Friday, March 25, 2022

An Example of a Highly Educated Immigrant

In 1952, Bill Paul came from Scotland to accept a Post-Doc from Harvard University. His experience was similar to mine, in that I came from Taiwan to accept a Research Fellowship at the University of Illinois, and both of us stayed to make a life in this country. The programs which encouraged American Universities to seek out well-educated individuals from abroad to enhance graduate programs in this country, in the 1950's and 1960's, were responsible for much of the advancement - particularly in the sciences - in this country.

Having left his wife in Scotland, Bill was befriended by Janice's mother, who was working at Harvard at the time and who invited him to join her family for holidays and such. Fortunately, his wife Babs was able to join him a year or two later. The two of them became close family friends with the Fernalds - a relationship which has lasted for many years. The family picture below was taken when Janice was about 12 with Babs and Bill in the middle. 

The second picture was taken on June27th, in the summer of 2008, when we were having a family reunion on Cape Cod. Bill and Babs and their children and grandchildren, all participated that summer, as did Janice and I and our children and grandchildren.


Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Marian Anderson was in Taiwan once!

 Last night, I was watching a local PBS TV program. It was a special on Marian Anderson, used to raise funds for the station. There were some sections which impressed me very much. The most special event pictured took place in 1939, when she gave a concert at the Lincoln Center in front of 75,000 people. The first two pictures below were taken at that concert.

The third picture, which I found on the web, is also interesting. It has been said that the picture was possibly taken in 1965, on a visit to Taiwan. The other two people shown are the wives of the President and Vice-President of Taiwan during that time.

This program last night reminded me that I attended Marian Anderson's concert at Taiwan Normal University Music Hall to hear her sing in 1958, which was my freshmen year.  Since there was standing room only, I stood in the first row of the very crowded Hall to hear "Ave Maria". At the time there was only one University which had a Music Department. It was an open concert. I am pretty sure that what I remember is correct!

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Some Old Pictures of Janice

 Shari was preparing to move out of her old house. She went through a lot of old pictures which her father had taken, and she sent some of them to Janice. I found three of them very interesting to include in this blog. The first two were taken in 1942, the year Janice was born. 

This was taken in July by Janice's father who was a very good amateur photographer

 The second one was taken at Christmas time at a professional shop, which reflects the trend at that time. It shows what they do during the Christmas season.


The final picture, of Janice's parents, was taken during the time when the young couple was becoming a family. This is a very typical family!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2021

My parents are buried in Johnson City, Tennessee

When my father came to live with us in Johnson City, Tennessee, after my mother died in Taiwan in 1984, I decided to bring my mother's ashes to the United States. We buried the them in Tennessee, not far from our home. My father enjoyed living with us for ten years. He certainly shared many joyful moments with his many grandkids. He passed away in 1994 and is also buried in Johnson City. 

Recently my brother Ed drove a long way from Washington State to visit his children and relatives on the east coast. On his way back home, he drove south to visit my parents' burial grounds and took the following two pictures:

It is nice to see these lovely flowers on their graves. Janice and I would very much like to thank Ed for his thoughtful gesture and I want to share these pictures with all of you who know us.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

The third reunion of some of our group which visited the SHU-Road in 2017

In 2017, a group of us under the leadership of Hope Justman went to hike on the Shu-Road. Please see "" for details. We had such a good time that we have now gathered together three times to renew the Happy Experience. The picture below was taken by Hope at the lunch we had together in Philadelphia this week. (Janice is in the picture but she did not travel to the Shu Road with us.) We shared a lot of good memories and felt especially lucky to be able to meet during this Pandemic!

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Persimmon trees

Persimmon Trees

I have never been a farmer in my life, even though  I tried many times to plant some tomatoes or cucumbers. We often enjoyed the results, but I never paid much attention to whether the harvest was great or small. I planted some Chinese Jotsi too, but really did not pay much attention to it. 

Three years ago, our friend helped me buy two persimmon trees and plant them in our backyard, as shown in the picture below:


We had some fruit last year and they tasted very good! We enjoyed eating them! But this year, by comparison, we had quite a large crop come out! The shape of the tree was distorted  because of the weight:


 A close shot of the fruit is shown below. Can you believe this picture? We are very happy and pleased to enjoy this kind of harvest!


Friday, October 1, 2021


Accidently, we came across a copy of a photo album which looked brand new. The front cover can be seen in the picture below:
When you open it up, the first picture is as follows:

I do remember this picture, but we do not remember that it was given to us in this album. There are many other photos, showing  some of the activities during a workshop we gave together in Quizhou, China, in August, 1998.
 The workshop was sponsored by the Texas Instruments company. On the back of the picture is a list of all the Chinese names of the people who participated in the workshop.

It was very nice of the organizers of the workshop to create this album for us.  The entire workshop was extremely well planned.  

The album included a page written to remind us about the details of the workshop. We are both amazed  that we do not remember this at all! Are we really getting old NOW!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Requiems on YouTube

I have heard several "Requiems" by different composers on YouTube. They were very good and reminded me of the time when I was singing with The Civic Chorale. We did quite a number of  Requiems during those years. I looked for some of the sample programs sheets which I had saved in my file. Unfortunately, I do not have all of them, but I am going to put the ones I found here below: 



Clearly, I do not have many of our programs, as I remember we did both Verdi's and Mozart's in addition to the Brahms Requiems shown above. I did not save most of the programs as I took for granted that  singing was just part of my life, and it was not important enough to consider it special. I did save a couple of newspaper clippings, as they were more important to me at the time:

During this year of the Pandemic, one of the nice things I have enjoyed is the huge variety of musical productions available on YouTube. I would probably never have found the time to explore what was offered. Perhaps the Pandemic has also encouraged many groups - both international and local - to put their productions on YouTube for all to enjoy!

