Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Family China Trips

Since the opening of China in 1980, our family was offered many opportunities to visit the country. In 1985, I accepted an offer from Tsinghua University in Beijing to teach a course there during the early part of the summer. This turned out to be the best trip we took together as a family, not just because the arrangements made by Professor Liu Danqiao were so good,  but also because our children had just reached the right ages for this kind of trip. Janice and I later realized that the ages of our children were an important factor in how much they learned and gained from their travel. As a family, you only realize the results much later. Margaret was 16 and Steven had just turned 14. We did a lot that summer! The pictures below show some of the scenes from the begining of a nice summer! The first picture is of Margaret taking a rest at the airport! Then we landed in Shanghai for the first time after Shanghai was opened. The third picture was when we visited Fudan University there. The last two pictures were taken in Suzhou, a city not far from Shanghai. One includes our host for the summer, Professor Liu, and the other shows the the famous Tiger Hill Pargoda. We were there in the last part of May, 1985.

Monday, May 7, 2018

The Opening-up of the People's Repbulic of China

In 1980, I was lucky to be selected by the United Nation to take on a teaching responsibility and to visit China. In 1981, I repeated the visit, taking my family with me. Not only did we get the opportunity to visit the "Bamboo Curtain" but we had a wonderful chance to meet a number of Chinese intellectuals during our stay. In 1984, there were two Wuhan University Chemistry Professors, one Physical Chemist and another in Analytical Chemistry who applied to visit our Department at ETSU. Of course, we were honored to have them. They could take advantage of the fact that Dr. Ho and I could speak Chinese, for their convenience. They came to our small town at the end of 1984 and spent one whole year with us. The picture below, showing the four of us, was taken by the University photographer in the room holding the department's Liquid-Chromatographer machine, after they arrived on campus. Their last names are Lin and Yin. This arrangement proved to be a good beginning for our many years of exchanges!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The official name of the College of Medicine at ETSU

At the end of one of our family picture albums from 1984, I was surprised to see the two pictures below together on one page. They were developed at the same time, too, and at the same place. One picture shows Janice with my close friend, Dr. Paul Dishner and the other is of myself with the then president of ETSU, Dr. Ronald Beller. 

 Both men were attending a Chemistry Department function to celebrate the purchase of a piece of major equipment (I believe it was a new Mass Spectrometer). At that time, the college of medicine at ETSU still had the official name: Quillen and Dishner College of Medicine. Dr Dishner's name was included originally because he donated a significant amount of  his personal money for the creation of the college. Later, Beller had some problems with Dishner and he worked very hard to remove "Dishner" from the college name. It took several years but this was eventually achieved. In later years, no-one wanted to remember the original name and Dishner did not even get his money back, as far as I know.  If you want to check the facts it is difficult to do as the history has been buried. It is amazing that human beings have distorted the story and we really do not know what was "true". One fact I know for sure is that Paul was a very competent physician who practiced in California and he later became a personal friend of mine after his retirement. He came back to live near his home town in East Tennessee and he helped to establish a medical college in the area during the time when D.P. Culp was the president of ETSU, when Culp could not get any support from others!  And most importantly the medical college had removed the "shortage of medical doctors" problem of this area permanently!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

A lot of "Firsts" in this Year!

The year 1984 was the First time our home on Maple Street had three generations living in the house. This was the First picture taken together at the front door.
It was also the First time we invited Professor Liu Dinquao, who was working at the Chinese Embassy at the time, to come to ETSU and Milligan College to give some talks. We certainly had some fun at both places.

 This year we also had our First Chinese student, whom we had met when we went to China in 1981 to teach at Wuhan University, arrive at ETSU for his Masters degree. His name is Shen Yaxi. He arrived in Johnson City just before our Christmas vacation:
This year our whole family learned how to play a Hubei game called "Dipie". It was my father's favorite game from Huangpei county! Certainly Janice was the First white lady in the world who learned how to play this game!
For the First time after we bought our cabin on Watauga Lake, I took some pictures of Margaret and Steven there and this is one of them:
Finally, I have a picture taken of our family dog "Princess", when she was getting too old to walk to the back yard and we had to help her. She died soon after I took this picture.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Continuation of Life

There were many events that happened in our family during the year of 1984. My father's move to the USA was an important event, for not only for him but also for our whole family and for many others in Taiwan. To me, it represented  a change but also a continuation of life for many individuals. My father celebrated his 83rd birthday party in a western way for the first time in his life!
 On one of my Taiwan trips that year, I brought back my mothers ashes which were buried in the Johnson City Mount Vista Memorial Park. We had a family service, as you can see below.

