Monday, September 30, 2013

Roan Mountain in the Winter

The highest peak in the East Tennessee area is our favorite place, Roan Mountain. It is on the Appalachian Trail, with the highest peak of 6286 ft. It is a beautiful place every season, and it is different every season too.

We always took our favorite company to this, our favorite place, when we had time. It was about a one hour drive from our home. There were quite a number of short trails in the area. There were also picnic tables there among the Rhododendron flowers. And, in the late spring, there were blueberries to be picked. In the winter, it is a special place! The crystal clear air makes it as pretty as a picture. As I write this blog, I miss the place very much!


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thanksgiving 1973

Judy and Greg were still at the University of Illinois in 1973. We drove up there for Thanksgiving with them. When we passed Lexington, KY, we picked up Kai who was doing her Ph.D. work there at the Department of Biochemistry. Their daughter, Erin, was born early in the spring of that year. It was indeed a wonderful get-together, for both adults and the kids. We have a lot of pictures for that holiday.You can easily see our mood during the period. Certainly the food and other activities of their rented house on Neil Street in Champaign, IL, brought smiles out of everyone. The first picture was taken when Steven was giving a donation to a Salvation Army ringer for the first time. Unfortunately it is not very clear. thanksgiving-2thanksgiving-3thanksgiving-4thanksgiving-5thanksgiving-6thanksgiving-8thanksgiving-73

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Donald Sands

When I first went to the University of Kentucky for the job interview, Don Sands was a professor there. He was the one in charge of receiving me for the interview. He gave a party for me at his home. The department did this in order to attract whomever they liked to recruit for the position and I was impressed. I later accepted the job because I felt the harmonious flavor of the department. Clearly this was an impression but the actual situation was very difficult to predict. The department could perhaps turn out to be very different. I liked Don and was very much appreciative for what he did for me when I was there. In the fall of 1973, I invited him with his wife, Betty, to visit ETSU and give a talk at our departmental seminar. We took them to Watauga Lake during the weekend, with our family. We have kept them on our Christmas list ever since!don-sand-2don-sands

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Some Other Colleagues at ETSU

There were a couple of important colleagues at ETSU and I should mention them here. One was important, first of all, for my collaborative research projects. Boris Franzus came from Esso Research in NJ. He was an outstanding organic chemist. Not only did he have a lot of good ideas in research, he was also very able and very funny. More importantly he was an outstanding teacher. He knew how to explain complicated concepts and everyone in his organic class worked as hard as they could for him! We enjoyed each other enormously, and became very close friends. He and his wife Betty were even close to our children. It was certainly a blessing for us to get to know them and became such good friends. The picture below was taken in his office: college
There were a total of nine full time faculty members in the Chemistry Department. You would think that this should be a simple harmonious unit, but it was not. I will certainly have more to talk later about the politics of this small academic unit! In 1973, I took another picture of a faculty member in Chemistry, Jeff Wardeska, who turned out to be a very reliable person. He was a man of few words, but very honest. You could trust him to do the right thing, which was important!college-2

Monday, September 2, 2013

Directing Choirs

Starting in early 1973, I committed myself to an important part of the church service. First, I started a junior choir with boys and girls of different ages. We sang once in a while at one of the two services on Sundays. During the Christmas season, we did some special programs as well. Later that year I started directing the senior choir, which was quite a bit more of a commitment since we had to do some special music EVERY Sunday. As you can see, I was very interested in church music and I did not feel that this was a big burden. I got my chance to be involved in choosing music and even selected some cantatas for church holiday programs. I spent almost all my personal time in planning music programs. How long did I do this? Believe it or not, I was in that volunteer job for slightly more than the next decade. I will show you some junior choir pictures here today. And I will have more later about the adult choir later at another time.junoir-3junoir-choir-practicejunior-choirjunoirjunoir-2junoir-4junoir-choir-party-2junoir-choir-party     The last two pictures were taken at a party time!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Jo and Bill Gazda

One of the couples we got to know from Church was the Gazdas - Jo and Bill. In many ways, we had much in common. We were in  the same age range and both families had two children, one girl and one boy. Bill was not in the University community, but he had a doctorate in an engineering field. He was a section head at Great Lakes Research, and I was a consultant in another section there during the summer months. Most importantly, Bill and I were very interested in basketball. He played just like I did, always the best we could! We were serious and it was exhausting! Another important point is that Jo and Janice started playing bridge together with several other women in 1972. In 1973, we made a decision to buy a cabin together on Watauga Lake. The deal was later nullified, luckily as it turned out. Because of a problem with the deed on the original document, we were forced to back out of the sale. Not long afterwards, Bill was reassigned to another position, and the family moved to Niagara Falls, NY. We had a family Christmas party together in 1973. The pictures below show how close we were, and how a life time of family friendship was started at the time.gazdagazda-2gazda-3