At the end of my first year at ETSU, my friend Jim Gilland invited me to visit his home in Maryville, TN. It was actually the first time that I had ever spent a night in a friend’s home. In Taiwan, there was no chance that we could have such an overnight experience! His family treated me with loving kindness - a very unforgettable experience. I remember that I was shocked to see Jim drink one whole gallon of raw milk, right after milking their family cow!
Then Jim drove me to the Smoky Mountain National Park, which is not far from his home. We spent a whole day there, including walking some trails. And we even went to see the show “Unto These Hills”, which is about the experience of the Cherokee Indians when they encountered white men for the first time in the area. That encounter resulted in a “Trail of Tears” all the way to Oklahoma. Jim was the first person to show me the Smoky Mountains, which is one of my favorite places in my life. I have certainly enjoyed many spots in this National Park.