Monday, January 26, 2015

Christmas 1976

As usual, we had some relatives for our Christmas Holidays. That year, my brother Ed and his wife Judy were with us on Christmas day. Judy’s brother, Tom Shih, was also with us and that was the only time he came to spend Christmas with us.  My sister, Kai, had been with us before Christmas day, but she then left to go somewhere with her friends. We did our usual gift opening ritual early in the morning, then we had a group picture taken in front of our Christmas tree. We were using a live tree at that time. You can certainly see what our kids got for Christmas! The gifts were most likely assembled the night before! It was certainly our privilege to see how happy they were when they got their toys!


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Remodeling our House

There was another important event in the Fall of 1976. We remodeled our house. There was a large front porch in this old house when we bought it. People living in this type of house often liked to sit on the front porch when the weather was warm, to watch people walking or driving by on the street. However, it was not our habit to use the porch in that fashion. We rarely sat in the swing (yes, we did have a swing on the porch) to do anything. The porch was a wasted space for us. So, after we talked about the situation, we quickly decided to get rid of the porch in order to make extra space for out front room. We needed a location for our family computer, and we decided to make some room for it and to use the rest of space for extra sitting room, a place where my father spent much of his time reading in later years! We contracted a private company and he took about two weeks to change the front porch into an extension of our living room. Because of the remodeling, we lost the possibility to have our house designated as a typical classical model house of the time. The pictures below were taken when the workmen started to frame the front room!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My new Mass Spectrometer

During the Fall semester of 1976, the Chemistry Department bought a brand new Mass Spectrometer. It was a Japanese-made Joel Spectrometer and was a general purpose machine with an easy maintenance schedule. We hired a young lady as a part-time operator and I was responsible to train her. Over the years, we had many operators and we purchased more new spectrometers with new features. The last one the Department bought was a GC-Mass Spectrometer with computer identification. For most of them, I was in charge of their maintenance. I enjoyed playing with them - it was not a burden to me. I used to make the filament for the spectrometer myself, a measure to save money for the Department. Unfortunately, no one was interested in replacing me after I retired. There is no longer a spectrometer in the Department any more!  mass-specmass-spec-2

Winter Break

Christina, my sister, was still in Graduate School at the University of Kentucky Medical School in 1976. Her winter break was not too long after Thanksgiving. As usual, she came to our house for the break. She got the chance to play with our two kids and they certainly got very close to her. She went to their school with them to play on their playground. And she played many games with them, such as putting puzzles together and solving Master Mind. I have a few pictures to document some of these events, and they also show how young Christina was at the time! swingswing-2swing-3swing-4swing-5swing-6

Monday, January 12, 2015

Christmas Photos

Beginning when Margaret was born, every year we took Christmas photos around the time of the Thanksgiving holidays. It was generally a big event which meant that we all had to take some time out of our regular schedule. Both children had to choose some “good” clothes for the occasion. Then we had to decide what background to use, which was usually difficult! Then I would get my equipment ready. Over the years, we used many different cameras, some taking slides, some taking color negatives, which we then had to take out or send out for professional development. It usually required some  time before a decision could be made in selecting a picture for our Christmas Card of the year. In 1976, we had only a short list of pictures, two, and I can list both below. Which one can you guess we chose for our Christmas card? Ha, it’s not as easy as you think!xmas-76xmas-76-2

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

More about Gatlinburg

The very famous Smoky Mountain National Park begins at Gatlinburg, TN. The Park stretches all the way east to Cherokee, NC. There are a lot of trails, waterfalls, and beautiful mountain peaks along the way as you drive on Route 441. You can drive it in two hours or take several days, as there is plenty of scenery for you to see and places to camp along the way. Over the years, we have visited this park many, many times. We took full advantage of living very close to Gatlinburg, and there were always new places to see. It is a famous area for seeing the fall colors, usually in the middle of October. The vibrant colors of different types of trees last just a couple of weeks. They make this drive an unforgettable experience. There are a lot of wild animals on the mountain too. It is common to see black bears. In 1976, we went on this drive to Cherokee to see the color change with Betty and Boris Franzus. We visited a log cabin on the NC side. The pictures below are some of the ones we consider very lucky to possess.