Saturday, August 19, 2017

Stockroom Personel

One of the very important jobs for the Chairman of the Chemistry Department is to make sure that the stockroom is well stocked at all times, not only for the experiments done by students in different classes but also for the experiments being conducted by faculty. The specific solutions needed for each of the lab classes must be prepared properly before students arrive. We might have as many as four to six labs going on at the same time. Therefore, we had many student workers trained for each lab so that all students could be served in time to finish their experiment within their allotted time. The full time lab staff consisted of two people in 1982. They were Mrs. White and Mr. Jones. The person overseeing the lab was Dr. Ron Orcutt, who was also the radiation officer for the whole university. The American Medical Society required that such a position be filled before they would certify approval for the new ETSU medical school, the Quillen and Dishner College of Medicine. Dr. Orcutt was one of the few people on campus who was qualified to serve in that capacity. This arrangement, by which Dr. Orcutt had half of a position in Chemistry and the other half in the Medical School, benefited the Department for many years! At Thanksgiving time, the stockroom people hosted a dinner to share with both faculty and students who worked in the stockroom. The following pictures were taken at such gatherings:
 Mrs. White is in the center

 Mr. Jones is center left, sitting

  Dr. Orcutt is on the right side

Monday, July 31, 2017

More old pictures from Terry Ponder

Apparently, I made some mistakes in identifying some names in the pictures when I posted my last blog. The young lady with Terry was Debbie Waters and the picture was taken in the ACS office, not in the stockroom with Ann Peoples as I wrote earlier. It is bad when I not only forget what my students looked like, but I also forget how to spell their names! Getting old is not fun either! Included in Terry's email were several other pictures which I did not have, so they have not been posted in this blog earlier. I will post them here to complete the record. Two were of Dr. Nicholson in his office and the other two were of his very attractive secretary Mrs. Joan Shirley. After working there for many years, she left the Department, I believe, not too long before Nicholson retired in 1977.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Voices from the past, Terry Ponder

Just about a week ago, I had an email from Terry Ponder, who was one of my former students in the 1980s, or before. Apparently, Terry was reading this blog and realized that I did not have a picture of Mrs Lilly, who was the stockroom manager until the early 1970s. Since he had several pictures taken during that time, including one of Mrs Lilly, he offered to send them to me. Terry's email and his pictures from the past brought back more of my memories from my time at ETSU when Dr. Nicholson was the Chair. Terry and a bunch of students who worked in the stockroom used to spend quite a bit time "just chatting" in the stockroom - even when they were not working.  They enjoyed being there with Mrs Lilly, who had a warm relationship with them and always made them feel welcome.Terry did send me a few pictures from that time and I have posted them below. The first picture is of Mrs Lilly, who was the stockroom manager both when I was a student there and later when I came back as a faculty member:

The second one is of Terry with Ann People in the stockroom:
And the third is one which I posted before, a picture taken at Duke Garden when we participated in a Student Affiliate Meeting.  Terry has identified the people in the picture for me:
from left: Sarah Barron, Ann People, Anne's husband Bob, Terry Ponder, Steve Winters, Floyd Quillen, Galen Queen, Jeff Wardeska, and myself. Terry , Floyd and Galen were also basketball players on the Chemistry Department team. We won quite a number of games at the intramural competitions every year!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Fiftith Wedding Anneversary for the Nicholsons

September 17th, 1982, was the Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary for the Nicholsons. There was a nice reception at their church Fellowship Hall. We were invited to this get-together, where we met very few people we knew, as we did not participate in other of the church activities and their friends were not our acquaintances. Life is very dynamic, it changes quickly! After Dr. Nicholson retired from the University, I no longer saw him regularly and he seldom came to visit the department. He was very much involved with his church and family activities. While I was in his former position as Chair, I was so busy with the department affairs that I rarely had any time to pay attention to other things. A wedding anniversary did not have much weight in my mind. However, I am very glad, in retrospect, that we went to that party. The picture below was taken after the celebration. (I do not remember the name of the other lady with the four of us.) We were happy at seeing each other, as we did not have the chance to get-together with them very often.
Both the Nicholsons had hair which was as white as my hair color now! I am sure that at the time, I could not possibly imagine that sometime later my hair would change to totally white and I would have the opportunity to find this picture after Janice and myself had passed more than 50 years of our marriage! I can still see the beautiful smile on Mrs. Nicholson's face!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

It was another busy Summer!