My father quickly adjusted to his life in Johnson City, and often went with us to visit our cabin on Watauga Lake:

The continuation of life went smoothly!

Monday, February 12, 2018

The best time to visit!

We took advantage of the facts that we were in the western part of the USA and that the ages of both Margaret and Steven were just right for traveling. We were in many famous and beautiful places in the world. We visited Hawaii, stayed at the Diamond-Head hotel, and swam on the beach. And, of course, we visited many places in California - the beautiful National Parks and the large wonderful trees in the area. We did a lot of driving and spent quite a bit of time, appreciating what the USA could offer to us. The pictures below can gave you a glimpse of what we enjoyed during our travels. We certainly took advantage of the opportunity to see some of the best places in the world!

Monday, January 15, 2018

My Final Connections to Taiwan(II)

I started my fourth grade for the second time when I arrived at Tzoling Elementary School for the first time. Since the school at the time was using the Taiwanese dialect, which I could not understand, I stayed in that school only until the Navy Elementary School started to accept more students. So I started my fourth grade for the third time to continue my education there! All my basic education was thus done in Taiwan. I went to many schools, including the famous National Taiwan University, which has had quite a number of reunion meetings in the USA. However, there has been only one reunion of my Chemistry Department class which took place in Ohio. 
Most amazingly, after we all retired, my class at Banqiao Junior High School has had many class reunions, several in the USA. Even more amazingly, one of my classmates from Junior High School has been my best friend continuously over the more than sixty five years since we graduated. Even though we have never lived in the same place since I left Taiwan, we have kept in contact.  Our connections have been as strong as any human relationship, and involved not just two of us, but also included our two families! In 1984, we met again to continue our Taiwan connection! The following
pictures were taken during that visit.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

My Final Connection to Taiwan (I)

The word "final" may be too drastic, but it is actually very realistic and, looking back on it now, the  most appropriate. It was just before my tenth birthday that I arrived for the first time in Taiwan, after traveling by ship from Shanghai to Keelung Harbor. It took more than 12 hours on the train to get from there to my uncle's place near Kaohsiung. It did not bother me and my brothers very much, but, for my younger sister who was less than seven at the time, it was the beginning of her nightmare.

In 1984, I went to Taiwan in March, when my mother passed away. Later that year, while Janice was in San Francisco with our children, I came back a second time to make arrangements for my father to immigrate to the US. He was facing his final days in Taiwan and I began to feel that I, too, was making a change in my life. My "jump" to the United States was becoming more permanent, as I could sense that my connections to Taiwan were becoming less and less important!

The relatives in Taiwan would, however, continue to be a part of these connections. The uncle in Kaohsiung, my mother's brother, was our first family member to arrive in Taiwan. He and his wife had one daughter and two sons. I took a picture of my uncle, together with his two sons and his grandson, and my father, in 1984. Somehow his daughter was not in the picture:The next two pictures are of his sons' families. All the pictures below were taken during that 1984 visit.

Our other relatives in Taiwan arrived later than my uncle in Kaohsiung. In fact, most of them followed us after we left the Mainland. In 1984, my father's nephew, Taobin, and his family were the only relatives still in Taipei. Taobin and his wife had one son, Hong-Tai, who was also married with a baby daughter in 1984.  There was one other person living in Taipei who was somehow related to my father. He came from Huangpei county which was my father's birth place. We we called him uncle, "Susu", and in the pictures below we are having dinner with him and his wife and playing some mahjong together.

Monday, January 1, 2018

All kids went to a Rodeo

In the summer of 1984, we drove to Dean and Maria's place in California. Since I had to fly to Taiwan to get my Father ready to come to the US to live with us, Janice and our kids stayed with their family. Unfortunately, Dean had just had a car accident and his knee was injured, and Maria was traveling for her job. So Janice was "in charge" of all five kids! During the visit, Jonathan had been acting like a typical four year old! When Janice decided to take everyone to see a rodeo, she told him that he had to behave there and he promised that he would! They went to visit Ginger and Bill Francis who went with them to see the show. It was a very long program! Several times Jonathan asked "is it over yet?" but he never complained and sat with the others quietly. When it was finally over he announced "I did my best Aunt Janice" and he certainly did! We always remember that occasion and frequently quote him, saying "I did my best Aunt Janice" whenever it seems appropriate. All in all, it was a very successful visit in California. We even got to see Deanna play in a basketball game. Unfortunately we have no pictures of that!