Thursday, July 26, 2012

Summer Vacation

The summer of 1970 was the first of many summer vacations we encountered during our academic profession. One reason we decided to take a teaching position, as opposed to working in industry, was the flexibility it provided us in the summers. That summer, Janice decided to take Pan-pan to Cape Cod so that she could experience some of what Janice herself had experienced when she was young. The house on the Cape was built by Janice’s parents themselves, after they bought a piece of land with the help of Janice’s Uncle Fran, I will have more on the house later.

Since I had to finish my work with Professor Yankwich, Janice decided to leave me in Illinois while she and Pan-pan went to join her family on the Cape. Not too long after July 4th, they took a small plane and flew to Boston. That way I could devote all my time to my work while they enjoyed the cape. Please notice that they dressed up to take the plane ride and that there was no security check at all!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mary and George Lowry

We lived in Urbana, Illinois, for a total of five years. Both Janice and I were there for our PhD degrees, in Math and Chemistry, respectively. However, the University of Illinois provided us more than knowledge and expertise in our fields. It gave us many other important benefits for our lives, such as warm friendships and lessons on how to grow up, to adjust to adult life, and to see a bigger world from our limited backgrounds. We visited the Lowry's place on West Michigan Avenue many, many times. We went - not just to participate in after-dance parties and sing some folk songs with George. Janice and I even stayed in their house several times when they were away visiting their family in Texas. George was a tremendous guitar player and folksong singer. He taught us many beautiful songs - we still try to sing them when we can. He was also a teacher in the folk dance group and Mary was his partner in this.

The picture below was taken in their home - the only one we have in our possession with Mary’s sister, who was born with a birth defect and stayed in their home all her life. Mary and George had two boys but they are not in this picture. Their young daughter in this pic, Tina, danced with us often.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

July the Fourth Parade

We were in Urbana when July 4, 1970, arrived, and there was a parade on Green Street. It was the first parade Pan-pan experienced. She was very excited even before it started as she somehow anticipated what was coming! As she settled herself on the curb, seriously waiting for it to arrive, we were not sure what her expectation was. She was totally overwhelmed by the variety of exhibits. Like many parades we have seen over the years, the parades were full of US flags and young girls, floats, cars, and horses!


Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Chemistry and Physics of Isotopes

This was the title of a Gordon Research Conference in 1970 which I  attended. There were over one hundred conferences in various fields in the three major sciences held each year. At that time, there were quite a number of research groups in the USA which were very much involved in developing new methodology, in finding new frontiers in the field. I was one of the young members in Professor Peter E. Yankwich’s research group. Even though I was teaching at the University of Kentucky, Dr. Yankwich kindly invited me to work at his lab in Urbana for the summer and thus I was qualified to participate in this Conference. While it was common practice for major professors to help their post docs get established and to assist young, former students as they started their careers, it was definitely not a “take it for granted” action. Dr. Yankwich was always very considerate in almost every aspect in assisting his former students, a fact which I need to acknowledge gratefully here. The conference in 1970 was held in Issaquah, WA, which was and is a very nice summer resort. The attendees could therefore discuss the tough subjects in a pleasant and relaxed environment. That was the last Gordon Conference in which I participated. They were getting too expensive for small universities to support. Dr. Yankwich is in both the pictures below, one of which also includes his graduate student, Joe Keller.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Back to Urbana, Illinois

As soon as my spring semester term was done at the University of Kentucky, we drove back to Urbana again, sometime in May, 1970. I wanted to finish up some work I had been doing with Dr. Yankwich while post-docking for him. We stayed with Dean and Maria at their apartment. Later Maria took Deanna to visit grandparents in both Tokyo and Taipei. Dean was finishing up his PhD degree in Chemistry. He was delayed for two major reasons. First, his initial thesis director died in his lab from toxic chemicals he was working on at the time. Dean had to restart his thesis work with another advisor. Then he had problem with his experimental work - it just would not work properly for him. We stayed in their apartment for a couple of months. Then Janice took Pan-pan to visit her parents on Cape Cod. I stayed in Urbana a while and then joined them.

Dean and Maria’s daughter, Deanna, is a few months older than Pan-pan. They played very well together during our first month in Urbana. The lady in the last picture was Pastor Kalkwarf’s wife, Faith. I do not remember if she was visiting us or if we were visiting her.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

First Birthday for Pan-pan

While we were astonished at the fast change of Pan-pan’s life, we were quickly celebrating her first birthday. It was hard to believe that she was one year old! Soon after, we moved into our “new” house and she quickly made friends with some older playmates in the neighborhood. She was the youngest one in that section of the new housing development. Everyone tried to take care of her. She definitely took advantage of the situation, demanding an astonishing amount of attention. I remember that we were amazed at how much she got away with! Since we did not stay in that house for very long, we no longer remember anyone in the group below.


Monday, July 9, 2012

The Start of our Dream

Before Pan-pan’s first birthday, we bought our first house with a yard at Dixieanna Drive, Lexington, KY. It seems that buying a house is typical of the starting of the American Dream. So we started then. We also bought a Ford station wagon, as our VW beetle was just too small for the family then. With our new car parked in front of our new house, that was the picture of an ideal family! Yes, we did take a picture like that!  The big antenna belonged to the house because, as you know, cable was not invented at the time. I do not know what was I thinking when I took Pan-pan’s picture with a flower on top of her head in front of the house!


Friday, July 6, 2012

A very happy child!

Pan-pan was certainly a very happy child during the first year she spent year with us. We shared a lot of her happiness -she continuously brought us much joy and made our life full and exciting during that year, which passed all too quickly! It was such a new experience for us that even today these images make us happy. While I had plenty of pressure to produce research at the University, she brought us relaxation and comfort daily. Let me show you just a few pictures taken before her first birthday.