The Maternal Genealogy of
Stella Esther Poisson
(mother of John Dosithe Brule)

The ancestors of John’s mother lived and worked in the county of Nicolet, Quebec before their emigration and settling in Upper Michigan abt 1868. In the 1800s, they, and their neighbors, were “cultivateurs” (farmers) and “laborers.” They were solidly rooted in the French Catholic church culture and its religious values, rituals, and practices which shaped their expectations and character for generations. Their attachment to Land, Family, and the “French” Catholic Church was paramount.

Your Grandparents
Houghton County, Michigan

The name “Poisson” is familiar in northern Michigan; so is the English translation to “fish,” or “fisher.”

Stella Esther Poisson was born in Chassell, Michigan in 1894. She was the third child of John D. Poisson and Emelie/ Amelie Cote. Both parents were born in Quebec, in the county of Nicolet. It is difficult to establish precisely when each of them emigrated, and finally came into Michigan.

They were married in Lake Linden, Houghton Count, Michigan on May 1, 1887. The witnesses at their marriage were Edward Poisson, and Albert Cote.

Their children were all born in Houghton County, Michigan. John probably worked in the lumber business before he tried to make a living as a hotel keeper, according to the 1900 U. S. census. He knew that renting rooms to laborers in the lumbering and mining operations moving back and forth between Canada and the lakeside U. S. border states was a need that could provide a cash income. And it did for a while. At least two male Poisson “labourers” of this period died in lumber accidents; one Joseph Poisson killed by a “falling tree.”

John however, decided to “go back to the land” and the 1910 Census finds him in Chassell, reported as a “farmer.” The census records also tell us that Emelie gave birth to at least one other child, who did not live. Like many French Canadians, and other emigrants, the Poissons changed their name. In most of the U. S, records they are listed as John and Emily Fish. Census documents are not always accurate. When you look at the four census documents (1900, 1910, 1920, and 1923) for their household, you expect a consistency of information on basic questions, such as “where were you born?” In 1920 John is reported born in Maine; yet in the 1900 and 1910 census he lists birth in French Canada.

Great Grandparents

The mystery of the name “Dosithe” is solved in the baptismal record of “John D.” The Poissons live in the parish of St. Edouard, Nicolet, village of Gentilly and that is where his parents marry and raise their very large family. A parish in French Canada was often a recognized civil municipality. “Dosithe is the 9th child, baptized on January 19, 1863. It is the baptismal date that is recorded in Quebec, not the birth date. His parents are Pascal Poisson., (son of Pascal Poisson and Marguerite Brunel) and Esther Hebert dit Manuel, daughter of Francois Hebert dit Manuel and Victoire Lavigne. They were married on January 7, 1845 in St. Edouard’s, their home parish. The record states that an impediment had been dispensed with by the recognized officials of the church, and that the parents gave their consent. As was the custom, brothers were the primary witnesses for the families. Jean Evangeliste Poisson, Pascal’s brother; Augustin Verville, “beau frere,” (brother in law). His sister Philomene’s husband; and Joseph Hebert dit Manuel, Esther’s brother. They had a large family; the ideal for an agricultural French Catholic family.

While the records are not always easy to translate, I believe there are about 14 children born to them: Marie Climeme, Cyrille, Albert, Melanie, Agnes, Octave (1 st dies infancy; second named Joseph Octave b. 1860; Sarah, Dosithe, Virginie, Eugene, Philomene, Josephine, Olive, Horace ..)
We know, because of records located, that at least one sibling, Albert, the eldest son, moved to Michigan also. He was born about 1850, and was twelve years older than John “D.” he married Sarah Mercier in 1873, and we know of at least two children of theirs who were born in Chassell, Michigan. Joseph was born in Lake Linden in 1881. Edward was born in Chassell in 1891. So there would be descendants from Albert in the area, as well as directly through John D. Poisson.


Esther’s parents were Francois Amable Hebert dit Manuel. Their home poarish was St. Edouard’s, Nicolet, Gentilly. Francois was born on Feb 9, 1783. He married Marie Victoire Rivard-Lavigne, who was b. 18 May, 1790.

Great, Great Grandparents

Pascal “pere”, was born about 1785. He married Marguerite Beaufort-Brunel in St. Edouard’s Parish, Nicolet, village of Gentilly. Felix was born 1815, Julie 1820, Pascal, 1821, and Pierre Onesiphore in 1822. Another family lists a Joseph Poisson, born 1825. There may be other children, from these parents but these are the ones I have discovered so far. Marguerite Beaufort-Brunelle’s parents were Alexis Beaufort Brunelle and Genevieve Baril.

Great 3X Grandparents

Pascal parents were Joseph Antoine Poisson ( b. march 29, 1743 in Champlain, Champlain, Quebec. He married Marie Josephyte Provencher in Becancour, Nicolet  on January 21, 1782. Marie Josephyte’s parents were Charles Provencher and Marguerite Deshaies-Tourigny. Joseph and Marie had, at least, five children: Antoine Charles Innocent Poisson, Pascal Poisson b. 1785; Marguerite Poisson, Julie Poisson, Pierre Poisson.

Great 4X Grandparents

Joseph Antoine Poisson’s parents are Alexis-Francois Poisson and Marguerite Genevieve Rivard-Levigne/Lavigne. Alexis-Francois was born in Champlain, Champlain, Quebec on January 12, 1716. His occupation was Quatrieme Seigneur de Gentilly. He married Marguerite Genevieve Rivard Lavigne on July 1741 in Champlain, Champlain, Quebec. He died on January 2, 1796 in Champlain, Champlain.

Great 5X Grandparents

Alexis Francois (often called Francois) Poisson was the son of Jean Francois Poisson and Elizabeth Disy. They were married July 5, 1841. *The “story” about Jean Francois was that he was taken by the Iroquis with others, never returned, and was supposed killed by them. Something to look into.
Francois is one of the four surviving children, the only son.

Nicolet, St. Pierre Les Becquets

Nicolet, Parish of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Becancour
Great Grandparents Emelie Cote was born abt 1859 in the village of Becancour. Her parents were Edouard Coté and Marie Sophie St. Louis who were married February 2, 1858 in the Parich of the Nativity of the B. V. M. in Becancour. Edward, however, was not from this parish, but a resident of St Pierre des Becquets.

The 1861 Canada census shows them as a family of four living in St. Pierre des Bequets, within the extended Cote family, with their two daughters: AdelinelDelina, and her sister, Emelie, born two years earlier, probably 1860, who was then 1 year old. Delina, we know, also came to Michigan, and married Thelmas Soumis in 1887, the same year her sister Emilie married John D. Poisson.

In 1871, I do not find the family, they seemed to have moved and Edwards’ parents, and the remaining family members, also moved away from Nicolet since the last census. They are living in St. Jean, Lotbiniere, north of Becancour.  Along the St. Lawrence River. Joseph is making a living as a “cordonnier,” a shoe repairer, while his sons are listed as day laborers. But I have not located Edward and Sophie.

Nicolet, S1. Pierre Les Becquets

Nicolet, Parish of Navivity of B. V. M., Becancour
The parents of Edouard Coté are Joseph Coté and Josephte Dusiaume(?) In the 1851 census, their household consists of Flora , 19; Paul A. Brejean (probably Flora’s husband) Joseph Coté 16; Josephine, 16; Edouard, 12; Ludger 9; Theodore 4; and Clie, age 1. Since the ages of the parents are 46 and 49 respectively, it is possible there were other children who moved close by, or who died.

Becancour, Nicolet

The parents of Marie Sophie S1. Louis, (who married Edouard Coté) and who are therefore your great grandparents, are Theodore S1. Louis, b abt 1788 in Becancour, and Marguerite Richer, born abt 1794. Sophie S1. Louis was baptized March 12, 1842 in Becancour in the Parish of the Nativity of the B. V. M. Her godparents were Oliver Richer, and Marguerite St. Louis. In the 1851 census, the household consists of Zephrim, 20; Euphresne, 17; Ferdinand, 13; Sophie, 10; and Michel, age 44, and Magdalene Deshaies. The age of the parents at the date ofthis record would be 63 and 57 respectively, so we can safely speculate that more children were born between Michael (44) and Zephrim (20).
Theodore St. Louis married Marie Anne Richer on February 13, 1816 in Parish of the Nativity of the B. V. M. in Becancour., Nicolet.

Theodores’ parents are Joseph St. Louis & Marie Anne Levigne/Lavigne. Marie Anne’s parents are Jean Baptiste Richer & Marie Anne Robichaud/Robicho

Jean Baptiste Richer married Marie Louise Robicho/Robichaud on January 24, 1780 in Parish of the Nativity of the B. V. M. in Becancour, Nicolet. Jean Baptiste Richer is the son of Joseph Richer & Marie Jeanne J/Geillet(?) Marie Louise Robicho is the daughter of Francois Robicho & Cecille Tibeadeu(?)


Josephte Dussiaume’s (spouse of Joseph Coté) name was especially difficult to read. After a while I realized she was the only one I had seen with a different origin noted. I could barely make out “nord-ouest” which does in fact mean Northwest Territories (Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan) and that a few letters I could not make out as a language. But trying a different approach, with the help of other Page 5 researchers, I discovered that Josephte was a “Metis”, that is, a “half breed” born of French Canadian and Indian parents.

In general the Dussiaume ancestry has been charted, but to fill in detail will take significant time.


Josephyte/Josephine was the daughter of Joseph Alexander Jussiaume and
Marguerite Goulet. Joseph Alexander Jussiaume’s parents are Pierre Alexandre Alexis Jusseaume and Marie Louise Legris dit Lepine. Pierre Alexandre Alexis Jusseaume’s parents are Alexandre Jusseaume and Marie Anne Madeleine Audet dit Lapointe. Alexandre Jusseaume’s parents are francois Jusseaume de France and Catherine Langelle dit Langelier de France.


Brule Family History
As Recalled By
Edward J. Brule
July 30, 1975


Joseph Hercule Brule was born July 19, 1852, son of Norbert Brule
and Sophie Beaugrand dit Champagne in the parish of St. Cuthbert
Province of Quebec, Canada. He came to Lake Linden at the age of 16 yearsand worked in a lumber camp for Joseph Gregoire. He died in 1919 at the age of 67. He was married at the age of 20.


Aurore Ethier born in Black Brook, N. Y. in 1856, month of December(date unknown). She was the daughter of Joseph Ethier and(mother’s name unknown). Her mother died very young and her father’s death was accidental. He was hauling hay into the hay barn and walking along the side of the wagon. His chest was crushed between they hay rack and the door frame.


How they (mother and dad) came to lake linden, I do not know for sure.It seemed they came by train as far as L’Anse. then by tugboat to the Gregoire sawmill at Gregoirevil1e which was across Torch Lake from Lake linden. They did not come together.  Dad worked in a lumber camp at Boot Jack for Jos. Gregoire. That iswhere he met mother, she and her sister worked as helpers to the woman cook at the camp. They were married Christmas week of 1872.  On their wedding day, they travelled from Boot Jack to Gregoireville by horse and sleigh,·’then across Torch lake over the ice to Hubbell where they were married.

Genealogy of the Brulé name

Edward Joseph Brule married Stella Fish July 26, 1920Joseph Hercule Brule married Aurora Ethier, Winter 1872, Lake Linden Norbert Brule married Sophie Beauregard February 2, 1841 St. Cuthbert, Canada
Joseph Brule married Angele Thomas dit Tranchemontagne July 27, 1812, St. Cuthbert
Joseph Brule married Marie-Anne Laurendeau January 30, 1775, La Visitation, L’-lie-Dupas
Joseph Brule married  Marie-Anne Sylvestre January 28, 1750, La Visitation, L’-lie-Dupas
Antoine Brule dit Francoeur married Angelique Melin November 1, 1711,  Contrat Lepallieur
Antoine Brule marred Madeline Aubry in Saint-Germaine d’Amiens Picardie, France

Je me souviens – I remember

Centre de documentation et de genealogie de L’-lie d’Orleans enr.



Rum-0 Genealogy
Rum-1 Origins and Family
Rum-2 Life in Hancock
Rum-3 Grade School
Rum-4 High School and the Boys
Rum-5 Chicago Trips
Rum-6 Michigan Tech and the Army
Rum-7 Some Addenda
Rum-8 A New Beginning in Auburn
Rum-9 College and First Employment
Rum-10 Life till Selma
Rum-11 First Philippine Trip, 1967-68
Rum-12Between Philippine Trips 1969-1978
Rum-13Second Philippine Trip 1978-79
Rum-14 Trips to China and the First End 1/7/1998
Rum-15 A Second Beginning – Until 2010
Rum-16 2010 – ?

Rum-16 2010 – ?


We had heard about San Telmo, in Buenos Aires, and also visited the area on previous trips. We found out about an apartment building there from a friend who lived part of the year in San Telmo. We were able to get a 3 bedroom apartment at a good price so we rented that and stayed there for 3 months from mid January till mid April. All went well, and we took a side trip to the city of Lujan which is the region for the patron Saint of Argentina. San Telmo is a lively area with lots of street entertainment. But, we decided that we were ready to move on and have made a reservation for an apartment in Panama City, Panama in 2011.

When we returned home we found that apparently the repaired roof still leaked so we contacted the roofer and our insurance company and had the ceilings repaired and repainted. It was quite a hassle but we did get the insurance company to pay for the complete repainting of the ceilings of the living room, breakfast room, and the formal dining room There was so much going on we decided not to have our usual July 4 gathering of friends. We realize we have to simplify our lives.

Since it seems that we will be in Syracuse for more of the winter – we will be in Panama City for only two months, February and March, 2011 – we decided to finally replace all the windows in the house since they all leaked and there were no storm windows. On July 29, 2010 I signed a contract with Comfort Windows and Doors Company. This was to replace 15 windows on my house at 116 Killian Drive. Cost – $11, 738. I gave them a deposit of $4000. I uinderstood it would be several weeks before the installation since Comfort manufactures the windows after the order is obtained and all windows are made to measure.

On Monday September 20 the windeows were delivered along with 3 installers. While two were in the house and third in the truck the man in the truck managed to break two of the wndows. The windows were to be placed in the northeast corner of the living room. The windows are double paned and the outside pane on two of the windows were broken. The picture on the left shows the broken pane in one window and the picture on the right is of a different pane. Also broken were the secreens on two other windows and other incidental damage to the window frames. They decided to continue with the installation and later replace the broken panes.
On Tuesday they checked over all the windows they have and found out that two windows were missing. Checking back with the office they found out that some mixup had occurred in reading the order information and this resulted in them not constructing those two windows. These windows belonged in the formal dining room. The broken screens were replaced and installed on the appropriate windows.
On Thursday the 23rd I contacted Comfort and expressed concer nover the quality of the repair job on the broken panes. I wondered if the integrity of the repaired windows woud be the same as windows conctructed in their factory. Mr. Bob Johnston came out to see the situation and assured me that all would be OK. He also indicated, in passing, that it might be late in October before the missing windows were available and indicated they would repair the broken panes at the time the last two windows were installed. He apologized for the fact that this would mean another incursion into our home. For some reason Mr Johston said they would give us a voucher for Wegmans to make up for the disruption caused by their failure. All has been quiet with Comfort since Thursday, September 23rd.

The troubles this has caused us so far is the disruption of our dining room where the missing windows should be. The place is a mess since all windows, blinds, and decorations had to be removed. Also the weather has turned cold and daily we have to turn on the heat and the windows with the proken panes are inefficiently functioning.
It is now October 4 and there was no contact from Comfort during the past week. The temperature is now down into the 40’s.

October 18, 2010. Still not contact from Comfort. I called their office and was told that later today a Mr. Mike Cross would contact me.
The off ice called back about 5:00 pm and the lady said they could install the windows and fix the broken windows this Wednesday October 20th and arrive between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. She said Mike Cross could see me but it turns out he is the wrong person to discuss the problem with since he has no authority to grant me a discount. However a Mr. Reneau is the Sales Manager and he could discuss this with me. Mr. Reneau is out of the office a lot but she would leaave a note for him to call me, hopefully Tuesday morning. The next day we played a little telephone tag but finally made contact. I went over the situation with him and he gave me a long explanation of how good they are, etc. I told him I wanted a 5% reduction in the total cost, amounting to about $600. We argued at some length but he indicated Comfort does not give cash refunds but offered me 10% off the next job I have them do for me. I view this as a specious offer since there is no way for me to know how they arrive at a cost in the first place. He offered $100 and I refused it as too small but was willing to reduce my demand to 5% of the balance I owe, which amounts to about $350. He said he would sort of split the difference and go up to $150. I said I was fed up with this and accepted it. I told him that what really made me angry was that after I called up on Monday to complain then the next day they said they would do it on Wednesday. This meant to me that they had just dropped me from their schedule to fix their problem at my home.

After they fixed the broken windows and installed the two new picture windows I was able to paint the new woodwork and remount the blinds.

So that ended the windows saga.

Dolores has a great desire to take a trip to Chicago. She had two sons there – Les and Billy – and has always had a love affair with that city Since she really wants to be with her sons for Thanksgiving we decided to take the train there on the Tuesday before the holiday and return the following Monday. Those were the plans but then life happened. Her left knee decided it was time to act up and the pain became intense. So she chose October 18 as the date for knee surgery – she figures she will be well enough to travel on Thanksgiving. So, we cancelled our train tickets and switched instead to airline flights. Also around this time my foot trouble returned and I went to my neurologist to see what could be done. They recommended that I get physical therapy, which inclueds an anodyne treatment of the foot. But I was also getting really serious leg pain and during my annual trip to the VA they figured that was RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) so I have a pill for that. On November 3 I started a regimin with that pill. So far there has been no easing up of any of the symptoms.

Dolores had her knee operation on October 20, and after a few days went in to physical therapy. She seems to be recovering quickly as far as knee flexibility is concerned but the pain doesn’t let up. Also, in an attempt to find the source of the trouble with my right foot an MRI was completed and it showed nothing amiss. So now the pain has been labeled idosyncratic – that is – unknow cause.

The trip to Chicago went just fine. We stayed in the apartment of Billy’s girlfriend – Joyce. Dolores was able to do what she wanted to in Chicago in spite of the pain. When we got back to Syracuse she returned to Physical Therapy. We decided not have our usual January 1st party – too much going on already.

The winter came on early and strongly and December saw an enormous amount of snow. Once again I was pleased that I had signed a fixed price contract with Tom Yager for snowplowing.


I started looking into flights to Panama and I wanted to use frequent flier miles. It turned out I was about 30,000 miles short so I had to buy miles. Then I could make rhe reservations and we decided to fly out January 30 and return March 31. We felt that since it was a new country to us that we would plan on staying only 2 months – not the 3 months we did last year in San Telmo.

The weather in December and January was really cold and show filled. Day after day there was word of another storm in the making, but it seemed that late January things would start clearing off. Many of our friends would comment about us still being in town and we felt we were letting them down. They apparently were not used to seeing us in Syracuse during winter. Fortunately the bad weather held off for a few days late in the month and we left Syracuse right on schedule. Dolores was very pleased that we are scheduled to stop over in Atlanta for a couple of hours as this will give her an opportunity to get some Popeye’s chicken from a store in the Atlanta airport. Sure enough that proved to be the case she felt she was in heaven. However as she was devouring a chicken leg an upper front tooth broke. It was no big deal, it seems, in that there was no pain at all, just a blank spot near the front of her mouth. Here is a map of Panama

The rest of the trip was uneventful and we arrived at Tocumen Airport near Panama City, Panama right on schedule at about 9:30 p.m.. A driver was waiting for us and we got all our luggage into his vehicle. The airport is about 10 miles outside the city so we had a good ride in. It was quite a feeling to again sense the heat of the tropics – so much like the Philippines. An anazing thing , to me, is that Panama City, Panama, is east of Miami, Florida. Panama City is about 69 degrees west of the Grenwich meridian and Miami is 70 degrees west. Panama City seems to be under construction: there are building cranes atop many buildings and they all seem to be 50 stories or more. The US dollar is the medium of exchange. I expected to use the Bolivar but the only such money I have ever seen is in coins of 50 centavos or less. There is essentially no city bus service although there is a very large and modern bus station. There is also no subway or light rail. So, for the person with no car it is either walk or take a taxi. There are loads of taxis but no use of a taxi meter. I was told that you offer the driver what you think is fair and see how it works out. You never offer as much as $4 for any transportation inside the city. So, I offer $1 or $2 or $3 and it works out fine. In fact a couple of times I handed the driver $2 and he returned 0.50 in change.
This is a video of our apartment. My video expertese is quite limited.
Our apartment is quite nice in many respects. Two bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a kitche, living room and dining area, One of the bathroons, which is off the kitchen, has only a cold water shower, a lavatory and a toilet. The apartment is equpped with wi-fi that is quite reliable but sometimes drops the signal.

However there is no telephone as that is a rare commodity in Panama. But there are many cell phones and the landlord rented us one with a $50 deposit. Grocery shopping isn’t too bad. Each week we go to a large supermarket, load up with food, and take a $3 taxi ride home. The price of food here is about the same as in Syracuse. We have eaten out a few times, but nothing remarkable to say yet. There is a group here known as ExPat Explorers and we did a couple of things with them. The first one is what is called a partial transit of the Panama Canal. We went through a couple of locks and it was well worth the time. We saw where the new and larger locks are under construction and it makes me appreciate how well planned the original canal really was. Then we took a tour of the city with a tour guide just so that we could get some sense for what the high points of the city are.
Above is a video taken from the tenth floor of a building. Kind of impressive, I think. That site isn’t just a building. Here’s the story. The tooth that broke is in Dolores’ upper jaw and towards the front. So we called the insurance company, Access America, and asked them to direct us to a dentist. This turned out to be the Ford Clinic on the 10th floor of the Ford building. The dentist seems to be highly qualified – certainly his office is the most modern dental office I have ever seen. So first he did an evaluation which involved taking X-Rays and such. Everything he did was displayed on monitors in the offices and it was quite impressive.
He then discussed options with us, and their costs. We concluded that the best option was to install an implant. The total cost was $2000, less than half of what it would cost in Syracuse. So the next day he pulled the remains of the broken tooth and installed the base for the implant. We had another visit about a week later to make sure all was going OK and the implant will finally be screwed into place late in March just before we head for Syracuse.
Then we decided we should take a ship through the Panama Canal and we took what is referred to as a partial transit. We couldn’t come to Panama without going through the Canal.
We decided to attend a church, Iglesia Santa Maria in nearby Balboa and met a very nice retired couple – Gladys and Dick Stoker. She is a Panamanian and he is a retired US veteran. Tomorrow Dolores and I are planning to take a bus to Colon for the day, and then next Wednesday, March 16, we will go on a trip around several northern provinces of Panama

So we bussedto Colon and all went well . We just go to the terminal and somobody is there announcing that the next bus to Colon is boarding and that was it. One pays the fare, $2.50, during the ride. The bus stopped right at the Zona Libre, the Free Zone, which is where Dolores wanted to go to see about getting ear rings for Stephanie. No success, but we met a nice guy that was instrfoduced to us by one of the guards at the entrance and he served as our guide for the day. The Free Zone is very large and we could never have done any shopping without having Eugene drive us around. After that we three had lunch and then he took us on a tour of Colon. It is a very poor city – everything in need of repair and general cleaning up.

This is a picture of Eugene and Dolores. We had some interesting conversations with him and he was most pleasant. He took us around to some sights in Colon including an old fort, a fine hotel and a cathedral. The following link is a video of the interior of the cathedral. The three of us had lunch together and then Eugene drove us to the bus station and we were off to our apartment in Panama City. My 84th birthday occurred around tht time so Dolores bought me a new Olympus camera since my old went had to be held together wwith Scotch Tape. That trip went very smmothly so we decided to do more.

Laura Alexander, the guru of ExPats, set up a 6-day 5-night tour of some of the northern provinces of Panama so we decdied to do that. We packed up and on the morning of March 16 headed north with four other tourists in a Coastal Van. Fortunately there were no other passengers, just the guide and the driver, as the van was not very large. My right foot was busy bothering me again so it was nice that I had enough room to stretch out.

Our first stop was a couple of hours north of the province of Panama at the province of Cocle. See the above map. We visted the city of El Valle. This meant walking through some artisans shops and going to a zoological garden. We also visited a Botanical garden and it was here we viewed the golden frogs. They are quite rare but the University of Houston is cooperating with the garden to protect them. Apparently the little creatures are endangered by a fungus that they are attacked by.  There were some small monkeys, like this one to the right peeking out of a knothhole.
We also found that there were some mineral hot springs and mud baths here but we avoided falling into them.  Ar one point we stopped to visit some local shops.  An interesting one was the shop of a local cigar maker.  The process can be viewed in the following movie.
El Valle is pretty far out of the mainstream of development but a nice motel had been reserved for us and we had a great nights’ sleep. We had brought Dolores’ netbook with us but there was no Wi-Fi so we had to learn to be without that crutch.

The next day we drove to Herrera and were reintroduced to the great number of churches in Panamanian towns. Each village has one along with a park in front of it so it was all very neat.   It is also the home studio of Dario “La Maskera” known across the country as the best mask maker in Panama.  He demonstrated how the masks were made and here is a photo of one we bought.
On day 3 we traveled through the provinces of Los Santos and Veraguas stopping at a beach for a few hours of sunshine and swimming.  Dolores and I skipped both those activities and stayed in the shade for napping and conversation.  Days 4 and 5 were spent in various parts of Chiriqui including David its largest city and the Norde Americano resort city of Banguette.  Everyone we talk with about this city indeed knows that it is populated by Canadian and USA retirees.  Panama is certainly busy building an enormous number of high rise apartment buildings. most of which are unoccupied.  The big question in my mind is Why?  This might be answered if one knew the answer to a second question – Who is paying for them?  Money Laundering?  An expected upsurge in tourists and returees renting and buying?   The tour ended on March 21st with an all day drive back to Panama City
So now our sojurn in Panama is drawing to a close.  In a couple of days we head back to the “old world'”  However on Monday we have an appointment to look at another apartment that might fit into our plans for next year

The following is the promo that induced us to take the above trip

MARCH 16th to 21st
Province of COCLÉ
Antón Valley & El Valle

Golden Frog

Only two hours away from Panama City, lays the mineral rich Antón Valley,with the fresh air and  riendly climate found in the town of El Valle.We’ll be jumping directly into the beauty of Panama, it’s country and its people on this fantastic day. Here is a golden frog,

Aguadulce, Natá, Chitré,
On this day, we are able to experience first hand how some of the beautiful handicrafts are actually made, taste the delicacies kept secret in the interior, find out about the amazing deep history of Panama, and visit some of the oldest and most beautiful Catholic Churches in all of the Americas.

We’ll be enjoying a beautiful sunny morning and early afternoon at a day resort before heading off too see…..
Santiago, David & Boquete
The road to Boquete, will be lined with rice-fields, pineapple and teak plantations, huge cattle ranches,  internationally award winning gardens
Volcan, Cerro Punta & David
Belonging to the district of Bugaba, Volcan is a picturesque town located 57 km from the city of David. Both Volcan and Cerro Punta are blessed with excellent climate and diverse vegetation. Here, we will find fruit and vegetable fields lining steep mountain slopes, purebred horse stables, one of the world’s most famous Orchid Gardens, and…….

BACK TO PANAMA via LA PIÑTADA On the bus, headed home, but having fun on the way! We’ll stop for Santiago, and visit two more truly special Panamanian studios.. We will be visiting several museums, botanic gardens, fincas (farms), natural wonders, the home workplaces of artisans known both nationally and internationally, purebred horse stables, learning about the fine art of coffee tasting (as much as, if not more, intricate than wine tasting) and so much more! You’ll go home more knowledgeable experts on Panama than many who have lived here all their lives! When looking at the cost, compare it to just getting hotel rooms for 5 nights (even here!).
End of the promo.

Later in 2011

But in the meantime several thoughts cross my mind.  Around the time I turned 84, the USA decided, along with the UN, to create a No Fly Zone over Libya.  Not only is this another war we are cooperating in, but also it seems there has been woefully little planning.  What is the objective in this?  To prevent Qadafi from killing his own people is obviously not the whole story.  What will be the exit strategy?  Who will supply the leadership, hardware, and personnel?

Another horrible event was the earthquake and tsunami that devestated parts of Japan.  Apparently the Japanese people are handling the terrible disruption of life, but what about concern about nuclear safety.  There is no way to factor in the possibility of an earthquake and tsunami  into the probability of failure of a nuclear facility.

On a totally different level we have the qustionable creation of a new College in Syracuse University. Very recently the “College of Human Ecology” was created by combining several small colleges.  Within that College there is a Program/Department called Sport Management.  This year that program has six persons who get paid salaraies sort of from the Academic Budget.  These six are made up of two assistant professors, a full professor, an Instructor, and two “Associate Professors of Practice”, whatever that means.  So, there are 4 bonafide faculty members in the Department.
On March 24, 2011, it was announced that the College of Human Ecology is to be renamed the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics. What happened to Human Ecology?  It was also annoounced that David B. Falk and Rhonda S. Falk have made a $15 million gift to Syracuse University.  I certainly have heard of a generous gift being called a naming gift in the sense that a building will be named in honor of the generous donor.  But what does it imply if the University renames an Academic College in honor of a generous donor?  Perhaps if the donation supplies a boost to a department that is already doing great things in research and contributions to humanity that could be understood.  But this department of Sport Management doesn’t even have a tenured faculty member.  Can we point with pride to this change?

The summer was pleasant – better than in 2010 since this year I was able to swim in the pool a few times.  Jim went through a lot of changes at All Scripts in that his job changed quite a bit because they found out  how quickly he latches on to real problems.  So now he is working at several cities around the US, excluding Chicago, so he has moved back to Syracuse as his home base.  Jill is thrilled about that!

Along about the first of November I was busy doing some brailling for the Community Choir when my PC computer decided to die.  I had been using the serial port on the PC to communicate with the embosser since the parallel port on the embosser decided to quite some time ago.  I decided to use a more modern PC and this seemed to imply that I had to use a USB port on the PC.  But my embosser is quite old and has no USB port.  I spent hours trying to find and install a driver for a USB to make it act like a serial port – then I could use a USB to DB 21 bin plug and all should be ready.  The first problem was that the software driver just didn’t work.  I finally found it was because the USB cable they sent me had something wrong with it.  I scrounged around my old equipment and found that my first laptop did have a serial port – the machine is a few years old.  So the next thing I needed was some way to match the serial port on the pc to the serial port on the embosser.    I knew their baud rate, etc. so that was no problem.  Then I needed to have the software to read a file and send its data out the serial port.  A VT-100 simulator was found and seemed to work except that that type of terminal doesn’t transfit the form feed signal which is need to transfer date to the next braille page..

To solve this problem I had to go back 20 years to the time I taught assembly language at SU and write the program to do it.  That required digging up a lot of old memories from my befuddled brain bu finally that was accomplished on or about December 14!

One other problem interferred with my happy work.  A trip to my Urologist resulted in him finding out that my bladder was not properly dumping its load, and this could be serious.  So for the last two weeks our trip to Panama has been on hold until we find out what the situation is.  We found out that by taking a couple of new pills it was worth the shot to head for Panama so we started to get ready for the exodus.


January 4th arrived and we were ready and willing to get out of town.  Dolores  was less than thrilled at the prospect of the very high teperatures we could expect but she was used to living with real problems so off we went.  The flight to Panama was much easier to handle since it was only four hours out of Atlanta, not the 10 hours needed to get to Buenos Aires.  The flight was on time and we were met at the airport (EZE) by a driver that took us directly to our apartment – 4A  Azucenas.  It was a very large apartment with 2 bedrooms plus a maids room.  The kitchen met all of Dolores’ specifications.  We met our friends from last  year at the church in Balboa – Iglesia Santa Maria.
I had a terrible time getting the AAUP Salary Report put together.  We had brought two computers – my notebook and Dolores’ netbook.  I needed MATLAB to create the report and I found that somehow the copy of that on my notebook had become corrupted.  However I had a second copy on Dolores’ netbook so I ended up using her computer for most of the report.  However the only copy of Microsoft Word 2007 we had was on my notebook.  Also most the soaftware I had written for creating the report was on my notebook.  So this meant much transferring of files between the two computers and there was some tendency for errors to be made but it was finally completed in early March.
We went to some dinners for ex-pats and met another couple.  Kay Moody from Jamaica and Robert Eschauzier from Niagara On the Lake, Ontario.  Kay is a very reserved woman – appears to be quite reserved.  However she opens right up with the right stimulus.  Robert is an ideologue – he says he is totally against any form of government.  However I think this is an attitude under construction; he mostly just wants to be unconventional and he succeeds at it.  We went to LaValle for a weekend with them and had a nice time.  Kay owned an apartmen in Panama City and was able to sell it fairly easily.  In fact the people who bought it wanted her to move out before she was ready to leave Panama City.  She knew a person who has an apartment in Trump Tower in Panama City and she and Robert were able to move into it for the last few weeks of her stay in Panama City.  She then left  for her homeland and Robert went back to Canada.  They intend to meet in Chicago where Kay has another apartment.  Kay says she really wants to visit Buenos Aires so it is possible we will meet them there.  Dolores and I feel we should make at least one more trip to our favorite escape site.

 May 17-23, 2012
Corey Brulé is scheduled to graduate from California State University Northridge (CSUN) in this interval so I scheduled a trip to San Diego to see how my only grandson is doing.  He did Honors type work at CSUN and so he was to participate in some special events.  I also want to visit Janet at her daughter’s home in Ridgecrest to see how she is doing.  That meant I would be out of Syracuse from Thursday through the following Wednesday.  Dolores decided not to accompany me on this trip since it overlapped with a First Communion event for two of Cathy’s children.  So she took a trip to Boston with Maryann that same weekend.
On Thursday I flew to San Diego and on Friday Mark made a dozen pasties while I watched.  He really is a good pastie maker!    Saturday we drive north to Ridgecrest – it is about a 3 1/2  hour drive.  It was great of him to do that since there is no way I could have done it by myself – partly becauser some of the trip went through parts of Los Angeles.  I visited with her upon arrival then took a nap.  We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening talking about things.  She seemed physically OK but her attention span is short and she grieves over her loss of short term memory.  We talked about many old matters and she seemed OK.    Marika informed me that indeed Janet has Alzheimer’s.  On Sunday we were scheduled to leave to go back to LA to attend a birthday dinner for Corey and MaryAlice decided she would like to go also to visit with her son and his wife and their cheld London.  She was invited to Corey’s dinner along with Janet and Bob – Marika’s husband.  When Janet was informed of this she said she did not want to go because it would be a long day for her and she would feel  ill at ease at the dinner with a lot of people she didn’t know.  Very sensible.  However in discussing this with Marika Janet became very upset and broke down and had a serious weeping spell.  I sat with her for about 15 minutes and she was totally distraught – expressed the desire to die among other things.  I then went back to the group and a few minutes later Janet reappeared and seemed composed.  Her first interest was to relocate her dog Brownie.  Marika and Bob worked it out that he would stay with Janet and so Marika followed Mark and me as he drove back to LA.
The party for Corey was attended by about 14 friends and family and it was a very cheerful affair. 

On Monday we visited Alyssa at her job with Sony and saw where she does her 3-D programming.  After another nap we went to the Convocation for the Honors recipients and were pleased to see Corey so honored – he graduated Cum Laude.  After the ceremony Mark and I went to Corey’s apartment and met his roommates.  A most pleasant discussion followed and the boys really impressed me.  A nice bunch of guys.


The graduation ceremony started at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday – so early because the daytime temperature gets quite high.  After lunch we drove back to San Diego and got to bed early since we had to arise at 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday to board the 6:45 a.m. flight on Thursday for the trip back to Syracuse.  The line to get through security at the airport had about 150 people in it and it was terrible.  After the first hour or so of standing in line a TSA employee came up to me to ask me if I was all right.  I indicated I was a bit woozy so he ordered a wheelchair for me and I was wheeled through the line and to my departure gate.  Before boarding I informed the agent that my seat had been switched from an aisle seat to a window seat and I really needed the aisle seat to properly care for my trouble with footpain.  They immediately moved me to an aisle seat so Delta Airlines was also very helpful.  It was a good trip back to Syracuse and I was glad to be home again.

Rum-14 To China – and First End

After the 1978 Sabbatical

Most of our camping experiences occurred in the 1970’s but we started in 1969 after our return from the Philippines. We purchased a tent trailer and decided to try a campout on Thousand Islands. So we drove up there along with Nannette’s dog Zeus. The main thing we learned on this trip is that we will no longer travel with a dog.

In 1980 Ronald Reagan was elected President and he talked really well about how he was going to lead the country on the path to prosperity. He sounded fairly good until I heard him mention his plan to expand military spending beyond all belief by developing what he called a “Strategic Defense Initiative.” SDI. He tried to sell it as a defensive maneuver and even if that’s all that it was it violated treaties with the Soviet Union. These treaties outlawed an anti-missile defense system in the hopes of putting a lid on military spending for “Star Wars.” However SDI involved weapons to be used in space war – lasers to knock down incoming missiles for defensive purposes and also to destroy satellites for offensive purposes. So began decades of outrageous increases in military spending.

It became obvious to much of the faculty and student body at Syracuse University that the travesty of SDI should be addressed for what it is. A number of faculty created a committee to find if faculty in Engineering and Physics would publicly disavow any intention to accept R&D money to work on SDI. We felt it was important for those faculty members who could get SDI money to stand up and say they would refuse it. We felt that this was a valuable group to mobilize. We ended up getting some 35 faculty members to sign statement and literally hundreds of other members of the University community to also condemn “Star Wars”. We published the names of all these people in the campus newspaper, The Daily Orange.

