Monday, September 22, 2014

Independence Day

July the Fourth, 1976, was the two hundredth anniversary of Independence Day. Johnson City had its usual July 4th parade to celebrate this  occasion. It was held on Main Street. Our children, as usual, chose to sit on the curb so that they could see everything clearly, as if they were part of the parade. There were quite a number of different participants, from flags bearers to horses and old carriages.  One of the floats was from the Johnson City Women’s Club. It caught my eye because they were demonstrating their emphasis on Education. Clearly that phase was enough to draw my attention and I took a couple of pictures. Below is one in which you can see the words clearly.july-fourjuly-four-1july-four-2july-four-4july-four-3july-four-5

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Rhododendron Festival

Every year, in the middle of June, there is a Rhododendron Festival at Roan Mountain for a couple of days. Since we lived quite close, we went there several times over the years to appreciate the beautiful flowers, which were spread all over the mountain at an elevation of about 6500 feet. While there were many activities associated with the festival, we seldom participated in them. We would go directly to the garden and walk around to see the flowers, taking a few pictures. (The pictures below were taken there in 1976.) We would then find a good picnic table and enjoy a nice lunch surrounded by the beauty. It was heavenly - every time! Generally, we would also take a hike in the nearby trails to finish up the day. Every one had a great time. We certainly realized our good fortune in having such a place to visit.roanroan-1roan-2roan-3roan-5roan-6roan-4roan-7

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Johnson City Civic Chorale

The Johnson City Civic Chorale was established in 1973 by Robert and Jane LaPella. Initially it had quite a number of Bob’s voice students, both previous and present, plus some supplemental singers from the nearby communities. It was a very fun and challenging group for me. In 1975 I was elected as the president of the group and I decided that making it an official non-profit organization would be the main goal of my year of responsibility. I asked the help of Mr. John Goodin, a local lawyer, with an office front on West Walnut Street. He was very happy to help the chorale on the condition that I sing for his church, which was a small Presbyterian church located on the Milligan Highway. I was happy to agree and did that a couple of times. John even played the organ for me a few times, for practice and fun. We finally received our official notice from the Tennessee State Government that our application was approved in 1976, and The Johnson City Civic Chorale became a Tax Exempt organization thereafter. John did most of the communication with the State government and he should be acknowledged here. Available in my files I find only one early picture. It was taken at Milligan College Auditorium, one of our regular performing sites, and the picture is certainly from that era.civic-chorale001_2

Friday, September 12, 2014

Big Wheel

We bought a toy called “a big wheel” when Margaret was about five or six, and she passed it to Steven when he was five. (See picture with our first canoe on our Ford Station wagon.) It was used by all their friends, both boys and girls. They rode it roughly on the sidewalks of Maple Street, up and down, as fast as they could go! We were quite scared at the beginning, but were soon getting used to their excitement and we enjoyed watching them at their highest possible speed. This toy was later passed to Margaret’s two children, and after them it was passed to Steven’s two boys. Whenever any of them came to our place in Delaware it was used again and again - very roughly. It is still in fairly good shape and, now that they have out-grown it, this much loved toy is resting in our garage. The second picture below was taken in 2013 when David was five.big=wheelbig=wheel-2013

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Steven’s Fifth Birthday

On Steven’s fifth birthday, we had a very nice beautiful day. Janice prepared a birthday cake as well as a picnic lunch for his friends. She also prepared a game for them to play as well. “Pin the tail on the donkey” was the game. The boys clearly enjoyed playing and Margaret also played. With gifts to be opened, it was truly quite a party. The smile on Steven’s face certainly reflects his enjoyment of the event.b-day-steven-1b-day-steven-3b-day-steven-0b-day-stevenb-day-steven-2b-day-steven-4

Monday, September 8, 2014

“He is All American”

Alex LaPella  was another early friend for Steven. He is the son of our good friends, Jane and Bob LaPella, who were both outstanding musicians. She played organ and piano at their church, Munsey Memorial Methodist Church in Downtown Johnson City, and he was a professor in chorale music at ETSU. I took some music lessons from him to improve my diction. We remember Alex’s famous statement - when he introduced Steven to his other friends - that Steven looks Chinese, but he is “an all American boy”. The picture below was taken at a place near Johnson City, called the Laurels, while they played together in early 1976.alex-lapella

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Very Active Children

In the spring of 1976, both of our children were old enough to show their own personality. Lucile decided that she liked the name “Margaret” better and would like everyone to call her by that name. So we started to train ourselves to change and call her by what she liked. Steven was very active with his new friend, David, who was the son of the Headmaster of Washington College Academy, Garland Thayer. David was the same age as Steven and they were good friends for quite sometime. Janice had started to teach at the Academy in the spring o 1974. I will talk about this school more later. Our children were also involved with our other friends, and with some of the Chinese students as well. The pictures below paint a picture of their active life.first-pic-w-davidspring-76spring--76spring-76-2spring-76-3

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Circus Performance

Brooks Gym was a basketball court at ETSU during the seventies. But it was used for many functions. There were two courts in the gym. The downstairs one was called the women’s gym for some reason, but it was used by everybody. I had a lot of pickup games with Chemistry students there. The upstairs gym was the varsity gym and it was used primarily for the men’s basketball competitions. However, it could also by used for any function that required its space. Like everything in the world, it became too small for some purposes, such as a graduation or other ceremony. But in the mid seventies, we still had circus performances held inside the gym. They were grand events! Our children went there and enjoyed the performances when they were at the right age for these events. These two pictures are not the best, but they do give you a glimpse of the fun time we had there.circuscircus-2