Betty and Peggy Lee in 1936. Courtesy Betty Lee
Betty and Peggy Lee in 1936. Courtesy Betty Lee

One day in 1936 Betty Lee and her twin sister Peggy, about four years old, posed for their mother in the Washington State College shirts given to them by Carl Morrow, then Dean of Men at WSU.

Their parents, Don and Julia Lee, moved to Pullman in the 1930s and opened a restaurant, and later ran a small grocery on Maiden Lane. Morrow was a regular customer at their restaurant, which served “American” food, says Betty Lee. On occasion, he brought the family gifts, conferring on the girls the shirts, dolls, and balls.

Betty Lee graduated from WSU in 1954 with a degree in general studies. Her sister Peggy also graduated from WSU. They went on to have careers at the University, Betty working in the Agronomy department and Peggy with Extension. Peggy died in 2008. Betty still lives in town.

Betty says her mother was always taking pictures of her twins—when she could find them. Life was a great adventure growing up in the shadow of a large university. “My sister and I used to go exploring on campus and sometimes we would get lost,” says Lee. Their roaming was to the consternation of their parents. “My mother would say, ‘If you see two Chinese girls wandering around town, please tell them to come home.’”