Monday, May 1, 2017

Look what I got here!

Yesterday, Janice was cleaning out the garage where we had piled up everything we wanted to save but did not know what to do with, when we moved from Tennessee here to Delaware in 2006. She came upon an old newspaper clipping and some pictures of a few of my students, which had been posted in my office. It turned out that the newspaper clipping was the announcement of my becoming the Chairman of the Chemistry Department at ETSU in 1979. That was the beginning of the job which I held continuously for 22 years (which was a record at that institution). The pictures included one of Sharon Campbell, after she and Brian had their first child. I represented Sharon's family to give her away when she married Brian, just about a year before this picture was taken. The others, pictured below, were of Linda Adams (at the bottom), my first graduate student,  Tony Ellis, my first undergraduate research student, and Jenny Fox (in the middle), my master's thesis student whom I co-directed with my best friend in the department, Boris Franzus! There are a lot of memories behind these images!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Clara Jones

A Lutheran missionary, Miss Clara Jones, whom I met in Taiwan when I was sixteen years old and who became a very close friend, came to visit us in Johnson City. She must have been very happy to see that I had a nice family and and that I was the Choir Director at our Savior Lutheran Church. She stayed with us for a few days and had a chance to meet my pastor at the church, Pastor Lyerly, and his wife, Dotty, and their two children. Miss Jones had her picture taken in front of our church and had another one taken in our living room with his family. These pictures were hard to get because she lived in Minnesota and was not able to visit us very often.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Taotze and Sanlu

In my last blog, I talked about the time when Bill and Ann came to Tennessee for a visit. They were the first couple we got to know as friends in Illinois. Taotze was my Junior High School friend and, after he and Sunlu were married, we got to know them very well as a couple. This year, 1982, their family drove to visit us from Tallahassee, Florida, where Sanlu's sister lived. Her sister's family also came. This was right after Bill and Ann's visit! They had some car trouble in Ashville, NC, but the rest of our visit was great. We visited ETSU and quite a number of places nearby, including a local swimming pool. The last picture was taken with all the children in swimming gear (some underneath their clothes). The middle two pictures were taken at our home!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Bill and Ann Kass

We got to know Bill and Ann at the University of Illinois, where Bill was a Post-Doc under the same professor with whom I was working, Peter E. Yankwich. They moved to Arizona when they left Illinois, and we visited them there several times. When we drove from the east to the west coast, in order to catch a plane to fly to Taiwan, we would stop off in Arizona. In 1982, they came to visit us and we went to several local places, including Grand Father Mountain (three pictures below), Watauga Lake (one picture below), and, of course, the Smoky Mountains. We really enjoyed their visit as we had enjoyed their company when we were at Urbana in Illinois.

Lady Liberty!

Again, when we came back from Boston to Tennessee, we drove past New York City. This time, we stopped to visit the Statue of Liberty. It was a gorgeous day! There was some renovation going on inside, so we did not climb the stairs and see the top. We just took some pictures with the beautiful background!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

In Rememberance of Henry G Fernald

Janice's father, Henry Grant Fernald,  passed away in August of 1982. He suffered with Lou Gehrig's disease for a short while, but he was also diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, one of the earliest identified cases. Basically, I remember him as a very quiet person. As a mathematician, he worked for American Optical Company during most of his career. As it was located in Southbridge, in western Massachusetts, he had been commuting from Winchester, Massachusetts, to work there ever since I met him in 1965, when Janice and I got married. He might not have behaved like an American father-in-law, but he certainly was like a Chinese father-in-law, at least as I imagined a Chinese father-in-law would be! He shared his hobby in photography with me and talked with me as often as my own father ever did. During the Christmas holidays in 1982, he was writing the names of his family on his hands so he would not forget them. I was shocked as he had changed faster than I could have imagined. Then he went to the hospital before our children finished their school in the Spring semester. We rushed to Winchester right after the school was over. I made arrangements to work that summer in the Boston College Chemistry Department, as my TA, Dr. Lin Jon-long,  at National Taiwan University, was by then the Chair of Chemistry at Boston College. I got the chance to finish most of the preliminary plan for a freshman laboratory book. It was a very sad summer. We did not get many chances to see and talk with Henry as he was often in pain and distress. He passed away soon after we went back to Tennessee. The pictures below were taken in Boston that summer. The first few were taken in the park near the Winchester water reservoir. The others I took in Boston during the Dragon Boat Festival. Henry, I hope that you are in a good place where you get to do what you enjoy!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Fall Branch Christmas Tree

We bought a piece of land in Fall Branch from a private owner who was retiring and moving to Florida. Over the years we went there to get Christmas greens when we got in the mood. Sometimes we even cut a huge tree and used only the top part as our Christmas tree. In 1981, the family had a lot of activities. We went to China together and drove across the American west, all the way from Tennessee. All my siblings were by then settled in the USA and my father was visiting in the U S. And in November, we went to this piece of wild land. I used a chain saw (in my left hand below) to cut some greens for the coming Christmas celebration. We took some pictures to remember the event, although they were not very clear. We were certainly very happy together!