The end of the decade of the 70’s saw us in the middle of Jimmy Carter’s presidency, and we were still in a travel mood. Ming Hu found ways for Sally and me, along with Ted and Frani Bickart, to travel some more. The four of us traveled to China in 1981, and that was so great that Sally and I worked our way back to China in 1984.

China 1981

Asia seems to be a defining land that has had a long-term impact on my life. Certainly this started because of the fact that the ECE Department at Syracuse University has a diverse faculty, with healthy communication between the faculty members and with the staff and students.

Two remarkable individuals in the Department were Yeuh-Ying Hu and Ming- Kwai Hu. Affectionately referred to as she-who and he-who. They found their way into the department in the early fifties via Taiwan. Since Ming’s English was very poor at that time, Yeuh-Ying was hired as a full time faculty member, and Ming was a Research Associate. As time went on they had two children, and lived nearby to campus.

My first years in the Department were spent in our Collendale campus, about a mile south of the main campus. I remember a terrible time when in the midst of a faculty meeting one Friday afternoon, Ming and Yeuh-Ying were called to the phone because of an emergency. Their youngest child had choked to death and the caregiver was absolutely disconsolate. The whole department was shocked and tried to console them in their loss.

As time went on, Ming and Yeuh-Ying asked that their appointments be switched. Ming was more the all-around faculty member, and Yeuh-Ying wanted to concentrate on her teaching. The switch occurred and Ming became the Full Professor, and Yeuh-Ying became a Research Professor. This happened because of a University policy at that time that spouses could not both be faculty members. This occurred in the early 1970’s. Later in that decade enrollments were falling, and the Department Chairman, Wilbur Lepage, came to the belief that the department no longer had the funds to support Yeuh-Ying, and decided to not reappoint her to her position as Research Professor. This devastated Yeuh-Ying as she was a most dedicated teacher, and poured herself into her classes. Don Kibbey, Chairman of the Mathematics Department, stepped in and found the money to hire her. In addition she fought the decision to let her go from the ECE Department. It turned out that she had been teaching for well over the seven years needed for tenure, and she had never had a tenure review. With the involvement of the local chapter of the AAUP she regained her full-time non-faculty position in the ECE Department.

I took a graduate level course from Yeuh-Ying – a course in Electromagnetic Theory. This was her main field of interest and just the opposite for me. One time she gave a quiz to the class, and we all did quite poorly. She was very upset by this, and after returning the quizzes to us she then had us take the same quiz over again. Our marks improved somewhat, but still were not so hot.

During this time mainland China was under the control of Mao Tse-tung, and in 1966 he started what he called a Cultural Revolution. One part of this plan was that University faculty members were taken out of the schools and sent into the countryside to work as laborers. However, with the death of Mao Tse-tung in 1976 the Cultural Revolution came to an end and reconstruction started. Under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping the academic community was reunited, but the faculty members were woefully out of date. So China started a program wherein Chinese faculty members were sent as Visiting Scholars to Engineering Colleges around the world. Syracuse University participated in this and received several such Scholars. I ended up having two such Scholars working with me.

Ming Hu had graduated from the University of Nanjing and had made his way to Taiwan in 1949 when Mao took over the mainland. With the end of the Cultural Revolution Ming renewed his contacts in Nanjing, and made a trip to China in 1979 to discuss how he could help his former colleagues. Upon his return to Syracuse he explored this further with Ted Bickart and me, and asked us if we would like to go to China for a few months during the summer and teach courses to faculty members there. The school Ming had graduated from had been renamed the Nanjing Institute of Technology, NIT. Ted and I both jumped at the chance. We decided that I would teach a course on digital computer operation and Ted would teach a course on digital computer design. The Chinese asked that I bring a computer with me, and so I purchased a TRS-80. Also they wanted some computer chips, such as CPU’s and memory chips.

The arrangements were completed in the spring of 1981, and we left in early June of that year. Sally and I felt completely free then, as Jim was married and had left home, while Mark & Nannette were fully occupied with their lives while still living at 212 Standish Drive. Ted Bickart and Frani Cumming were also ready, but they decided that they would both use the Bickart last name since Ted wasn’t sure how the Chinese would view their situation. Ted came over to China first with Sally and me, and then a month later Frani flew in to Shanghai and joined us.

The Chinese indicated that they would pay us 10 rmb (about 3 or 4 dollars) per day for our teaching, pay for all travel expenses, supply us with food and lodging while in China. Also each weekend we would tour around Nanjing and then the real plum – take us on a 2-week guided tour of China upon conclusion of the teaching work.

So, we gathered together all our equipment and began making our arrangements to get to Nanjing. We were to leave from JFK early in the morning so we rented a car and got all our suitcases and the equipment into it. We spent a night on the road and then the next morning got ourselves to JFK airport in New York City. The three of us flew non-stop to Shanghai on the carrier CAAC. We arrived there in late evening, and with a lot of hand waving and struggling with our language differences we got everything through Customs. That previous sentence tells you that no one from NIT was there to meet us. So there we were- three “round-eyes”, a pile of equipment and suitcases, and apparently no place to go. The weather was quite warm, but we were exhausted from the 20-hour flight, and had no desire to sleep in the terminal.

Guest HouseThe people in the airport saw our plight, and directed us to a tourist aid office just around the corner from the terminal building. We tried calling NIT, but it was late at night, so no contact was made. Then the tourist aid people got to work and made arrangements to put us up at a very special house that used to be the home of a US banker. It was called the Xing Gou Guest House. The place was extremely well appointed with linens and silver services. We had a fine sleep, and we were served breakfast in a formal dining room. By late morning NIT had been contacted by someone, and shortly a Mr. Wong showed up. He was from NIT, our school in Nanjing, and was supposed to have met us at the airport. Later we learned he used the excuse that things got screwed up as people didn’t account for the date change because of the International Date Line that we crossed. Mr. Wong also spoke no English, but a Mr. Yin, Da-lu also arrived and was to be our guide in Shanghai. He also spoke little English, but accompanied us to our hotel, the Jing Jang hotel. Then he took us on a tour of Shanghai. We walked along the Bund and visited the Shanghai Industrial Exhibition. The next day we were shepherded to the train station, along with our luggage, and then we were on our merry way to Nanjing. After he delivered us to Nanjing we never saw Mr. Wong again.

The train ride was very pleasant, and we got a chance to recover a little from our jet lag on the way to Nanjing. The land was being farmed up to within a row of trees of the railroad tracks, and loads of irrigation projects were underway. The greatest product was rice, and there was so much of it, it looked as though there was no room for weeds.

We arrived in Nanjing around dinner time, but again there was no delegation there to meet us. We were finding that the overall event moves along OK, but the details were missing. Finally the group from NIT showed up, and they took us to our hotel. It was old and the rooms rather shabby. We had a decent dinner, took a little walk, and called it quits for the day.

The next morning we again went for a walk, to see what China is like! We had been able to exchange some US dollars for Chinese foreign exchange currency, but this is useless except in the Chinese State run stores-so called Friendship stores. We wanted to buy some little things from local merchants but they would only accept the local money, called rmb. As we walked along students would come up to us and ask, in English, if they could walk with us. We were delighted at this and found that they study English through TV programs, and wanted to practice their conversational skills with us.

That night after supper we were taken to Peking Opera by a Mr. Song. He is an English teacher at NIT, and will serve as Ted’s interpreter. The opera was great. Quite a production: flamboyant costumes, singing, mime, and acrobatics. Some of the actors were fitted with huge “white eyebrows”. We of course didn’t know what the opera was about, and found ourselves getting extremely sleepy. Still struggling with jet-lag.

The next day we started our teaching. We were shuttled by a car and driver from NIT, and we made two round trips each teaching day. Our driver was particularly gas conscious, and whenever he could he would shut off the engine and let it coast. He must have made about 30 restarts of the engine each trip. The major streets in Nanjing are very broad, partly because they include about two 20-foot wide bicycle lanes, one going in each direction. In addition there were two lanes in each direction for automobile traffic and also two trolley tracks. We arrived in Nanjing in June and the weather seemed unbearably hot. Nanjing is known as one of the three furnaces of China – the other two being Wuhan and Chongqing, all situated on the Yangtze River. The intense heat of the sun was made quite bearable by the Sycamore, or plane, trees that line the streets. These trees are managed carefully and their huge branches stretch out over the street and supply shade to the perspiring citizens.

And perspire they do. One of the most noticeable features in the city is the vast number of bicycles. Just about everyone seems to be riding a bicycle, and there are vast bicycle parking lots scattered about with the bikes seemingly almost piled on top of one another. I often wondered how anyone could find their bike – it seems all Chinese bikes look alike!

Of course the three of us, and later when Frani joined us the four of us, were treated royally by our Chinese hosts. There were banquets and celebrations of all kinds and we were made to feel most welcome.

Our teaching experience was exciting, and certainly very different. Ted and I each taught a class of about 30 students, and we each had a translator who would speak to the class in Chinese. Most of the students were older faculty members who had been taken out of the academic life during the Cultural Revolution. The rest were young students at NIT. The older faculty members were very quiet and respectful and would not ask questions. The young students wanted to interact with us as much as they could. The way we taught was essentially to teach our translator, and then the translator would tell the class what we said. Sort of. Ted’s translator was a teacher of English, while mine was an engineering faculty member whose English was rather limited.

Ted really had the worse time of it. While his translator knew English, he did not know technical jargon. And there is a lot of that in Computer-speak. How could such a person translate a sentence like “boot up a machine”? The translation was not simply a word for word transliteration, but rather it had to be by paragraphs. My translator, his name was Xing, Wan-Chun, knew the material I was teaching, but was worried sick about studying his English so that he could tell the students what I said. The poor man had great difficulty sleeping at night, he told me, because of his concerns to do a good job.

The picture shows the primary characters in this expedition. Left to right there is Frani Cumming, Ted Bickart, Prof. Wong the president of NIT, myself, Sally, Song who was Ted’s translator, and Xing my translator.

We proceeded through our courses, and everyone was pleased at what was happening. When we weren’t teaching we did sight-seeing around Nanjing. One time we walked up to the Yangtze River, about 2 miles from our hotel. It was horribly dirty, as its most remarkable feature. We found that the walk was longer than anticipated because of the heat. So, we took a bus back to the hotel. It cost us 15 fen each, about US 2 cents. In this region the Yangtze is a major border in the following sense. In the winter time the residents north of the river could have central heating in their homes and businesses, while south of the river they could not. Nanjing is south of the Yangtze, and the winters there must be dreadful.

I must point out something about Chinese names. There are really very few different family names, especially for a country of more than 1 billion people. However the names really only sound alike – they have different characters representing the sound. So, when two Chinese people meet and introduce themselves it isn’t just a matter of saying the name. They will each sketch out the character of their name, using the index finger of one hand and the other open palm as the drawing board. So, you will see there are many Wong’s mentioned in this paper, but they are not related.

We often had trouble communicating with our Chinese friends. We inquired about the various markets around and we were told: “You should visit the flea market – they have many things for sale there.” Well, we thought that was fantastic, that they had the same kind of description for a market as we had. So we got directions on how to find it and off we went. When we got there we found that they really meant: “free market.” This is a common problem in pronunciation, and we just had to be careful. Incidentally the fact that there was a free market was an indication that the controls were easing up. The farmers had one day a week when they could sell their produce and keep the money for themselves.

Sally was approached by the NIT administration and invited to have conversational English sessions with numbers of young students preparing to go overseas. Of course she was delighted to do this, and they offered to pay her 200 yuan for her time. She had a great time with this and carried them through situations they could encounter in the airports, at customs, and the like. Shortly after this was payday. Ted and I each got 400 yuan, and Sally received 100 yuan. Our first Chinese paychecks. And this is in rmb, so we could go out to the markets and spend it! One of the things we bought was a pin-jing plant.

We visited many parks around Nanjing, and each one more spectacular than the others. One day we went to the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Museum. We found that the intricacies of a Chinese garden are always part of an overall building plan. In the one we saw the stone sculpture was brought from a quarry near Szuchow and cemented into an intricate design with a pool.

Each face of the stone presents a different scene. In order to be correct the stone must 1) be attractive, 2) be thin, 3) have a good surface and 4) have holes in it. Nothing is simple in China.

We discussed with Mr. Song some of the things that went on during the Cultural Revolution. He had been persecuted – he spent over 2 years in a basic living condition- a hut with no water or electricity-as he planted crops on a farm. He said: “If one owned a fruit tree the farmers would cut it down claiming you are a capitalist to own a tree.” Farm machinery was hard to come by, and as a result food production was down.

It was interesting to note what happened on July 1. This was the 60th anniversary of the communist party in China. The campus was deserted and there were many TV sets that could be heard in the distance. There was a speech being given by the newly appointed head of the Communist Party and everyone wanted to hear and see it.

We were exposed to the details of Chinese bureaucracy from time to time. For example, when we wanted to be driven somewhere the request is put on a list. When it reaches the top then it goes down a list of drivers. Thus it can take a long time for the request to be acted on. The drivers are quite insistent that we don’t stay long anyplace we go. If we exceed their expected time they are very rude to us when we return, and sometimes they drive like maniacs when they are angry. One time we were in a little café having a cup of tea and our driver appeared at the window! He was furious. We left immediately and he drove back to the hotel like a madman. No one can be fired from a job, of course, so everyone is exposed to this treatment from service oriented workers. It was always a scary adventure to ride in the chauffeured cars. Some of them were left-hand drive having been supplied by a low bidder from Australia. The normal driving lane is to the right and whenever we passed another car, successfully it was a huge WOW of an experience.

In the hotel there are floor boys who keep the rooms cleaned, water buckets filled, and the like. Their English was spoken with a British accent and when ever we said “Thank You” they would respond with “notatall.” It took us some time to realize they were saying – “not at all.” They all play Chinese Chess, so I asked them to show me how. I never became very good at it, but I bought a set of my own. Sally and I would go wandering around doing shopping, and so I bought a nice set in a local shop. We would go with our little English-Chinese dictionary and work it out with the store clerks. We were always treated in a most friendly fashion, and never felt any fear while out walking after dark.

The streets were always filled with activity – bicycle riders, walkers, a few cars, animal driven carts, and the like. One very common vehicle is known as a su-fu-tu-lar-gee. I felt very proud when I realized that I now knew a 5 syllable word in Chinese! This is a picture of that remarkable vehicle. The engine is way out in front, and a cart is attached to it. It is a vehicle used mainly on farms.

There was man from Canada that lived in the same hotel as we did, and I talked with him about why he was here. It turns out that he was with a distribution company in Canada and he was in China to see if it is possible to buy Chinese made clothing. He indicated that China has a long way to go before they will be ready to sell manufactured goods. He said they have almost no quality control and that must be upgraded before they can compete on the international market. One time I went to visit a plant where cloth was made and their weaving machines were still controlled by punch cards. This results in very slow operation and tedious methods to change a design.

We also met a Syracuse University faculty member of Chinese descent who was here to give some lectures. We shared our thoughts about our students both here and back home and he had some interesting comments to make. American students were not really reliable-too many conflicting interests. Students from India were troublesome because of caste differences. Chinese students did exactly what they were told, but were not innovative at all. I saw examples of this when I visited an electrical engineering laboratory at NIT. The students were all busily wiring printed circuit boards that had hundreds of wires to be soldered in. Their work was beautiful to behold, but was hardly a reasonable activity for an engineering laboratory!

In early July Frani arrived and we all continued with our sightseeing. Many temples, museums and the like all had to be investigated. Included in this was Chou En-Lai’s home – of European design. One of the Visiting Scholars in Syracuse is a man by the name of Jai (pronounced jaw), and on our second trip to China we visited his father-in-law. This is a remarkable person in that he owned his own house, and lived in it throughout the entire Cultural Revolution. He undoubtedly had some very powerful connections. Jai’s wife was still living in China at the time, along with their twin sons. Eventually these twins ended up coming to Syracuse University and one of them was a student in a graduate course I taught.

One weekend we went to the Purple Mountain Observatory. The ancient astrological instruments were simply beautiful. One was an armillary sphere. This instrument had an arrangement of rings to show the relative positions of the ecliptic and the celestial equator. We were told that some emperors didn’t like science and preferred art. Thus the only way to have scientific instruments was to have them appear to be art pieces.

It seems that everything we wanted to visit was at the end of a long walkway and then at the top of an interminable flight of stairs. One example of this is the Sun Yat Sen Memorial. As seen in the next picture the memorial is at the top of a significant flight of stairs, and we had to walk nearly ½ mile to get to it. Of course it was great to see it, but one had to pay a price!

There are 13 tombs to the emperors named Ming, and all but one of them are in Beijing. The tomb of the first Ming emperor is in Nanjing, and one weekend we went to visit it. The long walkway to it was lined with stone statues of various animals. As we walked along we encountered other visitors and they had found some soda to drink. So we looked around and found a small stand where it was being sold. We bought a bottle of each of us, since the heat was devastating. It tasted so bad we could not swallow it even in our desperate straits. We henceforward referred to it as “tomb water.”

We also saw many mothers out airing their children, and here is a typical example. Not much need for diapers. Our guide at this time was a single lady, and her English was quite poor. Whenever we saw something we liked, she would say “Want to Buy?” So, we nicknamed her Miss Want to Buy?

Our tour of duty in Nanjing was drawing to a close, so there was a round of banquets to wish us well. Ted and I gave our final classes and the students were quite demonstrative in their thanks. Of course one doesn’t know how much of this was student inspired or Administration inspired.

Before we left Nanjing we did some sponsored sight-seeing around the metropolitan area. One place we visited was Ji Xia (Perch of the Rosy Cloud) to see the 1000 Buddhas. As we entered the area we saw a pagoda in a small pond. It was accessed by a zig-zag bridge but the last section had fallen in. (An hour later we left by the same path and saw that the entire pagoda had collapsed!) We walked for about an hour and reached the Buddhas. Indeed there were very many of them, but a lot of them had been destroyed or damaged by the Red Guard during the Cultural Revolution.

When we returned to Nanjing our guide said he could take us to a school for the blind. This really intrigued Sally and so we readily agreed to go there. There were not any students that we could meet since classes weren’t in session. However two teachers were there and Sally talked with them about their students and the way in which they prepared Braille texts for them. The school we visited was started in 1927 with 5 students. At the time of our visit the school had 56 students. In all we had a very interesting and friendly visit with the teachers.

As a little aside, it is somewhat difficult to create a Braille version of a text written in Chinese. There are only 64 different 6-dot Braille cells and yet literally thousands of Chinese characters. So, first one must know the pinyin for the character and then Braille the pinyin. Pinyin is a system of phonemic notation and transcription to Roman, where pin means “spell” and yin means “sound”. The work is further complicated by the fact that Chinese is a tonal language and that the meaning of the pinyin depends upon whether the sound is rising or held even or falling. The Chinese word for braille is “mong wun’ which means blind words. The code was developed in 1952 by a certain Huang, Le Lu, the Vice Chairman of Education of Blind Children in China.

In mid-July we sarted on a new adventure. This one sticks strongly in my mind. Early in the morning we started the trip to Huang-Shan Mountain, supposedly about a 7 hour drive from Nanjing. The van started overheating and not only did that mean many stops to let it cool off, but the interior of the van became almost unbearably hot. In all it took 13 hours. About 7:30 the next morning we started the climb up the mountain to a hotel on the top.

We were told it was about 7 kilometers to the top and required climbing 4,444 steps. The pain in our legs became severe and required that we stop often to rest. We were passed by porters carrying food and construction materials up these same steps. They carried the material at each end of a pole about 10 feet long, and rested the pole on one shoulder. We were told they were paid 3.50 yuan for each 110 pounds they carried. This required a very special way of walking to keep the material from starting to swing. It looked horrible! The scenery was absolutely beautiful, even when viewed through a fatigued and pain filled body! Sally developed a cramp in her leg, and our guide cured it with acupressure. Frani was not so fortunate. She too developed terrible leg pains and the guide told her he would push back the cuticle on her thumb, and that would cure the pain. We watched as he did this and it looked awesome. When he finished we asked Frani if it helped and she cried: “I don’t know, my thumb hurts so much I can’t tell if my leg still does!” At one rest stop Ted noticed there was a path leading off to the side. He wanted to explore it and we three laughed him to scorn when he asked if anyone would join him. So he went alone, and when he returned he informed us that we had just missed seeing the best view of the trip! To this day I hate him with a passion for that remark!

We arrived at the summit hotel late in the day, and were treated to a fantastic sunset. The next morning we were up early to watch the sunrise at 5:00 a.m. and again were astounded by the sight. This followed the eagerly-anticipated showers. There was one shower room for men and another for women. Frani and Sally dashed immediately to the women’s shower room, which was full of naked Chinese women waiting for something, but we couldn’t tell what. Frani impatiently headed to a shower and turned it on, to discover that they were waiting for the hot water to be turned on…scheduled to happen in a few minutes! She cooled down in a hurry!

Our breakfast — one of the few Chinese breakfasts we had on the trip — included a thin gruel plus peas and peanuts (both difficult to eat with chopsticks). (In our Nanjing hotel, we were served American breakfasts but Chinese food for the other meals.) It was freezing cold outside, but the hotel supplied us with overcoats. We then rested for a short time and started the descent. This was much worse than the ascent.

I find it hard to describe how it felt, as it brings back so much feeling of pain. The first hour or so wasn’t too bad, since I didn’t have to lift any weight. However, the steps were usually of stone or some other hard material, so at each step I had to bring the down movement of my body to a halt. Even now my knees ache at the memory. This went on for 2 ½ hours, with each step more painful than the previous one. We stopped often, but that only delayed the resumption of pain. I distinctly remember at one point feeling: “I cannot take another step!” However, we rounded a bend and there was the exit of the trail! I don’t believe I’ve ever hurt so much for so long a time.

The ride back to Nanjing was as expected – four different break downs. First the brakes went, a couple of times there was over heating, and once a bolt flew off the engine and into the battery pack. Many sparks flew but our trusty driver fixed that also. But the ride was nevertheless interesting. At one break down point we met a little nine year old girl. She had never seen a stranger before and also didn’t know if our Chinese guide was a foreigner or not since he spoke a different dialect. Although strangers were unfamiliar to her, she accepted our hard candies and gave us some apples. She told us, upon questioning, that she did not go to school but that her brother did. However, she said, he was suffering from cancer. She asked if we could help him.

Our next trip was to Xian to view the terra-cotta figures that were being excavated. In 1974 some farmers digging a well came across a figure, and subsequently it was found that there are over 6,400 life size figures of warriors and horses all protecting a tomb. No two figures have the same features. The figures are in a large field covered over by a roof. Many figures were damaged when a roof collapsed, but they have all been repaired. The emperor whose tomb is the one being guarded is the person who unified the language, the system of measurement, the width of cart tracks and created the “Great Wall.” However, he also ordered all the people who made the figures to be killed. We also visited a museum at the site, and found a fascinating wall hanging. It appeared to be a bamboo tree, but upon closer inspection it is seen that the leaves of the tree are such that they form Chinese characters. Xing, our guide, was fascinated by it and said the characters are of ancient form. He said the message is one of protest against the Emperor but the artist hid the figures in the bamboo tree.

On the way back to the hotel we drove by a cave house, as shown here. We stopped in to visit and were hospitably received by the woman of the house. She showed us her home, and was very excited to meet the “merigoes.”

Our next stop was Beijing. Of course we toured the Forbidden City, and then roamed around Tiananmen Square. I watched some men flying kites. They attached ornate notes to the string and sent them up to the kite.

In the afternoon we went to the “Great Wall.” (Actually the Chinese words for the wall translate to “Long Wall”.) It is impressive, especially when one realizes that this is the only man-made object that can be seen from the moon.

A little later we went to see an Arts & Crafts factory. We saw people working on jade figures – one man said he had been working on one figure for three years. We saw people working on ivory, cloisonné and sculptured lacquer ware. In all seven different crafts were made here, including painting on the inside of small bottles.

We then flew to Shanghai and the next morning took a train to Suzhou. This is known as the city of gardens, and at one point we visited the smallest, called the Fisherman’s Net. It has an intricate structure of aisles, doors, water, bridges and the like so that even though it is less than 100 yards square it seems to be immense. After we had lunch we went to another garden, called The Garden of Lingering. It seems almost endless the number of different things to see and marvel at. Suzhou is also known for its beautiful women, beautiful dialect, and incredible double-sided embroidery, which we saw being made. The young women making it were fabulous artists. We were told that they could work on it for only a few years before their eyesight would deteriorate too much.

All this time Xing and his 19-year-old daughter, who was studying English, were traveling with us, and we became quite close in our friendship. But, finally the day came where we were to leave the next morning. We were to fly to Guangzhou, (Canton) the next morning and that might be the last we see of him. He accompanied us to the airport and we gave him a “Beautiful New York” book and a cloisonné ashtray. Xing said: “I feel many things inside me but I do not have words for you.” We were all a little blue at leaving each other. (Later Xing came to Syracuse University as a Visiting Scholar and worked with me.)

When we arrived in Guangzhou we were met by a guide. He took us to our hotel and then started visiting more factories. This included a porcelain factory and a fan factory. Again everything was made by hand. We spent a couple of days in Guangzhou and then said goodbye to China and boarded a train to Hong Kong. Two guards were stationed in the rear of our car, and when we arrived at the border the guards were changed. Hong Kong guards took over. The border was marked by a barbed wire fence. The picture shows the fence viewed from the Hong Kong side. We are now in The New Territories, and the change from China is amazing! Construction cranes everywhere. It is about 35 miles to Hong Kong. The lease from China for Hong Kong is up in 1997 – about 16 more years – and nobody seems to be bothered by that since the construction seems to be going on everywhere.

When we arrived in Kowloon we said goodbye to Ted and Frani since they were going to stay with friends. We then went to check on our room. We thought we had a reservation at the “Y”, but nothing was recorded. However we were able to rent a suite for $50 a night, and it was most comfortable. After lunch we took the Star Ferry over to Hong Kong and again were amazed at how much it has changed from our trip in 1967 when we had stopped on our way to the Philippines. New construction was everywhere, and now 5 million people are living here. We took a bus tour of Hong Kong and visited the Tiger Balm Gardens, went to the top of Victoria Peak and passed by the ladder street. But we had been doing so much sight seeing in the past few weeks that we felt rather jaded and called it a day. We took the Star Ferry back to Kowloon and settled into our hotel rooms.

The next day we flew to Manila and renewed our contacts with old friends there. After a full day of that we flew on to Cebu. Just by chance we met Rey Crystal on the plane so Sally and Rey had a chance to bring each other up to date on what has happened over the past 2 years. The Cebu Braille Center is still functioning well, and growing.

At Cebu a whole crew from the University of San Carlos met us. They had a ½ dozen of red roses for Sally and a big “Welcome John and Sally” sign on the truck. We had been supplied rooms at Girls High School for the duration of our stay, and that was quite convenient. We spent the day visiting old friends, including Fr. Salazar and other priests in the Administration building.

The next day Sally visited the Ministry of Education and the Cebu Braille Center, and of course had a joyous reunion. All three braillists are still employed at the Center. Six blind children have been integrated into regular classes in the Cebu State College, and one student is an Honor Student. During our stay in Cebu I gave several seminars dealing with modern Computer Engineering education, education in China, and such topics. We traveled to Leyte again, and I gave another seminar in Tacloban this time on the topic: “The use of microcomputers in Education and Business.”

By mid August we finally ended our excursions around the Philippines and flew back to Manila and thence to Syracuse. Since our reservations from Manila to Syracuse had been fouled up we ended up buying Business Class tickets and this is a most comfortable way to spend the next 20 hours.

The past three months have been filled with new experiences and renewing old relationships, and we are overwhelmed with feelings of joy and fulfillment. We are so fortunate.

Around this time we started to have anniversary celebrations. Our first big one was for our 35th wedding anniversary, in 1982. We bid upon the services of a favorite band – the Cranberry Lake group composed of a washtub base, a guitar, a mandolin. a singer and a ukelele. We held the celebration in our back yard and invited all the friends we could think of. Here is a picture taken at this first one, of Sally, Rachel, and Dolores Morgan. A great time was had by all and included square dancing and such activities. We did this every five years through our 50th anniversary celebration in 1997.

China 1984

Ever since we returned to Syracuse in August of 1981 I have felt the urge to go back to the far East – in particular to return to China and the Philippines. There are so many reasons for this. Part certainly is the excitement of seeing something new, and possibly making it a part of my life. For the Philippines it also involves the large number of friends we have there. But the mystique of the Orient grows on me also. So in the later part of 1983 I talked again with Ming Hu about the possibility of going back to China. I told him how I was now teaching a new course in robotics, and had found a small robot that is very useful as a teaching tool. I use it in courses on the main campus and off campus in Poughkeepsie and suggested to him that perhaps some schools in China might be interested in it also.

I also stayed in contact with the University of San Carlos in Cebu City, and the Engineering College there, through Dennis Bermejo the head of the ECE Department, and he indicated they wanted a robot. Ming pursued the suggestion of considering China and we worked out a rather remarkable plan. Sally and I would be supported to teach at three different schools in China, with side trips to two more. We agreed to go first to Chongqing University (Chungking), then to Nanjing Institute of Technology, and then the Beijing Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics (BIAA). I would also give seminars at the Chengdu School of Radio and Electronics and finally the Post and Telecommunications Institute in Chongqing. For this work they would cover the airfare and living expenses for Sally and me in China, supply us with local touring each weekend, and then another 10 days or so after the teaching activities. Of course they would also cover the trip down the Yangtze from Chongqing to Nanjing. To round out the trip we decided to stop in the Philippines for 10 days or so and deliver a few lectures along with the robot to the University of San Carlos. Altogether we would be gone a little over 3 months.

So, we left the US in early May and planned on returning in mid August. I brought the robot for Chongqing with me, and had the company, Rhino Robots, send one each to Nanjing and Cebu City. I will be reimbursed for these as the trip goes along. We have a lot of baggage to take with us, so we decided to rent a van for a one-way drive to JFK Airport. Our friends Joyce and Sid Goldstein live near to New York City so we will drive that far, spend the night with them, and finish off the trip the following morning.

This time the trip turned out to be smooth and without hassles. On the flight Sally and I decided to each have a Manhattan cocktail but the stewardess didn’t know how to make one, so she supplied us with all the makings. Other people wanted mixed drinks also, and they too received bottles full of the mixings. It was a very jolly crowd on that plane.

Twenty nine hours after leaving JFK we finally deplaned in Beijing and got to our bed in the hotel at 11:15 p.m. Friday, May 4. People met us at the airport and we had no trouble with customs or hooking up with our guide. The next day we met our contacts from the BIAA and they asked me to order 3 more Rhino Robots to be delivered to their contact in Detroit and they will bring them to China. Too bad I didn’t foresee this and set up a contract with Rhino!

We started this trip with a short tour to Xian and a visit to the Qin tomb with the terra-cotta warriors. On our first trip to Xian in 1981 we had been enthralled by a wall hanging in the museum in Xian. While in the museum I had bought a wall hanging, but when we returned to Syracuse I wasn’t sure if it was a print of the “protest” wall hanging. So on this trip we went back to the museum to check on it and sure enough we had bought the right wall hanging. This picture shows the hanging. The story of this hanging is quite interesting. A certain poet was very upset with the emperor at the time. He wrote a poem criticizing the emperor, but to protect himself he hid the poem in a bamboo tree. The leaves of the tree form ancient Chinese characters and they express the feelings of the poet. I found this intriguing. When I first talked with Xing, our guide in 1981, he was thrilled to be studying the meaning of the ancient characters.

This time we got a little more history about China and found that it was in Xian where Chiang Kai Shek was captured by the Communists in 1936. So, we visited his residence in the hills above Xian.

The next day we left for Chongqing and were met at the airport by Mr. Liu of the Foreign Affairs Office. We found that we had our own private suite on the campus of ChungDa. (That’s the Chinese name for Chungjing University – Da meaning “large”). The suite had a bedroom, sitting room, bathroom and a separate room for a study. Once again we had to clear up misunderstandings about payment for Sally’s room, board and transportation within China, but it all worked out fine. In fact we had our meals served for us in a small dining room on campus. There was another couple from the USA that we met in the dining room. Their names are Jack and Elaine Naughton. They clued us in on the way to stay in the good graces of the cook, and the protocols for proper interaction with the workers in the dining hall. (To this day I still keep in touch with them – more on that later- but I must warn you that I found out that Jack Naughton and the truth are seldom in the same room together.)

Sally again wanted to teach conversational English to adult students and the people at Chungda were delighted to set that up for her. The next evening we were given a banquet in our honor, and the food and drink were excellent. I ate with chop sticks and developed some expertise with the tool. In fact I decided that I could keep drinking mao-tai (a powerful liqueur) as long as I could continue to pick up the cocktail peanuts with the chopsticks. I suffered later from the delayed kick of the mao-tai.

At 6 a.m. the following morning we were blasted awake with the blare of trumpets. This was reveille for the workers and there followed a broadcast over loudspeakers that must have been some sort of pep talk. We decided this was a good time to survey the area, so we roamed around the University and the surrounding streets. First of all it was extremely hot. Chongqing deserves its name as one of the three furnaces of China. The University is on a plateau and thus is a high point. But below the plateau is a plant of some sort and the chimney top for that facility extended to just above the plateau. When the wind blew in the wrong direction we were exposed to the smoke of that monster.

It is readily apparent that the city is very hilly – very few bicycles were seen, at least in comparison with Nanjing. Just outside the gates of Chongda is a market area called Sha Ping Ba. This was our first real exposure to Chinese markets and we were quite taken by the range of foods that were for sale. For example, eels are a delicacy here and many jars of them were being offered for sale. We did our best to ignore them.

The robot for Chongda was set up and put into working condition. It is what is called a manipulator robot. It was basically just an arm that could pick things up, move them, and then put them down. I had some trouble with the computer to drive it, but that worked out. The people were quite taken with the robot, and many of the faculty members wanted to see it in operation. So I had plenty of opportunity to show it off. The decision was made to make a short movie of it, and we got it all set up to go through the operation of moving objects from one place to another. Then the movie crew showed up and set up all their equipment. The lights were turned on and the cameras started to roll. I started the lecture and then activated the robot. The arm just went off by itself not following any of my commands! What an embarrassment. After a few minutes of panic it dawned on me that since the sensors on the joints of the robot were optical it was the bright lights that the camera crew was using that wiped out the optical feedback on the joints. So, we replaced the lights and then things went as expected.

The classes went quite well, since I had been prepared for the process from my experiences in Nanjing during my first trip to China. However a somewhat different environment could be sensed. All the young faculty members sat at the front of the room, and listened attentively while I spoke – they wanted to improve their English. They also wanted to ask questions but this upset the older faculty members – it was a feeling that I wasn’t receiving their respect when they asked questions. So, I asked the young people to hold off their questions until my break time and then they could come in to see me and we could talk things over. It meant no break for me, but the young people were very pleased. I think there was more of an attempt to break away from the traditional way of acting.

This breaking away was very obvious in one other frightening way. From time to time we would see a large sign posted on a wall, usually with a big red check mark, and we wondered what it meant. The first friend I asked about them just brushed it off and said it was just some local thing. Finally I found out more about what was going on. It seems that some time a person would be accused of some action against the law, and would be tried and if found guilty would be punished. More than once we saw a truckload of men being transported by a police vehicle, and we found they were being taken to be executed. The signs were then placed around the area where the person lived to warn others of what had happened and what could happen to them. The big red check mark indicated the problem was solved – the person was executed. In addition, the family of the criminal had to pay the state for the bullets used in the execution.

Sally had several students in her conversational English class, and she reported that their English was excellent – much better than that of her students in Nanjing in 1981. We took a few weekend trips with them and other English speaking visitors including Jack & Elaine Naughton. One trip was to Dazu to view some famous statues there, including the “Sleeping Buddha.” On the way there we drove past rice terraces and vegetable patches as far as we could see. When we got to Dazu we went for a walk through the town and saw many babies with their parents or grandparents. There was also a busy “flea” market. We saw that most families cooked on kerosene stoves and lighted with kerosene lanterns.

We then bussed to the “Sleeping Buddha.” A small part of it is seen in this picture. It has hands all around it, and by actual count it has 1007 hands. According to Sally’s notes, the sculptures were started in “the first year of Jingfu in the Tang Dynasty” – 892. I was so taken with all these Buddhas that I bought one. It is a very special one in that it is a laughing Buddha, and children are climbing all over the figure.

This is a picture of that Buddha – it sits on top of my desk and keeps me pleasant company. There are five little people around the figure. It appears that one of them may be nursing, but I don’t know if there is any gender assigned to Buddha. A search of the internet finds that in some cultures the word byanjana is used to describe a Buddha. This word denotes a sign or mark of gender or other characteristic. Hence, in literal terms the word means ‘a person with the signs of both sexes/genders’. In any event it is so pleasant to have such an icon sitting before me.

As we traveled around we noticed that many statues were damaged and this was done by the Red Guard during the Cultural Revolution.

During the night in our hotel room we heard the sound of many firecrackers being exploded. This went on most of the night, and resumed again at dawn. We found that this happened because a person had died that night, and it is a Chinese custom to shoot off firecrackers on such an occasion.