As usual, the summer months were very busy for our family. The summer of 1982 was no exception.
As I wrote in an earlier blog, Janice's Father was very ill that summer and her Grandmother had also taken a turn for the worse. So we had decided to spend some time in Winchester, Massachusetts, in order to be of help to them and to Janice's Mother. While we were there, we decided to visit the Cape for a weekend with our kids. As you can see by the pictures below, they found the Cape's salt water in the bay very cold! (The water on the ocean side was even colder!) The following pictures were taken with two sisters who lived next door to Janice's parents in their Cape house.

In August, when we drove back to Tennessee, we stopped to visit the Tangs in Queens, New York. We stayed there for a few days to get to eat theirs special dishes! I posted some pictures of this visit, including the trip to the Statue of Liberty, on an earlier post. But the following pictures were not posted at that time.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Li Jing's visit

While I was teaching at Huazhong Normal University in Wuhan,  Li Jing and her classmate Yaxi Shen were responsible for overseeing our children. One year later she came to visit us in Johnson City, during the summer of 1982. She was on her way to Graduate School at the State University of New York at Albany, and later completed her PhD at Cornell University. She eventually became an outstanding University Professor at Rutgers University. During the summer of 1982, she had quite a long visit with us. Our children still remembered her vividly and we had many places to show her in the area. We went to Watauga Lake and Roan Mountain. Certainly we also took her to the World's Fair in Knoxville (see the last picture). Since she was from the Hubei area, she knew how to play some of our "home" card games! The pictures below were taken during that visit!

Monday, July 10, 2017

!982 World's Fair

This World's Fair was held in Knoxville, Tennessee. It was known as the International Energy Exposition. As far as I know, Knoxville was the smallest city ever to hold a "Worlds  Fair". It had a sun sphere as the main symbol and as the main attraction. I took some pictures from a distance and they are  shown below. The first one was taken during the day time and the second at night during the fire-works.

The Fair was pretty well attended. There were approximately 11 million visitors during the three months of the summer. Both Janice and and I were there quite a number of times. The Civic Chorale went there to sing a concert once, but somehow I did not get a picture to remember the event! I do have some pictures which we took in front of the Chinese Exhibits. Below is one picture of Janice and myself - we certainly were very young looking!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Look what I got here!

Yesterday, Janice was cleaning out the garage where we had piled up everything we wanted to save but did not know what to do with, when we moved from Tennessee here to Delaware in 2006. She came upon an old newspaper clipping and some pictures of a few of my students, which had been posted in my office. It turned out that the newspaper clipping was the announcement of my becoming the Chairman of the Chemistry Department at ETSU in 1979. That was the beginning of the job which I held continuously for 22 years (which was a record at that institution). The pictures included one of Sharon Campbell, after she and Brian had their first child. I represented Sharon's family to give her away when she married Brian, just about a year before this picture was taken. The others, pictured below, were of Linda Adams (at the bottom), my first graduate student,  Tony Ellis, my first undergraduate research student, and Jenny Fox (in the middle), my master's thesis student whom I co-directed with my best friend in the department, Boris Franzus! There are a lot of memories behind these images!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Clara Jones

A Lutheran missionary, Miss Clara Jones, whom I met in Taiwan when I was sixteen years old and who became a very close friend, came to visit us in Johnson City. She must have been very happy to see that I had a nice family and and that I was the Choir Director at our Savior Lutheran Church. She stayed with us for a few days and had a chance to meet my pastor at the church, Pastor Lyerly, and his wife, Dotty, and their two children. Miss Jones had her picture taken in front of our church and had another one taken in our living room with his family. These pictures were hard to get because she lived in Minnesota and was not able to visit us very often.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Taotze and Sanlu

In my last blog, I talked about the time when Bill and Ann came to Tennessee for a visit. They were the first couple we got to know as friends in Illinois. Taotze was my Junior High School friend and, after he and Sunlu were married, we got to know them very well as a couple. This year, 1982, their family drove to visit us from Tallahassee, Florida, where Sanlu's sister lived. Her sister's family also came. This was right after Bill and Ann's visit! They had some car trouble in Ashville, NC, but the rest of our visit was great. We visited ETSU and quite a number of places nearby, including a local swimming pool. The last picture was taken with all the children in swimming gear (some underneath their clothes). The middle two pictures were taken at our home!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Bill and Ann Kass

