During our short visit to Dodge City, KS., the cousins had a great time together. They did not pay any attention to Marie and Dean’s newly built yet unfinished house. They did not know about this famous yet very small town. I took their pictures when they had Carriage rides, train rides, yet they did not appreciate the fancy decoration, or anything else about the rides. They just enjoyed the togetherness at that moment. All of them were born in the USA, they represented the first generation of HUANG family in this country. They had no idea about how lucky they were, had no inklings about the poor situation of their ancestors. I made a collage for that moment!
Friday, February 21, 2014
When we were in Dodge City in 1975, Steven had a birthday celebration. Not only were the cousins there to participate, Maria and Dean made a special arrangement to have a Piñata made for the occasion. Neither he nor Panpan had had that kind experience before and they enjoyed hitting the paper horse to get candies. They had a wonderful time! Of course, Steven still had the regular candles on his cake too! I had no such experience before. It certainly gave me some new dimensions for a birthday party. All the children got a chance to hit the poor animal and it finally collapsed into pieces! You can feel the action when you see the pictures below:
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Our next stop was in Dodge City, Kansas. Yes, it was the town which represented the wild, wild West at that time in the famous TV show Gun Smoke. The reason we went there was, however, because Dean and Maria lived there. They had just built a house by themselves, and, most importantly for our children, their cousins were there. They were then at a very good age to enjoy each other. I do not remember now how long we stayed there. We all certainly enjoyed very much our time together. The pictures below give me a feeling of happiness in my whole body. The enjoyment we had while seeing them together definitely made it one of the most exciting times in our lives. The house in the background was the house Dean and Maria built.
Over the years, we, the whole family, did quite a number of cross-country drives. The year 1975 was when we made this trip for the first time. At that point, we had already traded in our green VW bug for a Ford station wagon. Classes at the University ended in the later part of May. We did not waste much time and set out to begin our trip. Picking up Kai was our first step. She was then in Lexington, KY, at my old University. Then we went to Ames, Iowa, to visit Ed, who was also trying to get his PhD at Iowa State University. I remember vividly that they used to live in the University Graduate Student Apartments, which were located near a train track. We were all shocked (and shaken) by the loud train passing behind the building during the night.
Of course, we had a lot of picnics along the highway. That was our regular meal at lunch time, stopping at some rest stop on the interstate. The pictures below were taken on one of these occasions:
Saturday, February 15, 2014
In the decade of my directing the adult choir at Our Savoir Lutheran Church, of course I got to know quite a number of church members, both directly and indirectly. Further, I went to Fritz’s Music Mart often enough to know the store owner and his wife. I ordered quite a bit sheet music by mail and I reviewed many Cantatas for both Easter and Christmas. We did a number of them and the whole choir had to work pretty hard. Not only did I learn quite a bit of music that way, I got to know how humans behave, which was good for me as I became more sensitive to individual preferences. Sometimes, I wonder where one can best experience human behavior of various kinds. There is no question, the church is one place in western culture. The choir had quite a number of faithful members, and their support made the task very enjoyable. We usually had some get-together every year. The following pictures showed some members whose names I still remember: Ann Cunningham, Tom Revilla, Barbara Diehl and her mother, Martha and Charlie Montgomery, Maryann, Otto Zinser, and Dot Mold.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
When Panpan turned six, she proudly said to everyone she saw: “I am now six”. She also made it clear to us that she wanted everyone to call her ”Margaret” instead of “Lucile”, which she had used in the Kindergarten, operated by the University Child Study Center. Margaret is the name she used when she went to first grade. She had a great birthday celebration - with the help of her brother, Steven, of course! And certainly she was now growing up and becoming a young lady with her own opinions on every subject!
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Several old pictures came to my attention just now. So I am going back a few years in time here. When Taotze and I were in Junior High school, we started to go to the Lutheran Student Center to play ping-pong. Initially Miss Jones came out to tell us that those tables were for college students only. I told her that we would be college students later. She then left us alone to play. Later, I went to hear the choir sing and was immediately hooked. In order to join the choir, I convinced Taotze to join the church together with me. We took the lessons together and were baptized in 1956.
Mr. Kao was the conductor of the choir at that time. He was an outstanding director. All I know about church music, I learned from him. The picture below shows the choir he directed. It was quite small but we sang the complete Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah. Almost everyone had a solo! How many choirs in the US could handle that? My first solo was “Thou shalt break them”. The familiar “Comfort Ye” was given to another tenor. Two older choir members, Ma(base) and Chen(soprano), married in the church. Of course, we sang in their wedding! We also did some cantatas during Christmas time, even with costumes! (I was a king!)
I used to sing duets with two altos in the choir. One was Virginia Lau, whose picture was posted earlier, and another one was Rita Ho. Here is a picture taken when Rita and I sang at an engagement ceremony. She also served as Miss Jones secretary. (This article was in the draft pile for at least two years!)