When we weren’t teaching our days were filled with sightseeing. One trip was to the Sichuan Institute of Fine Arts. They had many oil paintings and a fine collection of sculptures. Unlike the exhibit we had seen in 1981 in Nanjing these were a great many pictures of people at work, along with a depiction of a Sichuan minority group. In Nanjing the pictures were mostly of many revolutionary figures and events. In the afternoon we visited another museum that had a remarkable musical instrument on display. It was like a big pan filled with water. When rubbed it hummed like fine crystal. Then we went back to Chongda for supper and then off to Sichuan Opera where the costumes, play and music were great.

Along with the teaching and sightseeing I spent some time talking with visitors about the Rhino Robot. People from all around the area came to see me and see the robot, and I must have ordered about a dozen of them during my stay in Chongqing. I would have money transferred to my account in the states and then pay the Rhino company for the robots. I didn’t make any money at this – it’s too bad I hadn’t set up an agreement with Rhino on these sales!

All this while the rain just poured in Chongqing. All our travels had to be slogging through puddles and mud. Also the temperature was uncomfortably cool along with the rain but fortunately we had packed some long sleeve shirts and sweaters. Altogether it rained every day for our first 12 days in Chongqing.

Everyone claimed that the rains of May are the nicest time in Chongqing. When finally it stopped one day we were delighted. But then that evening we took a short walk to Sha Ping Ba and already the streets were dusty and when a bus goes by it is almost impossible to breathe! Chongqing is either hot and very dusty or cold and rainy.

The next weekend we went to the mountain Jin Yen Shan and on the way stopped at the Bei Bei Glass factory. All the work is done by hand and we saw them make tumblers, sherry glasses, etc. and cutting patterns into them. Shown is an example of their work. When we arrived at the hotel we found it was a Chinese Workers Hotel. The beds were hemp pads on a tightly woven mat mattress with a sheet under you, at quilt over you and a pillow made of cement. (At least it felt that way.) The next day we climbed the mountain and viewed the Jailing River in the mist. On the way back to the hotel we encountered a group of men trying to catch a runaway piglet. We had many laughs over that scene!

Our guide on this trip was a student of Sally’s and his wife. She used to be on the Chinese Diving team. When she could no longer dive she became a factory worker. We drove down the mountain to North Mountain Hot Springs where she had done her diving. There were many children there, aged 9 and 10, and their diving was fantastic.

After lunch we went back to Chongqing and visited the SACO prison. Between 1939 and 1949 the USA and the Kuomintang collaborated against the communists. This prison held members of the Communist Party who were then tortured and murdered here. We could see the torture chambers and dungeon-like cells the prisoners were kept in.

After lunch we went back to Chongqing and visited the SACO prison. Between 1939 and 1949 the USA and the Kuomintang collaborated against the communists. This prison held members of the Communist Party who were then tortured and murdered here. We could see the torture chambers and dungeon-like cells the prisoners were kept in. So, torture is not new in the execution of the foreign policy of our country.

Another time we visited a steel mill, which seemed to me to be terribly old. There were open hearth furnaces and the heat was almost unbearable. However, we were told that a new factory was being built but was not yet open.

The signs of change in China seem everywhere. I was told by a representative of the University that the importing of technical equipment can now be done by means other than through the Central Government. Of course I knew that from our experience at NIT in 1981 when we brought over the TRS-80. All the importing of robots that I am involved with is quite new and Chongqing University is one of the new distribution centers.

In early June we were invited to attend the Chongqing School for the  Blind. Sally was thrilled by this for she had been agitating for this visit ever since we arrived in Chongqing. The school was started in 1960 and now has a staff of 12 and a total of 25 students. Only one of the teachers was versed in braille, and she is blind. Sally tried to compare the Chinese code with American braille, but was not able to communicate that well. There is a massage clinic connected to the school and some graduates work there. Other graduates become factory workers and cadres.

We saw two classes in operation and the students were following the Braille text books. Later we were given a show by the students and they were fantastic. Their singing and playing the instruments was excellent and they had won first prize in a local contest. I think we were the first foreign students the school ever had.

We then went to the Red Flag Switch Factory where many of the blind people worked. They were all lined up and waiting for us. Again we were the first foreign visitors they ever had. There were 381 employees, 150 were blind or physically handicapped. The government does not collect taxes from this factory and they may keep all their profits for special equipment and welfare for the workers. We met a Doctor of Massage and he and Sally communicated fully about their braille and how it is implemented. Another factory is going to be set up for the deaf and handicapped. The blind and the deaf mutes have great difficulty communicating with each other.

We then visited the home of the blind Doctor of Massage and met his wife. She too is blind and a graduate of the Chongqing School for the Blind. They have a very nice three room apartment plus bath. It was nicely appointed and had many Braille volumes – all on massage. They had a 6 year old daughter, sighted, and she was most pleased to sit on my lap.

We got back to the apartment about 6:40 p.m. It was HOT – 92o The airconditioner was working but could only cool off the sitting room.

Early in the second week in June we took the train to Chengdu. It was an overnight trip, and when we arrived the following morning lo and behold we were met by a person from the Radio Communication Institute. I will give a seminar there the day after tomorrow, so now we will be tourists. The train ride was quite uncomfortable because it was so hot, but we will have time to recover.

We checked in to the Jin Jiang hotel and then spent the day touring Chengdu. We visited the cottage of Du Lu, a famous poet – he wrote best when he was drunk! In the afternoon we visited the Precious Light Monastery which had over 500 Qing statues – all different.

Chengdu is a clean, pretty city. Lots of flowers, trees, and many many bicycles. We saw children standing on a rear package carrier and strapped to a parent. I still wonder how the bike got started up. It must have been tricky.

The next day we visited a massive flood control project. It extended over many square miles. In the middle of it was a temple, but this one had no Buddhas. Instead there were two statues – of the architect who designed the flood control project and his son. Yet there was evidence of prayers being said there – Kowtow pillows and burning incense.

The next day I gave the seminar on computers and robots. Then lunch and it was fantastic. There were beautiful blossoms arranged on a lazy susan and dishes of “roses” made from slices of pickled potatoes. That night we took the train back to Chongqing. We were in a compartment of four passengers arrayed in two double bunks. The heat was suffocating again.

Back at Chongda we packed for our departure the day after tomorrow and met the couple that was going to take over our apartment.

The next day Sally & I went with Prof. Zu from the Chongqing Post and Telecommunications Institute to his school on the South side of Chongqing. They gave us a tour first, and we went to Huang Shan, (Yellow Hill) to view the former home of Chiang Kai Shek and the homes of the Song Sisters (one married to Chiang Kai Shek and the other to Dr. Sun Yat Sen). The home is now a sanatorium and it is occupied by peasant people. There is a nearby tunnel in the mountain where Chiang used to go. This tunnel had 3 openings to it and the Chinese say every rabbit den has 3 holes, so he must be a rabbit.

After a short rest I gave a seminar to the students and faculty. This school is so far up in the mountains that they seldom receive any foreigners. When I was finished Sally gave her talk on the School for the Blind and a factory staffed by blind workers. We then went back to Chongda for a farewell banquet. We had the usual festive meal and wines and they gave me a lovely Chinese painting of Mount Tai. We gave them some gifts too, including a Disarmament Now poster. After all this we said goodbye to the Naughtons as we were leaving the next morning for the trip down the Yangtze.

The trip started at about 5:00 a.m. and was absolutely beautiful. Once again our cabin was hot, but the scenery was fabulous. We saw an old road along the cliff that was carved out some 1700 years ago. At one point we saw a mule pulling a boat upstream.

We traveled through the Three Gorges for three nights and finally came upon the Gezhouba dam and lock. This lock drops us some 20 meters in one lock – certainly the largest lock I have ever seen. They often have trouble with the gates in the lock because of the buildup of dirt being washed downstream. This picture gives some idea of the size of the lock. We arrived in Wuhan in mid afternoon the following day and were met by a representative from the Mid-China University of Technology. They had failed to purchase airline tickets to fly us to Nanjing the following day, so we had to spend an extra night in Wuhan. The apartment we stayed in was nice, but all air conditioning is turned off at 11:00 p.m and we just sweltered. I had been pressured to give a seminar here but I refused to do so. Well, that was probably a mistake because they had even more trouble getting the tickets to Nanjing and another night was added to our stay.

As we walked around the town we noticed that cyclists were forced to get off their bikes and walk them down a particular hill. A policeman was stationed there and made sure they got off their bikes. I never could figure out why that was so.

We thought we would never get out of Wuhan, and that almost became true. Our guide in Wuhan finally told us we had tickets for an evening flight, and he accompanied us to the airport and then left after we got out of the car. We waited for a few hours and then realized our plane was delayed. A woman made an announcement on the P.A. system, but it was in Chinese and we started to get scared. I saw a Chinese man that I felt was from Hong Kong and he explained that we would be leaving soon on a different plane. We finally boarded that plane, which again was HOT, but the CAAC gave each passenger a hand fan. Big deal! They tried the engines a couple of times and then the cockpit crew left the plane. Then they advised us to leave the plane, but leave our luggage on board.

The same sequence was then repeated on another airplane. Board it. Sweat in the heat. Get off the plane. We sat in the airport for another hour or so, and then were advised to take our luggage from the pile that had been unloaded. A short time later they loaded our luggage on still another plane and we boarded it. We got onto an ancient vehicle that looked like a boxcar. It revved up its engines and slowly taxied down the runway. It barely achieved flying speed by the time the end of the runway was reached and we were off to Nanjing.

The people from the Nanjing Institute of Technology (NIT) met us and took us to a new wing of the same hotel we had stayed in1981. The set up of my classes were all in good shape, and it was great to see so many people we knew. This included the Vice President Wang, also the wife of Jai who was back in Syracuse, and my visiting scholar, Chen, Huang Chun. We also met a female faculty member who expects to go to Syracuse University into the Civil Engineering Department. She is the same person we had dubbed (Miss Want to Buy?). We also lunched in the Jin Ling Hotel. This is the tallest building in Nanjing – 37 stories. On the top the Sky Palace restaurant revolves around and it was something to see the trees from above!

Chen, Huang Chun asked me to give a lecture at his plant, and I agreed to do so. He said there is very little output from the factory at his institution. Visitors are told that 500 people work there but it is actually 5000. He said that people work maybe one week out of a month and the rest of the time just “play.” He also said that production is down in large industries, but that in light industry, e.g. watches, TV, clocks, etc. it is much higher.

After this visit Sally and I visited Chen in his apartment. It was of decent size – a kitchen, living room and two bedrooms. We entered into a small room which held a small table, some stools, a bicycle, and a good sized refrigerator with a black and white TV on top. Every square inch of space was used for some gadget Chen had bought, including an ice cream maker. Off this room there was a bathroom, a new washing machine squeezed in, and a western toilet. They served us maybe six different kinds of sweet cakes plus coke, beer and tea. We then looked over a few photo albums, and all in all we had a fine evening.

Chen’s company had a banquet for us. It was held in an old house formerly owned by the British Consulate – in the 40’s. Again the food and the presentation was excellent. The center piece of food looked like a painted butterfly done in tempura style. It was formed from seaweed, eggs, carrots and other edibles.

I had brought an intestinal bug with me from Chongqing and finally went to a hospital here in Nanjing. They gave me some medicine that seemed to work. However the sanitary conditions in the hospital were horrible. Everyone‘s uniform seemed soiled and unwashed and also the bed linens. I am glad I had no need to stay there overnight.

The temperature in Nanjing is really rising, and so the air conditioning is shutting down. The temperature reaches 102 degrees each day – if it reaches 104 then they close the factories.

Ming Hu has arrived, and they rolled out the red carpet for him. We had another sumptuous banquet, and saw old friends again. We sure have a lot of banquets in China.

One afternoon Sally and I and Ming Hu were invited to visit Prof Chen, who is Ming’s father-in-law. He is a much respected 85 year old former president of NIT, and was Ming’s teacher back in the ‘40’s. In 1926 he was in Schenectady working with some of the great people in early radio. He and his family live in a private home not far from our hotel. His home was a different world. This was his home before the revolution and he was permitted to keep it. It has a walled in area with a garden and the house has several rooms and two floors – and a servant. We were served a special dim-sum, and had marvelous conversation. Prof. Chen’s English is excellent. Despite the fact that he lives in almost elegance in Communist China, he feels the new system is good. He felt the education system was good because the ideas about educating women are changing. More girls are entering the lower grades so the percentage in College will increase in time. (In the past it was deemed useless to educate women.

In mid July we took a side trip to Wuxi, about a 3 hour train ride from Nanjing. We were met by a guide from CITS and spent two days visiting gardens, eating, and taking a boat ride on Lake Tai. This is a huge, but shallow, lake. It extends beyond the horizon, so I guess it must be at least 15 miles long in that direction. We stopped at a co-coonery and saw trays of silk worms feeding on mulberry leaves. When they are adult they turn transparent and are transferred to “straw dragons” to spin their cocoons.

Later in the afternoon we rode back to Nanjing, and found a note from Elaine and Jack Naughton. We will be seeing them before we leave Nanjing. Later we went to an acrobatic/juggling/mimicry show. We didn’t need to know Chinese to appreciate it. It was a most joyful evening. The next night we had dinner with the Naughtons, and shared many of our experiences. It seems they got the same treatment in Wuhan that we received!

One thing we have noticed is that there are many more tourists in our hotel than there was in 1981. Many farmers are able to come in since the inclusion of the free markets and their ability to keep part of their produce.

In the latter part of July we took our leave from Nanjing and traveled by overnight train to Beijing. After we arrived there we checked in to the Friendship Hotel. That evening we went to an excellent mime performance. Among the scenes depicted was one on criticism of the bureaucracy – (a man trying to get his travel papers signed), a good political message and also a social message on how hard the worker was trying to clean the streets while another person continually littered! A scene about a new TV set was hilarious!

I had a couple days of lectures at the BIAA, and they went well. They had some trouble with some software on their Apple II, and we got that working. Sally had a good interview with the Vice Chairman of the China Association for the Blind and Deaf. They discussed the various forms of braille, and the status of braille development in China. One evening we had real Peking Duck at the most famous and oldest Peking Duck restaurant in Beijing. It was a fantastic meal.

One morning we went in search of the Catholic Cathedral of Maria in Beijing. It was built in 1606 with the efforts of Matteo Ricci. We attended mass since it was a Sunday and noticed that many non-Chinese were in attendance. We found out later they worked for various embassies. The mass was in Latin, and non-participatory. In the afternoon we met with a couple of Americans who are in China to open up a “Computer Land” in China. We also met Sam Chen who teaches biology at Syracuse University and lives at the far end of our street. He was born in China, grew up in Hong Kong and is now an American citizen. He said he came expecting the worst but has been delighted with what he has found.

A couple of days later we went back to the Cathedral of Maria. We were taken to the Haidin District to see the three tombs of the Jesuits: Matteo Ricci, Schall Von Bell and Vierbiest. Then we went to the Great Hall of the People. It has a 10,000 seat auditorium and a banquet room for 5,000. That night we went to a magic and illusion show, which we enjoyed very much.

The next morning we left for the airport and flew to Guilin and stayed at the Rong Hu hotel. Also saw two more criminal signs on the way. Our sightseeing included a trip to The Silk Brocade Hill. There were many caves and walks – none serious. We also saw a Pinjing garden and the trees were fantastic. One time there was a sea here and the area is ringed with limestone outcroppings. Tourism is the main business and the city is 2000 years old.

The next day we took the boat down the Liang River to Yangchow. The sights were simply glorious. The hills around Guilin are fantastic, and we enjoyed this for about 6 hours. Along the way we saw fishermen with their cormorants. The birds have rings around their necks, are sent into the water to catch fish, and then, unable to swallow them because of the rings, bring them back to the fisherman. Many fishermen have small bamboo rafts with baskets on them.

This is a heavy tourist area. We did a little shopping and people paid for their goods with US dollars and Japanese yen. Again we see many of the ‘criminal’ signs. A man was making Chinese writing using double brushes. We had him make one for us, and it says “a happy couple.” Again there were loads of tourists, and taxis cruise the streets. One man stopped me on the street and wanted to change money.

We then took a train to Shenzhen. Here prices are quoted in HK dollars. We stayed in a resort hotel, and like all of Shenzhen it is still under construction. We had a bit of a problem with our hotel bill. We wanted to pay for it in RMB we had earned in China and the people here didn’t know how to handle this situation. Here the people speak Cantonese – not Mandarin. Our guide can’t understand them. He has to watch TV from Hong Kong which is in English in order to get the news. Many people from Hong Kong are here – they travel here for the day. We visited computer stores and a company involved in software. It is obvious that this city is headed for something big. They have a huge reservoir here that supplies water to Hong Kong. Hong Kong supplies Shenzhen with electricity.

The next day we left for Hong Kong. We had to change Chinese funny money first to US dollars then to Hong Kong dollars. We had been using the services of one guide, Shao Shu, all the way from Nanjing, and it was sad to say goodbye to him. One grows very fond of your interpreter who guides you through all the language and ticket problems and is so very vital to you. He could not go the last 30 meters with us. Goodbye seems so final.

After leaving China we took a “bee liner” type train – ½ hour to Kowloon. We stayed at the YMCA in Kowloon, and that night had supper with Jack and Elaine.

The next day we flew to Manila and were met by Dennis Bermejo and Rudy Vale – also Francine’s aunt Mila, Aunt Cora and cousin Vera. The robot I had ordered for USC had arrived, and Dennis reimbursed me in Pesos for it. We stayed at the Aloha hotel and while they served Sichuan food we said “Enough is enough!” We ate Filipino. For dessert I asked if they had watermelon and they replied: “Sorry, only mango and papaya!” What a joy to be back home!

In early August we flew to Cebu City. We had rooms at San Carlos Girl’s High, and proceeded to see a lot of our friends. The President of USC, Father Commaco, had a car for us – a very large Mercedes with a Toyota engine. One day we were parked at Ruston’s on Mango Avenue, and I slowly left the parking lot to enter traffic. The accelerator fell off as we were perpendicular to the traffic. With a lot of help, and Sally steering, we got the car to the curb and an hour later a mechanic showed up to fix the problem. He gave us a ride to Talamban, where I gave the first of many lectures about the robot.

We attended various parties over the next few days. Sally met Rey Crystal from NEDA, and they had a lot of business to discuss about the Braille Center. On Sunday night we had dinner with the priests at San Carlos, after having a few drinks in their rooftop bar. Sally checked out the Braille Center and found there were now 16 students being mainstreamed and 6 more in preparation. Everyone is talking about their husbands going to Saudi Arabia to make money. Nellie’s husband Rene is thinking about going to the US to be a migrant worker in California.

When Sally first went to the Braille Center she was greeted with cheers. They had been looking for her and were delighted that she finally arrived. Rey Crystal invited everyone one to the Country Club to celebrate Sally’s birthday – she is now 58! That evening we had dinner with the family of Dina Ng Mueller – a big Chinese family.

The next day we took care of the tuition for Nellie’s daughter Marilou. We made arrangements for her to pick up the money from Dennis Bermejo’s business – we are helping her to attend the University of San Carlos. We hired a PU to go and look at our first residence at Andres Abellana, and then to Guadalupe Heights. One night we went to the Jai Alai, and I won 275 pesos!

Finally, on August 11 we finished our packing and flew to Manila. Once again we stayed at the Aloha Hotel. We almost missed our flight back since I hadn’t check departure times, which had been changed. But, we made it, and due to crossing the International Date line, we arrived in Syracuse on the same date we left Manila.

What a fantastic few months we had, again. Meeting old friends in China and the Philippines and making new ones is such a joyful way to be able to live. We must return to the Philippines again!

The First End

Now that China is over, it becomes time for me to consider what I will be doing next. I have stopped peddling my mobiles, and I am busy at Syracuse University. After returning from China I became Academic Chairman of our off-campus center in Poughkeepsie and this requires that I spend one night each week at Poughkeepsie. This appointment lasted for two years. I became highly involved with getting the 64000 Baud leased line functioning between the SU Main campus and the center at Poughkeepsie. It was located and Marist College. Also I remained active with the AAUP and in fact began calculating and publishing the annual Faculty Salary report using digital data supplied by the Administration.

About this time, 1985-6, President Marcos of the Philippines was heading for big trouble. He called what he dubbed a “snap election” in an effort to cement his hold in the Philippines. Much to his chagrin the people voted him out of office! His major opposition in the past came from Ninoy Aquino, and Marcos had made the big mistake to have Ninoy assassinated. His wife, Cory Aquino, picked up the battle and ran a campaign against Marcos. The cry of People Power was heard around the land, Cory was elected and in 1986 Marcos fled the country. He filled a plane with pesos and headed for Hawaii for his retirement. So, it seemed to me that it was time to go back to the Philippines.

I talked it over with Sally, and she too thought it was a good idea, and I proposed to San Carlos that we would bring ourselves back and teach there for a semester if they would supply us with living quarters near the Talamban campus. I would teach in the Engineering college as my part of the bargain. Dennis Bermejo, who was the chair of the Electrical and Communications Engineering (ECE) Department, had started a program in Computer Engineering and wanted to improve it. We decided that I could help instruct the faculty so that they could teach the necessary courses. At Syracuse University I talked this over with the Department Chair – Norman Balabanian – and told him I would like to teach in the summer and fall semesters in Syracuse and take off the winter semester. This sounded good to him because we were developing a sizable number of courses to be taught in the summer, and this would fit right in with those plans. Sally was very willing to go back so that she could help to keep things going at the Cebu Braille Center which she was instrumental in getting established during our stay in 1978-79. So everything just fell into place.

When the people at USC found out I was coming over they put together a “wish list” of the kinds of things they wanted. EPROM burners, computer hardware, and, one year the electronics and mechanical hardware for a satellite dish! I bought this for them, brought it over, and they reimbursed me. I never had trouble getting this material through customs in Manila, as I had a letter from the President of the University that indicated these were gifts for this private, non-profit, organization. We went there in January every year from 1987 through 1997 so the people in the customs area in the Philippines got to know us, and welcomed me each year with “Mabuhay, Father.” We stayed for three months, January through March and thus avoided winter in Syracuse. A couple of times we let friends stay in our Standish Drive house while we were gone but mostly we just left the house empty.

At first the University of San Carlos had a little trouble finding a place for us to stay. The first place we stayed was in a compound operated by Helen and Henry Uytengsu and that was very convenient since it was about a 10 minute walk to the campus. There were several different rooms she had for rent and each year we would try a different one. One proved to be very damp, another was notable because the decoration in the room was extra large pictures of playing cards and a third was nothing remarkable – just nice. There was a second floor and once we stayed up there. We got to know the Uytengsus fairly well. One time Henry pulled me aside because he wanted to talk about religion since he felt he was in deep trouble. He had a wife Helen here in Cebu and another wife in Canada. He wanted assurance from me that he would not go to hell for this transgression. I gave him my usual blessing. Across the road from Helen’s place was the home of Bing and Deter Suenholz. He is of German citizenship and spends part of each year in Germany running his Export/Import business. Sally and I would play mahjong with them and Helen from time to time.

After a few years of this moving around the University refurbished a dormitory that had been built with funds from a governmental group called CocoFed. This building had two floors and they took one half of the ground floor and made it into an apartment for Sally and me. This was great for us as it was in the Talamban campus and thus close to where I spent most of my time. It was a short jeepney or taxi ride into Cebu City so that too was convenient. The University even offered to supply us with dinner each night. There was a retreat house well up the hill from Cocofed and each night a courier would walk down from the retreat house with a meal for us. It was fairly good food, but often we would go to a nearby restaurant instead.

The department chairs of the ECE Department changed a bit while I was there and here is a listing that was compiled with some effort:

Benedicto Supremo – 1967 and 1968 at least. – During my first Sabbatical
Hilarion Lim – ?
Arturo Espinosa (until 1976 when he left to join William Lines, Inc.)
Dennis Bermejo – 1976 till 1986 – During my second Sabbatical
Victor Abarquez as OIC from 1986 to 1987
Roger Bajarias 1987 till April 1991
Roger Yap May 1991 till May 1994
Mario De La Victoria – June 1994 – May 1995 Chair of EE/ECE/ComE
EE/ECE/ComE split into two:EE/ECE and ComE
EE/ECE Department                                                                                                ComE Department
June 1995 – May 30 1997 – Rafael D. Seva Jr.                                               Joseph Karl G. Salva – First Chairman
June 1997 – September 2000 – Alberto S. Banacia                                     JoMari Maja
October 2000 – May 2003 – Joseph Karl G. Salva
June 2004 – May 2005 _ Ellen Agnes M. Zafra (former Ms. Mansueto)
June 2005 – May 2006 – Rodulfo Vale
June 2006 – May 2008 – Alberto S. Banacia
June 2008 – Thammar Tan
June 2009 –          Baltazar Raffinan
Chairman for Computer Engineering – Joseph Karl G. Salva
then followed by Dr. Joe Mari Maja

When I showed up in January, 1987, Roger Bajarias was the Chairman. I got to know him and his family quite well. We worked together in developing the faculty and setting up courses for me to teach. After being Chairman for about four years he accepted a job with KGS Corporation and this required him to move to Japan. The company manufactured Braille reading equipment and he worked for a few years in Japan. While there their second child, another girl, was born. Unfortunately she was quite premature and required oxygen in order to save her life. This resulted in her losing her eyesight so by the time she left the hospital she was blind. This is such a combination of circumstances I am dumbfounded by it. Roger working for a company making aids for the blind, then having a blind child, and Sally’s involvement with Braille and the Cebu Braille Center, and finally the child going to the CBC and being involved with Nellie Bautista who was Sally’s motivation for getting into Braille production. What a world we live in!

So, Roger works for KGS and he is the manager of their plant in Mactan. Anytime I am in the Philippines I contact him. One time this contact went a lot further because of involvement with a product of KGS. Roger set up a trip to KGS in Tokyo for Sally and me to spend a few days there evaluating a new Braille writer they were planning to market. What we did was to fly to Tokyo from Cebu and then meet with their personnel to try a new braillewriter and give our comments. This was great as we stayed in the house of President Takeo Kurematsu and got to see the functioning of a Japanese family. The picture is of President and Ms. Takeo and Sally and me. They had one daughter and one day as he was driving us to a meeting at KGS Corporation he told us that on that day his daughter was scheduled to take an examination for admission to college. This is a very important exam because it is difficult to get into College in Japan.

As we were driving he looked up and was startled that Mount Fiji was visible! He explained to us that this was a remarkable sign of good luck and he was thrilled that the mountain became visible that day. It is a nearly perfectly shaped volcano that last erupted in 1708. Here is a picture of Mount Fuji that I found on the web. I never did find out how his daughter did on the exam. While we were in Tokyo we were treated grandly except one evening he took us to dinner at a Korean restaurant. This meant sitting on pillows and eating off a low table. Sally and I had indicated that we would enjoy a western meal since it had been some months since our last one. So we were surprised when we ended up at the Korean restaurant. Another little anomaly was that Kurematsu asked us to pick up some ubi ice cream in Cebu and bring it to him. He really loved this ice cream and he couldn’t get it in Tokyo. We were only too glad to do this and we hand carried the treat to him. Of course he was very polite in thanking us but he never offered to pay for it. So we never got the opportunity to tell him we were giving it to him as a gift.

The meetings on the Braille writer went OK, but we had much too much time to talk about it. The meetings were with the heads of various departments and the President of the company but we were rather critical of the unit. It had nothing original about it and was hardly up to date even for the early 90’s – no modem was included so there was no access to the Internet. But, we finished it all up and headed back to San Carlos after a few days.

During these trips Sally spent a lot of time with Nellie and the people of the Cebu Braille Center. At one point the Cebu State College, the place where the Braille Center was located, decided to honor her. They had a nice convocation and gave Sally a plaque in recognition of her contributions. This picture shows her giving an acceptance speech for the honor. On the podium in front of her is a Perkins Braille writer which is what she and the transcribers used at the Braille Center.

She also spent time with Nellie at the AVRC (Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center) and we attended the graduation ceremonies there. is a picture of one of the graduation ceremonies. All of the graduates are challenged in one fashion or another and they all were quite thrilled to be finishing up with their formal education. Moreover some of the blind students will go to the Cebu Braille center for more access to higher education.

Roger Bajarias was Chairman of the Department and he helped to set up a program with local industry for the purpose of increasing the cooperation between local industry and the University. So several visits were made to possible partners and I helped in these visits and in setting up some of the courses. This all worked out just fine and the University was so happy about it that they awarded me an honorary doctorate. The citation read “…in recognition of his Distinguished Career and outstanding contributions in the field of Engineering Education.” March 22, 1991. I thought that was pretty nice. This happy event preceded a reduction in my health a few months later. In the first week of August I underwent a heart bypass operation. I had been having some chest pains and when I went to the infirmary at Syracuse University for my annual checkup the doctor threw the book at me and made an appointment for a stress test the following week. So, I never had a heart attack but did have the operation. I went back to the Philippines in January of 1992 and things seemed OK. However I got too involved with running around and developed chest pains again. So upon my return to Syracuse that was checked out and the conclusion reached that all I needed was to be more sensible. In fact, things were so good that in the Spring Sally and I returned to Hawaii and did a lot of sightseeing, including a mule ride down to the leper colony on Malakai. However this threw a scare into me and I decided to take advantage of the offer by the University to accept early retirement. So I officially retired in 1997 although for the next couple of summers I taught a summer course at SU. Incidentally the occasion of my retirement party brought a visit to the gathering from Dolores. I had gone to her retirement party in 1990 – we just had two or three meetings over the years from when I left for the Philippines in 1967. Sally and I started having celebrations of our wedding anniversary every five years beginning in 1982 for our 35th. We would celebrate it in the summer and had a catered outdoor gathering. Usually we had my favorite group, Cranberry Lake, play at the event. This meant that it would end up with the group square dancing and having a ball!

In this time interval the use of the Internet was expanding and it seemed to me that the Philippines was perhaps out of the loop. My good friend, Rudy Villarica, was deeply involved in setting up the administrative infrastructure that could push the internet forward in the Philippines. I was interested in the use of email and looked in to that. It seems that the only access that was available was for the users in the Philippines to transfer their letters to a station in Australia and then the people there had an internet port and they would forward our mail on to the desired recipients. A highly cumbersome and almost useless way of communication. But I knew that better times were coming because Rudi indicated they were negotiating for a dedicated line between the Philippines and the USA and were working out the financial aspects. So I decided that it would be great to have an email conference in Cebu and asked the administration including the President of the University if they would support it. Indeed they would so I really started to dig in. It was then that I made contact with other interested parties in Scandinavia and in Hungary and we worked out the details over the internet. So on March 22, 1994 the link came into existence and we had the first on line contact between the USA and the Republic of the Philippines. In the USA there was Mark Brule at his machine and me in the Philippines on mine. So we greeted each other via Telnet and the connection was completed.

As stated in a local publication:

At 10:18 A.M. on March 29, 1994, the first connection to the Internet was made in the Philippines when Dr. John D. Brule, a visiting professor at the University of San Carlos, chatted with his son located in Syracuse, New York.
That was a fantastic conclusion to a remarkable event. All sorts of things had to be correct at one time and most importantly it depended upon Rudy Villarica through whose efforts the physical link was established just in time.

In the ensuing years I worked with the Dean and the Chair of the department to help out in the development of the Linkage Program. This was part of an effort to get more involved with local industry. For the following three years – 1995 through 1997 my three months each year was spent in teaching graduate courses to the students in the program and visiting local industry. And of course I continued with my summer and Fall semester teaching in Syracuse. 

Unknowing what was about to happen, I wrote the following note for our Christmas greeting in 1997

December 22, 1997
Dear friends,
What a good year we’ve had!
Our trip to the Philippines was our 15th visit in 30 years and our 11th in the
last 10 years. It was good to see our old friends again.

We stopped in Hawaii on the way back and visited John’s sister and her family. Then it was great to get back home with our children and grandchildren later in April. In early July we met friends from the Philippines. We drove to 1000 Islands to see them, and had fun showing them a little of the USA. Later in that month Sally’s sister and her husband visited us here in Syracuse.

In August we had a marvelous party celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. Friends and family from Michigan, Ohio, Virginia and Maryland all visited. We received greetings from the Philippines, Canada and New Zealand. The day was perfect and we all had a super time.

In September we drove to an Elderhostel at Natchez Trace State Park in Tennessee, and got to know the kudzu somewhat better and in the process discovered what a pretty state Tennessee is. On the way home we stopped in Nasbville to check out the Grand Ole Opry, and then spent a few days in Kentucky with Sally’s sister.

Gina Nicole was born to Nannette on October 15, and became our 5th grandchild. If you’d like to see her picture, check our web she at:

Now Christmas is fast upon us and we are busy getting ready for the festivities. We hope you all have had a good year, and that the holiday season will be a happy one.

With warmest wishes,

John and Sally Brule

 Then the world started to change after Sally and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in the summer of 1997.

The First End

“Shy, what has happened to you?” I was in the kitchen looking for a bite to eat while Sally dialed a telephone number. I turned around just in time to see her slump to the floor. Fortunately I caught her before she fell, but she seemed to be unconscious. I held her and in a moment she came out of it. “My darling, what is it?” “What happened?” She replied, “Why are we sitting on the floor?” Obviously something was really amiss and we had shrugged off a similar episode a week or so before feeling maybe she had just overworked, or something. This was the wakeup call to look into things. A contact with Dr. Croglio led to him setting up an appointment for Sally to have an encephalogram at the earliest possible time. This was set for mid December, 1997.

On the appointed day we went to the site for the x-ray, and while we were waiting we saw Marian and Alex Stanislaw leave the laboratory. We chatted for a few moments, but didn’t do any questioning about why we all were there. The encephalogram of course gave no clues as to what was going on, for one reason because this was the first one she had made and there was nothing to compare it to. On a follow-up visit with Dr. Croglio he said that they had no idea what was wrong with her, and suggested we could try sending her to the hospital for observation. Sally and I both agreed that we could do the observing at home and it would be much more relaxing and beneficial than being in the hospital.

The end of the year was coming, and we had some decisions to make. “Shy, I think we had better cancel any thoughts of a trip to the Philippines this year; what do you think?” It didn’t take Sally long to decide that that was a good idea. “Let’s wait until I feel better, then we can decide what to do,” she said. So we had a quiet New Year’s eve, and just stayed around the house. Then on Friday January 2nd we decided to do a little shopping for some food, and browsed around Peter’s for some more materials. That evening Sally made up a stir fry and we had our dinner while watching Wheel of Fortune and a couple other programs. About 10:30 we both decided to call it a day and went upstairs to get ready for bed. She went to bed first and I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth when I heard a strange sound from our bedroom. I went to see what it was, and Sally was lying stretched out and motionless in the bed. “Shy, are you OK?” I cried, but soon realized that while she was still breathing there was no vital life left within her. I held her in my arms for a moment and then I called 911. The EMTs arrived quickly and asked me to leave the room. They moved her from the bed to the floor to make it more convenient to work on her, I presume. I went to my study across the hall and heard them trying to get her to respond.

I called Nannette and Mark and told them what was going on, and that we were heading for the hospital. I called Jim but he wasn’t home – he was overnight in Watertown for some work associated with the temple. Jill answered the call, and came to the house as quickly as she could. By the time she arrived the EMTs had left and she wanted to know if she could help out? I asked her to clean up the floor area where Sally’s body had been and then we all left for the hospital.

By the time we got there Sally had been filled with tubes and instruments and was on a lot of monitoring equipment. Shortly thereafter Jim arrived from Watertown and we all went to look at Sally and to get a feeling about what was happening. I looked at that almost lifeless body – the mother of our children and my heart and soul for the past 50+ years. I talked it over with the nurse in attendance, and came to the realization that her life was over. I called to our children to come and see her one more time, and then told the nurse to let her die.

She never regained consciousness and her life ended peacefully early Saturday morning, January 3, 1998.

These events are etched in my mind, and return to my awareness to bring back so many wonderful memories. Sally’s body gave out, but she left us her spirit. That will never be taken from me.

Her body was transported by Burns and Garfield. I decided we would have a viewing, but it would be with a closed casket. However before that started I wanted all my grandchildren to view their grandmother’s remains in the open casket. So this was done and then there was mass in the rooms of the mortuary. Everyone that wanted to could receive bread during the communion –either consecrated bread or specially prepared bread. People had the opportunity to speak about Sally after it was all over.

We then were informed that the ground was not yet frozen and thus her remains could be buried in our plot in the Throopsville Cemetary. So I decided that her remains be cremated and members of the close family attended the burial of the ashes on the following day. May she, and all of us, rest in peace.

?We had received indications during her last few years that all was not well. In 1987 after our return from the Philippines in what was to be an annual event for the next decade she suffered a ‘minor’ heart attack. In fact she was in her doctor’s office at the time she felt chest pains and she was rushed immediately to the emergency room. After a couple of days there she was released. Fortunately, during that time she stopped smoking – they don’t like people to smoke in the intensive care unit. She never smoked again.

Sometime after this event she started to be bothered by arthritis, and after checking it out found out that she actually had rheumatoid arthritis. We found out that there was a very good doctor in Cebu City that could continue with her treatments while we were in the Philippines, so we did not stop our trips because of her health at that time. As time went on her symptoms got worse, and on our last trip in the winter of 1997 we made use of wheelchair assistance in the airports. From time to time we would talk about what we would do if either one of us died, so we were facing that possibility.

We finally encountered it in our own home.  Sally died on January 7, 1998.

