Friend     Penny's sister Sue      PENNY at age 14

Sophisticated Penny with her winning smile.

Penny tells her  incredible story of growing up in Thailand and going to grade school.

             PENNY'S WEBSITE 

Penny has been the owner of China Inn Restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky for the past thirty years.

This is the earliest known picture of Penny at age 12 with some of her family and villagers.  Penny is right above the umbrella.

This is the site of Penny's first house by the Jungle.  When this picture was taken, the bungalow had been rebuilt and another family was living in it.

             JUNGLE GIRL


You have seen the old cigarette ad that shows a sophisticated looking woman with a cigarette in her hand.  It read, “You’ve come a long way, baby!”  Well, my wife Penny doesn't smoke, but she has come a long way from the jungles of Thailand.  She transformed herself from a jungle girl in a third world country on one side of the world to a successful restaurateur of thirty years in the United States of America.

Penny really was a jungle girl.  She lived in a small village at the edge of the jungle near Korat.  As a little girl, she would marvel at an airplane flying overhead.  She could not wrap her head around the idea of a giant metal machine being able to defy gravity and fly through the air like a bird.  The world outside of her village was a mystery to her.

Her brother went for a walk behind their house one day and brought back four tiger cubs.  Now that is about as jungle as you can get.

She recalls how her father fooled her into getting her face very close to one of the cubs and then getting her nose scratched.  Her father got a good laugh out of the prank.  He had convinced Penny that if she looked closely enough, she would see that tigers do not have nostril holes.

Everyone slept in one room on the wood floor in their bungalow.  There was no electricity so it got very dark at night.  Penny went to bed every night with a bowl of water positioned in the same place about a foot from her head.  In the middle of the night, ants would crawl in her ear and she used the water to flush out the ants.

Though their house was on stilts and ten feet off of the ground, one year a very bad flood brought the water high enough to almost reach their living space.  Penny and her siblings passed the time swimming in the flood water right off of the top stair well.

Penny woke up one morning with a cobra coiled in the corner near her.  The snake had come into the house to flee the raging water. 


Dr. Rodney T. Hard