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!