Early in February I flew to the Philippines so that our friends there could have the opportunity to share their feelings. A service was held in the Chapel in the Engineering building of the University of San Carlos in the barrio Talambam. Nelly Bautista and others were there to express their love for all Sally had done with them. I stayed for a week or so in our apartment in Talambam and then returned to Syracuse.

Rum-13 Second RP Trip

Second Philippine Trip

With everything seemingly in place, we scheduled our second trip to the Philippines to occur in June 1978, some ten years after our return from the first trip. For this trip only Mark accompanied us. Nannette stayed at home in Syracuse and Jim was married and on his own with Jill. This meant taking Mark out of High School during his senior year, and this was pretty heavy on him. So we talked it all over, including Nannette, and decided that after the first of the year Mark would come back to Syracuse to finish out his year at Nottingham. He and Nannette would take care of the house. By the time he flew back he would be 17 years old and Nannette would turn 21 shortly after he arrived back in the states, so we figured it should all work out OK. We planned on returning late in May 1979 so we could participate in Mark’s graduation.

TRS80Our packing and planning for the trip went easier this time because only three of us were going, and we were not renting out the house. Sally decided to take her Perkins Brailler with us, along with a supply of Braille paper. Just about this time, Spring of 1978, I found out about a computer put out by Radio Shack – the TRS 80 Model I. I decided I should take one, but the waiting list to obtain one was quite long. I found out that my colleague, Ming Hu, had one on order and he said he would let me take that one and he would wait for the next one to come in. It had 16 kilobytes of memory and the mass storage was a cassette tape. This computer cost me $4000. The programming language was BASIC II, and I wondered what I would do with it over there. After talking with another colleague, Ed. Stabler, I decided to buy an assembler that would allow me to write programs in a language called Assembly language, and run them on the computer. While I had written assembly language programs for the IBM 650, I had never written an Assembly language program for this machine, but I was sure Mark and I could figure out how to do that once we got to the Philippines.

So, late in June 1978 we had everything ready and made our way to the airport. The route was to fly to Detroit, flying time about 1½ hours, and change planes there to fly nonstop to Tokyo, 14 more hours. We flew in to Narita airport and had a 3-hour layover until the last leg to Manila, another 5 hours flying time. So, it takes about 24 hours to fly from Syracuse to the Philippines. During daylight saving time Manila is 12 hours ahead of Syracuse so leaving Syracuse in the morning of one day gets us into Manila in the evening of the next day. Of course we get that day back on the return trip.

All went well on that trip, and we were met at the Cebu City airport on Mactan by a delegation from the University. There were many old friends to greet us, and it was a joyous reunion. The University had found a house for us to rent, and we were able to locate Remey and hire her again to be our cook and chief of the help. This house was in a different part of Cebu City, called Guadalupe Heights, and it was a gated community. It was a relatively new house and rented to us by a faculty member in the History department.

There was a new chairman of the Electrical and Communications department, Dennis Bermejo, and he was thrilled to see the computer. This was the first digital computer to be introduced in the Philippines outside of Manila and created quite a stir. The Dean of Engineering was still Pedro Yap, but now there was a Filipino President of the University, Father Alingasa. The first Filipino President of the University was Fr. Amante P. Castillo and he was appointed in 1970.

Dennis was quite anxious to start a Computer Engineering program in his department, and my arrival with the computer helped that endeavor. Dennis and I became a sort of traveling road show, as we went from school to school showing the computer and talking about what it could do. In this way I met Dean Waldon Rio, the Dean of Engineering at Central Philippines University in IloIlo, Panay. Dean Rio was very active in attempting to improve the quality of Engineering Education at schools outside of Manila, and over the years he and I became working colleagues. IloIlo is a fairly small city, and had a very limited social life. I remember one night when Sally and I had been out to dinner and were heading back to our hotel; we were well aware how dark the streets were. There was little or no street lighting and the sidewalk/road was quite rough. We looked at each other and said: “Did you ever imagine that at our age (52) we would be in such an isolated spot, stumbling along in the dark in a strange world?”

My contributions at the University of San Carlos during this time were mostly in the area of teaching remedial courses to faculty members, developing new material for them, and teaching an undergraduate course. This gave me plenty of time to study over the TRS 80, and find out what this assembly language programming was all about. Just before we left Syracuse I had heard about a new cryptographic process developed by Ron Rivest et. al. at MIT. This is known as a public key cryptosystem. I had learned of it from an article in Scientific American written by Martin Gardner. I took a copy of that article with me to the Philippines and while I was there I wrote all the code, in assembly language, to implement the process. This was enormously difficult on my TRS 80 because the only mass storage I had was the cassette tape, and this did not lend itself well to writing and editing programs. Fortunately I had the foresight to take along a copy of Knuth’s book, volume 2 of Seminumerical Algorithms, and this had all the mathematical background I needed.

Mark and I worked on that together, and I remember that around Christmas time of 1978 we took a jeepney to Talamban and spent the day writing and debugging code. This may actually have been done on Christmas day. Poor Sally was a computer widow pretty much after I learned how to program that TRS 80! Mark sat in on a course in computer arithmetic that I taught, and it seems that that helped him in his later work. Also, I encouraged him to take a course in Physics feeling that he should have more physical background than just math or software. It turned out that the teacher for the Physics course was very good, and he and Mark got along famously. Mark left for Syracuse in time to start his final semester at Nottingham High School and I feel he was glad to get back with his Syracuse friends. The academic work he did at San Carlos put him ahead of his peers at Nottingham, and that made his life somewhat better.

A rather remarkable event caused a big change in Sally’s life that added an entirely new dimension to her activities.

Sally had brought her Perkins brailler and some work to be done for the Onondaga Braillists Organization (OBO). This wasn’t enough for her since it kept her in the house all the time. So she again was casting about for something to do, and she heard about a place that worked with disabled people. This was called the Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC). It was located in a different part of Cebu City so she took a cab there to find her way. There was a young blind woman there and Sally thought she would check to see if she needed someone to read to her or needed some brailling done. And, you guessed it, that woman was Nellie Bautista, nee Flores! They had a remarkable reunion and Sally just dug into working with her.

She found out that Nellie had not only graduated from the University of San Carlos, but she had gone on to Manila and obtained a Master’s Degree in Psychology. Nellie is a dynamic person and doesn’t let a thing like being blind cause her distress. She travels a lot, and usually without a companion. She is married and has 4 children. The first children were boys and she said she was going to continue having children until she had a girl. Well, Leila finally arrived after 3 boys and they are all grown now. She tells the story of how she raised her children to keep in touch with her. She expects the littlest one always to keep tapping on something so that she knows where he is. Well, one time one of the youngest decided to hide on mom, and he crawled under a stairwell and kept quiet. Nellie indicated it was quite some time before she was able to locate him. Somehow he decided never to do that again.

Nellie and Sally talked a lot about the status of blind children in Cebu City, and the Philippines in general. The disadvantaged person is hidden away in the house, it being a sign of some failure on the parent’s part that a child has a handicap. Sally and Nellie carried their concern to the political leadership in Cebu City and with the help of the Mayor and a former councilman, Rey Crystal, they secured enough money to open a school in a room in the Cebu State College. The school is called the Cebu Braille Center, CBC, and serves the needs of blind children in the metropolitan area of Cebu City. They were able to obtain donations of several braillers and get them all into working condition. On average there are about 15 children in the school, and many of them go on to college after finishing their schooling. Every time we went back to the Philippines Sally worked with the people at the CBC.

When the CBC was started it was necessary to train some people to be braillists. Sally took it upon herself to do the training and after some months work four of them graduated from her school. They could only hire three, so one had to be dropped, and that caused a good deal of hurt feelings. Of the other three one went on to get her Masters Degree in teaching at the University of Manila. Some year’s later one more left, but at last recording one of the original braillists is still with the Center. The picture shows Sally getting an award from the Cebu State College for her efforts on behalf of blind people in the Philippines.

Here is a picture of Sally at the braille center and four of the students. In later years after Sally and me, and then my grandchildren and I, visited the center we were able to ascertain that all was still proceeding and students were graduating and entering college.

I met many good people while in the Philippines, among them of course was Vic Seno, Dennis Bermejo and Philip Wong-Marcon. My life was enriched by their friendship and we continue contact, although sporadic.

The semester ended in the Philippines in early April. We stayed a couple of weeks more and then headed back to Syracuse. I had agreed to be the Academic Chairman at the Poughkeepsie Center and I wanted to get back in time to set up the summer courses. Ted Bickart was leaving the position and I took it over from him.

Rum-12 Between RP Trips

Between Philippine Trips

We arrived home in late July 1968, and did our best to become reacclimated to US living. It didn’t take long to realize we were back. The Democratic Convention in Chicago burst upon us, and we could see there was a long road ahead of us as regards the war in Vietnam.

Our lives traveled several paths over the next years. Of course for me there was the University, for Sally there was a deep feeling of a need to become involved with the peace movement, and the children needed to readjust to the American way of doing things. Jim turned 15 in August and he faced the fact that he was in line to be drafted. He joined the peace movement along with many of his classmates at Nottingham High School. Nannette decided to continue her involvement with animals of all sorts. Mark was well into his sixth year and started to develop friends outside of the home.

During our first year at home after the Philippines we talked a lot about how much of the world we had seen, and really how much of the USA we had missed. So in the spring of 1969 we bought a tent trailer and figured we would start to travel around the States. The idea was to wait till the school year for the children was over and then head west. We made a sort of ‘dry run’ and went camping up at 1000 Islands for one weekend to see how good we were at it. We even allowed Nannette to bring her dog, Roscoe, along on the trip. This proved to everyone we were right about not having any pets on a camping trip. The trip proved to be highly successful, and we figured we had made a smart decision to get the camper.

In late June we packed up the car and trailer and headed west. We decorated the sides of the camper with various signs and symbols, and had a large peace symbol attached near the entrance door. Starting in 1969 and continuing through 1980 we traveled west every summer to go camping. This first year was quite typical. My parents were still alive, and living in Hancock, Michigan. It is about 1000 miles to that part of Michigan and we went there first on our way to the mountains. We drove north to 1000 Islands and then headed northwest up to North Bay, Ontario. The original home of the Dionne quintuplets was nearby, and one year we stopped there to check out their homestead.

We often spent the night in Sudbury, Ontario, before continuing on our trek to Upper Michigan. The land around Sudbury is highly unusual due to a meteor strike that occurred almost two billion years ago. As a result the area is rich in minerals and they are being exploited. However, the picture shows the result of the exploitation. In addition the entire area was almost devoid of vegetation due to the great amount of acid rain that occurs as a result of the mining. But the area has worked hard to improve this and in 1992 the city was given the “Local Government Honours Award” by the United Nations.

After out stay in Sudbury on the following morning we continue the journey westward to Sault St. Marie, Michigan. This is a small city on St. Mary’s river between two of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior and Lake Huron. There is a 21-foot difference in levels between Lakes Superior and Huron and the Soo locks are here on the St. Mary’s river to allow freighters to sail between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes. It was still about 300 miles to Hancock, so we hurried on our way.

We arrived in Hancock late in the day, and spent the next couple of days with my parents. This picture shows our trailer in Hancock on our way west. You can see the various decorations, and how we all looked in 1969. My folks were a bit upset with my hair, and Sally was wearing a wig for she felt her hair was getting quite thin. The three children all seemed anxious to begin our trek.

Leaving Hancock we now were really on our way to the west. We traveled for a day through Upper Michigan, part of northern Wisconsin, across Minnesota and ended the day in Chamberlain, South Dakota. Setting up our tent trailer went just fine, and we relaxed after the long day on the road. However, soon people were running through the campground shouting. It seems that a tornado was on its way towards us, and everyone was told to go home. Home for us was about 1500 miles away so we just lowered the tent and tied everything down. We could feel the change in pressure, and watched to see what would happen. The sky changed to weird colors and the birds all stopped singing. The wind picked up and we kept a wary eye to the western hills. Fortunately the tornado skipped over, or around, us so we had no trouble.

The next day we passed through Wall, S. Dakota. This is really a world famous stop over. Their big advertising project is: Free Ice Water at Wall Drugs. You will see signs for this store from many hundreds of miles away and it is worth a short stop to check it out.

Also, the Badlands of South Dakota are nearby, so it is a last stop before reaching that sight. The Badlands are quite fascinating if only because they are so different from the rest of the landscape. These large mounds of rock just seem to jump out of the ground and appear to be formidable. We roamed around in the area for a couple of hours and then continued on our way to Rapid City. This was our first major stop, and we camped in Custer State Park, which is nearby. Of course this is also the home of the famous memorial, Mount Rushmore, and the ongoing project of the Crazy Horse Monument.

Here is a picture of the Mount Rushmore group of four. It is quite a site to see. Of course we had a history lesson in the process, and the kids were easily able to identify Washington, Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln.

Another monument was under construction when we were first there in 1969, and in 2006 it is still in the process. The work was begun in 1948 by sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski at the request of Native Americans. Korczak died in 1982. His wife, Ruth, and their family continue the project working with the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation. The project is progressing at a snails pace, and the most recent picture of the monument doesn’t seem much different than one taken 37 years ago. This composite picture shows the monument in the background and a 1/34th model in the foreground.

The hole that is seen in the background is eventually going to be the open space between the arm of Crazy Horse and the horse. Or so I was told.

Each year we went to Custer State Park we made our way to Sylvan Lake, in the park. The campground here was just perfect for us. It was close to water, a horse stable for Nannette to spend her time at, buffalo nearby, and much exploring to be done. Harney Peak is also close by, and we could climb it to get some beautiful views.

Custer State Park will stay in our memory for quite some time, especially due to an incident on one of our trips. In this particular trip we brought along at least one of our teenage relatives, Gail Pettengill. This is Janet’s stepdaughter. We drove to the park and set up the tent trailer and started doing some exploring. There were so many of us on this trip that we set up a two-person tent for Sally and me and let the kids have the tent trailer. We had a great time cooking our dinner and getting used to the area again. Jim and Gail, along with others of our group, decided to go off and do some exploring. They were gone quite some time but eventually we heard them coming back. They were really excited, with a lot of “Oh Wows” to be heard. They were carrying a number of long stalks of greeneries and they figured they had harvested a field of pot. It certainly looked like it, but we couldn’t be sure.

But anyway they decided to lay some out on the top of the camper to see if it would dry, since we intended to be in the park a few days. Their immediate attempt was to see if they could make some good tea. Everyone was having a great time, but finally we all went to sleep.

Early the next morning, not long after sunrise, a couple of park rangers showed up at our campsite and wanted to know what we were doing with all that marijuana! This took me by surprise since I didn’t think it was pot, and anyway it had been gathered here in the park. I tried to explain this to the rangers but they were quite skeptical. So I woke up Jim and Gail and told them to show us where they had gathered the weeds. So off we went leading the rangers through the woods and fields. Sure enough, after a bit of a hike we came upon the source and showed it to the rangers. Well, they were still stuffy about it all and I thought that they would cite us for destroying vegetation, but they didn’t do that. Instead they said they would leave us with a warning, but I never did figure out what the warning was. They never verified if it was pot, so the mystery remains. We stayed in the park through that day and then left the following morning to search out our next adventure.

The most harrowing trips we made were in the early 70’s. For a couple of times we camped up above Boulder, Colorado. We would climb the long trail up to Nederland, and then settle down in a campsite on the road to Estes Park. One time we stopped near the deserted town of Ward. Many young people who were pulling out of society populated the area. Drugs were everywhere, the worst being STP. It was dreadful seeing the damage they were doing to themselves. We drove in to Ward to check it out, and some people were attempting to start up an intentional community. However we didn’t feel particularly welcome so we moved on.

A couple of times we drove to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and camped along the Taylor River. One time we camped next to some fishermen and they shared their trout catch with us. The taste was beyond belief. They had set up a couple of hummingbird feeders in the trees near their campsite. These are bright red and filled with red water and some sugar. One day they left and we were bombarded with hummingbirds. These little fliers attacked the red taillights on the camper and our car, as they were desperate for food.

Another interesting spot was along a river at a campsite known as Avalanch campground. One of the times we visited there we had another passenger with us- Vickie Lichtman. We inquired about the reason for the name and were informed that if there was a heavy rainfall we could expect the campground to be flooded. The river was very nice and we enjoyed our stay. We found out that a mile or so up river there was a shelter built over a hot spring. So we made our way up there to check it out. Sure enough there was a crude spa and several naked people were seated inside the shelter soaking in the hot water. Just across the road was the river and there was a deep pool at that point in the river. Well the thought of the chance to soak in some hot water was overpowering and we decided to join them in the shelter after first removing our clothes. We would stay in the hot spring for several minutes and then dash across the road to cool off in the river water. We all had a great time, you may be sure.

Early on in our trips we stopped at Yellowstone National Park. We camped in Shoshone National Forest which is just outside Yellowstone. Of course we all enjoyed looking at the many geysers throughout the Park and the many features due to the unique geological structure of the area. I’ll never forget the first stop there. It was in 1969, and we knew that the first moon landing was scheduled to occur while we were camping in Shoshone. There was very poor radio reception there, but we drove to a high point in the forest and indeed we heard the announcer talking through the landing.

We also toured south of Yellowstone to view the Teton’s and they are magnificent. Jackson Hole is just south of the Grand Teton National Park and this was a great hangout for musicians. It was in the open quadrangle in the town that I first heard a guitar player use the technique of bottle-necking and I was enthralled by it.

Jim came with us on these camping tours just once, in the summer of 1969. Then he got a job as a camp counselor in the Adirondack Swim and Trip Camp and he went there instead of staying with us. Nannette made several trips but she only enjoyed the trip if there was a horse stable nearby where she could hang out. Eventually she stopped coming and one summer we set her up with an equestrian camp near Cortland so she could get all the riding she could handle. The woman in charge of the camp was a former military officer, so she also got all the control she wanted, and then some. Mark stayed with us to the bitter end. The very last trip, which took us through the Canadian Rockies, was done under the duress of either that or go to the camp in Adirondacks where Jim had been a counselor. He opted to stay with us. Also, as I mentioned above, from time to time we took another teenager with us.

A big concern while we were camping like this was the possibility of extensive rain. The tent trailer was pretty good for keeping out the rain, since it had a metal top. One year we tried taking a tube tent with us. This is just a long tube of plastic. In the rain this was horrible, and we never did that again.

Getting out to the Rockies was a long and boring trip coming across the great Midwest. One day as we were driving through Nebraska I suddenly felt a lurch. I looked out the rear view mirror and saw one of the trailer wheels bounding off across the wheat field. We retrieved it and found that what had happened is the nuts holding the wheel had loosened and fallen off. So I stole a couple of nuts from the other wheel and we carefully limped our way into the next town.

As we drove in we found there was a farmer’s supply store right on the main street, so good luck was on our side. We went in to the store and showed the man the nut size we needed and sure enough he had them in stock. So I proceeded to tell him about our bad luck in losing the wheel. Well, he one-upped me on that. He indicated that just a couple of days ago he had purchased a new combine for harvesting wheat. He left it parked alongside his barn, and somehow the barn caught fire and the combine was destroyed along with the barn. I guess there is always something a bit worse that what we think we are facing.

One time when we were in the Black Hills of South Dakota we got to know our next camp neighbors. They were pulling a house trailer and had driven all the way from Texas. The next day they left a little sooner than we did, and coming around a corner we saw that their trailer was wrecked and had one whole side ripped open. It seems that a moose got in the road and in swerving to miss it they tipped over the trailer. That served to make us be more cautious in the way we were riding.

On this first trip when Gail was with us we went to Mesa Verde National Park to check it out. The Hopi Indians lived in earthen structures along the side of the mesa, but for some unknown reason some few hundred years ago they just moved out and disappeared. We were able to tour around their structures, and climb the ladders into their dwellings. The ladders that had to be climbed between levels petrified Gail and Sally. But they lived through it!

One time we looked for something different that was going on, and we found a tourist trap where one could try panning for gold. So we got Nannette and Mark into it, and they tried their hand. If they did get any gold it was significantly less than the amount needed to pay for the experience. However, I bought a couple of bags of dirt from the miner with the intention to pan it after I got back to Syracuse. I never did do that and only threw out the dirt when I sold the Standish Ave. house some 30 years later.

Mobile Art Forms

There were a number of long term effects upon our lives as a result of the camping, and I will now describe one of them. As we often were in the Colorado Rockies we met young people who were experimenting with new life styles. One time I saw some people carrying a huge sewing machine up a mountain trail. They indicated that they were camped not far from a resort and anything they made they could sell at the resort for a very good profit. They could work with leather and were merely upgrading their ability to turn out a large quantity of finished goods. Other times I saw people making macramé wall hangings and jewelry made from nails and leather straps. This looked like fun and so I figured I would try it also.

So one year I started to make things to sell at the craft fair put on by the Syracuse Peace Council each December. They called the fair ‘Plowshares’ to link in with the concept of beating our weapons into plowshares. The first year or two I sold necklaces made of leather with beads strung on them. Then I got into macramé and made some interesting hangings. I next tried making jewelry out of horseshoe nails and had some success, but the jewelry was quite heavy as you might imagine. And just making horseshoe nail rings doesn’t go very far.

The next idea was to try to make figures out of the horseshoe nails. The number of different figures could be enormous when one thinks of all the athletic games played and the many instruments in a band or orchestra. This raised two problems – how to hold the figures together and how to sell them. My first attempt at making the figures was to solder them. Well, this never worked out because the solder joint wasn’t strong enough. So then I thought I would use silver solder and this worked better. But, it was very embarrassing if I would sell the figure and very soon the buyer would track me down because it broke. Finally I invested in an oxy-acetylene torch system and braised the nails together. This worked great. The picture above is that of a cross-country skier. Five horseshoe nails, two slate nails and two pieces of welding rod make up the figure. The figure below is a saxophone player.

Another question that needed to be answered was how would I market the nail figures? One way was to mount them on a metal plate and sell them as trophies or as tabletop decorations. But the best idea was to string them into mobiles. Any number of figures two or greater could be tied onto arms and hung so that they were in balance. The largest mobile I made had 45 pieces, and it was a full orchestra. Brasses, strings, woods, percussion and of course the conductor completed the hanging. This was made for friends of ours, the George Sterns, who had a house with a spiral staircase leading to the second floor. I hung it in the open space of the staircase and it was beautiful.

So now I had a very pleasant hobby to play with. Sally and I decided to call ourselves Mobile Art Forms, and we took out a dba to sort of formalize it. The first place we sold the mobiles was at the Plowshares Craft Fair and it was quite successful. We decided to try going to craft fairs on weekends and this worked out fine also. I made a portable welding stand and we would take that with us to craft fairs. Then during slow times I could make new figures and keep our inventory up to date.

We also had to give some thought about how to display our work. I got intrigued with domes and so built one where the edges were conduit. This was a lot of fun to build, at least the first time, but it required too much time to assemble and disassemble. So we settled for a framed display device as shown in the picture. We would pack all our mobiles and extra pieces into boxes and put our stand into the back of our station wagon and off we would go to the next craft fair. The picture on the next page shows Sally running the stand, but it is hard to see the mobiles because the pieces are essentially just two dimensional and not very large. We went to craft fairs pretty much throughout the entire northeast. The first time we had gross sales of $1000 worth of mobiles was at the Allentown fair in Buffalo, New York. Our sales were not always that high, but we had a lot of fun. We went to the Allentown fair a couple of times and enjoyed it. Sally’s brother Bob and his wife Rita lived in the Buffalo area so we stayed with them during the fair. One year their daughter Linda worked the fair with us, and the three of us had a great time. Our time with Bob and Rita gave Sally and opportunity to bond with them, and we usually had a great time. The scotch flowed easily with them, and perhaps we overdid it a bit. However we always had to back off a bit because the next day we had to go back to the fair, set up the stand, and sit in the hot sun all day.

We enjoyed going to craft shows and one of our favorite fairs was the event in downtown Syracuse. One time I even set up our stand in Syracuse University during a program conducted by the school of Home Economics.

This mobile business started to feel pretty good, so I figured I would try it out full time and see how it worked out. After talking it over with Sally I made arrangements with the Dean of Engineering to go on Administrative leave for one semester to give it a try. The deal was made so that I could keep my benefits, just giving up my salary. I obtained a contract with IBM Owego to teach a course in digital control systems to a group of their engineers during this semester. This augmented our income nicely and Sally would come with me to Owego each week as I taught the course on two successive days.

However I found out that I did not want to do this mobile stuff full time. I found that I spent all my time in my workshop and couldn’t do many things I liked to. So at the end of the semester a little sanity returned to me and I resumed my full time position at the University. After about ten years of this activity I retired from the mobile craft, and stored my inventory in my basement. I had well over 200 figures at the time I closed up shop so I still will assemble a mobile from time to time for special occasions. Some people still approach me to ask for a mobile, especially people who I knew during that period but who never bought a mobile. It brings back happy memories when I assemble a mobile for our friends – perhaps one of these days I’ll make a few and donate them to a silent auction held by one of our political groups.

Of course we always met interesting people at the craft fairs – especially fellow crafters. One fellow sold plaques that he would customize for the buyer. He engraved the names, or messages, that the buyer wanted onto the plaque they picked out. He would take orders during the day and tell the customer that they could have the piece the next day. In fact at one point he convinced one customer that he had to order them from overseas, HongKong in particular, and that is why they couldn’t be ready right away. Of course in the back of his truck he had a workbench and router and he turned them out at a furious rate in the evening after the fair ended.

It was always a challenge to make the figures realistic and readily recognized. My first attempt at a new action figure was usually a disaster. For example, I made what I thought was a good figure of a skier racing in a slalom event. Gordon Kent looked at it and said it was awful. He carefully criticized what I did and stuck with me while I bent a new set of nails according to his specifications. The knee must be bent in just the right amount and the body balanced correctly over the skis. Once this was done the figure was remarkably good. Another example was with a sailboat. I wanted to give the impression that the boat was really racing fast. So I had the beam way out to the side and hung the boat in a tipped position. Steve Woiler was appalled at what I had done and told me that when the boat is racing at high speed the beam is barely over the gunwales and with his help I made a boat that looked quite realistic. The first musician I made was a person playing a cornet. This one was really good from the start because I had a model of such a player to work from and it got me started on the correct footing. Mary Jo Fairbanks gave this model to me, and I think her ex-husband Bruce first obtained it.

The experience of Mobile Art Forms was quite good for Sally and me. We entered it as a joint venture and together put a lot of time into it. I made all the pieces, but Sally ran the business, keeping the records and all that sort of thing. When we entered a craft fair we often had to supply photographs of our work for jurying purposes and Sally took care of that sort of paperwork also. Of course when we were at a craft fair we both participated in the sales and interacting with the potential buyers.

One time Sally and I decided to go to Washington, DC for a holiday.  We of course visited the Smithsonian and were duly impressed by its displays.  We decided we should go and look at the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg display since there was a lot of controversy about their execution.  In fact a New York Times editorial wrote: “The Rosenbergs case still haunts American history, reminding us of the injustice that can be done when a nation gets caught up in hysteria.”  While we were there Sally and I discussed this, out loud, and expressed the view that this was a miscarriage of justice.  As we left the museum a person approached us and asked us if we had any questions about the case and invited us to come into the museum office and discuss this.  This was in 1972 – big brother was already alive. 

Well, this was so exciting we decided to go to the Pentagon and see that place. We took a taxi over there and then went in and roamed around the public places. I remembered that I had worked with Dr. Robert C. Seamans while on one of my tours at MIT. He was now Secretary of the Air Force so I went to the security desk and told them I wanted to visit him. They called his office and they sent down an escort to bring us up to his office. As we were walking from the elevator to his office we passed a women rest room and I noticed there was a sign indicating that the room was closed to public use. I inquired of the guide why this was the case and he reminded me that a few weeks previous the Weather Underground Organization successfully planted and exploded a bomb in a fourth-floor women’s restroom.

So we proceeded to the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force and were informed that Dr; Seamans was in a meeting but left word with his secretary for us to wait for him in his office.  Wo we browsed around there until he showed up and when he returned we had a pleasant conversation about our experiences at MIT.  I developed the distinct impression that he felt the Vietnam War was a mistake so we were on the same page.

Other things that happened during this interval included Jim getting married to Jill on June 1, 1975. We planted a nice tree in the front yard on their first anniversary, but it wasn’t put in perfectly straight. It lasted for many years, but in 2005 the people that bought 212 Standish Drive had it cut down. Also the huge evergreen tree that was in the front yard was also cut down at the same time.

The Syracuse Peace Council became a large part of our lives. Sally felt very strongly about the whole peace issue, and we were all concerned about the war in Vietnam. She began as a volunteer with the SPC, and for one year I was on the Board. Then Sally was hired as an employee and became very active. Dik Cool was released from prison where he had been sentenced because of his refusal to serve in military and he had a position with the Peace Council.

Sally really enjoyed working with Dik, although she often found him to be frustrating. One of the important things Dik started was the annual Peace Calendar. This was in the days before the use of computers and so there was a lot of cutting and pasting to put it together. Dik would make a bunch of decisions about what goes where and Sally would carefully fulfill his orders. But partway through he would change things, and much work would be lost. Sally really liked Dik, but his work process drove her to distraction!

The first few issues of the Peace Calendar were assembled in our basement, and so everyone got involved. One year when the calendar was put together Sally was checking it over after it was printed. Lo and behold she found that the number for January 5 had been left out of the box for that day. This caused some chaos and a lot of time was spent putting in the number on each of the already printed calendars. That year they added a new task in the calendar preparation process – date checker. In 1974 Sally was honored by the Peace Council by being awarded the 18th Annual Peace Award. The award was given because her “..good humor touches our lives in her intense and continuing commitment to the struggle for peace and justice.”

As time went on Mark also became involved with the Peace movement. When the Peace Council was housed in the Church Center Mark became the operator of the mimeograph machine. This was while he was a student at H. W. Smith middle school. After school he would come down over the hill to the Church Center to do his work. Jim too was deeply involved with Peace Council and related groups. During the New York State Fair the Peace Council would do politicking against the war and the military. The military often had a tank there, and the Peace Council would maintain a deathwatch over it. Jim was one of those and he would dress in a long black robe and wear a death mask and stand by the tank for extended periods of time.

There were almost daily actions against the war, and Sally participated in most of them. She would picket in front of the induction center – sometimes all by herself. The law required that when Jim turned 18 he was expected to register for the draft. So we had discussions about what to do. We finally decided that we would all go with him to the Selective Service office and bring in a candle and cake to share with the employees. This would give us an opportunity to express to them our opposition to the war, but he would nevertheless register as required by law. During this time the draftees were periodically gathered onto a bus and transported to the induction station. On one of these occasions Jim joined the picket line in front of the bus station and blocked the path. He and many others were arrested for this action. I happened to be teaching a course at University College at the time, and midway through a lecture I was called out and informed that my son was in jail. Upon returning to class I had a good opportunity to discuss the war and my opposition to it. Mostly General Electric employees who were working on military related projects populated this particular class. It was an interesting class.

Nannette had a great interest in animals, and at one point she decided to raise guinea pigs. So I built a small cage for the couple she had, and kept them in the basement. We used cedar chips for a covering, and the aroma of the chips wafted through the house. Well, one thing led to another and at the peak we had some 35 guinea pigs housed in the basement. To this day I think I have an allergic reaction to the smell of cedar chips.

During the first few years upon our return from the Philippines I tried some different activities, outside of the University, to help out where I could. Ruth Colvin was running a literacy program to have volunteers teach adults who are illiterate how to read. I did this for a year or so and found it very rewarding. One man I worked with wanted to learn to read so that he could read the baseball news and statistics before meeting with his buddies. Then he could tell them what had happened instead of having to wait to hear what they had to say.

One of the difficulties was that we had no fixed place to meet and we had to find our own facilities. This caused some trouble because I could not describe to him where we would meet by describing the streets to follow. In fact it was this sort of difficulty that eventually caused me to leave the program.

Another activity that I became involved with was draft counseling. The Vietnam War heated up after we returned from the Philippines. I wanted to help young men who were in danger of being drafted to determine if they were conscientious objectors, CO’s. I went through a training program with the AFSC to learn ways to help young people handle this matter, and then implement their desires. I found that most of the people I counseled were college students. The process to apply for CO status is quite complicated and requires study and careful preparation for questioning by the draft board. It became apparent to me that I was helping well-to-do young white men find a way to get out of being drafted. This bothered me quite a bit, so I checked in to see if there was any way I could do this counseling in the African-American community. I felt that every college student I help avoid the draft would be replaced by a black man.

Indeed I found that through the Bishop Foery Foundation I could do some counseling. The process was that an individual would make an appointment with me to talk things over. This worked somewhat but the number of young black men seeking CO status was quite small, and so that activity just slowly petered out. After thinking about all this I came to the conclusion that the best way for me to work against the war machine was in the University environment. This is where I could be most effective because it was at the University that I had most to lose, and thus my actions would be more than lip service – I would be putting myself on the line.

Sally was quite busy during this period between trips to the Philippines. The experience of reading to Nellie made her consider if there was something more she could do in working with blind people. She decided to look into the possibility of doing brailling for them, and contacted the Library of Congress. Indeed she found out that the LOC has a certification program that she could work towards. They informed her that there were certified braillists in the Syracuse area and she could work something out with them. This group is the Onondaga Braillists Organization (OBO), and several women were members of the group. So Sally got to know Jean Henderson and with her help started to learn to Braille. She started out with just a slate and stylus – this equipment meant that one had to punch each of the dots into the paper for each of the Braille cells. And of course you learned to make the cells from the back side. This picture shows the slate and stylus. The stylus is just a punch with a handle, and the slate has holes in it to guide the stylus into the proper location for each Braille dot.

After a few months of work she took the certification exam from the LOC, and passed it with flying colors. In July, 1971 she received certification from the Library of Congress as a “Volunteer Braille Transcriber”. So, she joined the OBO and they then loaned her a Perkins Brailler. This device has six keys and Braille paper is inserted at the top. Pressing a key causes a Braille dot to appear on the paper in the appropriate position in the Braille cell. It is much faster to use than the slate and stylus, of course. So once Sally was certified by the LOC and in 1971 then she began to Braille for the OBO. They basically did textbooks for schools with some private work for individuals that wanted to send a letter to a blind friend. All the labor they did was free and they only charged for the material they used.

You can also see that making multiple copies is tricky. Once the original was completed it was copied onto special paper by a thermoform machine. The blind reader much preferred the original made by the Perkins Brailler as the dots were much crisper. Sally really enjoyed doing this work, even though at times it was quite complex. There were many rules to follow, especially when it came to formatting the Braille for special cases like tables. Brailling the Periodic Table was a particular challenge.

At one point I found a set instructions about how to rework a manual Perkins Brailer into a motortzed and computer driven brailler. So I did this and it worked fairly well. I also found out about the Kurzweil Reader that could scan a document and produce both a voice output and a digital record of the text. This sounded fascinating so I connected the Kurzweil to my computer and passed the digitized text through software that converted the text into grade 2 braille. The software of course had a print output so that output was sent to the motorized Perkins brailler. Thus in one operation the printed text was converted into embossed braille. I put on a demonstration of this in the SU library and it was well received.

Upon our return from the Philippines I again dug into my work at the University and continued along the path towards getting promoted to Professor. But I also realized that spending time with the family and taking advantage of my ability to take time off in the summer were also important goals. My technical work up till this time was in the fields of Control Systems and Networks. However the field of Digital Signal Processing (DSP) seemed to be a natural extension of these areas since the world of digital computers was enlarging. I got a grant to go to a seminar series held in Miami at the Hotel Dural, which was really a tutorial about DSP. Sally and I both went so it was kind of a vacation for the two of us.

I really enjoyed this new field – there is a lot of mathematics involved and it expanded what I could do in Control Systems. So I established two graduate courses and found that there was genuine student interest in them. I was able to do this because of the unique opportunities that existed in the off campus teaching environment. The centers at Poughkeepsie and Endicott were always ready for something new and after teaching the first DSP course for a couple of years I developed enough new material for a second course at the PhD level.

The early 1970’s were highly charged years on campuses around the country, including Syracuse University. The Vietnam War was a constant issue and the students were expressing their distaste for what was going on. At one point the campus got taken over by the students. Barricades were set up, classes were cancelled, the computing center was threatened, and the students took over the Administration building. During this time I was Chair of the University Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure (AFT), and also President of the local chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

All sorts of other issues arose at this time. One came about because of my desire to get promoted to Professor. At one point the Chairman of the Department, Wilbur LePage, called me in to his office to let me know that he didn’t think I could get promoted so he said I shouldn’t submit the paperwork that would be needed. This caused my ire to rise and I decided I would do it anyway. So, as a member of the Senate I lobbied strongly to get students to serve on all University committees. Of course this fit in well with the current surge of student power and indeed the Senate passed such a requirement for the University Senate and each College to have students on all committees – most importantly to me, the Promotions Committee. I felt my strongest case was my teaching abilities and my course development work. I am the publisher of a minimal number of scholarly papers. The Department, College and Senate Promotions committees all approved my promotion so that matter was disposed of adequately. Much later I found out what happened on the Senate Promotions committee. A friend of mine, Bill Pooler, was a member of that committee and he told me that at first things were not going well for me. But I had at one time or another told him about the things I was doing academically and he was able to change the minds of enough members of the committee to get them to approve my promotion.

Another significant event was also developing at this time in the English Department. Jo Ann Davis Mortenson had been hired as an Assistant Professor a few years ago, along with two other male faculty members. The time arrived for consideration of reappointment, and the male members were reappointed while Jo Ann was told she was not. Jo Ann’s husband, Peter, was a faculty member of the Department. Jo Ann decided that she was a victim of sexual discrimination and filed a complaint with the Senate Academic Freedom and Tenure committee.

