m., according to police.

As she made the evasive maneuver, she crashed into Con Ed worker Mun Yuen, smashing him against a restaurant, police said.

Yuen, 40, had been working on an underground feeder cable at East 169th Street, according to Con Ed spokeswoman Elizabeth Clark.

Yuen, of Rutgers Street in lower Manhattan, was taken to Lincoln Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, cops said.

"I heard a big boom, and when we looked, we saw the Con Ed guy, trapped," said Sarah Ferguson, 22, assistant manager at Back Home Restaurant on Boston Road.

"The guy was in front of the car laying down with blood gushing out of his mouth. He had his hand up for a while, and then slowly brought it down. I guess that's when he was slowly dying," she said.

The driver of the Ford remained at the scene and was not charged with any crime or infraction, police said.

Additional reporting by Perry Chiaramonte and Hasani Gittens



I met Mun in our college's student center... we became friends... he was sharp and had quick wits about him... we shared mutual interests in table tennis, chess and cards. We would play table tennis and he had a wicked serve which often I couldn't return.

After college, I sometimes ran into him on the streets. We would chat and catch up. At the time, he couldn't land a decent job. He was working as a bicycle messenger. Some years later, IIRC, his sister had a baby and was giving a baby shower at a local restaurant near where I lived. By coincidence, my family was having dinner there too that evening. We caught up and exchanged phone numbers and IM's. Since then, we IM'd on and off. He was usually hanging out at his friend's office who was a lawyer. He told me about the job at Con Ed. I know he was nervous about taking the Con Ed exam and he was elated when he found out he passed and was hired. I think he found a sense of direction in life after being hired by Con Ed.

I recall my last IM with him, we were going to set up dimsum with a mutual friend and his wife. Life plays cruel tricks on you. You get caught up in the rat race and postpone getting together with friends... always busy and stressed with work or the kids... never had time to hook up with him.

There were days I wondered why I didn't see him on IM. I could've picked up the phone and called him.... busy with work... stressed at the end of the day and head home to my wife and kids. How long would a phone call take?

I was having dimsum with my wife and kids one Saturday in the city. We were meeting her aunt and uncle for dimsum in a restaurant we usually don't go to. I ran into EC and his family... been years since I saw him. Another college buddy and he also knew Mun. We exchanged phone numbers, emails and IM's. Fast forward to about 1 year later, EC IM's me and asks if it's ok to call me. I said yes. He calls with the sad news of Mun's passing. He emails me the link to the New York Post article. I recall that day, I was visibly shaken up. I told the trader I work with what happened. Tears welled up in my eyes. My heart felt like a knife was plunged into it. I had an error that day, I was typing up an order to buy 500 shares at the market of some illiquid stock. I don't know if it was the tears or just the heavy heart... i typed up to buy 5000 shares at the market and it end up costing us. The trader I work with told me to just go home and take the rest of the day off.

I miss Mun. My sincerest condolences to his family. He would've been 43 today.

Part of this entry is in memory of Mun... part of this entry is to say: sometimes just pick up the phone, hit up the IM or email a friend who you've lost contact with. Catch up just for a few minutes. In this day and age of electronic communication, there really is no reason not to catch up. I try to live life with no regrets, however, I regret never making time to have dimsum with Mun.

About a month ago, a buddy from junior high school, contacted me to invite me to his wedding party. He used to live across the street from me. We hung out during college. Due to work, he moved to New Jersey and I lost contact with him. Been about 10 years. My wife and I go to the party and I meet up with 2 other college buddies who I've not seen for the same amount of time. They all lived in NJ and have kids. We had our digital cameras and showed pictures of the kids. One of the topics of conversation was about Mun. They weren't sure if I had heard.

Last week, I get a text on my cellphone that just said "what's up?". I didn't add that number to my contacts so it came in as an unknown caller. So I text back, who is this? The reply came back and it was a friend I didn't talk to in some time. In the past, we hung out on the same forum. He used to be in the industry trading government bonds IIRC. The next day I called him and we caught up... he said I've not seen you post in some time and just wanted to check up on you. He knows I'm trading and how volatile the markets have been. We will have to do lunch soon... sadly I think I may not be able to take time off the trading desk to go out for an hour or 90 minutes lunch.

Lately I'm going through the cycle of being busy with work and family again. Past few months, I've reached out to a few friends. A few reached out to me. It is almost like Matthew Broderick in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" said, something to the effect of sometimes life moves too fast, you have to take time off to take a look around.
I need to get in contact with more of my friends.


Anonymous said...

I was a very good friend of Mun's. I knew him since the second grade and saw him the day before he passed. I just happened on your blog so I do not know who you are. Please contact me -




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