We got to know Bill and Ann at the University of Illinois, where Bill was a Post-Doc under the same professor with whom I was working, Peter E. Yankwich. They moved to Arizona when they left Illinois, and we visited them there several times. When we drove from the east to the west coast, in order to catch a plane to fly to Taiwan, we would stop off in Arizona. In 1982, they came to visit us and we went to several local places, including Grand Father Mountain (three pictures below), Watauga Lake (one picture below), and, of course, the Smoky Mountains. We really enjoyed their visit as we had enjoyed their company when we were at Urbana in Illinois.

Lady Liberty!

Again, when we came back from Boston to Tennessee, we drove past New York City. This time, we stopped to visit the Statue of Liberty. It was a gorgeous day! There was some renovation going on inside, so we did not climb the stairs and see the top. We just took some pictures with the beautiful background!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

In Rememberance of Henry G Fernald

Janice's father, Henry Grant Fernald,  passed away in August of 1982. He suffered with Lou Gehrig's disease for a short while, but he was also diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, one of the earliest identified cases. Basically, I remember him as a very quiet person. As a mathematician, he worked for American Optical Company during most of his career. As it was located in Southbridge, in western Massachusetts, he had been commuting from Winchester, Massachusetts, to work there ever since I met him in 1965, when Janice and I got married. He might not have behaved like an American father-in-law, but he certainly was like a Chinese father-in-law, at least as I imagined a Chinese father-in-law would be! He shared his hobby in photography with me and talked with me as often as my own father ever did. During the Christmas holidays in 1982, he was writing the names of his family on his hands so he would not forget them. I was shocked as he had changed faster than I could have imagined. Then he went to the hospital before our children finished their school in the Spring semester. We rushed to Winchester right after the school was over. I made arrangements to work that summer in the Boston College Chemistry Department, as my TA, Dr. Lin Jon-long,  at National Taiwan University, was by then the Chair of Chemistry at Boston College. I got the chance to finish most of the preliminary plan for a freshman laboratory book. It was a very sad summer. We did not get many chances to see and talk with Henry as he was often in pain and distress. He passed away soon after we went back to Tennessee. The pictures below were taken in Boston that summer. The first few were taken in the park near the Winchester water reservoir. The others I took in Boston during the Dragon Boat Festival. Henry, I hope that you are in a good place where you get to do what you enjoy!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Fall Branch Christmas Tree

We bought a piece of land in Fall Branch from a private owner who was retiring and moving to Florida. Over the years we went there to get Christmas greens when we got in the mood. Sometimes we even cut a huge tree and used only the top part as our Christmas tree. In 1981, the family had a lot of activities. We went to China together and drove across the American west, all the way from Tennessee. All my siblings were by then settled in the USA and my father was visiting in the U S. And in November, we went to this piece of wild land. I used a chain saw (in my left hand below) to cut some greens for the coming Christmas celebration. We took some pictures to remember the event, although they were not very clear. We were certainly very happy together!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Christmas Card Exchange

It was a very routine activity for our family to take some pictures in preparation for the coming Christmas card exchange with all our family and friends. Every year, it was usually a bother for our kids to endure the dressing up and posing in various positions for a time-consuming and troublesome few hours. It was much easier this year, as we had a picture taken on the Great Wall of China. It was certainly the most significant picture of our family and it was very natural to use it for our 1981 Christmas cards. Here it is:
Every year, we exchange quite a number of pictures with our relatives and friends. Some we can still recognize today but for many we cannot even identify which family they belong to! Children grow up and it is hard to follow them from afar as they change. We have no problem, however, identifying the following two who are the children of close friends. Their mother was Janice's best friend in college and her roommate for three years.
It took me a while to recognize the next two children. Their parents moved to Canada from Johnson City when they were very young!!! The young lady was the one we took back to Johnson City from Taiwan in 1975, when she was only two years old! She had spent a couple of years with grandparents while her mother was in school in the U.S.