Our procedures on that committee required us to set up a fact-finding committee, which I did, and they found that indeed it looked to them like her complaint is valid. The English Department did not like this and refused to budge on their decision. The next step was to set up a hearing panel to take public testimony from all sides and make a recommendation to the Senate and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. This was done, and led to a most interesting sequence of events.

I appointed a Hearing Panel of some of the finest people I have ever met. Sam Fetters was a Professor in the Law College, and he was made the hearing officer. Sidney Thomas, a Professor in the School of Fine Arts proved to be a most stable and thought provoking individual. (Years later Sam and one or two other friends and I ended up having lunch each week to settle all the major problems of the world.) There were several other members of the panel, but their names elude me now. We had a few weeks of hearings, loads of controversy, some very strong feelings expressed by members of the English Department, and a final result that recommended that the decision about whether to reappoint should be reconsidered. Well, it turned out that Ms. Davis had also filed a complaint with the State Commission on Human Rights, so the University held off doing anything while that complaint was being handled. She is a very strong person, and kept up the action for many years. Currently she and her husband are faculty members in the English Department; Jo Ann has a part time appointment and Peter is a tenured Associate Professor.

As a result of meeting Sam on this issue, Sally and I developed a relationship with Sam and his family. At the time Sam was living on a farm in Cazenovia and had a few horses on his property. I think this was mostly because one of his daughters was really into horseback riding. Later on he and his family moved into the so-called White House. This is a house donated to the College of Law by E.I. White. The house was given to the College for the express purpose of supplying housing for the Dean of the College. Sam was not the Dean, but the Dean at the time, Ralph Kharas, didn’t want to live there and Sam was selected to have the honor. This White House is in the middle of a golf course in Fayetteville, New York.

We would visit with the Fetters from time to time, and drink a good quantity of scotch. One Friday evening we were there and Sam was rather nervous. He was not his usual self – much less open and cheerful than usual and not smoking. After some questioning he revealed that he had been having some tests made and the next day he would see his doctor to find out if he had emphysema. Sam was a heavy smoker as were both Sally and I. This was all I needed to convince me to quit smoking. I felt that I didn’t have to go through the trauma of facing the possibility of having emphysema in order to convince myself to quit. So Sam undoubtedly added several years to my life. Sam found out that he did not have emphysema.

Another fascinating situation arose over the matter of unionization of the full time Faculty members. The matter came to a head during the year I was President of the Syracuse Chapter of the AAUP. The executive committee of the Chapter met each Wednesday during the academic year, and we had much lively discussion about the issue. Finally one Wednesday it all came to a head and we took a vote about whether we should petition the NLRB for an election. By the narrowest of margins we voted to proceed. This meant we had to have a petition prepared and have a significant number of faculty members sign cards requesting to have an election. The issue was hotly debated around the campus, including at the University Senate. We held meetings with representatives of the various colleges to try to bring them on board to sign the petition cards. Representatives from the Law College were Travis Lewin and Robert Rabin. They decided they would disassociate themselves from the AAUP’s effort to form a union and instead go it alone. I think it was just a different way to say NO.

By the time the election was held the President of the Chapter was Josh Goldberg, and he organized things very well. In fact he hired Nancy Lorraine Hoffman as the office manager. (Nancy later was elected as the representative of our district in the New York State Senate. She was originally elected as a Democrat, but after a few terms she switched to the Republican party.)

The election campaign went on for some weeks, and the Administration was adamantly opposed to the idea of unionization. However one powerful member, Cliff Winters, the Vice Chancellor for Administration, said to me: “John, I hope the AAUP wins this vote because when the negotiations for the contract begins ALL items will be on the table, including tenure.” Cliff used to be the Dean of University College and thus I had a significant amount of contact with him due to the off-campus teaching. I really respected him, and I was surprised that he had such a strong feeling against tenure for faculty members. This is especially surprising since the previous Chancellor, William Tolley, was one of the architects of the AAUP’s “1940 Statement of Principles” which developed their case for tenure and its importance in the Academic world.

With some creative counting of the ballots on our part we lost by only 38 votes and the issue died. Later the NLRB ruled that the NLRB did not cover faculty members at private institutions since we were deemed to be part of management. So that ended the unionization attempts by the faculty.

My academic work proceeded as well as I wanted it to. I thoroughly enjoyed creating new graduate courses and I was able to teach them first at one of our off campus centers and then to graduate students on the main campus.

I often served on departmental and college committees and from time to time on search committees for a new chairman. Wil Lepage stepped down from the Chairmanship in 1974 and following him we had a steady succession of Chairs, all from inside the department. Brad Strait was his successor, and he was a good choice since he is an Orangeman all the way through and served until 1979 when he became head of the CASE Center. He also subsequently became Dean of the College and served as long as he wanted to. Virgil Eveleigh followed Brad as Chairman, and served until 1983. One of the nice things about being Chairman is that you received a good increment in your Academic salary for being the holder of the position, but most importantly, the bonus was not taken away when you were not longer Chair.

These were interesting times in the Department. There was much more play of politics at the time and as a result some friction. The most severe politicking that I was aware of was the case of Steve K. wanting to get Virgil E. fired as chairman. This never happened but resulted in an awful lot of bickering. Part of that time I was academic chairman at the Poughkeepsie off-campus center and that consumed much of my time. The faculty who taught there would fly down and back on a chartered flight by Executive Air. We would fly down in late morning, teach from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., and then fly back to Syracuse. This meant that we got lunch and dinner on the University. One time a faculty member who was a true vegetarian wanted to pick up a gelatin that was not made from horses. So, after teaching at Poughkeepsie he would take the train to New York City, buy his gelatin and spend the night, and then fly back to Syracuse the next day, all at University expense.

While Virgil was chairman we had a really bad situation develop over a faculty member who eventually got fired. This man, John S., was hired out of Brown University where he had a research laboratory. Much of the push to hire him came from Steve K., since their work was in the same general field. So, he came here in fine shape and started to set up his lab with some funding supplied by the University. He taught at the Poughkeepsie Center while I was Academic Chairman, and I found that he was highly unreliable. He did not necessarily meet his classes as scheduled, gave everyone A grades, and other strange activity. Also, equipment that he purchased seemed to disappear rather mysteriously. One time he decided to put on a big party in his residence in Syracuse and even had a number of friends of his who lived in Toronto fly in to the party on a chartered plane. It was a gala affair, and everyone had a good time. But, then it was found out that he had told the plane company, Executive Air, that this trip was an extension of the flights they were chartered for teaching in Poughkeepsie, so they billed the University for the service. Well, all hell broke loose and further checks were done on his background. Phone calls to Brown University turned up the charges that he had also manipulated funds there, and in addition sometime during his tenure at Brown there was a suspicious fire in his laboratory. Apparently no one had bothered to check his references at Brown University. I am not sure how it came about but shortly thereafter he left Syracuse University.

Our next chairman of the department was Norman Balabanian, and he served from 1983-1989. Norman left the Department in 1990 Sally wrote the following:

(she said dangling her participle)

Norman’s been here a long, long time.
I’ll say goodby with a bit of rhyme.
When I say long I’ll make it clear
I think maybe Norman’s ALWAYS been here.

At SU he earned his BS, MS and PhD
So he’s a natural home-grown variety.
When John came here to get his degree
He was already a member of the faculty.
And as John’s advisor he never lost sight
Of making sure John knew how to write.
Even now when proposals are written he’ll say:
“It’s written wrong, do it over Brule'”

Norm has a drive, a push and a flair
And though he’s short you know he’s there
He’s stood on a justice platform or two
Which helps both the cause and his stature too.

In the 60’s we thought the war wouldn’t cease
So he ran for Congress on a platform of Peace.
On our car his poster was taken around town.
His ideals were high the vote count was down.
We’ve kept his poster for many a day
And now it’s time to give it away.
No wonder, Norm, you lost that race-
There isn’t a single hair on your face.

He’s a damned good cook, a real gourmet.
I’ve eaten his meals and I know what I say.
Do you think his taste buds will still be keen
When Bostonians on Saturday eat baked beans?

Politician, Educator, Crusader and Cook.
Enough characters there to fill a book.
But one thing is omitted from this tome-
I’ll enter it now before they roam
What’s the best part of his life? that’s a cinch
It’s the woman he married, Rosemary Lynch.

Norman first moved to the Boston area and thence to Florida. He died in 2010.

We had another bad situation develop while I was chair of the tenure and promotions committee of the Department. It seems that a faculty member, K., had been hired while Norman Balabanian was chair and his teaching evaluation after the first semester was quite bad. Faculty members were evaluated by the students during the last class of the semester before any final examination. Each student filled out the form, then they were collected and put into an envelope which was subsequently delivered by the faculty member to Mary Jo Fairbanks who was the person to put all the numbers together. So when the evaluations came back Norman had a serious talk with K.

The performance by K. improved remarkably and everyone was pleased by this. This went on semester by semester until the end of the Spring semester of his 7th year. The letter granting him tenure letter was sent, since his research work was deemed adequate for the granting of tenure. He taught a course in the summer session, and again passed out the evaluation form. After the class one of the students felt she wanted to amend the document she had handed in, so she went to Mary Jo to ask her to let her change it. Surprisingly Mary Jo gave her the envelope containing all the evaluations so that she could identify and pick out hers. The student looked through the stack and said: “The form I filled out isn’t in here.” Then the checking started. Bob Belge became involved and in checking over the forms he noticed that K.’s name was never misspelled on any of the forms yet he had a very unusual name. Also, certain words describing the high quality of his teaching were always misspelled in the same way. What he had done was to swap envelopes that were filled with rating forms. He had filled out the forms and put them in a large envelope. When the students brought him their forms in an envelope he just swapped them.

The senior faculty members of the department were convened and shown all this evidence. Then K. was called in and was given the option of either resigning or facing the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee of the University Senate since we would bring charges against him. He resigned. There is a footnote. He applied to another University and gave the name of some faculty members in our department as references. At least one of these faculty members knew why he had resigned. Yet, K. was hired by this other University.

One time when I was serving as Chair of a Search Committee I got into a very negative situation with the Dean. The Dean was Jim Luker and one day he showed up at my office and was furious. He felt that I hadn’t been conscientious enough in keeping him informed about the activities of the Search committee and he really climbed all over me for that. I found him to be a very difficult person to talk with – which was probably part of the reason why he would always put me off when I tried to see him. At one point I actually had to threaten him, through his secretary, that if he wouldn’t see me then I was going to write to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and to the University Senate and blow the situation open. After that I could see him when it was absolutely necessary.

The next chairman of the Department was Kamal Jabbour. He was born and educated in Lebanon, and received his PhD from the University of Salford in England. He applied for a position with us while he was still in England, and at one point called the Department to get some indication about what he would be faced with in coming here. He was originally offered a position as Visiting Professor, and he wanted to know the differences with that as compared to a normal full time appointment. I was asked to speak with him and I advised him about the lack of setup money as a Visiting Professor and that any time spent with that appointment would count as time to tenure. After working it all over he decided to come over and join us. Kamal is a very well organized individual and gets things done on time and in order. He was elected Chairman in 1989 and served two years. (Kamal resigned his position at the University in the Spring of 2007 because he had accepted a lucrative position with the government at the Rome Development Center.)

Kamal was Chair of the Department for two years, 1989-91. At that time the Dean of the College was Dr. Steven Chamberlain. Steve had received his PhD from Syracuse University, and was a researcher in the Institute for Sensory Research. At the time he was appointed Dean he was the director of the Bioengineering Department in the College of Engineering. Steve was a very powerful person, had many strong ideas about what should be done, and ruled with an iron hand. Somehow he and Kamal became enemies, to say the least. It was clear that Kamal would never get promoted to Full Professor certainly as long as Steve was around – even though he might not necessarily still be the Dean.

I am not sure why Kamal’s term of service as Chair of the Department lasted only two years, but he was promoted up and out of the job. Kamal has always done a lot for the College and Department, but must have rubbed some people wrong. Anyway Kamal was replaced as Department Chair in 1991 by Don Weiner, a long term Professor in the Department. Steve continued on as Dean until 1995 when Ed. Bogucz was appointed who at that time was a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Steve went back to the Institute for Sensory Research and served there for some time until he was summarily retired after a short time. Finally in 2006 Steve resigned from the University. Ed. Bogucz moved on to become Executive Director of the Center of Excellence in Environmental Systems in 2003. He was replaced as Dean by another faculty member of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Eric Spina who has since been appointed as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost. Shiu-kai Chin was then appointed Acting Dean of the College until he was replaced in 2010

Don Weiner is a very meticulous faculty member, and demands much of his graduate students. He has had many PhD students, and requires extensive dissertations. Somewhat the opposite of me. It is not unusual for his students to have some 300 or more pages in their dissertations. I told my PhD students that if they couldn’t describe what they did in 100 pages then they didn’t really understand what they were trying to do.

The story went around that at one time that a faculty member had his driveway at home covered with blacktop. It seems that he was told there would be a 3 inch cover. Well, after the job was done he went out and took borings and found that in some places it wasn’t a full 3 inches. He refused to pay the contractor, and this dragged on for some time. In frustration the contractor finally came back and ripped up what they had laid down. That’s the rumor, anyway.

Anevent involving Don came during the period of final examinations. It seems that his room was right next to another room where the teacher was giving a final examination to her music class. It seems she was playing some music very loudly – so much so it interfered with Don’s class. He tried to convince her to lower the volume but she informed him in no uncertain terms that the music had a large dynamic range and she would not compromise her examination to satisfy Don’s concerns.

Don served as Chairman from 1991 until 1996, when Carlos Hartmann took over. A major reorganization of the College was underway – Departments were merged in some attempt to improve efficiency. Carlos was officially installed as Director of the combined departments of Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Computer Science.

Of course during the 10 years between our two sabbatical leaves to the Philippines our family was growing up and finding their own lives. Jim married Jill on June 1, 1975 and they moved on to New England where they found employment as house parents in a halfway house for disturbed youths. About that same time Nannette received a bequest of $1000 from one of Sally’s relatives who died. She immediately sunk the money into a used Ford Mustang and from then on I could expect to receive desperate calls for help when the engine died, or the muffler fell off, or any number of similar catastrophes.

At one time Nannette was driving Sally’s car out around Chittenango someplace and was paying more attention to her companions in the car than to the traffic. Suddenly she plowed into the rear end of a car that had stopped for a left turn. That ended Sally’s car and broke Nannette’s jaw. She was taken to a hospital in Oneida and we drove out there to be with her. The hospital decided to transfer her to Syracuse, so an ambulance took her with me inside with her. Sally drove our car home. The ambulance driver was absolutely insane. He drove with siren blazing and at extra high speed – climbing up and around banks to pass stalled traffic and very nearly got into an accident just before reaching the hospital in Syracuse. But, we lived through it, although Nannette certainly remembers what it is like to have your jaw wired shut for 6 weeks.

Another step I took involved interviews by the FBI. If a soon to be graduate applied for a job with the military or the Defense Department the FBI would check their backgrounds by interviewing people that might know them. Thus faculty members were high on the list that the FBI wanted to talk with. I felt I did not want to cooperate with getting my students involved with the war making branches of the US economy so when the FBI showed up at my office door and indicated they wanted to talk to me I immediately interrupted them and let them know I was not going to cooperate with the FBI in this matter. I preempted the conversation in this manner so that I took that stance before the name of the individual had been mentioned.

Of course lots of people were refusing to pay the “war tax” on their telephones, and I too did that. However, this meant telling the Payroll department what I was doing because the government would contact that department in an attempt to garnishee my wages so I had to warn payroll this might happen. When I explained what I was doing to one of the employees there she became seriously upset. In fact I was contacted by the supervisor about this to let me know about the chaos I was causing in that person’s life. So, the biggest problem I had in the tax matter was soothing the trauma of one clerk in Payroll.

The vast majority of the research money that came into my department at that time came from the military. Not only is much of the work in the electrical engineering department rooted in military needs but also we were teaching Master’s Degree level course work at the Rome Air Development Center in Rome, New York, and so all those students were associated with war making activities. As the sign outside the Griffiss Air Force Base says – “Peace is our Profession.”

Our last full camping trip occurred in the summer of 1976.  Jim was married and Nannette had no desire to go camping again so just the 3 of us – Mark, Sally and me took off for the Canadian Rockies and Glacier National Park in Montana.  I’ve described this trip in some detail in these memoirs so I won’t repeat it now.  We also took shorter trips to the notches in New Hampshire and camped along the Kankamagus river.  That was beautiful along with viewing the notches.  I think we spent a  night at Franconia Notch

As time went on we found that the urge to return to the Philippines was still strong with us. So we searched around for a sponsor again, and found a program run by SEATO, the SouthEastAsiaTreatyOrganization. Also I was able to once again get sabbatical leave support for the trip, and had an easier time convincing the Syracuse University Administration that the University should support my application.

Rum-11 Philippines first trip

How Come we Went to the Philippines?

For some years Sally & I had daydreamed about going overseas for a while with the family. We had traveled a lot during our first years of marriage. First to Hancock, then off to Iowa, and an almost to Seattle. Taking a job in western New York brought us back closer to our beginnings. The job gave us the opportunity to travel twice to Boston. First in 1951 to work at MIT in the DACL and find out how an autopilot is designed. Then in 1954 went to study for a year at MIT having been granted a fellowship by Bell Aircraft Corporation. Lionel Shub and I were each given a grant. Upon our return I at one time talked with Dr. Schone at Bell, he declared I should go back to school to get a PhD. Sally and I heartily agreed with this idea and shortly after that I gave my notice to Bell. In September 1956 joined SU as an Instructor, after turning down an offer from the University of Michigan.

After getting my PhD in 1958 I was promoted to Assistant Professor, and dug into academic life. When the Civil Rights movement grabbed my attention my whole life was turned onto a new path. I guess I never fully realized that, but I picked up this new set of real concerns and felt I could just integrate them into my life. But, it became more than that, and my life became more meaningful.

Well, after all my previous travels and these new thoughts it was a small step to say to myself, maybe there is more in the world that I should be aware of. Sally and I talked it over, and she too was intrigued with the idea of going overseas. So, I let it be known to various agencies in the government that I was interested in travel. Also, I had been at SU about 7 years, so I felt a sabbatical was sort of due.

The first place of interest was Egypt. This was in 1965. The thought of going to Cairo and being near to the ancient history of the world was captivating. We of course had to consider what to do about the education of our 3 children. Mark and Nannette would be no trouble since they were quite young. However we found that Jim would be another case. At that time there were very heavy restrictions on civil liberties in Egypt, and the possibility of Jim going to school was quite remote. In fact, one of our advisors indicated it would probably be better if Jim stayed in Syracuse. Also, we were told that the government would monitor our activities, so we decided we wanted no part of any of that.

Soon afterwards, in 1966, we heard from SEATO (SouthEast Asia Treaty Organization) about a program in the Philippines, and this sounded just great. We responded to that, and the more we looked into it the better it seemed. We were told that we would go to the island of Cebu, and I would teach in the Engineering College at the University of San Carlos in Cebu City. (We found out from talking with Verah that Dick Johnson’s father had been in Cebu some years earlier.) USC is a University run by the SVD’s. (SVD are the initials of the German words for Society of the Divine Word. Later we found the initials really were for “Smoke Ve Don’t, So Ve Drink.)

The program ran from January of 1967 through March 1968. I was to receive a stipend, and round trip tickets for the entire family. The language of instruction at the college level is English, and our three kids could attend local schools where both English and the local language, Cebuano, are used. The national language, Filipino, was also part of the instruction, as was a mandatory exposure to Spanish. But, contrary to popular belief, Spanish was not part of the lingua franca.

This possibility of moving to the Philippines generated great excitement in the family. It started with’ well, where are (is) the Philippines?’ and continued on with:’ Will I be able to have a pet? (Nannette), and: ‘Do I have to go to school there?’ (Jim). Mark, being only 4 at the time was quite unconcerned about it all. I think Sally was mostly pleased with the fact that it meant a new beginning and a huge shared experience for the entire family.

Having decided to go was the first step in a mighty complex new path for us. I applied for a Sabbatical leave from SU – I had now been of faculty rank for about 9 years so I felt it was appropriate to ask for an Academic year off at half pay. At that time John Prucha was the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and he viewed my request with a jaundiced eye. “What is in this that is good for Syracuse University?” he asked, and he didn’t view my answer as being what he wanted. My self-improvement that would result from teaching in a new environment was fine for me, but he didn’t see that SU would benefit from that. However, after some meaningful dialogue he relented and granted me the Sabbatical. (My argument was sort of a home grown version of ‘If it’s good for John Brulé then it’s good for Syracuse University.’)

We checked with the Department of Health and found that we needed several inoculations before we could leave. This included cholera shots, and the children wondered why we were going to such a place. We got passports for all of us, and sent them to SEATO in order to have the appropriate visas attached. Then we started considering what to do about the house, what to pack, and what to store, and a million such decisions. We decided we could rent the house and found a graduate student and family he needed about a year to finish up his dissertation at SU. This was about a perfect match. Well, we started making lists of things to do. We found there was an enormous number of things to remember and in several different categories. It got so that we couldn’t remember for sure if we had made a list of, say, what things to leave out for the tenants. This of course had to have two sub lists. One of things they could use, and another of things they could only look at. In fact there were so many lists to make up that we made a list of the lists we had created.

Away We Go

Well, we got it all together, and late in January 1967, we flew out of Syracuse, via Detroit to Tokyo thence to Hong Kong, Manila and Cebu. We figured that the 14-hour in-flight trip to Tokyo from Detroit was a heavy burden to bear so we decided to spend a few days in Tokyo before continuing on to Hong Kong and the Philippines. This was our first overnight flight so we didn’t realize that we should force ourselves to immediately put our bodies on local time. The mid-day naps we took in Tokyo only made matters worse. But, we found time to do some sightseeing, and rode the subway into downtown Tokyo. We wanted to see the Ginza, but how does one know the character for Ginza? We also journeyed on a monorail out into the countryside, and were amazed by the speed and comfort of the ride. We hung around the hotel room sometimes, and the children got a big kick out of watching TV and viewing Ponderosa in Japanese. We also roamed around some temples we found, but perhaps we were disrespectful. At one point we saw that a robed gentleman was following us and decided we should be more careful.

When we made the reservations to fly to Cebu and return, we found that while Tokyo was the first stop after the US, we could reach the Philippines by way of a side trip to Hong Kong. “Why not go there first,” Sally asked, and so that was our next stop. It is about a 4-hour flying time to Hong Kong from Tokyo, and so we were able to schedule it during daylight hours. The airport at Hong Kong is nestled between two mountains, and it is a bit tricky to maneuver for a safe landing. Well, on the first pass the pilot had to abort the landing attempt, and swing around for another try. This caused a fair amount of consternation among the passengers, and the conversation on the plane stopped quickly. We had picked up some toys in Tokyo for the children to play with, and Mark had a device that had a windup clock in it. As we aborted our first pass at the airport, Mark wound the clock and released it. So, suddenly there was this loud ticking noise, and screams of fear arose from some of the passengers. We tried to tell everyone that it was only a toy, but that was not quickly understood. But the second time the landing attempt was successful, and we soon were deplaned.

We had a reservation at the August Moon Hotel in Kowloon, so after clearing customs and immigration we taxiied over there. Of course the sights and sounds of Hong Kong overwhelmed our senses. The horns of the Star ferry beckoned us, so we boarded the ferry over to Hong Kong Island. It seemed the harbor was teeming with boats of all descriptions, and barely room for even one more.

Arriving on Hong Kong Island we looked for the Ladder Street and for a while considered climbing it. But, Victoria Peak was in need of being explored, and so we clattered on a cable train to the top to view Hong Kong from that vantage point. We also wanted to visit Aberdeen Harbor where so many people lived on boats, and stayed on the water for most of their lives. On the hillside above Hong Kong we saw the shacks of the poorest of the poor – people who had fled from Mao Tse Tung’s China and were barely eking out a living. We toyed with the idea of taking a train through the New Territories to Shenzen, but decided that was too much for such a short stopover.

After a few days in Hong Kong we continued on to the Philippines. It was a few-hour flight to Manila, and we arrived in late afternoon. We had to go through immigration and then claim our baggage before going through Customs. The heat and humidity was overbearing and sweat just poured off us. We had many pieces of baggage, as we knew we would be staying at least a year. We did not have any language difficulty as English is spoken throughout the country. We found that we had to change terminals from the International terminal to the domestic terminal to catch the flight to Cebu. This caused no end of tension, as we had to hire more than one taxi to get all of our baggage and us safely transported. Many of the taxies did not use a meter and it meant fixing the price for the ride before we loaded our baggage. This took some doing, as the taxi drivers understanding of English seemed to decay as we tried to negotiate a lower price.

By late afternoon we were flying to Cebu, and marveling at the beauty of the islands. We flew south from Manila over southern Luzon, caught sight of Mindoro Island, and soon we approached Panay, Negros, and the western edge of Cebu. Cebu is one of the islands in the central Philippines, and this region is known as the Visayas. The other two major regions of the Philippines are the islands of Luzon and Mindanao. The Visayas are roughly at 8 degrees north latitude, thus about 500 miles north of the equator. Thus, while we landed in daylight, in the next few minutes night fell and we deplaned in pitch dark.

Of course there were no jet-ways, so we trudged across the tarmac to the terminal building. There we were met by the welcoming team of Pedro Yap the assistant Dean of Engineering, Benedicto Supremo the chair of the Electrical Engineering Department, Father John Berry of the Presidents Office of the University, and other members of the Engineering College. Several of the faculty members had driven cars or trucks to the airport, so we had plenty of room for the five Brulé’s and their baggage.

Sally & I were in the car with Pedro Yap, and we were torn between talking with him and being overwhelmed by the new world we were in. Pedro inquired as to how large our family was, and we replied ‘Counting the three children there are five of us.’ Pedro used that to indicate to us that he has 9 children. He was a guerilla fighter on Cebu during the Japanese occupation of the island in World War II. He was on the island when it was ‘liberated’ by the US troops in 1945. He then served with the US forces during the occupation. He said to me, ‘John, there was one problem that I had to face at that time.’ I asked him to tell me about it, and he did so at some length. ‘I was concerned about what to do about the mess hall arrangements.’ ‘Why was that?’ I inquired most innocently. ‘Well’, he said, ‘I had to find out if I was to eat with the blacks or the whites’. (Remember that there was segregation in the US military at that time.)

Our plane had landed on the island of Mactan, and so we had to cross over to the main island of Cebu, which is about ¼ mile away. There was no bridge, the previous bridge having been destroyed in a typhoon. (A typhoon in the Eastern Hemisphere is the same as a hurricane in the Western Hemisphere.) So our caravan headed for the shore, and drove onto LST’s. These ships, which were left over from the war, were now serving as ferries. There was much evidence of the war still around. For example, an electrical generator that was on an LST supplied part of the power needed by Cebu City.

Well, it was only a few minutes ride across the water to the main island, and we were taken to the Hotel Magellan for our first night in Cebu. Magellan is a big name around Cebu because it was on the island of Mactan that the freedom fighter Lapu-Lapu disposed of Magellan in 1521.

The picture is that of a statue of Lapu-Lapu that is in Lapu-Lapu City on Mactan. What had happened to Magellan is that a cohort of Spaniards landed on Mactan for the purpose of subduing Lapu-Lapu and his men. In the bloody battle that ensued, the Spaniards with their armor and guns were overwhelmed by the native warriors, led by Lapu-Lapu, and were all killed. Lapu-Lapu was the first Filipino chieftain to resist the Spanish invasion and their attempt to make the Philippines a colony of Spain. For the next 54 years no Spaniard dared to set foot on Philippine soil and Lapu-Lapu went down in history as the Philippines first national hero.[1]

At the time the Magellan Hotel was the elite hotel in Cebu City, and probably the nicest hotel outside of Manila. Even to this day I view the Philippines as having two distinct sections. One is Manila, and the other is the rest of the country. For example, while we were in the Philippines I bought a car, and thus needed a Filipino drivers license. Filling out the paper work went OK in Cebu City, but then the material had to be sent to Manila for processing and eventual issuance of the license.

On the following day we were introduced to many people throughout the administration, from the President, Father Rahmann on down. The University had made arrangements for us to rent a house on the street Andres Abellana, in the Capital district of Cebu City. So we went there the next day to look it over. The house had a nice lot, and three bedrooms on an upper level. The main floor had a large dining/living room, a kitchen, a maid’s room, and a wash room. We were also told that we should hire a cook and a maid. Sally was quite concerned about this, as she had no experience with hired help. But the need to do shopping for food in the city market, contact with vendors, laundry, and maintenance of the house soon convinced her that it was worth a try.

So, we had the word passed around that we were looking for some help, and soon Remey Torrejo and her niece Rere showed up. Remey had worked for foreigners before, and her English was very good. So we hired them right away; Remey as the cook and leader, Rere as the lavendara and maid. However, there was a lot of tuberculosis in Cebu at that time, so we required that they both get x-rayed to check upon their condition. The x-rays showed that they both had scar tissue, but were not infected at this time. We also told Remey that whenever food was carried in to our table that she should first wash her hands. From that day on her hands were always dripping wet whenever our food was served.

One of our first concerns was to get the children into school. Mark had just turned 6, and we found a place for him in St. Theresa’s school. He was put in a grade called prep, since there was no equivalent to first grade. He carried quite a burden in school, since he was the only blond in his grade. But, two doors down the street on Andres Abellana there were another American family, Bud and Judie Adams, and they had a son just Mark’s age. So, he had a buddy, Chuckie, to play with. Chuckies dad was a researcher at the local leprosarium, and I’ll say more about that later.

Nannette was in heaven in the Philippines. She has the same skin tone, and dark hair, as many filipinas and she just integrated right in to the society. She too went to St. Theresa’s, and immediately made a lot of friends. In addition she was able to have real live pets, so she soon acquired a young goat. She loved that goat like it was her child. At first it had a free run of the yard, but we soon noticed that the flowers on all the flowering bushes were disappearing. The flowers were tasty morsels for the little goat, and he made short work of them. After we had been there a few months the goat got sick, and Nannette was devastated. We contacted the leprosarium to see if there was a veterinarian there, and indeed one showed up at the house that evening. However the little goat was beyond saving, and it died in Nannette’s arms that night. She wanted us to mount the head, but we talked her out of that. Anyway, there were several turkeys in the yard next door, and she moved her mothering to them.

Jim entered school at the Boy’s High School of the University of San Carlos. He too had a great time being a standout person. That is, he was at least a head taller than anybody in the entire school. Everybody assumed he was a great basketball player, and was expected to be a standout in that area too. However, Jim is no great athlete, but has a great aptitude for making friends, and soon he was well accepted by his classmates and teacher.

At first Sally was totally consumed with getting the house in order and developing good relations with Remey and Rere. There was much to be learned about how shopping is done here in Cebu City, where the good stores are, getting to and from the large city market, Carbone. Having the Adams’ nearby was a great help also. They had lived in Cebu for a year, and Bud was quite busy at the leprosaurium. Judie and Sally hit it off right away and that helped make the transition smoother.

I went to the Engineering College, and started to meet the faculty. I met the Dean of Engineering, Jose Rodriguez. He had been Dean since shortly after the end of World War II. The main building of the Engineering College is in the barrio Talamban, about 8 kilometers (5miles) out of the city. At first I took a taxi to get there, but when I learned about which jeepney to ride, I switched to that mode. The jeepney is the most widely used form of transportation throughout the Philippines. They all are highly decorated and colorfully adorned. Usually two passengers ride up front with the driver, and the rest of us ride on side benches. Often a helper will hang on to the back of the jeepney and collect the fares. But usually the driver is alone and the passengers each pay the driver as they leave the jeepney. The fare when we first arrived in the Philippines was 10 centavos, with 100 centavos in a peso. At that time in 1967 the peso was worth about 25 cents. A jeepney had the sign: “God Knows, Judas not Pay.” The full meaning of that line becomes apparent when you remember that the J has the sound of H.

One common misconception is that the Philippines is a Spanish speaking country. While the Spanish occupied the country for centuries, nevertheless they did not have any real school system for the filipinos, other than the teaching of religion. There was a mandatory course in Spanish that students had to take, but Spanish was never introduced to the population as a whole. Altogether there are some 87 dialects throughout the country, and one attempt at a national language, called Filipino. On the island of Luzon the main language is Tagalog, which is closely allied to Filipino. The people of Cebu speak Cebuano, and most of them also speak English.

The University of San Carlos has several campuses around Cebu City. The main building is in the central part of the city, and is where the administrative offices of the University are located. The school is owned and operated by the Society of the Divine Word, SVD. At the time of our arrival there in 1967 all the higher officers of the University were priests of the SVD order. Further, none of these officers were Filipinos. There were four major nationalities among the religious personnel at USC. These are Dutch, German, Filipino and American. As Sally put it, the Dutch and the Germans did not like each other, and they both disliked the Americans. And, of course, none of them paid any attention to the Filipinos.

I would go to the main building from time to time to attend meetings, and get to know the people there. Two particularly interesting people were Father Verstrallen and Brother Willibrod. (Both of these men were from the Netherlands.) Verstrallen was heavily involved with studying people in a remote section of Mindanao – he was learning their language and constructing a dictionary. Brother Willie was an assistant to the Finance Officer. But they also had a deep interest in the well being of the people in Cebu City.

There were many children in the city that did not have any family to see to their needs, and their situation was of concern to these two fine men. The young girls were seriously at risk, and if left alone would be exploited terribly and would end up as prostitutes. There was an orphanage that opened the doors to them, and some took advantage of the offer of help. The young boys basically lived on the street, and made a living as best they could. Many of them would carry a box filled with many different brands of cigarettes. When a jeepney would stop at a traffic jam (there were no stoplights in Cebu City at this time) the boys would rush to the sides of the jeepney and sell cigarettes. Filipinos would usually buy just one cigarette at a time when they were on the jeepney. So the boy would sell the cigarette and light it for the purchaser.

Another source of income was that some boys would offer to watch your car. When you found a parking spot someplace they would rush over and offer to watch your car while you were gone. It was always wisest to accept one offer, and when you returned to your car you would give him a tip. A third source of income was most distressful to the driver of the car. In this case when your car would be stopped for some reason, a couple of boys would rush over each holding probably the dirtiest rag you had ever seen. Covered with oil and dirt they would offer to “wipe your windows, Sir?” and you had to somehow convince them that you appreciated the offer, but didn’t want to use them just now. A tip would take care of that situation.

The boys would sleep in local theaters, and anyplace else they could find some cover. As a result their personal hygiene left a lot to be desired. Brother Willie and Fr. Verstrallen would see to it that they got some food and would work with them somewhat to try to give them some fundamental instruction. One thing they did was each Sunday they would take them to a beach rest area, Miramar, operated by USC. There was a swimming pool at this place, and the pool was drained each Sunday. (There was no water pump to circulate the pool water, and of course no chlorine in the water.) The officers of USC were quite concerned about the boys swimming in their pool, but finally agreed to let them because the pool was drained immediately after.

Sally and I got involved with this activity to the extent that we would go out to Miramar each Sunday afternoon, and bring a couple of bagsful of sweet rolls. We would be around with them while they swam, and then pass out the rolls for a little snack. One day Brother Willie and Father Verstrallen brought them to our house prior to the swim, and this picture shows them as they greeted us. That is Father Verstrallen on the right, along with a little bit of Brother Willie. We figured that they had worn their shirts and pants for quite some time, so we went out and bought replacement clothes for the. The other picture shows them in their new attire. Of course, within a day or two the new clothes in lower picture took on the form of the clothes in the upper picture.

This picture was taken at another part of the University. This place was known as Girls High School, and was a few kilometers from the main building. Jim went to Boys High School, which was in still another part of the Cebu City.

Each evening after we all arrived home from our daytime activities we would sit around the table and unload our experiences of the day. There always was some astounding activity that required sharing with the family. One evening Nannette did not show up from school, and we had a panic in the house. We really didn’t know the names of the people she went to school with, so it took a lot of phoning to everyone we knew to try to track her down. Well it turned out that she had been invited to the home of one of her friends, and they didn’t have a direct means to get in touch with us. Eventually she turned up, and you may be certain that Sally had a few words to say to the family who had entertained her.

One time Jim indicated that he would like to have a party in the house with his friends. We thought this was a good idea, and checked with Remey to work out a menu. One of Jim’s friends told us that we should hire a guard for the night, and we reluctantly did so. It turned out that was a good idea because a number of people Jim didn’t know turned up to attend the party. The word had gotten around that the Americano was to have a party, and that was sufficient to attract a few strangers.

My work at the University had several different aspects to it. I taught a course to Undergraduate students and this gave me some insight into characteristics of the engineering student body. I also taught courses to the faculty. Some were for upgrading their understanding of the material they were teaching, and other courses introduced them to new features of Electrical Engineering. For these courses I prepared lengthy notes, and the faculty members who took the courses were deeply involved in study and doing the homework I assigned. (I returned to the department 9 years later on another sabbatical and found the notes were still in use.)

The faculty members in the University are paid on a per credit hour basis. That is, they are paid so many pesos per credit hour they teach. Thus, every faculty member was very anxious to teach as many credit hours as the University would allow. This is just the opposite of the desires of the faculty member in the US. At Syracuse University the average faculty member would teach perhaps 6 credit hours per semester. In the Philippines a faculty member would teach say 27 credit hours per semester at one school, and then go to another local engineering school and teach another 6 to 12 credit hours. Basically this is done so the faculty member can earn a moderately good income. (The credit hours are counted the same way in the US and the Philippines.)

