Posted by Dianne Nicolini on May 23, 2008

Posted in: Uncategorized

Earlier this week my Lunch Box Trivia winner was one C.K. Au.  When I asked him what C.K. stood for he said it was a long story.  Later he e-mailed me this charming explanation:

My initials C K actually stand for my full
name ‘Chi Kwan’.  But I have used my initials instead
of my name for about 35 years and the story behind it
has to do with one of your favorite artists in your
programs, violinist Gil Shaham.

Gil’s father Jacob Shaham and I were junior faculty
colleagues in the Physics Department at the University
of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (1972-1974). We
co-authored a paper published in Nature in 1974. We
also lived in the same housing complex at the edge of
campus – the Orchard Down.  

Gil’s father and I occasionally shared rides.  One
day, I was the passenger with Gil in a car seat in the
back.  His father introduced me to Gil, and he mistook
my name to be ‘chicken’.  After that, I used my
initials instead. That’s the funny story behind it.
I thought it would be fun to share this with you.

I saw the Shahams once again in Urbana in 1977 and I
had the pleasure of hearing Gil and Orly play at their home.


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