Monday, November 27, 2017

Suddenly they grow up!

The ages of my second brother's first two children were within two years of the ages of our children. In 1984, when we went to visit them in California, I felt that they had all suddenly grown up! The four of them decided to visit the city of San Francisco by themselves. The pictures below were taken in the city. We certainly enjoyed looking at them - they were so happy with not a care in the world!

I have more to tell you about that summer which I will do in a later blog. But for them, that summer, everything seemed to go smoothly. There were no worries of any kind - it was just a great time to be together.
I very much appreciate that moment and I want them to remember those times. Take a look at some more pictures taken in those summer days!

Monday, November 13, 2017

The heavy event in 1984!

My mother passed away on March 10th, 1984. All her life, she complained about how bad luck had followed her from the time when she was born in the poorest county in China, Huangpei. As a young wife and mother, she had to survive during the Japanese invasion of China, which lasted for eight years. Then she went to Taiwan for what she thought would be a brief visit with her younger brother but turned out to be a permanent change in her life, due to the Communist takeover of the mainland. The next few years there were very difficult as my father was not able to follow her for quite a while and, even when he managed to join her, they had to struggle to survive while Chiang Kai Shek's government was getting established in Taiwan. Eventually things got better, but she always missed her old life in China. However, her fortune had changed a great deal by the time of her death. She died in her sleep that night, after watching her favorite shows on TV until the end of the broadcast for the day!
The funeral was held three days later in a Taipei funeral home. Amazingly, all three of her sons made the trip across the ocean in time to attend her funeral. The event was well attended by many relatives and friends! The pictures below were taken that day and will give  you some idea of the ceremony. All of the pictures were developed the day after the funeral, on the 14th of March, 1984.  The first picture below is of the Taipei Funeral Home. The next seven pictures were taken inside during the service. The last picture was taken at our home after the funeral and include my mom's brother, whom we called Yauyau, my father,  and some other relatives. The calendar had not been changed since the day mother passed away! That was a heavy day in my life!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Driving West and a stop at Grand Canyon

Our family had already driven west many times by the year 1984. We started in 1972, when we drove to Dodge City, Kansas, to visit Dean's family and to pick up my Father and Kai, who had just arrived in the states. Then in 1975, 1978, and 1981 we, the whole family, drove to the west coast and then flew to visit our Taiwan home, and, in 1981, also visited China mainland. We tried to take different routes for each trip so that we could visit as many states in the USA as possible. In the summer of 1984, on another trip to the west coast, we tried to visit more national parks and stopped first for a longer vacation at the Grand Canyon. For the first time, we each rented a horse for a horse back visit of the canyon scenery.  The pictures below were taken to remember that experience:

We then stayed there for a couple of days, just to see the great scenery there (see pictures below). We enjoyed the whole trip very much! The only regret we had was that we were too hot to try to hike   down to the bottom and not strong enough to carry enough water for the hike!


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Watauga Dam(2)

During the time that the dam was being repaired in the year of 1983, and the water was draining slowly, we were seriously considering to buy a piece of property on the lake. The owner of a large piece of shore property (which you can see on the whole right side of the third picture of the previous blog) did a survey and cut out six acres of land with some shore front.  We bought the land together with a cabin and our kids went there with us to identify the markers on the land and the power line to the cabin. Steven was stepping on one marker in the first picture below and you can see the power line in the second picture.
 Later we built a permanent dock to replace the old floating dock on the land. You can see that we had many good get-togethers on the dock beside the shore:

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Watauga Dam (1)

In 1983, Watauga Lake was drained for repair work. We, the whole family,  went there for a visit. This beautiful lake was our favorite place to take our friends to visit, to picnic,  to swim, and just to walk around!  We had been many places around this lake, as it is very large, and it takes quite a bit of driving time to go to the places we enjoyed for different reasons. We had heard that there used to be a town at what was now the bottom of the lake. So we drove there one day and were able to see what had been the bottom. With a lot of other people we walked to see the original town of Butler. These pictures show what we saw:

Clearly, it was hard to imagine that there were people who used to live there. A total of 761 families were moved to higher ground by the TVA, and a new town, Butler, was created. A temporary road was made (see below) so that we could visit the old town, now buried under the water.
The new town (see below)was now at the beginning of  the this road. After the dam was completed in 1948, Watauga Lake was created using the water from the Watauga River!

Monday, October 9, 2017

We visited Tao-Shi-Lin

There are not many things that happened in my life before my teenage years that I can remember clearly. This story about Tao-Shi-Lin is, however, an exception. Tao-Shi-Lin is the sister of my best friend Tao-Tze. I met her when I was 12, and she was close to 10 years old. We only met each other when I occasionally went to visit Tao-Tze at their nearby home. Sometime, when she was close to sixteen years old, I heard that Tao-Shi-Lin had run away with an American soldier stationed in Taiwan. This was very unusual at that time and in that place. For a young girl from an educated family to meet and fall in love with a foreigner, and then to run away with him, was unheard of!
Of course, Tao-Tze's family did not want to talk about her very much and we only knew that she left for the USA with this GI. In 1983, I found out where she lived. It was in New England, where Janice's family lived and, believe it or not, our family went to visit her there. We had a picnic dinner with her family at their home, which had a swimming pool. We took three pictures together, and the visit ended before we realized it!!! Overall, this story had, to me, a strange beginning, and, as it developed, it remained very unusual and strange. However, she appeared to be happy with her life.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Student Pictures in my Office

There were four student pictures in my office during the 35 years of my teaching at ETSU. I moved to many different offices during those years, but the pictures were always the same ones. I will let you know in this blog something about them. They were close to my heart and I was the only one knew who they were and why their pictures were in my office. Jane Adams was the first of my graduate students at ETSU. She was working full time at Tennessee Eastman Chemical Company when she decided to work with me in the evenings for her graduate thesis in the Chemistry Department. I tried to be with her when she started her thesis research at night. It was a very difficult task to start and terminate chemical reactions at night after her full time work in another town. She worked on the decomposition of Oxalic Acid reaction in Dioxin. It was published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry and it was also part of my first publication while I was at ETSU. Later she became the first female president of the local ACS section before I was elected!
The next picture is of Tony Ellis. He was the first undergraduate student who selected me as his research professor. It took some courage to make that decision as the students had no idea how research could be started, and there was no requirement to take research as a chemistry major.
The next two pictures were added to my office wall slightly later, but they were there almost three decades. The first picture below was of Sharon E Campbell who exchanged it from one of her alone, after she had her baby with her husband, Brain Campbell. She was in my General Chemistry class, and later asked me to give her away at their wedding - a request which I was happy to oblige!

The final picture is of Jenny Fox, whose thesis was co-directed by my best Jewish friend and co-worker, Boris Franzus. After struggling with her first thesis topic, she chose to work in the area where Boris and I were collaborating. Boris and I published quite a number of papers together over the years. Jenny Fox was the first and, perhaps one of the best, representatives of that collaboration!