So, in the courses I taught to faculty I had to take this into consideration in the way I conducted the course, and what I could expect of them to do with homework.

The chair of the department, Benedicto Supremo, was working on a master’s degree in the Physics department. He needed a thesis to finish up the degree, and the Physics faculty said I could be his advisor on some topic in Electrical Engineering. So, we looked over what was available, and Supremo was interested in motors and such. He was able to write a good thesis on the dynamic response of a motor-generator system. This involved solving some non-linear differential equations and he did this using numerical methods and a mechanical desk calculator. The department had an old analog computer, but it wasn’t big enough, or reliable enough, for him to use. So he punched away on the mechanical calculator. There was no digital computer anywhere in the Philippines for him to use.

Sally found that she had a lot of free time, and she started going to meetings of various civic organizations. The elite of Cebu City were members of the Club Espanol, but she had no desire to join that organization. She went to the University to see if there was anything she could do to help, and was told that there was a blind student that could use someone to read aloud to her. Her name is Nellie Flores, and she somehow got admitted to the University in spite of her inability to read written material. Sally would go to Nellie’s apartment a couple of times a week and read to her. It was a small apartment, so Sally had to sit on the bed while Nellie listened and made notes on her little braille board. Sally found out the hard way that there were bedbugs in Nellie’s apartment, so they soon found a different place to meet.

Sea Urchins

The people in the department would, from time to time, have a gathering of the families. Of course we would meet at a beach and have a day of swimming, snorkeling, and general bonding. The big danger most of us were aware of was the need to protect ourselves from the sun. Being on the ocean in the tropics is delightful experience, but sunstroke is always a danger. Also, the tides resulted in a change of water level of about 3 feet. That isn’t so much, but when we are swimming at a nice beach that is quite shallow then there can be quite a change in where the shoreline is.

One day we were all having a great time, and a dozen or so parents and children decided to get on a banca and go out and explore a nearby island. The picture shows a banca, with Sally boarding it. However, she did not get on the banca this day.

The group left the beach as the tide was going out, and they were gone a few hours. When they returned they found that the water had become so shallow that they had to debark from the banca at a distance of about 100 yards from the shore. The floor of the ocean in this interval was just thick with sea urchins, and they all started walking towards the shore. Well it didn’t take more than a couple of steps before the children screamed and started crying because they couldn’t step between the sea urchins and thus were getting spines into their feet. So, what could they do? The bancas couldn’t get closer to the shore, and so the men that were on board each took a child on their backs and waded through the sea urchins! We who were on the shore could see the pain on their faces, and also hear their shouts of anger/pain. What a sorry sight, and what a way to end a joyful day at the beach.

As the men reached shore it was necessary to remove the spines from their feet, and this was readily accomplished. The spines can be easily removed if the foot is soaked in an ammonia solution. Thus all the men and boys had a busy time contributing to the collection of ammonia.

On a later trip taken by the family we went to Davao City on Mindanao, and had another encounter with sea urchins. Nannette managed to stumble onto one while we were walking along the shore. Again the boys came to her rescue and soon the spines were removed from her foot.

We were treated most generously during our stay on Cebu. One fine man, Al Tantoco, took us under his wing to make sure that we saw all the good things in and around Cebu City. Every weekend for the first several weeks of our stay he would make arrangements to pick us up and take us around in his car. Al was Chairman of the department some years before I got there, but was now an employee of the airport on Mactan. One trip was a ride up into the hills above Cebu City to the small town of CarCar. The road was quite bumpy and curved around the hills as we climbed to the summit. In CarCar there was a small church, a central square, and housing for a hundred people or so. We got out of the car at the square to stretch our legs and were immediately surrounded by young people and by vendors wanting us to buy rice cakes. These particular rice cakes are unique to CarCar, and we found them to be very tasty. Sally and I both enjoyed them as a delightful snack when we would have a drink before dinner.

As we started to settle in for our life in the Philippines we spent some time with the priests who taught and resided in the main building. I met the President of the University, Father Rahmann. He was a remarkable man and largely responsible for raising the level of competence of the entire University. Many of the faculty members were German SVD’s who had been living in China prior to coming to the Philippines. When the Japanese invaded China the German SVD’s were not interned. This was because Japan and Germany were fighting common enemies – the Allies of Britain, the USA, and others. However when the Communists of Mao Tse Tung took over the mainland in 1949 the German SVD’s left China and came over to the Philippines.

We became friendly with Father John Berry, and Father Tom Mueller. They both were very active in University politics, so I learned a lot about who was doing what in the various schools. The Father’s regularly have a gathering on Sunday evenings in a bar room on the top floor of the main building. Sally and I would go to that from time to time and enjoy an evening of gossip and bonding. After we left the Philippines we kept in touch with John and Tom. Tom ended up marrying a Chinese woman, and they moved to Oregon and he became involved with a University there. John married a former nun, and Sally and I attended their wedding in the Bronx. John was a great drinking buddy, and in later years we met from time to time, first in Washington DC, and then in Houston, Texas where he was teaching at a University. We also developed a relationship with Father Hans Werner, and sometimes we would have them over for dinner.

Hans took great pleasure in relating stories about filipino myths, and giving modern interpretations. The feast of the Santo Nino occurs in mid January, and Cebu is the center of the observances that go on throughout the Philippines. Nowadays this is called the Sinulog. One story is that during this period the Santo Nino and the black Madonna disappear and meet on the island of Mactan. The story goes that as a result of this meeting the human line is continued. The figure to the left is the classic figure of the Santo Nino. The next figure shows the women dancing outside the Basilica of the Santo Nino in Cebu. The women are dancing to help people with their prayers. Anybody can purchase a candle and then give it to one of these women to perform their dance for them in the hope that the prayer will be answered. Usually the prayer is a call to assist the penitent to achieve her desired state of being pregnant.

The Sinulog has become an important event for many communities throughout the Philippines. In Cebu City the main feature is a parade, as also shown in another picture. In fact each barrio and gated community in Cebu City will have their own parade, led by the barrio captain, and featuring all the notables of the community.

The picture below shows one small part of the parade that went down one of the main streets of Cebu City. The people line the streets to see all the participants in their costumes and listen to the music of the marching bands.

One of the larger religious celebrations in Cebu City is the observance of Holy week, in particular Holy Thursday and Good Friday. In the evening of Holy Thursday many young people go up into the hills to gather branches, and commune with nature. Then on Friday they return, and in general flagellate themselves with those branches, and participate in areenactment of the crucifixion. The crucifixion is real and begins with a procession through the streets. Eventually they reach the desired open space and the penitent is nailed to the cross with steel spikes driven through his hands and feet. This man stayed on the cross for the full three hours in the blazing sun. It was not only that he was able to stand the pain, but surprisingly didn’t suffer from heat stroke. The time around Easter Sunday is the beginning of the summer in the Philippines and it gets quite hot in the direct sun during the summer. It seems to me that in the Philippines the event of the crucifixion and death of Christ is more important than the resurrection. Also, All Souls day, November 2, (sometimes called the Day of the Dead) is more important than All Saints day, November 1. The day purposely follows All Saint’s Day in order to shift the focus from those in heaven to those in suffering.

After we had been in the Philippines for several months we decided to take a trip to Bohol. This is an island very close to Cebu, so we went there by ferryboat rather than flying. We were drawn there by the word that many fine orchids were in the market in Tagbilaran, main city of Bohol. So we found a hotel in the city and looked around at the market there. But, the real attraction, for me at least, is to the Chocolate Hills. As you can see in the picture the hills look like chocolate drops and in the dry season the leaves on the trees turn brown, and the likeness becomes striking. We hired a taxi to take us up to the hills, and spent the night there in a dormitory. It was a full moon night, and the view was spectacular.

The next morning we decided to take jeepney’s back to Tagbilaran, so we walked back to the main road and boarded the first jeepney that came by. We were sure that all of them were headed into Tagbilaran and were not worried about finding the right one. The jeep had several people on it, and so we had a nice conversation with them. “How old are you?” was the first word out of the man next to me. “Forty”, I said, and before I could ask him his age he assured me that he was much older than I was. “How many children do you have? a woman asked Sally. Of course when she replied 3 we were assured that we had a very small family.

We got out at the first barrio we encountered, and looked over their market. We didn’t see anything unusual, so we jumped on another jeepney and continued doing this, eventually ending up back in Tagbilaran. When we got back there it was nightfall, so we spent another night on Bohol.

We had heard that there was an interesting cave a few miles down the road, so we hired a taxi and went to find it. Sure enough we soon located it, jumped out of the taxi to explore it. We had been warned that there were lots of bats in the cave, so we entered it without making much of a fuss. It was quite large, with a deep pond in the center of the cave. We could see the bats way up on the ceiling, but they were ignoring us. Well, it was a hot day and we had worn our swimming suits, so we went in for a dip in the pond. That was quite refreshing, and as soon as we were cooled off we climbed back out of the cave, got in the taxi and caught the next ferry back to Cebu.

It is interesting to note that some years later (in 2003) I returned to the Philippines with Dolores and my granddaughter Rachel and we visited some of the places that Sally & I frequented in 1967-68. On our trip to Bohol in 2003 we tracked down a small monkey called a tarsier , as shown in this picture. The tarsier is about the size of a small person’s hand, and spends most of the day sleeping. It is an endangered species as you might well imagine.

We also went back to the cave and here is a picture of Rachel part way into the cave. They added the cement steps, but otherwise not much else was different from what it was in 1967. The picture down below shows the cave entrance.

We visited several other islands throughout the Philippines including Palawan, Negros both occidental and oriental, Panay, Leyte, and Mindanao.

A particularly difficult visit was the one we made to Leyte. This is the island where MacArthur first landed on his return to the Philippines from Australia towards the end of World War II. So, we decided to go over there and check it out. First we saw a large and unbelievably noisy electrical generating station. The source of the noise, and the energy for generating electricity, was geothermal. I sounded like a thousand jackhammers pounding at once. The personnel in the station all wore thick protective ear covers, but even those were insufficient.

We then hired a car to take us to the eastern shore of Leyte to the city of Tacloban. The road across the island was under construction, and extremely wet. The car we were in sat low on its springs, and the interior of the car was sopping wet before we had gone more than a hundred yards of the several mile trip. Along the way we met a caravan of Japanese tourists. Apparently they too were on their way to Tacloban. It seems Red Beach, which is near Tacloban, is a memorial for the Japanese since many of their soldiers were killed during the battle for Leyte.

MacArthur had landed at Red Beach, and there are several larger than life size statues of MacArthur, Quezon, and others shown wading through the surf to reach the shore. The local story is that MacArthur was furious with the people who had planned his entrance as a photo op. The LST that he rode in on had to stop several yards out from the shore as the tide was out. Thus he had to wade through some water and he got his clothes quite wet.

Sally and Mark and I visited Tacloban again in 1978-9 on our second trip to the Philippines. This time we flew into Tacloban from Cebu City, and found a pensione in which to stay. During the night I suffered a severe pain in my side, and we were sure that it was due to a kidney stone. The pain was so severe that I felt I had to get medical attention. There are two hospitals in Tacloban, St. Louis and Tacloban General. St. Louis had an emergency room, so after some consultation decided to go there. We awakened Mark to let him know what we were doing, and told him not to worry, that we would be back in touch later. He sat up in bed while we told him this and were convinced he understood.

So we had the people at the pensione call a cab, and off Sally and I went to the hospital. I was well taken care of, and resting well a couple of hours later when Mark showed up at the room in a state of great agitation. It seems he had awakened after we left and found we had disappeared. He had no recollection of our awakening him and no one was around to answer any questions. He looked outside, and finally was able to rouse someone that he could talk with. This was about 4:00 a.m. or so. After much discussion they figured out that they had heard something going on during the night, and decided to check the hospitals. That’s how Mark found us! I am afraid that this scar will be on Mark for quite some time. That day we flew back to Cebu City, and tried to resume our life.

Another trip we took was to the island of Mindanao. This is the second largest island in the Philippines, and the religion of people there is by and large muslim while the rest of the Philippines is Christian and mainly Catholic. The muslims of Mindanao have resisted being governed by anyone since the early days of colonization by Spain. It is another world there, and strangers of any sort are viewed with suspicion. Being Caucasian is somewhat more negative.

So, we flew to Davao City, which is at the Eastern end of the island. We stayed in a beautiful resort there, the Davao Insular. That is where Nannette went swimming and encountered another sea urchin. Davao is also noted for its special fruit, the durian. This fruit smells so strongly that it is not permissible to bring it on board an airplane. So we went out and bought one, but were warned not to bring it to our room. We went outside to the pool area, cut it open, and came to the conclusion that it tasted as bad as it smelled.

After a few days we flew to Zamboanga City, which is at the far southwestern edge of the island. On the way the plane stopped at Cotabato, and we had a couple of hours layover. The airport is a couple of miles out of the city, so we inquired about taking a taxi into town to see what it looked like. We were strongly advised to stay put in the airport and not go out on any excursion. Cotabato is one of those hot spots, and has a rather violent reputation. It seems that on the previous Easter Sunday some person was shot and killed in a church there as he was receiving communion.

Flying on to Zamboanga was completed without incident.

We had made reservations at the Bayute Hotel so we were all set. We spent New Year’s eve at this hotel and set off firecrackers in an old cannon sitting on the beach. While we were sitting on the shore that night we noticed a small boat leave a rather large banca and be rowed to the shore. The small boat was almost swamped but the men were very careful while rowing to the shore. Once there it took four men to lift up a chest it was carrying and get it onto a jeepney. The jeepney left as soon as the chest was loaded. Zamboanga is noted for its wide variety of goods that can be purchased, and at very good prices.

While exploring Zamboanga the next day we came upon a very nice city park. It had a long slide in it that went down a hill and ended in a swimming pool. We all had a great time doing this for an hour or so, but all sliding ended abruptly when it was noticed that the bottoms of our swimming suits were practically worn away. The slide was concrete, and consequently was quite rough on the material of our suits. Nevertheless we had an exciting time for a while and flew back to Cebu City in great spirits.

After we had been in Cebu for a few months I decided it was time we had our own transportation, so we looked around and finally bought a second hand Renault. It served us well so that we could ride around Cebu and visit more of the outlying barrios. We drove up the east coast of Cebu to Danao City, since we heard there were some interesting sites there. Danao City is run by the Durano family, and they controlled everything in it. Schools, hospitals and all such services were made available by them. In fact, even the one hearse in the city served the family. On the side of the vehicle there was the sign: “Your last ride is free.”

Mr. Durano was quite generous, as you can see from his offer of a ride. But he also viewed himself as a religious man, and he created an almost unbelievable “holy” spot. He decided to take many of the major ideas of the New Testament and make chapels for each one. Thus he created these chapels, populated by larger than life statues, of each of the 15 mysteries associated with the rosary, the 14 stations of the cross, the 12 apostles and had created busts of most of the Popes of the Roman Catholic Church. These last figurines are placed on pedestals distributed around the grounds of another garden. Finally, the body of Ramone Durano, the patriarch of all this, rests in a grotto in the center of the “holy” spot. A figure of Jesus stands at the open door of the grotto gesturing for you to enter.

It is worthwhile to point out now that over the years the Brulé family developed a close connection to the Philippines. The first trip was in 1967-68, and all 5 of us went. The second trip was in 1978-79, and Sally, Mark and I were the only ones to participate. But, this was not the end. In 1981 and again in 1984 Sally and I were in China where I was teaching at several different schools. On the way back to the USA we stopped over in Cebu for a couple of weeks each time. In 1986 Ferdinand Marcos was expelled as President of the Philippines and Cory Aquino became President. Sally & I went each year from 1987 until 1998 for a period of about 3 months each time. Sally died in January, 1998, and I made two more trips that year – one in January/February and another in September/October. Then in 2003 Dolores and I went to the Philippines, accompanied by my granddaughter Rachel. We were there about 3 weeks visiting all the places familiar to me, plus some new ones. So much of the remaining notes in this section won’t necessarily follow a chronological line, but rather I will just write about my memories.

During the years that Sally & I were in the Philippines we made many friends. One of the first was Vic Seno. He was a faculty member in the Civil Engineering Department and he has a most interesting background. Vic was single when we arrived, but he was engaged and in October, 1967, he married. I was asked to be a sponsor at the wedding and I was most honored to be there. Well, much to our surprise we found out that the wedding was at 6:00 a.m. in one of the local churches – San Nicolas. This was quite a surprise for us, as we didn’t usually get up at that hour of the morning. Anyway, we made it OK, and the wedding went off as planned.

A Filipino wedding has many rituals that we are not aware of, so we were interested to see the doves released at the appropriate time, the various veils worn and transferred, and other such activities.

After the wedding there was the reception, and that started at about 7:00 a.m. The whole thing was over by 8:30 a.m., and so now what do we do? The only thing that made any sense was to go back home, which we did, and then rolled back in bed to finish off our interrupted sleep!

Arturo Espinosa was a faculty member in the Electrical Engineering Department, and his marriage was the second one that I was a sponsor at. Art pretty much disappeared from the department shortly after that, so I didn’t have much contact in the ensuing years even though he still lives in Cebu City.

I was quite interested in the Electrical power situation in Cebu City so did a little inquiring around. The local supplier was Veco (Visayan Electric Company). A major source of electrical power was the generator on a landing craft left behind by the US troops at the end of WW II. There was all sorts of trouble with the power distribution system. For example we had to warn Remy to not touch the water faucet when she opened the refrigerator door – I got a shock more than once from that.

I asked Supremo what he knew about how power was distributed to the outlying barrios, and he told me that up the coast of Cebu there was a town which generated its own electricity from a water fall. So, one day we all got into the Renault and drove up the island to look for it. We found it in Lanao, about 40 kilometers from Danao City. Indeed there was a waterfall about15 feet high on the edge of the barrio, and a little shack right alongside of it. There was a generator in the shack being driven by a turbine at the base of the waterfall. The generator had been salvaged from and old abandoned LST, and served the whole barrio.

Electrically, the electricity came from this 2-phase generator, and four wires left the shack, 2 from each phase, and went off to the barrio. I asked some of the local people how this worked, and they filled me in on a few details. At night the voltage was so low that they really couldn’t get much light from the light bulbs. It seems that one of the two phases supplies power to everyone in the barrio except the barrio captain. The barrio captain got all the power that was generated in the other phase.

We found out that we were not the only foreigners at the University. We received word that two young men had arrived, and they too were doing some teaching. One person, Phung Lee Ong, was from VietNam, and he taught in the Anthropology department. At this time, (the mid 1960’s) the war was heating up, and he was a refugee from South VietNam.

The other young man, Paul Fawcett, was British, and was on a “peace corp” type of service in the Philippines. We got to know them quite well, especially Paul. They lived in the same building at the priests, in downtown Cebu City, and the priests were anxious to have them move into separate quarters. We had them to dinner a few times, and it turned out that Paul was a good guitar player. Jim was very anxious to learn to play the guitar, so we went to a guitar factory on Mactan and bought one for him.

Our contacts with Paul continued over the years. Paul was still in Cebu City when we left in June, 1968. Later on Paul went back to England, to continue schooling. He then went on to Toronto, and in the process of all this he met Maria, a young lady from New Zealand. Well, one thing led to another and soon they were to be married. (He also managed to get his PhD in Chemistry along the way.) We traveled to Toronto to be a part of the wedding, and Paul and Maria visited us a couple of times in Syracuse. As time went on they moved back to New Zealand, and had two children. Paul also became involved with teaching in China, and has made several trips there. In the Fall of 2006 Dolores and I intend to traveled to Australia and New Zealand, and we rebuilt our relationship with Paul and Maria.

While we were in Cebu I made some contact with another engineering school through their dean, Dean Jose Chavarria. He was interested in an analog computer that USC had, and I gave a couple of seminars to his faculty members. He belonged to a sort of luncheon club, which had the title of “The Turtles.” The group would have lunch once a month at a local hotel, and I was invited to attend. It worked out pretty good in spite of the fact that I could speak no Cebuano. Usually we drank a bit too much at the luncheon and it was necessary to return to quarters for a nap in the early afternoon.

During the year and a half I was with USC it became time to replace the Dean. Dean Jose Rodriguez decided to retire and I was asked by Father Rahmann to serve on a search committee to find a replacement. I was convinced that Rahmann wanted just a front committee because he wanted Associate Dean Pedro Yap to be appointed as the replacement. So, I decided to try to do more of a global search, and we got some advertising out around the country. This was foolish of me, since I knew so little about the politics of the University and the culture of the country. At one point we invited a total outsider to come for a visit, and he did. After he left he wrote me to let me know that he really wanted the job, but that Father Rahmann didn’t seem to like him. Shortly after that Father Rahmann called me to his office to tell me that the candidate had indicated he didn’t want the job. I showed Father President the letter from the candidate, and ever after that my relations with Father Rahmann were much cooler!

A technician in the Engineering College was a man from the Netherlands. He went by just his last name, Pols. Maybe that’s because his first name is Cornelius. He is married to a beautiful Filipina, Tessie. I happen to have a picture of her at a party in our home. I never did get a picture of Pols. Pols was an unusual person in that he had many many complaints about the Philippines, Filipinos, USC and the engineering college in particular. However, he and I would sometimes go down to the waterfront in the evening and have a few beers and discuss world shaking matters. Pols finally went back to the Netherlands, and a couple of times his son telephoned me when he was in the US.

Another place that Sally and I would go to was known as Eddie’s Log Cabin. This was a restaurant on the waterfront, which featured a pianist and singers. We would drop in there some times for a visit and a meal. Eddie was an ex GI that stayed on in the Philippines after the end of WW II. Over the years he got married a few times, and had several children. He served American meals at his restaurant, so if we got desperate to have a hamburger, or steak with mashed potatoes or the like we would go there. The musicians usually played tunes from the States, so it was a little bit of the US on our visit. Eddie’s is still in the same place on the waterfront, but Eddie himself passed away. He was a totally addicted cigarette smoker and his life ended in a case of lung cancer.

At one point in our first visit to the Philippines we decided to take a trip into the inner part of Mindanao. I had been invited to go there and see what the school was like, so I jumped at the chance. Mindanao is basically a Muslim country even though it is part of the Philippines. To go there on one’s own is a little risky if you go outside the major cities, like Davao or Zamboanga. It is important to be with a local resident when visiting out in the countryside, since then we would be as safe as they are. We took a boat from Cebu City to Iligan. At Iligan there is a very famous waterfall, so we went up to look at it. It indeed was quite spectacular – water cascading down the face of the cliff. Apparently there was enough water to do some generation of electrical power.

We then bussed up to Marawi City – in the heart of Muslim country. Mindanao State University is there, and we went to sort of look over their facilities. Classes were not in session, but we browsed through their laboratories anyway. We heard that there was a Roman Catholic Church in Marawi City, so we looked up the pastor. He was a Jesuit, and really up to date on world affairs. In his office he had the most recent issue of the National Catholic Reporter, so we found out why he was so well informed.

We were invited to go to a home of a native of Marawi City, so we went to visit them for a while. While we were in the house chatting we heard a hue and cry from outside, with Nannette’s voice part of it. True to form, she had gone to look at some geese that were in the yard, and decided to pick up one of them. The goose decided that was too much and dumped a load on her clothes. We all got a big kick out of that, thinking it might have a curing effect on Nannette’s excursions. But the family was very helpful – we got Nannette cleaned and dried in due course and we continued on our way.

We took another trip up to the island of Luzon in our attempt to see as much of the Philippines as we could. We flew to Manila, and then on to
Baguio. This is a resort city in the Philippines, and many people plan to spend some time there. While it is generally hot in the Philippines, being a tropical country, the city of Baguio is at a higher elevation and thus is relatively cool. Baguio used to be the retreat area for the US military, but now it is completely under the control of Filipinos.

In Baguio we hired a car and driver and headed off to the world famous Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras. This was a terrifying trip. The driver had apparently traveled this way many times, so was quite relaxed about it all. But for mile after mile the dirt road twisted and turned around the mountains, with a sheer dropoff first on one side and then the other. At other points the road was so narrow that only one way traffic was permitted. There was a telephone at ends of these sections for the purpose of assuring that the way was clear. I never trusted this very much, however.

This picture shows a small part of the terraces, which extend over many square miles. We found a small rooming house in Banaue, and spent the night there. We were invited to attend a ceremony in a kiva in the barrio, so we climbed down into the small room that was to be part of the service. There were several men there, all smoking pipes, so it was indeed quite stuffy. Also, the talk was all in the local dialect so we had no real idea about what was going on.

About 25-30% of the terraces are now abandoned, which has led to damage to some of the walls. This has arisen because parts of the irrigation system have been neglected, which in turn is due to people leaving the area. The situation is also aggravated by the effects of pest species of worms and snails; Despite good planning, irregular development is taking place, which threatens to erode the heritage landscape. Thus, this important heritage site is in danger of being lost.

Another time we decided to check out the island of Palawan. This island is quite remote from the rest of the Philippines, being quite far to the west. We flew out there and landed at the capital city Puerto Princesa. We found a place to stay at a Hyatt Hotel. But, this was many years ago, so no ‘touristy’ accommodations were set up for us. Instead we made our way to the beach and surveyed the possibilities. A host of young Japanese tourists arrived at the same time, so we toured the area together. We found a couple of bancas and made arrangements for a couple hour tour along the shore. The scenery was magnificent, as you can see from the above picture. We visited the famous Princess St Paul Underground River Cave and were just overwhelmed by the beauty and quiet. This was all done some 40 years ago, and all has changed. There are now many resorts on the outlying islands, and no longer the feeling of being isolated.

As time went on we left Cebu in June of 1968. However, I hope you appreciate how much happened outside of the Philippines during that time, and how it affected us. The first major event was the speech by President Johnson that he would not seek reelection. Johnson did many strong things about the elimination of segregation and racial prejudice, and really messed things up with Vietnam. He made his speech in March of that year, and took everyone by surprise.

Martin Luther King was killed by a sniper on April 4, 1968, at 6:01 p.m. as he stepped onto the balcony outside the Motel Lorraine in Memphis, Tennessee. In the Philippines this was 6:01 a.m. on April 5, 1968. I had been asked to be the emcee at the graduation ceremonies on that day at the University of San Carlos. I was having breakfast at a local restaurant, and at that time someone came and told me about this terrible event. The shock was enormous, and my filipino friends wanted to know from me what caused this horrible event. We talked about it at some length, and shared our feelings. The Commencement exercises were finally finished and I could go home with Sally and try to recover.

On June 5th, 1968, at 12:15am, Senator Robert F. Kennedy was making his way from the ballroom at the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, to give a press conference, after winning the California Primary. While making his way through the kitchen area, a Palestinian Arab, Sirhan Sirhan, stepped forward and fired a .22 revolver at the Senator. This was at 12:15 p.m. the same day, in the Philippines. I was teaching a class in the main building of USC at that time, and someone came to the door of the classroom to tell me about it. I again was almost floored by the event, and after a break where I attempted to gather my thoughts I went back to the class to talk with them about it.

Within the next several days we left the Philippines for the long trip home. I had rearranged the tickets for the 5 of us so that we could finish going around the world instead of just flying back to Syracuse. When we returned home we had some communication from SEATO. It turned out that the sponsor of this trip was not at all happy with this action of mine. The tickets were for 1st class accommodations, and I traded them for coach class so that we could go see some more of the world. SEATO wanted their people to fly 1st class.


Now that I had changed the tickets from First Class we could reroute our trip home by continuing a westward thrust. So off we went one fine June day.

We flew first to Athens, after a refueling stop in Kuwait. It was early in the morning that we stopped in Kuwait, but nevertheless we left the plane to check out what this new country was like. We didn’t learn much, since all we could visit was the international waiting lounge, and once you’ve seen one of these you’ve seen them all.

We landed in Athens in the daylight and were just shocked with how bright everything seemed. It appeared as though every building was built with marble and the reflected heat and light was overwhelming.

We did all the touristy things that are expected of newcomers. Of course we went to what is on the hill in Athens, the hill known as the Acropolis.

I could not imagine passing up an opportunity like that.

The Parthenon, one of the most beautiful structures to be seen dominates the Acropolis. We were intrigued by the information that the columns of the Parthenon are slightly out of line so that when the Parthenon is viewed from the Pynx against the blue sky, then they appear to be vertical. The above picture attempts to show that. (The Pynx is another hill in Athens.) On the north slope of the Acropolis is another building. This is the Erechteion.

The next picture shows this building. The roof of the building is supported by a number of statues of Greek maidens. But one is missing. That statue was looted by Lord Elgin, along with an enormous amount of other marble work, in 1801. The entire lot of the marbles he looted is known as the Elgin Marbles, and they all finally ended up in the British Museum in London. The reason I mention all this is because a few weeks later we were in London, and visited the British Museum. As we were prowling through it Mark suddenly yelled: “there’s the missing statue!” Indeed off to one side was that particular Elgin Marble. Sally & I were thrilled that Mark remembered that incident back in Athens.

We roamed around Athens for a few days, seeing the sights. One place we went was Omonia square. The squared was surrounded with small shops selling food, collectibles, and just about anything of value. The food was sold in shops that had large pieces of meat on skewers. The attendant would carve off a huge slice, and serve it with appropriate breads and gravies. I particularly liked the lamb.

We found the remains of an old theater, shown in this picture. This is the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. The acoustics are amazing – a sound on the stage could easily be heard throughout the structure.

In order to figure out our future we decided to take a bus trip up to the Oracle at Delphi. The stories around this site and how it all figured into the politics, and economics, of the time are fascinating. Briefly, the Oracle was quite good at making economic predictions because so many merchants came to the Oracle for predictions. Well, they might have come for predictions but they also unwittingly gave a lot of information about their home countries, their products, and where they were headed. So, this is what is left of the Oracle, and it was fascinating to walk around the grounds and think back upon all the events that had occurred here over the centuries.

When we were through in Athens we flew on to Munich, Germany. This city is rich in the history of the time of the rise of Nazis and the Third Reich. We stayed in a hotel in the middle of Munich near the famous Hofbrau Haus. I suppose we walked some of the same places that Adolph Hitler did. The Hofbrau Haus was fascinating to visit, especially to watch the waitresses carry about a dozen steins of beer, in one load, to the thirsty customers. The music was great, the rooms crowded, and a lot of conversation and singing went on.

One of the reasons we came to Munich was to visit Dachau, a former concentration camp near to Munich. So we rented a car and drove there. It is difficult to state all the feelings and sights of that place. The frightening ovens were still standing, and in horror we inspected them. I could almost hear the groans of the bodies as they were incinerated. One of the features of the concentration camp was that it was ringed with poplar trees. This was in 1968, so the camp had been occupied 23 years ago when the trees were newly planted. This drove home to me the realization that all of the horrors had just recently occurred.

There was a building inside the camp which was used for religious services– I don’t know if it qualified as a temple. It was entered by way of a ramp down to the main altar. On one side of the camp there was a frieze of human figures that had the appearance of being skeletons. Above them, in several languages, were the words “Never Again”. Of course there was a building housing memorabilia of the days in which the concentration camp was in use. There were many pictures and samples of writing that some of the victims had succeeded in making. In all one got the feeling that the place had been cleaned up and put in order.

Some years later, in April 2004, Dolores and I had the opportunity to visit Auschwitz, which is just outside Krakov, Poland. The contrast with Dachau is enormous. In Auschwitz one could see the physical remains of many of the victims – clothing, shoes and hair. Auschwitz looks like it was left in the condition it was in at the time of release of the prisoners. Dachau looks like it was cleaned up for the tourists. Dachau is in Germany, the country that initiated the holocaust. Auschwitz is in Poland, the country that was invaded by the Nazis and started World War II in September 1939.

We drove back to Munich with a lot to think about.

Our next excursion took us east from Munich. We decided to drive to Berchtesgaden, the location of Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest. The drive was again momentous as the mountains in the area are so beautiful and we took the time to walk along the sides of them. We drove up the mountain to the Eagle’s Nest, and were able to tour the inner buildings and again get the feeling of those times. On to Salzburg for a look at that city and that completed this side excursion.

The hotel we were staying at in Munich was quite expensive, and one day at breakfast we were discussing the possibility of moving to a less expensive place, like a bed and breakfast. There was a man sitting at a nearby table and he overheard our discussion. He excused himself for listening but said he could offer us some help. It turned out that he had been a soldier in the German army, and after he had been captured he spent sometime in an American prisoner of war camp. We talked about his experiences, but whatever they were he bore no animosity towards Americans.

We decided we would like to see more of Europe and so went driving through Liechtenstein. Not much to report here, since we drove through on a Sunday, and the one castle we wanted to visit was closed. We also drove to Chur, Switzerland to spend a couple of nights looking at this country. I remember we walked outside our hotel late one evening and just wandered through Chur. On the way we met a man pushing a cart with some foodstuffs on it- a lonely figure on a quiet street. Everything was so quiet and peaceful. It still is sharp in my memory. It was here that we encountered snow for the first time in a couple of years. We were high in the Alps, and snow was on the ground even though it was mid summer. Jim, Mark and Nannette had a very busy snowball battle to celebrate the time.

The next place we visited was Frankfurt, Germany. We went there because we wanted to sample some of the apple wines, and look at all the sidewalk statues. It seemed there were fountains everywhere, and most of them were spouting water. Some of them were little boy statues and were used to the fullest extent. I don’t know if there were people watching us, but often we would be sprayed as we walked by one of those statues.

Frankfurt is near to the Rhine River, so we bussed over to Weisbaden and took a boat ride down the Rhine to look at all the castles. That is a wonderful way to be a tourist. We then got onto an overhead cab and rode across extensive grape fields. At the far end there was a small town and they were having a band festival. I just love German band music, and we stayed in that village as long as we could.

Our weeks in Europe were coming to a close, so we headed for London, the next city on our list. We flew there from Frankfort, and stayed in a hotel at Piccadilly Circus. We were overwhelmed by all the activity – bustling traffic, street performers, and noise everywhere. It was a short walk to Trafalgar Square, and Jim was particularly thrilled that we were close to Carnaby Street. He had been looking forward to this visit since we first planned the trip, and we all went to Carnaby Street to help him buy a modern suit.

Paul Fawcett was born and raised in Halifax, England, and we had talked with him about visiting his parents while we were in England. So we rented a car and motored our way up to Halifax, Yorkshire. When we told people in London what our plans were they first thought we were talking about Halifax, Nova Scotia. When we corrected that then they just could not understand why anyone would go the

But we went anyway, and met Paul’s family. His younger brother decided he would show us all the various kinds of pubs in this fair city. We started with a neighborhood pub where Paul’s parents would go, and it was deadly. After 5 minutes there we moved on to another pub, with much the same effect. Finally his brother took us to the pub that he frequented, and that was somewhat livelier. But I bought a pint in each pub and when I left this last one I had a little difficulty forcing myself to drive on the left. So, that was the clue it was time to quit and go back to our hotel.

Our route back to our hotel passed near to Nottingham and we decided it would be great to go on a hunt for Sherwood Forest. Maybe we would see Robin Hood or one of his merrie men. It was a cloudy and rainy day so our search was rather abbreviated. Suffice it to say Robin Hood’s hiding place remained secure from our searching.

Once back in London we felt it was necessary to explore more of the city and some of the sights. Trafalgar Square was nearby and we walked there to view the pigeons and the people and were not disappointed in either. On the way we watched several different street displays – magicians, sleight of hand, dancers, and the like just added a great life to the area.

At one point the five of us went into a large department store to compare prices and products as we roamed through it. We left after several minutes of this and continued on our way to Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guard. We had gone a good block or so before we looked around for Mark – he was missing! The street was crowded and we had crossed an intersection and raced back towards the store with panic tearing at us. How would we ever find him in this city? Due to his excellent upbringing we were able to find him very quickly. We had warned him to never cross the street without one of us, and there he was, standing at the end of a block waiting for us! He told us that some people had offered to escort him across the street, but he decided he would wait there for us.

We continued on our way to the Palace and then to St. James square to stare at the guard in his little guard house. He indeed seemed to completely ignore us in spite of Nannette’s gyrations in front of him.

Finally along came a Sunday, that last day in London. We were to leave early in the morning the next day to fly back to Syracuse, and we decided to rest a little bit. Suddenly I realized that we had not seen the London Bridge! I said to them: “There is one more thing we must do. We cannot leave London without seeing the bridge!” My announcement was met with utter scorn and a couple of unflattering remarks. Fortunately the London Bridge was later purchased by Havasu City in Arizona, so if we ever want to see it, we do not have to make an international case of it.


Books for Kenya

While we were still on Loma Avenue we developed a friendship with Dick and Verah Johnson. I had a desk near Dick’s on the Collendale campus of Syracuse University and he was sort of a mentor to me. Sally and I got to know Verah and we would get together from time to time. Verah often had visitors in for a meal and one time she invited Sally and me for dinner when Steven Kioni was there. He was the Commissioner of Education in Kenya and was in Syracuse for a short time. In the course of the evening we found out that a serious shortage of books existed in Kenya, and we were very aware of the vast number of books sitting on bookshelves here in Syracuse. After Mr. Kioni left the Brulé’s and Johnson’s decided to try to gather books that were in decent condition and somehow get them shipped to Kenya and Steven Kioni.

