Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dean and Maria

Dean came to the University of Illinois directly from Taiwan within one week of the day I arrived from Tennessee. It was all new for him. We found a rental room to share and cooked together for our meals. After Janice and I established a new place, he and three other chemists rented a house together. Maria came to our attention shortly after Janice and I got married. During the early part of the winter in 1966 , we had the following picture taken together. I believe that the reason we took the picture was because Dean and Maria were quite serious by then about their future together. And I felt we should have a picture to inform our parents in Taiwan.It was  one of these cold winter days in Illinois. Who would be so brave to go out to have a picture taken on such a day?


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

More about Folk Dancing

Janice came to the U of I in 1963, I arrived in '64, we were married in '65, and we moved out of the state in 1969, after the birth of our daughter. During those five years of our life together, folk dancing was a very important part. Not only did we dance every Thursday with our main group, we sometimes went to Scottish Country Dancing on Tuesdays, and we also had special workshops on occasions when special instructors were available. Once in a while on weekends we had potluck dinners, weekend retreats, and some special performances in local schools or churches. Of course, on these occasions, we usually had parties following the events. It was a very active group. We had a wonderful time with the activities and the people involved. The pictures below bring back many great memories!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Our First Home

We rented our first home on West Illinois Street, in a house with four apartments. We had the one upstairs on the right. It had a living room with connecting dinning space, a small kitchen, a bathroom, and one bedroom. There was a screened porch in the front with a swing. The apartment was very old but functional. The best part was that we were only a couple of blocks away from the Chemistry Building (Carter Hall) and the Math Building (Altgeld Hall) - very convenient!
I used some cinder blocks with a few plywood boards to make a bookcase. Over the years we moved around many places, and the cinder blocks bookcase was moved everywhere we went. It is still with us today.
My brother Dean was the model in the pictures. The black and white TV was given to us by him as our wedding gift. The TV had just come on the market at that time, as the new gadget. This was our home until our daughter was born in 1969.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Our First Trip

At about 4:30pm, Janice and I left our guests to start our first trip together. Janice wanted to show me their summer place on Cape Cod. Since the house was not yet open for the season we stayed in a motel nearby for one night. Then Janice showed me the their place the next day. It was still a bit cold there, I took quite a number of pictures of her favorite place.

We stopped at Newport, RI, the next day. We also visited some beautiful beach houses there. Then it started to rain...
We kept driving south searching for some warm dry place. And finally we stopped again at Atlantic City. We visited several places there. Then we started to drive back to Illinois. We did not want to pass through Virginia, since we were told that the law there forbidding a white person to marry a yellow race person was still on the books. We were not interested in testing to see if it was still in effect!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Our Wedding

It was a beautiful day! The sun was shining, the temperature was mild and very comfortable. June 12, 1965, was one of the best days of our life together.
Who could have predicted that a Scottish/Irish Caucasian, from a well educated family, herself an Ivy league graduate, would meet a Chinese refugee, born during the Chinese-Japanese war, who had been in fourth grade in four different schools in three separate towns, and that they would get married on this day. It was just amazing!
Sherman and I stayed in a friend's home, which Janice's mother had arranged, for the night before the wedding - so that we would not see the bride on the morning of the wedding day, according to the "American" custom! The wedding started promptly at 2:00pm. The ceremony was about half an hour, just like the ones in which I had participated earlier in the USA. (I sang in weddings at least twice for friends.) The priest skipped the kissing part after the wedding, as I had requested that after the rehearsal the night before. I was just not quite ready to show intimacy in front of other people. Although I was feeling a bit nervous about everything, Janice's father was even more nervous - his hands were shaking as he brought Janice down the aisle! The dinner reception was at Janice's family home after the ceremony. I did not know how many people came to the wedding - I still do not know today how many people were there. Among the guests was Mrs. Chen, a family friend, who came to represent my parents. She was a PhD chemist teaching at National Taiwan University. She and her husband had just moved to New York City to live at the time. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Rehearsal Party and Dinner

The rehearsal party and dinner were on the night before our big day, which was June 12. Most of our bridesmaids and ushers were out-of-towners and many needed to be picked up at the airport or bus station. The rehearsal itself was before the party and the dinner. My brother Dean offered to go with Janice's mother to pick up my best man, Sherman, who arrived late. Apparently she ran red lights, sometimes drove on side-walks, and, in general, broke many traffic rules, in order to get them to the rehearsal in the church on time.  Both got to the church with ashen faces, and were nervous while participating in the ceremony for quite a few minutes. That experience was, for them, the most memorable part of the wedding and one which they talked about for many years!
The party and dinner were hosted by Janice's Uncle Fran and Aunt Dot. They opened their house for all in the wedding plus a few family friends. We had a very relaxed get-together after the hectic rehearsal. It was truly a nice party for all the participants to remember. When I review the slides and pictures taken at the time, I still see the happiness on Janice's face at the party and throughout the next day as well.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Preparing a wedding

Janice's mother was very excited about the wedding. Since both Janice and I were in school, she was glad that she got to do all the preparation work. Between ordering food from the catering service, choosing decorations and flowers, deciding colors for the bridesmaids, and printing the invitations, she was very busy! It took quite a while to plan and carry out all the details. She did them all! All we did was get a marriage license and make sure we got to the church on time. We were lucky because we did not realize how much was involved in preparing a wedding. I just want to acknowledge my appreciation.