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My Story

I've been a Bruce Lee fan and collector since 1974 when I saw the re-release of Enter the Dragon in a double-bill of Enter the Dragon w/Hot Potato, a Jim Kelly movie. I was 11 years old at the time and, to be honest, more than a little surprised my parents were taking my friend Mike and I to an R-rated movie. But even at that early age my parents could see how important Bruce was becoming to me.

I entered the theater with a small tape recorder hidden under my coat, nervously wondering if there was a rule against recording the audio soundtrack of a film (of course this was well before the days when pirate or bootleg videos became common). I found it interesting that the only theater showing the movie was located in an urban part of town. Most of our fellow movie goers were African-American. As Bruce viciously attacked his assailants throughout the film one could hear the excited shouts of others in the theater urging him on "Look out man!", "Kick his ass, Bruce!". When I was older I realized that this was an example of how Bruce Lee reached across racial boundaries, age boundaries, cultural boundaries, etc.

Since then I've read dozens of books about Bruce and collected hundreds of posters, magazines, books and toys all in an effort to better understand this man I never met. Over the years I've come to appreciate that while Bruce was a very talented and gifted martial artist, he was by no means perfect. Like all of us he had his faults including a fiery temper and a degree of self-confidence that bordered on obscene arrogance at times. But he was also very dedicated to his family, intensely loyal to his friends and a perfectionist in everything he did. He would practice a move or routine hundreds of times until it was impossible to improve upon any further. Positive traits like these are the ones I try to emulate in my everyday life. 

In 2007 my family and I took a trip to Los Angeles CA to see Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Disneyland and so many of the other great attractions the West Coast offers. Little did my family know that an additional reason for our trip was to see some of the places where Bruce lived during his few short years in California. In October, 2013 and again in September, 2015 and 2016 I took trips to Seattle and have made several recent updates to my website. 

My hope is that in some small way my visual history can help you experience some of the places that featured prominently in Bruce Lee's life; places you may never get to. If you have any questions, suggestions, encouragement or criticisms please let me know. I will try to respond in a reasonable time frame. And if you happen to travel to some of these destinations yourself remember that Bruce was there over 40 years ago - people at these locations today likely had no contact with him. Some may not even know their home has any association with Bruce Lee. So please respect their privacy and property and take pictures only from the safety of the public sidewalks or streets.


Steve Palmer

Bruce Lee Was Here