The gathering of books proved to be very easy and soon Verah’s garage was overflowing with thousands of new and used books. We decided to paste into each book a little statement about books from Syracuse to Kenya. This statement said:

To The People of Kenya

This book has been enjoyed by some people in Syracuse, New York, USA

We hope it may be of some value to you as well

We looked over each book to make sure it was in good condition and we also discarded books which were purely religious in content. We called these “Blue Flame” books. All of this was going on over the winter of 1959-60 and much of it in February in the cold garage of the Johnsons. We would wrap up each evenings work with a couple of manhattans in the warmth of the Johnson living room. Mark was born nine months later.

The work of sorting and pasting went along quite well and we started to examine ways to get the books to Kenya. We looked for donations and Verah made contact with Bristol Myers and they volunteered to box them and ship them to a point in Baltimore associated with the Peace Corps since they volunteered to ship them to Mombasa, a major port in Kenya. It was then necessary to raise the money to get them offloaded and sent to Ruiru, the city in Kenya where Steven Kioni could pick them up. This cost about $400 which we were able to pay from local donations. This project was thus completed and it was so successful that once when the Vice President of Kenya was in Syracuse, and of course having dinner with the Johnsons, he told Verah he would appreciate it if we sent more books. We were out of the book business by then and Verah respectfully declined the suggestion.

Conversion and Life End

Those were busy times while we were in the Loma Ave. home. Sally had been struggling for some time with our religion differences and decided to talk with Father Culkin at St. John the Baptist church. She was willing to become a Roman Catholic but wanted to get matters straight before committing to the switch. Fr. Culkin almost blew it when he indicated the she would have to be conditionally baptized in order to complete the switch. Sally was always very proud of her membership in the Episcopalian communion – she considered herself to be an Anglo-Catholic. To go through another Baptism was a slap in the face to her feelings. But, she bit the bullet and decided to go ahead – I think primarily because of her agreement to raise the children as Roman Catholics. She talked this over with her good friend Marian Stanislaw who was a communicant at Calvary Episcopal Church, and also Father Konrad the pastor there. So the decision was finalized.

The next step then was to take the plunge to be re-baptized and we set up a date at St. John the Baptist for this to occur on March 12, 1960. On the day we got all ready to go and went outside to get in the car. As I was leaving the house I heard the phone ring and went back inside to answer it. It was a call from Sally’s mother from her home in Throop, NY. Sally’s father had just died. He was in his late 70’s, had earlier had a stroke, and had been in poor condition both mentally and physically since the stroke. After some discussion and consideration Sally decided to finish off the Baptism and then go to Throop to be with her mother. This she did and consoled with her mother for the rest of the day and the ensuing weeks.

The Syracuse Professional Sodality and the CIC

Later on we heard about a group called the Syracuse Professional Sodality and true to being a good convert both Sally and I decided to join it. This was a group that tried to strengthen the religious fervor of its members by meeting regularly, having religious services together and also attending an annual retreat. Mark Fitzgibbons was the (in)formal leader of the group which had been started by Fr. Dan Berrigan while he was at Lemoyne College. Fr. Dan had since moved on by the time we joined but there were several Jesuits we met including Fr. Dan Mulhauser and Fr. Bill Scott. Plus there were some really nice people we met who were members and they are still around.

When we went on a retreat we went to Mount Savior Monastery near Elmira, New York. This was operated by Benedictine monks and was a singing group. This is a picture of that place as it now appears. The Sodality would go there for a long weekend and it was an unforgettable experience. Silence was the order of the day. The men and women of the Sodality slept in separate sections of the monastery, but married couples could share a room. The days were filled with some lecture, study, and enjoying the beauty of the hills. The men and women took their meals separately, but the men had their meals with the monks. To me the highlight of each day was the evening service called Compline. This is a contemplative service that ended with the monks walking slowly into a basement grotto while singing a closing song. I found it to be very moving and look forward to going back there to attend that service. Our association with the group continued for several years but our interest waned. Especially around the time that Mark F. decided to give a lecture on angels and indicated how important it was to believe in them.

Sally’s parents were very interesting and a study of contrasts. Alfa Corp, nee Alfa Monteith, was a large woman – not fat but sturdy. She smoked Regent cigarettes with a passion, drank heartily, and ran the show. She was born in the South – in Low Moor, Virginia. She was raised in the southern tradition and attended finishing school. As far as I could tell she was not a prejudiced person – she introduced us to the book “The Well of Loneliness”, the life of a lesbian. Also a gay couple, Art and Lennie, were within her group of good friends. Clarence Corp was born in Corfu, New York and received his Pharmacy Degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He was short and small man and a really hard worker. He operated his Pharmacy, the Corp Pharmacy, which was on the corner of State and Wall Street and thus next door to the Auburn State Prison. As with any small business person this meant that the children had to help with the operation of the store. The law required that a pharmacist had to be on duty whenever the store was open. This meant that during the depression where money was scarce the pharmacy was open long hours and Clarence would sleep in the back room and Sally would watch the store. She could not handle a sale, being quite young, so if a customer showed up she had to wake her dad. Her brother, Bob, had no desire to be a pharmacist and no desire to work in the store

At one time Sally and I drove to Low Moor to relive some experiences when she visited there as a child. One was the event which nearly ended her life. She was walking along a dirt road at her grandparent’s home and was bitten by a copperhead snake. Fortunately they immediately took her to a hospital and they were able to prevent any serious effects of the poison. She came that close to completely changing many lives.

The Corps would rent a cottage on Farley’s Point on Cayuga Lake, just outside of Union Springs, New York, and spend a couple of weeks there each summer. I was part of that all the time that I was around and it was great to visit there during the summer. A next door neighbor was John and Maud Hewitt, and John was an MD in Syracuse, New York. He was our family doctor while we lived on Loma Avenue. He was a very tall man – well over six feet, and they lived in a specially built house with extra high doorways.

Corp Pharmacy

As you can imagine the Pharmacy played an important role in the Corp family.  Bob was sort of expected to take it over from his dad, but he had no interest in the place.  Sally helped out in the store as a child.  During the depression Clarence would spend hours there with little time at home.  He would try to get some sleep and he would go into the back of the pharmacy to lie down.  Sally would watch the store and wake up her dad if a customer showed up.  This is a picture of the sign for the pharmacy that was over the front door.  When Clarence retired and the building was sold to a new vendor this sign was sold to someone in Weedsport, NY.  I tracked it down and finally was able to buy it for $75 from the person who acquired it.  I hung it in our breakfast room at 212 Standish drive until I sold the house.  I then gave ot to Bobby and Billy Corp – two of Bob and Rita Corps sons and they put it in their bar near Buffalo, NY.

When Clarence could no longer run his store they sold it and bought a small farm in Throopsville, NY in a valley they called Goose Hollow. Not too long after they moved out there Clarence suffered a stroke and never fully recovered. Alfa took lessons and learned how to drive a car so she was able to take care of their needs. Sally would drive out to visit them at least once a week, and she always was happy she had that opportunity. As I noted above Clarence died in March, 1960 and Alfa followed him about nine months later. She was living alone in Goose Hollow at the time and she died in early December as she was at her kitchen table addressing Christmas cards. The remains of Clarence and Alfa are buried in the Throopsville cemetery. Bob is buried in the same plot, and his wife Rita is in a plot next to Bob and his parents. Also, very dear friends of Clarence and Alfa, Joyce and ‘Nelkie’ Nelson, are buried in a plot just next to the Corp’s. Sally and I purchased two plots right next to her parents, and that is where Sally’s ashes are. Dolores and I have talked this over and when I am buried I will be cremated and at least some of my ashes will be buried next to Sally’s. Dolores can do anything she wishes with the rest of them. Dolores indicates that I can do what I wish with her ashes, should I be in a position to decide.

At the University I was able to finish my dissertation on time and had my oral examination late in May, 1958. It went very well but Sundarim Seshu asked a very embarrassing question. I had two distinct topics in my work and he simply asked why didn’t I just do more work in one of them and not spend any time on the other? As I remember I answered him truthfully – I was tired of the first one and so did the second one. After the exam was over he came up to me and said: “Congratulations DOCTOR Brulé!” I will never forget that. I finished the corrections in good order and graduated in June, 1958, and received a promotion from Instructor to Assistant Professor.

The following summer I finished off the research problem I had been working on that was sponsored by Bell Aircraft, so that phase of my life came to an end. I then started to get more involved with the University life and politics. I joined the faculty club, the ACLU and the AAUP-these at the behest of Norman Balabanian who was a founding father of the ACLU chapter in Syracuse. I took up golf and would play weekly with Don Kibbee, Chair of the Math Department and Phylis Kent, the wife of Gordon Kent in the EE Department. I scurried for financial support to pay for the research I was doing in the summer. Mostly this came from various military research organizations.

Around this time a research organization at the University of Illinois decided to move to Syracuse and set up their offices in the Skytop region of the University Campus. They assumed the name of the Syracuse University Research Corporation, SURC. They were completely funded by the military of course. It turned out that one of the chief researchers at SURC was Jim Rodems, a man I had met at Bell Aircraft. He worked on a different project at Bell than I did – the work was associated with designing an autopilot for helicopters. The war in Vietnam was underway and I found that they had money for control system work and since this was my field I worked with them in the summer also. I remember that I had two graduate students – one was Allen Durling. I was working full time in the summer and keeping my nose to the grindstone. One day I noticed that Allen had a tell-tale bit of sun tan on his hands. When one plays golf you wear a special small glove and the sun tan on his hands indicated that he had been playing a lot of golf. I thought to myself – what am I doing anyway?

Move to 212 Standish Drive

The move to 212 Standish Drive from Loma went very smoothly in spite of it being in the winter. Here is a picture of our house.

We seemed to have just about everything we wanted in the new house – room for our three children, a beautiful yard, a full basement and room for me to have an office. However the kitchen was quite old – it probably was the original and the house was about 30 years old. So we had that completely redone removing a wall and adding a counter. I then decided, with Sally’s help, that most of the walls in the house needed either paint or new wallpaper. So I became an interior decorator and attacked the walls with a vengeance. It all looked pretty good when we were through with this initial upgrading. The basement was empty of any junk and we decided we would try to keep it that way. So I took it upon myself to line one wall with shelving by building a framework along one wall and then attaching shelves. I figured that was enough shelf space to last a lifetime. Well, as a sign Sally had set up in the house said – “for every flat surface there is a pile of crud.” That was truer that we originally thought.

Our neighbors to one side were Joyce and Sid Goldstein. Below is a picture of them taken recently. They were a dynamic young couple – Sid was a business man and Joyce was a budding artist. Her medium was pottery and she was busy making all sorts of pots and other designs. She often had to go back to SU to fire her pots and so and one point she decided she wanted her own kiln. I was thrilled with this and it gave me an opportunity to try designing it. So I got a long length of light rope and hung it from the two ends thus forming a catenary. We adjusted it until it was the right height and width and then I traced the catenary onto a piece of plywood and then cut the plywood around the edge of the catenary. This served as a template for Joyce to build the kiln to the right shape. She succeeded in doing so and had a very good kiln.

Here is a picture of a plaque that Joyce made for us in her new kiln.

Some time after we moved in to 212 Standish Drive there was a lot of activity in the city around a program called “Urban Renewal.” The city fathers decided that the housing in the 15th ward, where most of the African American people –then called Negroes – lived should be removed. The program was called the “Negro Removal” program by many people. I listened to some of the news reports on this and wondered what all was going on.

We discussed this in meetings of the Syracuse Professional Sodality and tried to come to grips with the meaning of what going on. At this time there were no people of color in the group although it was mentioned that previously there was an African American woman, Dolores Morgan, that had been a member. We had heard that a march on Washington was being planned for late August, 1963 and part of the discussion was to determine what we, as caring Roman Catholics, should do. Mark felt that the march was not the place for us and I went along with that sentiment, so it was clear that Sally and I would not travel to Washington to participate in the movement.

When the march was over the newspapers were filled with pictures of the event and the outstanding speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. The emphasis in the Sodality on prayer, meditation and concern about whether angels existed seemed to be a rather strange way of life for me.

At the University our department had moved to Hinds Hall, and rather than being “squeezed” I had a nice office all to myself. I had been impressed with the inauguration speech of John Kennedy and I wrote across the top of my blackboard a quote from that speech – “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” I sat at my desk and wondered what I would do in the spirit of JFK? This was in September, 1963 and there was picketing going on downtown against the Urban Renewal program around Pioneer homes, on Jackson street, so I left my office, got in my car and drove downtown. After I parked my car I joined the picket line. Thus began a new and worthwhile phase of my life which continues to the present time.

In early September, 1963, I had a private office in Hinds Hall. It was a corner room on the second floor and faced the main quadrangle. However, there was no window on that side, just a large blackboard. The other outer wall faced Machinery Hall where the University’s computers were housed.

I had just come through a rather rough summer for me. I was supposed to be doing research on something, and I’m still not sure what it was. My two PhD students had a good summer. One of them, Alan Durling, had a nice sun tan on his right hand – especially on that part of his hand where the opening on the standard golf glove is.

This was a summer of turmoil in the city. Mayor William Walsh had obtained Urban Renewal Funds and the inner city was being gutted. At least that part of it that housed most of the African-Americans of the city was being torn down. So people referred to it as “negro removal.” No funds were available to assist the displaced people in finding adequate housing. This was at least due in part to the fact that housing discrimination was rampant.

Such a problem was faced nation wide, and in his inaugural speech in 1961 President Kennedy had made the statement: “…ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” I had written this across the top of my blackboard, and on this day in early September I was leaning back in my chair meditating on the words. Gordon Kent dropped into my office and we discussed the meaning of the challenge. Some civil rights groups were picketing the area where the bulldozers were functioning, and I decided it was time I went down to Jackson Street and joined the forces. My first attempt to live the axiom: “Think globally, act locally.”

Joining the Picket Line

I drove down there and just joined the line, walking around the area. Lo and behold, soon after I saw Bob Belge arrived, and so I no longer felt entirely alone. There were about 20 people walking around and carrying signs – most of them were from CORE, but I also noticed one sign from CIC, the Catholic Interracial Council. After an hour or so of this I went back to my office in Hinds Hall, to sit and wonder- where is this going to lead me? What new paths will I now be following, or in my case, blazing?

Sally and I were still involved with the Syracuse Professional Sodality, (SPS), and when I mentioned at the next meeting that I had done some picketing I got little or no response. That group wanted to concentrate on developing spirituality, as was evidenced by their decision in August to not participate in Martin Luther King’s March on Washington. I asked around what the CIC was about and found out that they met regularly at the Bishop Foery Foundation, housed in a building on Forman Avenue. So, I went to the next meeting of the CIC. My life changed.

The CIC was made up of a small group of very active men and women; also several priests and nuns participated in different ways. The spiritual and emotional leader was Father Charles Brady. He had been appointed as City Missionary in 1946 by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse. In that capacity he become totally involved with the plight of the inner city residents, in particular the African Americans.

In the years before I joined, the CIC had done a number of things, including a survey of housing patterns and patterns of discrimination. John Murray was a driving force in this activity. I received an education about the problems in race relations in Syracuse and the situation involving schools and employment. My teachers were Rita Pomeroy, Rose Mannara, Dolores Morgan, the Lanigan sisters, Father Don Bauer, and many others, including Bill Chiles.

At this first meeting of mine I sat in the back and tried to blend in with the furniture. They were talking about a lot of things I knew nothing about – relations with CORE, the Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, housing, schooling and the problems with the Board of Education, etc. Part way through this first meeting some woman suddenly walked in and created a bit of a stir. She lived across the street on Cedar Street and had come over to help with the meeting and the refreshments. I found out later that this was the famous Dolores Morgan.

This meeting served as an introduction to me of how to talk about things related to race and discrimination. Of course I had read about these matters, and in the Syracuse Professional Sodality even discussed them from an intellectual point of view. But now I was with people who lived it – either as victims of the discrimination or white people who were in tune with what was going on. So, I joined the CIC and went to their meetings and kept up my picketing. Sally and I were still members of the SPS so our plate was full with various meetings and gatherings.

Another person I met during this time was John Timothy Smith. He was a lawyer and had been overseas with the Peace Corps. At one point a City Court judge resigned, and John was appointed to fill the position. I guess he was a pretty good judge, so he decided that he would run for re-election. I remember we had several sessions around the breakfast table where we were addressing post cards and writing messages in support of his candidacy. He didn’t make it. However, our paths crossed many years later. I had heart by-pass surgery in August, 1991, and attended a cardiac rehab center during my recovery period. Coincidentally John was also there recovering from heart valve replacement surgery. So, we often had lunch together and struck up a friendship. I found out that John had a really strong temper – one time a car turned in front of him and a string of invectives just poured out. John died in June, 1998, and Dolores Morgan and I went to his funeral mass and interment. He was a fine man, and I got to know his sister Joan and brother Bob.

I continued to attend meetings of the CIC, and over the next few months I learned more about what was going on in the Civil Rights movement in Syracuse, and started to become more involved. I went to the meetings of the CIC regularly and came under the wing of Maryann Gibson and Rita Pomeroy. Rita was employed by the Bishop Foery Foundation as a social worker and had a great grasp of the situation. As we would discuss various problems and potential solutions Rita kept track of the bigger picture, and she would often warn – “Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water!” She was very concerned that the CIC would do something that would upset the hierarchy and tried to keep some sort of lid on things.

In early 1964, while Mary Anne Gibson was president of the CIC, an issue arose over the relocation of the Greyhound Bus station. The old one had to close – too small, and at first it seemed that the station would be relocated in the midst of the housing area where most of the population was black. The CIC took action on this, and much of the work was done by people like my friend, Bob Belge. In July he and several other people went to Cleveland to meet with officials of the Greyhound Bus lines. Greyhound didn’t want to admit bowing to pressure, but they became involved with looking at alternative sites after the appointment was made to see them. As an aside, another colleague and friend of mine, Ted Bickart, was involved through the Episcopal church and the organization ESCRU.

But the grandfather of it all was Bill Chiles. Actually, just about everyone addressed him as Mr. Chiles. He was a softspoken man who knew the problems of segregation and was a gentle, powerful, leader.

He knew well the separation of the races in Syracuse in all manners of employment, housing, and education. He was always with us to give support and guidance in our deliberations. He believed that one major problem was the lack of avenues of communication and he viewed the CIC as being one of those small voices trying to build the needed bridges.

I wondered how I would ever be able to come to grips with all the problems being considered by the CIC. Housing, integrated education, and employment were the keystones, and all interlocked. The Diocese of Syracuse decided to establish a Catholic Neighbor Training Program. (CNTP) This was an eight week program addressing all these issues, starting on April 6, 1964 with the Moral issue and finally ending on May 25 with an analysis of parish responsibility. The program was such that discussion sessions were integrated into each weeks meeting so there was some opportunity for things to sink in. I attended these meetings faithfully and became a brand new ‘expert’.

One of the main purposes of the CNTP was to get the parishes around the diocese involved with the civil rights movement. One thing many parishes did was to get speakers to come in and talk with them about the situation. Of course this had been going on before the CNTP, but I gather it picked up at the conclusion of the CNTP. I too got involved with this, first accompanying a more experienced person, like Dolores Morgan, and later I on I went out on my own.

This was quite a learning experience for me, as I had to come to grips with not only how I felt about this situation but also about what makes me tick. At the time I got involved with the Civil Rights movement I was a practicing Roman Catholic – mass often during the week, a retreat with the Sodality, and much thinking about religion and God. However, the glow around the Sodality was fading – certainly dimmed by their decision to not to participate in the march on Washington. My life was changing in other respects also – especially at the University. I had now been there long enough to get to know my colleagues as peers, and I had moved my contacts out into the University as a whole – I was President of the Faculty Club and active in Departmental and University politics. My home life was good and solid – the kids all adjusted to our new home on Standish Drive with Jim and Nannette in school and Mark an easy baby to take care of. Sally loved our house and the neighbors on the street seemed friendly and open.

As I mentioned, the CNTP was formed by command from Bishop Foery, and all the churches and pastors fell into line. I went around and gave many talks, and they were heavily interlaced with biblical references and based upon Christian morality. For example, in July, 1964 when speaking about the parable of the good Samaritan, I said: “When we realize that the only road to salvation lies along the path of the good Samaritan, then the full meaning of the parable will unfold before us. For it was not that the good Samaritan gave the most—not at all. The beauty of this parable is that it was the good Samaritan who received the most. … What he received was the greatest of all gifts—God himself. … So it is with us. It is not that the Negros need us—we need to give of ourselves.” So this went on for the time I was involved with the CIC.

Shortly after the end of the formal part of the CNTP I began a long period of answering invitations from various groups to talk about the program. So, here I was, an expert already. I went out to the suburbs, went to some social groups, and at one point participated in a similar program at the Cathedral in Syracuse. My involvement grew!

In the Fall of 1964 I was elected President of the CIC and my involvement increased. There was a myriad of issues to be addressed by the CIC, and I became involved with many of them. One interesting issue grew out of the picketing and pursuit of the Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation. CORE had originally started this, and it spread throughout the Civil Rights groups in the area. Basically the push was to get the NMPC to hire more blacks, even at entry level jobs. The main demand was to get black meter readers hired and NMPC used the crutch of demanding a high school diploma to keep from hiring blacks. Nepotism was strong there-you could get a job if someone you were connected with was already there. At one point several demonstrators were arrested for trying to climb a fence. Their case appeared in City Court, and the prosecution delayed the trial by various procedural motions. Finally the case came before John Timothy Smith. John had gotten the appointment to Judge partially because his father, also John Timothy Smith, was a power in the Republican party. Well, John took the bull by the horns and dismissed all charges against them. John never made it in the next election to keep the seat, but he made it into the hearts and minds of the local activists.

Another fascinating individual I met during this period was Fr. Donald Bauer. He indeed was quite a character. At various times he was pastor of several different churches in the diocese, but while I knew him he was at the church in South Onondaga. He was a busy activist, always on top of things and wanting to do more. He would picket and be supportive of such actions but he wanted any priest that participated to be sure to wear a hat. The Bishop wanted this and Don Bauer tried to walk a careful line on how far out he would go. He was very pro-union, pro civil rights, absolutely anti-abortion, and prepared to go public on issues that were important to him. We would have a meeting at the Bishop Foery Foundation laying out our plans and Don would stop by my home to put the finishing touches on a press announcement, or some other public document. He and I would work on my computer into the wee hours of the morning getting every statement into perfect order.

Many things were happening at this time, one being the opening of a Community Action Program at Syracuse University. This brought many more people into the area, including the powerful Saul Alinsky. Others rose up too, such as Chris Powell. He was concerned about what to do about the construction of route 81 in the city. He thought perhaps that the space underneath it next to Pioneer Homes could be used for educational purposes. I was busy going around giving speeches, writing letters to activists around the country, and in general poking my nose into many unfamiliar places.

One other visitor to Syracuse was John Howard Griffin. He is the author of the remarkable book, Black Like Me. He took medicines that would change the appearance of his skin so that he took on more of an African-American hue. He stayed at our house the night of his lecture and he was indeed a remarkable man.

While all this was going on Sally was busy with the children and maintaining the household. I would come in from a meeting or a talk and be all fired up. To relieve my stress I started painting, by the numbers, a lemon tree on an entrance wall of our house. A little bit every few days, and it soon started to take shape. Sally did not participate with the same intensity as I did in all these activities, so this was stressful for her. This stress mounted as we went into 1965, especially with regard to what happened in and around Selma, Alabama. My involvement in this matter was very intense, and look to the section of this document labeled “Selma, Alabama” to see what happened there.

One other event that occurred in my neighborhood involved a neighbor across the street. This was the psychiatrist Larry C. At one point the CIC encouraged people to take actions that would increase the possibility that a black family could move into a currently all-white neighborhood. One way to do this is to let our neighbors know that we want to have a welcoming neighborhood. So, the CIC printed up some post cards that we would mail to our neighbors when a house came on the market. The C’s house went up for sale and so I filled out the card which said that Sally and I “welcome all good neighbors regardless of color.” I mailed such a card to all the homes in my block.

A short time later, like a week or so, I received a letter from a lawyer, Edward B. Alderman, directing me to “Cease and desist in interfering with the efforts of the real estate salesmen to sell the C’s residence.” (dated March 25, 1965) Wow! Somebody is paying attention. This was such a delightful letter that I took it to my lawyer friend Vince O’Neil who is also a member of the CIC. He hooted when he read it and said something to the effect: “Let me handle this. I know the lawyer who wrote it and he is a hack. The Bill of Rights still is alive and well and he needs some education.” That was the last I heard of that particular issue.

The number of issues faced by the local community seemed endless. Employment, as exemplified by the situation with Niagara Mohawk Corporation, needed much improvement. Housing, as exemplified by my neighborhood situation, was in bad shape. Education was in about the same sad situation. The public schools were highly segregated, as people of color attended one set of schools and the rest of the population another set. Busing was proposed as a means of eliminating segregation, but was viewed as anathema. Also the parochial schools of the Roman Catholic diocese were segregated in that the student body included very few black people. So, what could the CIC do? I believed the Catholic schools were part of the problem. So, on my own I wrote a letter to the Editor of the Newsletter of the CIC proposing an action for the parochial schools.

The public schools were proposing a so-called Campus Plan to improve education an eliminate segregation. I proposed that parochial schools could pair off with public schools that are predominately black, such as Sumner, Danforth and others. As a second step, encourage cooperation with the Campus Plan by closing the parochial schools and sending the children to the Campuses. This created a bit of a stir. My letter was published in the Newsletter, and I guess Father Brady had to explain to the Bishop what person wrote this. I remember at one point in the spring of 1966 I offered to resign as President of the CIC, but this wasn’t accepted.

Around this time my attempts to get support to go overseas with my family and to teach in a developing country proved to be successful, and that led to the next phase of my life. Marshall Nelson was elected President of the CIC following my leaving Syracuse.


March, 1965

I am 38 years old, and tomorrow, Saturday, is my birthday. Just last Sunday, the 7th, hundreds of people in Selma, Alabama, had assembled to seek the right to vote. On that date the marchers in Selma began their walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge toward the state capital, Montgomery, which is 50 miles away. The people, most of whom were Negro, were attacked by state troopers and policemen who, “swinging clubs, whips and ropes chased screaming, bleeding marchers nearly a mile back into Selma and clubbed and charged them with horses as they ran.”

On Monday the Catholic Interracial Council (CIC) met with other groups and endorsed ..”any appropriate peaceful action by any group who has the courage to march against this vicious action.. “. Then on Tuesday Reverend James Reeb and 2 other Unitarian Ministers were assaulted in Selma, and on the11th Reverend Reeb dies.

As I sit at my kitchen table with my dearest friends from the CIC, including Sally, Fr. Brady and Dolores Morgan, I wonder What can I do? I feel I must go to Selma and be a part of the moment of history. The people at the table support my decision. So, early today, the 13th and my birthday, I fly out of Syracuse. I must change planes in Washington for a flight to Montgomery, Alabama. In the terminal I see George Wiley, a long time activist who is a Chemistry professor at Syracuse University. We greet each other, and George asks, “Why are you here in DC? ‘Well, George”, I reply, “I am heading for Selma. The situation seems terrible there, and they are asking for people from around the country to join them.” George says: “John, that’s fantastic. “We’ve got to get more information about what is actually going on in Selma — will you call us? It seems like an act of God to find you!” Now I can feel the tension building up in me.

My plane is announced as “Richmond, Atlanta, Intermediate stops, Mobile.” Now I am an intermediate stop on my life’s journey. What will go on there? Why am I so emotional? I had better settle down soon. During this flight I feel a ball of fire form in my chest. We are high above the clouds, and I am aware that well below them is conflict and pain.

The plane arrives in Montgomery on schedule, and as I leave the terminal I see a van marked “Catholic Mission.” Three other people are gathered around and the driver says he will take all four of us into Selma. “The compound around Brown’s chapel is ringed with police, but I know where there are gaps and I’ll get you in safely,” he says. We are on Highway 80 to Selma, and a pickup truck with a GOLDWATER ’64 sign on it passes us. As it goes by the passengers in it give us vicious stares – we also notice that a shotgun is mounted in the rear window of the pickup. The ball of fire in my chest is gone. I am truly doing the right thing. We pass a sign for: “Torch Motel for Colored Guests.” We are now in Loundes County and 20 miles from Selma. A state police car passes us going in the opposite direction, and our driver slows perceptually. The driver of the van tells us – “just go to Brown’s chapel after you leave the van. People there will find a place for you to stay.”

Now into Selma – the driver skirts around some buildings and we are in the compound. Police all around us. Helmets. Taunting from the police and the crowd behind them. “Go back to where you came from.” “Outside agitators aren’t welcome. You have no business here.” Many people walking and talking. I head for the Chapel, and climb the steps into it. It isn’t very large, will hold maybe 500 people at most. All around there are groups of people talking, and I see a table marked “Housing.” The woman staffing the table greets me cordially and says: “Welcome to Selma. Can I help you with anything?” So, I let her know what I want, and she says “Mary Lamar has room for one more. Here is her daughter, Linda, and she’ll show you where her rooms are.” So I take her hand and off we go through the gathering dusk.

Mary’s quarters are just around the corner from the chapel. Linda leads me into the apartment, and I meet her mother. “Welcome to Selma,” Mary says. “We are so happy to see people come here from outside of Selma.” There are several people sitting and talking, and she introduces me around. Then she shows me where I can put my backpack on a bed in the corner of one bedroom. I join the group, and we engage in small talk, like saying where we are from. I am the only “outside agitator” in the room – all the other people are residents of the project in Selma.

Late in the afternoon there is a meeting in Brown’s Chapel. Leaders from SCLC and SNCC give information about what the plans are, and the problems they are working on. A little boy comes into the Chapel, bleeding from a head wound. This was caused by something that fell off the front of the Chapel.

I can hear the singing at the all-night vigil along the police lines. Only a token police force is left. The chanting grows louder. Oh, God. Stay on the line.

It is now Sunday. I slept well, and had good conversations with the people in Mary’s house. I also called George Wiley. I let him know that more people are needed – desperately. I go out to the line, and stand facing the police, with all the hatred they display. I met other residents of the compound, and had breakfast with them. The troopers have been reinforced, and now there are more troopers than demonstrators. The local paper indicates that starting tomorrow morning arrests will be made rather than a physical restraint by the police.

Back on the line there is quite a bustle. The police have a supply of saw-horses and planks, and are attempting to build a wall around the compound. We all start singing — “Love will tear it down”, and it actually does collapse. (Rotten timbers helped.) Back in Brown’s Chapel there is much discussion going on. Something is up for tomorrow. It turns out that there is concern that the police will arrest everyone on the line at that time. Back on the line, the demonstrators are taunting the police. But, Hosiah Williams steps in and gives a talk about the symbolism of the wall.

An announcement is made that tomorrow all the citizens of Selma will be permitted to go to the Courthouse. This is followed by15 minutes of singing AMEN, AMEN. A man I meet in Lamar’s house looks at me and says: “it’s worth a million dollars to me to see your face here.” Tonight they are looking for volunteers to stand at the barricades. I will take the 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. shift. It is cold and I have a heavy overcoat on. The police have bright lights on us, and they appear to be angry. I pull the collar of the coat up as high as I can. I can hear dogs barking in the distance.

It is Monday and things are quiet. The vigil is small, and the wall is gone. The clergy who are demonstrators are all lined up in front of the First Baptist, and will march as far as they can towards the Courthouse. All police are off the street now, and preparing to make arrests. There is much conferencing and discussions going on amongst the leaders. Sheriff Clark announces: “All Selma residents who have voter registration business at the Courthouse may proceed.” There is much confusion. Some shout: “We all have voter registration business at the Courthouse!” The police of the city replace the sheriff’s men and the Captain says: “No city in the nation would permit you to walk five abreast and disrupt.” There was then much talk and discussion and meetings.

It is now 10:45 a.m. There is much singing, but also a power struggle between SCLC representatives and SNCC. The problem is that both the Selma demonstrators and the “outside agitators” must be satisfied, and this is extremely touchy. At 12:30 there is a memorial service for Rev. Reeb. Martin Luther King, Jr. is here. During the benediction we can hear “We Shall Overcome” drifting in from the line.

The announcement then came that we can march to the Courthouse today. I march with Fr. Dan Berrigan, and the line stretches for miles – 3 abreast. A woman’s faces us from a store and she spits at me and Fr. Dan. There are catcalls along the march, but mostly it is deathly quiet. Along the way Negro teenagers approach me and bashfully ask: “Do you have someone to march with?” I see Fr. Konrad and Fr. Vermilyea – they ask, “Where are the Roman Catholics? The Anglicans came – where is the Roman Catholic leadership? Shame!”

That night we listen to President Johnson’s speech. “But about this there can and should be no argument. Every American citizen must have an equal right to vote. There is no reason which can excuse the denial of that right. Yet the harsh fact is that in many places in this country men and women are kept from voting simply because they are Negroes.” What a gift of God to be sitting in Ms. Lamar’s living room in Selma, Alabama and to hear those words!” His speech had many of the same words as the speeches I had heard in Brown’s Chapel.

The next day I woke up happy, and saw parts of Johnson’s speech again. I chatted with friends I had made there, and said goodbye to them. Now I am on the bus to the airport in Montgomery, and I feel lonesome for the first time.

Aloft. Life has ended, and begun. Such people I have never met before. But just think what is happening to them. What now? Anger – lack of organizational commitment. Joy – sense of belonging. Work? People must know that in our hands lie the tools to shape the new society. We are not hurt enough nor angry enough. Who said: Sick with a disease only white men can catch? The colors are so warm.

Back to Syracuse

As I deplane in Syracuse I meet Frank Durgin as he is walking to catch a flight. It turns out that he too is headed for Selma, and I give him my best wishes. Then I meet Sally and now I am home for sure. We talk things over and it seems that while I was gone there was a lot of talk on the street about me being in Selma as an “outside agitator.” The general feeling seems to be that I am only making matters worse by my actions. I feel that I must face my neighbors and talk this over with them.

I first visit with Dean and Mrs. F. who live across the street. He is the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University. I called them and said I would like to come over and talk with them, and they invited me to do so. They repeated the usual thing about being an outside agitator. I then went to our next door neighbor, the S’s and got the same scolding. But, I hold my temper and try to calmly explain to them why I feel it is so necessary to participate in this action. We have so far to go in this country to really believe in democracy.


Bell Aircraft

Sept 1950-Sept 1956

The site of my workplace was about 14 miles north of North Tonawanda, so I soon joined a 4 person car pool.  The other men did not work directly with me, but we were all new hires.  Bill Beauchemin and Gene Sandler were two that I developed a relationship with.  We all were newly hired engineers so it was obvious that Bell Aircraft was expanding rapidly.  The war in Korea was well underway and the US military was getting increased funding.  I was assigned to the Servomechanisms Department where there was a fair amount of Research and Development underway.  I found this out at my initial interview with the Department chief, Frank Andrix.  He was filling me in on the work in progress and repeatedly mentioned guided missiles.  So, to show my willingness I asked him: “Just what is a guided missile?”  He blanched and remarked that I had much to learn.  So learn I did, and I also eventually learned that this type of work was not for me.

I started work at $65/week, and Bell’s policy was that all employees, including Larry Bell himself, had to punch a time clock.  (I suspect however that Larry Bell had someone else do that chore for him.)  The place I worked in was a large hangar that was filled with desks row upon row.  There were engineers, draftsmen and service personnel in the room and behind it were a number of laboratories.  There was also a large computer room and it was filled with Analog Computers manufactured by Electronics Associates, Inc.  My immediate mentor was a slightly older engineer, Frank Giori.  He helped me learn all about a hydraulic servo valve made by Bill Moog, founder of Moog Valve Inc.  These valves controlled a hydraulic fluid that was under high pressure and operated the ailerons and elevators of the missiles.  One day Bill was at our laboratory demonstrating his valve and one of the hoses carrying the oil popped loose and flooded him with the red hydraulic fluid.  He was wearing a nice woolen suit and that put an end to his day.  This was not an uncommon problem in that test area.  The servo valve was a new device and had a long way to go before being commercially viable.

A Trip to Boston and MIT

The work was interesting because I was able to use technical material I had learned in my Master’s program at Iowa State.  But it didn’t take long for even a newcomer like me to realize that what I was working on had no chance of ever being successful.  The basic idea for the work grew out of a laboratory at MIT known as the Dynamic Analysis and Control Laboratory.  (DACL)  I was working on the autopilot for the missile and Bell decided that I should go to MIT and work with the people in the lab so that we could find out all we could about the design of the autopilot.

So, in the spring of 1952 Sally and I packed up our new car, a Chevrolet, and headed to Cambridge, MA.  We found an apartment, at 10 Unity Avenue in the town of Belmont, which was close to a streetcar line, so we were well situated for our stay in the East.  It was delightful being in the Boston area since there is so much of historical significance there.  We visited Old North Church, Bunker Hill, the USS Constitution, Lexington, Concord and all sorts of revolutionary war historical sites.  We also checked out the witches house in Salem, drove down into Cape Cod and up the cape to Provincetown.  Of course we had to visit Plymouth Rock on the way there – it was much smaller than I expected.

We made friends with another young couple, Myron and Betty Scofield.  They lived in a small house right next to ours and we enjoyed being with them.  We often went swimming together but one time Myron fell asleep while lying in the sun and the blanket over him failed to cover the bottom of his feet.  He was in agony for some days after that.  We stayed in Boston till the late fall of 1952 and then headed back to North Tonawanda.