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Henry Grant Fernald

This is the full name of my Father-in-law. He was a man of few words, which turned out to be very typical for a "Chinese"  like me. Not that I have others to compare him with, but it was very comfortable for me to be with him during the years I have been married with his daughter, Janice, in all occasions of our lives. Before he was ill with Alzheimer disease, he was requested to write some words about his life. Janice and I recently got a copy and I thought it was well-worth putting in this blog. I am now presenting it here with his picture, taken when he was a young man:
    Just before the 2nd World War, I tutored a large number of students at Harvard. They were taking the Navy V5 courses for prospective officers. Their professors couldn't seem to get their subjects across and expected them all to flunk their exams. I knew as little as the students about such things as internal combustion engines, but we studied together and they all passed and became naval officers.
    During the was I was in civil engineering down south. I was always elated at how surprised my boss was that I could look up trigonometric functions so easily.
    After the war, I came to A.O. (American Optical) During my first week I showed Miss Clancey a formula from civil engineering which greatly simplified her lens computations. I was pleased when I was given credit for it in a magazine article she had published.
    I am always pleased when people comment on my ability to write Fortran programs which don't need to be de-bugged. Also, it did something for my ego when people came to me as the expert on Fortran problems.
    Some of the programs I have written lately produce fancy plotting, which various people wanted to hang up as samples of what can be done.
    I am always pleased to get my name on patents and magazine articles, even though it is usually in second position. 
    I even amaze myself with the facility with which I can juggle algebraic and trigonometric equations. Figures have always been my pride and joy, and I am not happy unless I am dabbling with them.
    I am very good at deriving mathematical equations for solving nasty problems, and finding new methods for presenting data.
    I enjoy being praised for being a home handy-man, including electricity and plumbing.
    But my crowning achievement was the house my wife and I built on Cape Cod, doing all the work ourselves!

Saturday, August 8, 2020



     Not long after he returned from serving in the Navy during the Second World War (he was in the Pacific), our Uncle Fran Mardulier and our Aunt Dot bought several acres of land from a farmer in North Truro and sold a few of those acres to our Mom and Dad (Rita and Henry Fernald).  (It was probably around 1948.) They then bought (salvaged?) two army barracks from a base that was being closed down in Welfleet. Fran and Dot put up their "new" house first, including, of course, the outhouse we called Peony. Then the Fernald house was raised. I remember our Mom painting over the graffiti as the walls went up. There were no ceilings on any of the rooms and no paneling at first. (This made for a lot of peeking into other's rooms!) Shari, Greg, and I then became the first generation of kids to enjoy the Cape. At that time, the land in back of our house, which has since been sold, was a pasture where the farmer had kept his cows. I remember making "horses" out of pieces of discarded lumber. We painted them, attached a tail and reins, and rode them all over the place. I had several favorites - including a pinto and a black "stallion"! Another favorite memory from that time was our construction of a two-story(!) structure - deep in the woods where our parents wouldn't find it - which we called Hernando's Hideaway,  named from a popular song. We had help from our friends the Armstrongs (Paul, Sheila, and Bill).  Aunt Dot and Uncle Fran had a son (now known as Captain Jim) in 1952 and he joined in most of our activities as he grew older.  Sometimes we were also joined by cousins Donna and Marc Belisle, whose parents built a house on Hart Road. And, of course, there were those square dances down in Truro and Welfleet which we all attended faithfully (with the Armstrongs and the MacLauchlan's, who had a small cottage down on Great Hollow Road).
July 1948

     The next generation to fall in love with the Cape, included Doug and Laura, Margaret and Steven, Erin and Shelley, and David and Fiona Paul.  Babs and Bill Paul, the parents of David and Fiona,  had become "honorary members of the family" soon after they came to the States in 1952. Among other good memories from those days were the Plays which were performed regularly - complete with costumes and dialog.  Most of you may not have found it particularly memorable but, for my family, bringing Tom's Father to visit our families on the Cape in 1972 was a special time! Everything was new to him! And I don't think any of the parents can forget the evening that David Paul (newly licensed) drove Fiona, Doug and Laura, and Margaret and Steven to "dinner" at the Howard Johnson's in P'town.  Fortunately, all went well but we certainly heard a lot of complaints about David as he had insisted that they use a fork while eating french fries!

     The third generation to enjoy being together on the Cape includes Michaela and Cam, Meghan and Alex, Matthew and David, Jimmy and Annie, Kingsly and Cammie, and - last but definitely not least - Max. Many of them enjoyed the swing set that the Pauls provided in 2003. Starting in 1999, there has been a "Fernald Family Reunion" on the Cape every two years - except that occasionally there was a gap due to a wedding or some such thing! We all owe a debt to Laura for inaugurating these wonderful get-togethers! She has been the guiding light! I do remember that Judy once called attention to the fact that she was often the ONLY Fernald at many Fernald Family Reunions! Gatherings usually include wild games of croquet, loud and rambunctious games of Bonanza, lots of good food, and, of course, the beach! 

     I feel certain that there will be more generations coming to the Cape in the years ahead! We hope they hear our laughter and feel our love when they come!  Jan