Jim Joins the Family

Around then we found that we were to be parents, and this came as a huge surprise.  We had been married over five years and had had all sorts of fertility tests during most of 1951 to try to find out why there was no offspring.  So with that good news we decided to find a better apartment and we moved to 251 School Road in Kenmore into a second floor apartment.  It was much nicer to finally have our own entrance to our rooms.  We got to know the owners, the Szymanski’s, and they were a pleasant couple.  One time Stan was showing some “adult” movies in his basement and was quite nervous while the feature was playing – perhaps afraid of the police?

They used to stay up late watching wrestling and that caused me some trouble.    The TV was right at a furnace hot air vent vent in their living room and our bedroom was similarly located by a hot air outlet.  The sound would make its way to our bedroom and I found it to be quite disturbing.  We didn’t stay in that apartment very long since with Sally being pregnant we felt a house was in order.  Anyway we moved to our first house, (shown below) 207 Fancher Avenue, in the summer of 1953.  The two level three bedroom house cost $7,500 and I took out a 30 year GI mortgage at about 4½ percent.

207 Fancher

Jim was born August 30, 1953 on our sixth wedding anniversary.  I think Sally and I were each on the verge of total collapse the first night they were at home from the hospital.  He would not stop crying and we were about ready to bring him back to the hospital when he finally fell asleep.  And that was a sign of what was to come.  Jim was a terrible sleeper up until his sub-teens, but at least after the first few years he stopped crying at night.

Our house was brand new and in a new development area in Kenmore.  No landscaping had been done and there was only a gravel driveway into the yard.  Our neighbors were the Barrett’s, and Bill and I together put in our two driveways.   We did mine first (shown above) and found that we had solid clay that we had to dig and move before we could lay the concrete.  After several days of preparation we scheduled the pouring of the cement and I found out how hard it is to get the concrete properly laid.  We had Bill’s scheduled for the next day and just when we finished his the rain poured on us.  Mine got through it OK, but Bill had to rework his surface since a lot of the cement washed away.

During this time we would drive to Auburn fairly often to visit Sally’s family and in the summer we would drive up to Hancock, about 1000 miles away, to visit my folks.  My job at Bell Aircraft was doing OK – there was a big push in the aircraft industry and technology in general.  We had a number of German engineers come to work with us and the man I met was very competent and I learned much from him about proceeding carefully in our design work and also in analyzing a model of the thing we were trying to construct.  It was obvious that Bell Aircraft could benefit from advanced knowledge on the part of the engineers so they decided to have a competition and send an employee to MIT for a year.  I applied for the position and two of us won – a co-worker Lionel Shub and me.

To Boston Again and MIT Again

So, in the summer of 1954 we left for Boston again – this time for an academic year of graduate work.  There were no restrictions on what we should do there – I guess they assumed we would study engineering.  We rented an apartment at 38 Lee Street in Cambridge so again we were on the second floor in a quite old apartment building.  It was nicely situated since it was about midway between Harvard and MIT and I could walk to MIT each day.  I took four courses each semester, three of them in Electrical Engineering and one in a fringe area like Engineering Management.  I did well in all of them and found again how much I enjoyed studying.  Lionel Shub and I would often do homework together and when we started a problem I would immediately dig in and work away at it.  Lionel would sit there quietly doing nothing and at first I wondered what his problem was.  I was soon to find out that he was analyzing the problem and figuring out the best way to go after it.  My brute force approach usually worked and we would finish at about the same time.  But I think his approach was the better one.

Jim was still in the crying stage and Sally took him to a new pediatrician, T. Berry Brazelton who later became quite famous.  Jim would cut up something terrible when the doctor touched him, and Sally had quite a time calming him down.  He examined Jim and said he had “night wakefulness.”  Sally and I both knew that.  Sally would take Jim to the doctor’s office to let him play there in the hopes he would become adjusted to this environment and let the doctor examine him.  No such luck.  The doctor recommended we let him cry it out at night.  So we tried that for a couple of nights until the landlord came to us and warned us to keep him quiet as Jim was bothering everyone else who were trying to sleep.  So Sally would get up at night with him just to keep him quiet.

Finally it came time to leave and head back to Kenmore.  We passed through Auburn on the way and spent a few days with Sally’s parents.  They had moved out into the country – Throopsville, NY. The place of their house was called “Goose Hollow” because this was a favorite stopover site for migrating Canadian geese.  We decided this was the ideal place to let Jim cry it out.  And boy did he!    This was in the summer of 1955, so Jim was just around two years old.  I think things started to go back to normal after that.  Normal meaning that it seemed possible that we would live.

Their place in the country was very pleasant and from time to time we would drive to visit Sally’s parents – probably every few weeks.  Her father was a retired Pharmacist and had a little difficulty adjusting to the “no work” situation.  But they had lots of friends and busied themselves around the farm.  They liked the whole area very much and purchased a couple of lots in the little cemetery in Throopsville.  Sally and I did likewise as did her brother Bob and Rita.

We all got along very well, and when we visited them we played cards a lot of the time – always an evening of bridge.  Some old family friends of the Corp’s – the Casey’s lived in that same area so we would visit them also.  The children of the two families had grown up together and apparently as youngsters Sally had a crush on one of them – Milton Jr.  Over the years Sally and I would visit them once in a while so I got to know them a bit.  Later after they died, and Sally died, I would continue to drop in a few times a year when I visited Sally’s gravesite.  Their daughter, “Tootie”, lived there with her husband Bob and they were both chain smokers.  She had an older brother Steven that also lived with them in a separate room.  He was deathly ill with emphysema and had to be connected up to an oxygen source in order to be able to breathe.  Well, there was Robert struggling to stay alive and a couple of rooms away Tootie and Bob chain smoking.  Steven soon died but Tootie and Bob continued smoking.  I stopped by there a few times but they were never around so I don’t know what happened to them.

The End of Bell Aircraft

Life moved along and I found the job at Bell Aircraft to be onerous.  I had taken some interesting courses at MIT and the Bell management was pleased when I said I would set up courses to teach the other engineering employees some of the material I learned.  Of course this was the beginning of the end of my stay at Bell.  I enjoyed the teaching very much and another older employee who had his PhD in Engineering was very certain that I should go back to school.

The fate was sealed on that decision by the failure of the project I was working on.  This was a missile known as the Meteor, an air-to-air weapon.  We had been working on the machine for a couple of years and at one point it was decided it was time to send it out to Point Mugu in California for a live test – that is, actually launch it from an airplane.   I was to accompany the missile and be there when it was finally loaded onto a fighter.  I figured to be there a couple of weeks, but after the tickets were bought and we were to leave early the next week the trip was cancelled.  The whole program was stopped – I would like to think it was because managers knew the missile was a failure and thus decided to not waste any more money.  So all the years of my time spent designing and building something that was only supposed to kill but couldn’t do that made me say to myself – there must be a better reason for my existence.  So with Sally’s agreement I started looking around for a way to go back to school and earn a PhD.

I applied to three schools – to the University of Michigan out of loyalty to my home state, to Iowa State College since I knew them quite well, and to Syracuse University because Syracuse is only 40 miles from Auburn.  I applied for the position of Instructor at each place, and was accepted by all three.  SU and UofM made offers of about the same value to me and Warren Boast the then Chairman of the EE Department said that if he met the same salary offer as the other two he would have to fire half his faculty.  Thus Syracuse won because Ann Arbor Michigan couldn’t move to be as close as 40 miles from Auburn.  So, in the summer of 1956 we sold our Fancher St. house and moved to Syracuse to start classes in September.  The financial situation was quite interesting.  My academic salary started at $7500 for the employment from September to June.  But at that time SU was developing strong relations with companies in Central New York that employed a significant number of engineers –this included  IBM, GE and the Rome Air Development Center (RADC).  Faculty would travel to the site, teach a full weeks material, and then return home.  We received a bonus if we did this during the Academic Year and it was extra income if we did it in the summer.  So immediately my annual gross income at SU exceeded that which I received from Bell Aircraft.


So in September of 1956 we moved to Syracuse.  When I left Bell I brought with me a small research contract that they funded to have me continue on with a project I was working on at Bell.  I had enough money in it to hire a colleague at SU and that was nice.

When I was being interviewed by the Department Chair of the Electrical Engineering Department at Syracuse University I checked to make sure that Syracuse didn’t have a policy against hiring their own graduates.  I wanted to be sure that if I chose to remain at Syracuse after getting my PhD that there would be no policy against that.  With the aid of an agent we were able to sell our house on Fancher without much trouble.  The person, Roger Russell,  who bought it through the agent also worked at Bell Aircraft – in fact his desk was just a couple of rows from mine.  I guess I didn’t communicate too much with my co workers.  But under any conditions this is the way the Bell Aircraft stage of my life came to an end.

Sally and I looked around Syracuse for a place to live and settled on a house on the north side at 340 Loma Avenue.  We bought it for $12,300 and again with a 30 year mortgage.  It seemed to be an easy travel to the University, and was within our price range.  This time our loan was a little higher interest rate – about 5 ¾%.  The house seemed to be in good shape, and it had a front porch that I enclosed with jalousie windows and so we got a little more all around use of the place.  The house needed some additional work but we saw to that right away.  The house was shingled with asbestos shingles and I had installed a fence and gate across the driveway in an attempt to keep Jim from roaming the street.  Also since some of the paint was lead based we stripped that and replaced it with latex water based paint.  We found our churches – I attended St. John the Baptist and Sally went to Calvary Episcopal.  This meant a little bit of juggling on Sunday morning because we had just one car.

When I arrived at the University I found out that the Electrical Engineering Department was housed in the Collendale Campus – the better part of a mile from the main campus.  We were in WW II Quonset huts and the Dean of the College, Ralph Galbraith, was in a similar hut but on the main campus.  He said he was going to keep his office in this hut until the entire college had moved into offices on the main quadrangle.  There was one building on the quadrangle  – Hinds Hall – that was populated by engineering faculty and some of the EE department faculty had offices there.  A new building on the quadrangle of the main campus, affectionately referred to as Building II, was partially constructed – the basement and sub-basement were completed and we were scheduled to move into it at some unspecified date in the future.

Out in the Collendale Campus we were isolated from the rest of the University, and got to know each other very well.  I had the good fortune to work with Dick Johnson.  His PhD degree was from Harvard and in Physics, not EE, and he was a most delightful person to work with.  He and his family were great to be with and the Johnson and Brule parents became good friends.

Many new faculty members were hired about the same time as I because the school was growing rapidly with ex-GI’s and everyone had a very positive attitude towards education.  Also engineering received a boost because the Russians launched Sputnik 1, the first human-made object to orbit the Earth. That launch took place on October 4, 1957 and so the Russians won the space race.  The attempts by the US to also launch a satellite were unsuccessful and when a satellite was finally placed into orbit on February 1, 1958, it was about 1/3 the weight of Sputnik 1.

One sad event occurred while we were in the Collendale Campus.  During a seminar Ming-Kwai and Yueh-Ying Hu were called to the phone.  The tragedy was that their youngest child had been found dead in a clothes closet where the child had apparently become entangled in a scarf.  We grieved with them and helped them to handle their loss.  I had more contact with them on other matters.  In 1981 Ming set up the situation so that Ted Bickart and I along with our spouses, went to China to teach courses in engineering.  There will be much more on this later.

Yueh-Ying had originally been hired as a full time Associate Professor while her husband Ming-Kwai was hired as a Research Professor.  It was done this way because Ming’s English abilities were quite limited.  However, when he became fluent in English their appointments were reversed, at their request.  However in the 1970’s there was a lot of pressure to cut costs and the Chairman at the time, Dr. Wilbur Lepage, decided to cut Yueh-Ying’s position.  This was devastating to them because Yueh-Ying was a really dedicated teacher and poured herself into her teaching.  I was chair of the Syracuse University Chapter of the AAUP at the time and our concern was the protection of tenure.  Yueh-Ying had been a full time teacher for about 20 years so it was an easy matter to bring the threat of sanctions against the Department if her firing were allowed to stand.  In the meantime Dr. Donald Kibbey, the Chair of the Mathematics Department gave her a teaching assignment to tide her over.  She immediately was reinstated in the Electrical Engineering Department so all was well.  Several years later she died from stomach cancer.

There was a fair amount of angst within the department about our department being split in two.  Some had offices in Hinds Hall and the rest of us were in Collendale.   Prof. Glenn Glasford led the charge to get us all moved into one building, Hinds Hall, on the main campus.  As he put it we were willing to be “squeezed” into the building and we ended up moving into Hinds Hall.  We were still there in 1963 when I made the transition from being a passive observer of the civil rights revolution to becoming active in demonstrating for civil rights.  This is when I first met Dolores Morgan who in 1999 became Dolores Brulé. That will be discussed in a lot of detail later in this memoir.

I was hired as an Instructor in the Department and this meant I was to teach an undergraduate course.  I found I loved it, and as a result the students also liked my teaching.  On one of my first days I was talking away and decided to sit on the edge of a table in the classroom.  Of course the table was rickety and immediately collapsed when I sat on it.  A nice step toward humility.

I set a goal for myself to get my PhD done in two years.  In order to do this I had to transfer most of my courses that I took at MIT into SU, and this went OK.  I also needed to finish up my dissertation credit but as an Instructor I could only have six credits a semester.  This meant I would be short about 12 credit hours so I bought them off at $30/credit hour.  (Back in 1958 $360 was a significant amount of money especially since my salary before taxes was $7000 per annum.)   I also had to find an advisor for my dissertation and Norman Balabanian filled that role.  I was able to hire him onto my research contract from Bell Aircraft, so everything was in order.

The Engineering College was very involved with off-campus teaching to practicing engineers.  We had programs set up with IBM, General Electric and Rome Air Development Center.  Our faculty would travel to a center in Endicott/Owego, Poughkeepsie, Kingston or Rome and teach a three credit hour course in one 3 hour session.  We traveled to Endicott/Owego either by limousine or by private car.  One time David Cheng and I were traveling together while I drove and I received my one and only speeding ticket.  This was in 1958.  I’ve never received a speeding ticket since then that I couldn’t have torn up or had reduced.

Nannette Evens it Up

Back at Loma Avenue Sally and I decided we wanted more children but that for some reason seemed impossible even after all the tests we had made prior to Jim being created by us.  So, we decided to adopt a baby, in particular a girl since we already had a boy.  We went to the County Welfare offices and got on a waiting list.  Well, nine months after that event, that is, in February 1958, we received a phone call telling us that a week old infant was available – did we want her?  So we jumped at the chance and they told us they wanted us to pick her up almost immediately.  We scurried around the house getting things ready for her.  County Welfare told us that since the only other child was a boy – Jim was 5 at the time – the girl infant must have a room of her own.  I was deep into writing my dissertation at the time and the third bedroom was my office.  So we moved all my things into the dining room and set up the crib in my old study.

We then had some discussion about what name to give our new family member.  Sally had a very dear friend in Auburn who also was adopted – Nannette Cadzow – so it was a shoo in that our new daughter would be Nannette.  We picked the middle name Louise because Nannette Louise Brulé  seemed to have a good ring to it.  So everything was set and Nannette, who was born on February 19, 1958 joined us a day later, when she was 10 days old.  She was baptized at St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church because Sally had agreed to raise our children as Roman Catholics.  It is necessary for me to point out that Sally considered herself a Catholic anyway because she was a member of the Episcopal Church.

So we had a new way of life set up for us with the addition of Nannette.  Of course Sally figured this would be a breeze since she had not been in labor for the birth of Nannette.   Thus she tried to live her life the same as before the adoption and just factor in the new child.  This soon proved to be too much and she became ill in the process.  We were able to hire a housekeeper who took over much of the work while Sally recovered.  The housekeeper was Mary an African-American woman – at that time called a Negro – and she took over so that Sally could recover and I could continue on with my dissertation, research and teaching responsibilities.  I had set my sights on graduation in June and there was no changing that.  Mary was with us a short time, a month or so, but by the time she left Sally was back on her feet and able to function with now two children in the family.

One thing we did on Loma Avenue was to institute the Holiday eggnog Party.  Each Christmas season we invited most of the Electrical Engineering (EE) Department to our home on a Sunday afternoon.  Sally’s parents always had such a party and she wanted to continue the practice.  It became quite a tradition and we continued it on Standish Drive after we left Loma Ave.  The party included the use of a number of red glass cocktail glasses and a huge leaded glass bowl to hold the eggnog.  The recipe for making the eggnog was the same as that used in the Corp parties.

Nannette was a very precocious child and the gate we had put up across the driveway to keep Jim from roaming proved to be a godsend for Nannette.  She was often in physical trouble because of her activities.  In fact we went to the Emergency Room at St. Joseph’s hospital so often that they would recognize her as we came in.  One morning we came down stairs and found her standing on a shelf in the kitchen and in front of a cupboard she had opened.  The cupboard held our OTC drugs like aspirin, vitamins and the like.  Well a bottle of vitamins was open in her hand and it was almost empty.  We sort of panicked and tried to establish how much of it she had swallowed.  We were not able to get a reliable answer so off we rushed to the ER and they immediately decided that they would pump her stomach.  I never had that done to me, nor did I watch it as they did it to Nannette, but from the agonized look on her face when they returned her to us I found out it must have been horrible.  However, we never had that particular problem with her again.

Jim also had his events at Loma Avenue.  He would get out of bed at probably any hour in the night and roam around the house.  He was there when he was between 3 and 7 years old.  Our neighbor’s house, the Melilo’s, was just a few feet from ours, and faced a large picture window in the dining room in our house.  So one time Frank Melilo let us know that he and Jim would see each other quite often.  Frank worked at Muench-Kreutzer Candle Factory and would go to work about 4:30 a.m. and that is when he would see him.

The Melilo’s were somewhat older than us, but we got to see them from time to time. Eventually Agnes Melilo came down with cancer. She was under treatment for some time but eventually it was determined that all medical intervention was useless and that she would die soon. The MD said she should receive an injection of a pain killer often each day and wanted someone to do it. Sally had some nurses training and they asked her to do the injection reassuring her that she need not worry about doing it wrong as she was going to die shortly anyway. Sally was very moved by the condition of Mrs. Melilo and at one point felt that if she skipped a shot Agnes would die more quickly. This was a blunder and it wasn’t long before she resumed the ordered shots. Shortly then she died a peaceful, drugged, death.

Mark Completes the Family

While we were living on Loma Avenue and shortly after we adopted Nannette Sally had a miscarriage. This was a source of sadness, but we thought it was kind of usual for a pregnancy to follow an addition to the family. Sometime after that Sally became pregnant again and we hired a part time housekeeper, Mrs. Hopkins, to help out in the hope to prevent another miscarriage. Since we were going to have an increase to the family we decided we should look for a larger house and one closer to the University. After some searching we found an ideal place at 212 Standish Drive in the Bradford Hills section of Syracuse. The picture is of the house at the time we moved in to it. Mark was born on November 19, 1960 and we moved in the first week of January, 1961. The new house cost $27,500 and after the down payment coming from the sale of 340 Loma Avenue our mortgage came to $119.00 per month. We felt we could handle that so we were all set.

Even though it was mid winter the move from Loma Avenue to Standish Drive proceeded well without a hitch.  We had a lot more house now and thus no problems in finding where to put things.


Auburn, New York

Dick was from Auburn, New York, a city about 300 miles north of Carlisle. At one point he suggested that it would be nice if he and I went to Auburn for the weekend. I would stay with his folks and he would fix me up with a date. That sounded like a great idea to me, so off we went. There was overnight train service available so Friday night we went in to Harrisburg and caught the train to Canandaigua, New York. This is a small city about 40 miles west of Auburn. The train ride was absolutely beautiful, going up through the mountainous parts of Pennsylvania. When we got to Canandaigua Saturday morning we had to hitch-hike to Auburn, which was no great problem.

When we arrived at Dick’s house we had breakfast with his parents. When I was introduced to Mrs. Congdon I shook her hand – too vigorously for her liking as she pulled it away. For all the rest of the time I knew her she often complained about how I hurt her hand and it never recovered. So, we lived through that. Dick wanted to show me Auburn and we drove around quite a bit. Then after supper we picked up Dick’s date – Janice Tutton – and then went to pick up mine. We were a bit late getting there and Sally told me later that she was all set to cancel out on the date, but we made it there before that happened. So there we have it – the beginning of the Sally & John era. This was on Saturday, May 4, 1946, and her life ended on Saturday, January 3, 1998 – almost 52 years of life together. So there is much to fill in, much to say, even more to feel, and a world of change in all our lives.

A New Life

Sally Corp

May, 1946-August 1950

“Good evening, Mrs. Corp – it certainly is a pleasure to meet you and your husband.” So began the evening. Off to one side was Sally – my eyes were captivated and I knew this was going to be a happy date. How could I impress such a good looking woman? I certainly started off the wrong way – I had decided to wear the wrist bracelet that said – “Hands off he’s mine – Beth.” And during the evening while we were chatting I found it appropriate to lie about my age-made myself a year older than my nineteen years. Sally was born in August, and I wasn’t born until March of the following year. I felt it was necessary to correct that fault of my parents so I added a year to my life by claiming I was 20.

Sally was dressed in a skirt and blouse, and her dishwater blonde hair was all done up in curls. We chatted for a little while and then headed off to Dickman’s – a sort of nightclub on the shores of Owasco Lake. Dick’s date was Janice Tutton, and of course I would find out more about that as the weeks moved on. Sally was part of a high-school group made up of Dick, Janice, Cornelia Farrell, Billy Talpey, Ann Dowd and Gordon Dungey. This was not a dating group, but really just some high school friends that remained together.

The evening went along very nicely, and got everyone home safe and sound. Sally indicated that she had been on a picnic a couple of days before and was going to the picnic grounds on Sunday to see if she could find some forks that were missing . I gladly accepted the invitation to help her out, and the next day we went in her father’s car to sort things out – I don’t remember if we found the forks or not, but it was great being with her again. I found out that her family nickname was Shy – she explained that that was because as a little girl she couldn’t say “Sally” correctly. My next big dilemma was how to see her again – that was settled when I found out that in three weeks the Cornell University prom was to be held. She agreed to a date, and her father’s car would be available for us to use to drive to Ithaca. Also, her mother, Alfa, indicated that I was welcome to stay at their house instead of trying to find a hotel room.

So, on Sunday Dick and I began the trip back to Carlisle, and we chatted a lot about Sally. She had a serious boyfriend, Andy Alexander, who had been a paratrooper in Italy. He had been killed about a year ago, and Sally had taken it quite deeply. His father, Sasha, was a refugee from Russia, as his family was part of Tzarist Russia. Sasha lived in New Jersey, his wife having died several years ago. Sally had been in nurses training at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester at the time of Andy’s death, and shortly thereafter she quit the program and returned home. Now she was working as a “Candy Striper” at Auburn Memorial Hospital. Dick told me that he really wanted to help Sally get out of the doldrums about her loss, and that contributed to his decision to set up this date with Sally.

Second Date – Cornell University

In due course the time came to have my second date with Sally, and this began a delightful sequence of weekly trips for me from Carlisle to Auburn. The train ran between Harrisburg and Canandaigua, NY, so I had to make my own way from Canandaigua to Auburn. But, the hitch-hiking was easy and I always made good time between the cities. Also, a couple of times I decided to hitchhike the entire way and thus got to see much of Pennsylvania, and that section certainly is beautiful. I would make the trip each weekend and Sally and I would explore the world around Auburn. In the process I got to know Sally’s sister, Nancylee and her brother Bob. Nancylee is about three years younger than Sally so she is still in high school. I also met Sally’s brother, Bob. He had been in the Air Force during WW II and currently was attending College at Cornell in Civil Engineering.

Around this time Sally’s brother, Bob, and Rita Ringwood were married. Rita had been working in a data processing facility using IBM computers. So she was a competent handler of punch cards as that was the data I/O format back then. Bob was a person who had deep feelings about things, yet kept pretty much to himself. One thing Sally warned me about was that he did not easily take to people and if you crossed him it could be trouble. Rita and he had many a squabble and I often wondered how they would make out in married life.

Often when I was visiting Sally it would mean a round trip to Ithaca. Bob and Rita lived in apartment there but had no car so if they came to Auburn for the weekend then we would drive them back to Cornell. At one time I brought a friend, Eugene Albright, with me to Auburn. I think Nancylee joined us and the four of us went out together. I had met Gene at Carlisle Barracks and he and I had a great time getting all the words to one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s songs, “When I Was a Lad”, in the operetta HMS Pinafore. We would listen to a bit of the recording, copy the words, and proceed. Anyway I thought Gene would enjoy a trip to Auburn so I asked him to accompany me.

The Proposal

Very soon it became obvious to me that Sally and I made a perfect couple, and so in July, 1946 I proposed to her that we should get married. She agreed and we started making plans for our future. I knew that I was going to be discharged from the army later in the year and at first we figured we would get married in December. One slight snag was that I was only 19 and thus would have to get my parents permission. I figured this would be given, perhaps reluctantly because of my age and also because Sally was Episcopalean – not Roman Catholic. We decided that it would be great for Sally to meet my folks since we would be living in Upper Michigan until I finished my undergraduate degree at Michigan Tech. We picked an early August date for the trip, to coincide with her 20th birthday on August 7, 1946.

The trip to Hancock took the better part of two days and we arrived in Hancock quite exhausted from the overnight travel. The only decent train connections for Hancock required us to travel to Pembine, a town about 50 miles outside of Hancock. The train arrived there quite late at night and my dad drove to Pembine to meet our train and drive us to Hancock. My dad was a great fellow and he and Sally got along famously. My mother was less than thrilled but nevertheless treated Sally very courteously. I wanted to get Sally her engagement ring while we were in Hancock, so we picked it out at Haughs Jewelry store. I really dug deep but was able to just barely come up with the $75.00 it cost.

While we were there we decided it would be best if we put off the wedding until the summer of 1947. I would get in another two terms at Michigan Tech, take the summer off, and then we would get married August 30, 1947. We returned to Auburn and I continued to travel every weekend to Auburn from Carlisle Barracks. One time I nearly got in serious trouble from a case of not paying attention. During the summer the Corp’s often had a picnic in their side yard. One warm summer day everyone was in the yard and Sally & Nancylee were both there dressed in their coolots. Well, I ventured up to what I thought was my sweetheart and came up from behind her and put my arms around her. Something felt kind of strange and Nancylee obliged me by letting me know in no uncertain terms that I had blundered.

In December of 1946 I was discharged from the Army and I stayed in Auburn until after Christmas in 1946 when I left for Hancock. During that time I got to meet more of Sally’s friends, especially Cornelia, Janice, and Gordon. Janice married Fritz Fingado and is living in British Columbia. Cornelia married Edwin Goodwin and she lives in College Park Maryland- Ed died around 1995 or so. Gordon set up a very successful leather business in Auburn, but died in 2007.

Sally and I decided that the wedding would be in Holy Family church in Auburn, but special consideration had to be made because while I was a Roman Catholic, Sally was an Episcopalian. In order to be married in a Catholic Church it was thus necessary to check in on the need for her to take instructions. This upset her quite a bit. She considered herself to be a high Anglican and every bit as much a Catholic as me. But she agreed to meet the rules of the Roman Catholics and we went to Holy Family to make arrangements to have the wedding there. We spoke with an assistant and he assured us that it would not be necessary for her to have instructions. The church was available for August 30, 1947, and so everything seemed to be set.

Dick Congdon has stayed in my life some of the time, but not all the time. He was discharged from the Army as expected, and I took over his job in Carlisle Barracks as Company Clerk. One day after he had been discharged I received a phone call from him and he wanted information on what weekends he was on furlough from Carlisle. It seems there was some sort of a paternity problem and he wanted to know if the records would show that he was clear of any involvement. It seems to me that Dick always has led an unusual life. He was in Illinois for some time as the director of University Press at the Northern Illinois University in Dekalb. Then at one time he was telling me how he worked as a taxi driver in a city in Mexico. The next time I was able to track him down I found he had been in Waterville, Maine, but he had left there a few years earlier. In 2008 I was fortunate enough to find him, but more on that later.

Upon returning to Hancock late in 1946 I registered at Michigan Tech and within a week or two was back in College. It took a little time to get back into the swing of things – in my first math test I scored a numbing D. The term ended successfully however, and soon it was summer vacation time. There was a full selection of summer courses that I could take since the school was being swamped with returning veterans using the GI bill. The GI Bill is one of the best pieces of legislation ever enacted by the US Congress.

I didn’t take any courses in the summer session, as I was heading for Auburn in early August but I would return to college in early September in time for the first term. So I had a free summer, and I caused a bit of chaos back in Auburn. I broke a toe while fooling around at the Hancock Beach and Sally was convinced that I would have to walk down the aisle on crutches and folks would comment that that was the way she caught me. However her worst fears were baseless.

Wedding Chaos

When I arrived in Auburn a couple of weeks before the wedding the place was very busy, and I knew I was just in the way. We figured it would be wise to check with Holy Family church to make sure everything was in place, so we met with the pastor. Right after we introduced ourselves to him and told him why we were there he said to us: “I never gave permission for you to be married here, and even so Sally must take instructions since she is a non-catholic.” That was a nice way to start things off and after we pled our case he relented and let us proceed with our original plans. Welcome to Holy Family church!

We had the wedding party set up with the male witnesses being my brother-in-law Paul Brooks, Dick Congdon, and Sally’s brother Bob. The female witnesses were Cornelia Farrell, Nancylee, and sister-in-law Rita. The members of my family that attended were my father and my sister Janet with her husband, Paul Brooks. The wedding was at Holy Family church and went off without a hitch. It was a bit rainy early in the morning but it stopped by the time of the wedding.

The reception was held at the Corp home on E. Genesee St and it overflowed with all kinds of good people, talking, eating and drinking. My dad met friends of the Corp family and apparently had a good time. Jay had a Manhattan a little too quickly and ended up taking an early nap. Once again Mr. Corp made his car available, and in the late afternoon Sally and I took off for our honeymoon.

We had made arrangements to meet Jan and Fritz Fingado at the hotel Syracuse for dinner, and we did indeed meet them there. Then we retired to our room and after getting unpacked Sally decided she wanted to call her mother, so that we did. We reached her with no trouble – except the Corp family and friends were having a party. I could hear them laughing and joking and especially in an uproar about the happy couple calling their folks on their wedding night! But we survived that and thus began 50+ years of marital bliss.

The next day we drove up to Gouverneur and spent a few days touring in the Adirondacks before heading back to Auburn. That weekend Sally’s mother wanted to take a trip to New Jersey to see some friends, so off we went on that short trip. Upon return from that it was time to pack up and make our way to Hancock, Michigan.

I had rented a furnished apartment at 309 Franklin St. in Hancock (for $30/month) so we moved right into that. We had received a $500 War Bond from Sasha as a wedding gift, and except for a couple of dollars that was all the money we had. My allowance from the GI Bill wouldn’t arrive for a couple of months, and that was a luxurious $105/month. So Sally had to find a job, which she did, as a clerk at Gartners – a local clothing store. She would be paid about $50/month so it seemed all was going to work out.

The apartment was on the third floor of an old apartment building. However while the whole third floor was once an apartment, the owner had partitioned off the front two rooms to form a second apartment. Of course this also meant that tenants had to share the bathroom, and, as we found out later, also the hot water.

This is how we found out about that. There was a water tank alongside the wood burning stove in our apartment, and water pipes went from the tank into the firepot of the stove and back into the tank. Thus, water could be heated when we had a fire in the kitchen stove. And only then as it turned out there was no hot water in the third floor. So one day we really got the fire going well in the stove and were looking forward to a good hot bath. Lo and behold, we heard our neighbor go into the bathroom, turn on the water in the tub and soon they were relaxing in a great hot bath. We were a little more careful about that in the future.

That added apartment was interesting in another regard also. It happened in due course that the people in the front apartment moved out and a friend of ours, Bob Monica and his wife Barbara moved in. The heat for their apartment was a little gas heater whose exhaust was piped in to the chimney that went through a corner of their apartment. The owner had cut a hole in the chimney for the flue of the gas heater and one cold winters day we heard the fire siren blasting. (Our apartment building was about 100 feet from the fire house, and whenever there was a fire the one full time employee of the fire department would sound the fire siren. The siren was coded – a long blast was a 10 and a short one a 1. This was done to inform the volunteer firemen in what part of town they were to go to.) The siren blasted a 23 and Sally and I were curious as to exactly where the fire was, since that was our section of town. Soon the truck screamed onto our street and the firemen pounded up the front steps into that front apartment. It seems that wallpaper around the hole that had been cut in the chimney had become overheated and burst into flames. Fortunately Barb and Bob had put out the fire before the firemen arrived so no great damage was done.

Of course I remember that first apartment of ours very well, and there are many stories to tell. The apartment had 4 rooms, but only 3 were useable – kitchen, living room and bedroom. The fourth room had junk in it and our ice box. In the summer we would buy ice in order to preserve our food, but in the winter we put food into the ice box in order to try to keep it from freezing too hard. The apartment was heated by an oversized space heater in the living room and it burned oil. There was a 100 gallon barrel outside in an outhouse which we had filled with oil and I would carry it up to the heater in a 5 gallon can.

We could not keep the fire in the heater going continually since even at the lowest oil flow setting it would be much too hot. So, at night we would shut off the oil when we retired. That meant that in the morning the apartment was frigid. So, being a nice new husband, I would get up early, turn on the oil flow and then jump back into bed. It would take about five minutes for enough oil to flow into the firepot so that I could light it and start to heat the apartment. You can well imagine that at least once I failed to get back to the heater as quickly as I should have and too much oil had been released. One time it was so bad that when I threw in the lighted match to start the fire it actually exploded and covered me with soot, but no other damage was done.

We lived in that apartment from September 1947 until June of 1949, when I graduate from Michigan Tech. In the meantime Sally’s job at Gartner’s went bad in the sense that there was an employee, Louise, who made life miserable for Sally. For some reason I never understood this woman was a monster to Sally. The other employees were simply great, and when Louise wasn’t around everything went well. But after putting up with this for well over a year Sally quit and found other things to do. Sometimes she would help my dad in his bakery, as a sales person.

I remember we lived very close to the vest – money was always tight. One year Mrs. Corp sent us a little green for St. Patrick’s day – a five dollar bill. We decided to splurge and went to a movie at the Orpheum Theater in Hancock. They had a program where they gave away gifts and we won a small pitcher that night.

My folks lived about a 10 minute walk from our apartment and we would see them from time to time. I started making pasties in my Dad’s bakery as a means of making some money. He rented me use of his oven and use of his tools for making the pasties and it proved to be a good source of income for us.

My studies at Michigan Tech went very well. They were on a system where they had 3 sessions a year, and thus 12 were necessary for graduation. I had completed 5 of them before Sally and I were married and I completed the last 7 by June of 1949. In fact, during the final two sessions I had been hired by the department as a laboratory instructor – the GI’s were pouring into school and there was a real shortage of faculty. During this time the Communist fear was rising and people were expected to take an oath of allegiance, or some such frill. When it came my turn to take the oath I preceded it by informing that I was a communist and as such I would swear to anything. They did know I was joking at the time, so I didn’t get fired.

I did quite well in my remaining years at Michigan Tech, and one day the Chairman of the Department, George Swenson, informed me that I had received a fellowship to work for my Masters Degree at Iowa State College in Ames, Iowa. I graduated in June, 1949, and after graduation Sally went back to Auburn to stay with her folks and I went to Ames to see about renting an apartment and to see if Sally could get a job. My GI bill had run out and the Fellowship paid my tuition and $65/month living allowance. I rented an apartment at 203 Welch Avenue for $38/month, so we needed to add a little to our income in order to get by. I found a job for Sally, but she needed to learn to type in order to do the job. I told them she could type 35 words/minute – I figured she could learn that over the summer. So I went to Auburn and informed her of our great good fortune. She didn’t see it quite that way, but we bought a typing manual and she strove mightily.

The semester started in Iowa State after Labor Day so we had a couple of months of vacation. I got a job with the Hemingway Processing company as a sort of all around worker. This company processed locally grown vegetables and canned them. I started out in the warehouse helping to label the cans. I found out that identical cans were labeled with different prices – so much for the value of higher priced vegetables. Also I found out that creamed corn was obtained from corn that had been sitting around too long and was in danger of fermenting. I met a lot of interesting men there – most of them were alcoholics and were doing mainly seasonal work. They were in a sober period and were really nice and intelligent people.

I worked through the summer there and when it came time to leave for Ames I worked a deal with Clarence Corp, Sally’s father, to buy his 1940 Dodge for $300, to be paid monthly over the next year. So Sally and I packed up our wedding presents that we had not taken to Hancock and took off for the Midwest. We went by way of Hancock to pick up the rest of our worldly goods that we had left with my folks and so arrived in Ames with a carload.

The apartment we had was quite minimal. The building was an old fraternity house that had been abandoned by the fraternity. The people who owned it lived on the first floor, and on our floor, the second floor, there were three apartments. There was only one refrigerator and that was in a hallway. I figured I was really smart and picked the bottom shelf since it was the biggest, but it also was the shelf which received all the spillage from the upper two shelves. Also there was only one bathroom on our floor so we had to have a lot of cooperation. All three apartments were occupied by young couples – no children. Our apartment had two rooms – one was a sort of living room and the other was over the porch.

Sally got a job in a Soils Testing Laboratory at the College and became the chief limestone tester for the State of Iowa. I spent each day in the Electrical Engineering department, but Sally and I would meet back at the apartment for lunch. So each day she had to walk across campus and past Lake Laveren, which we called Lake Latrine. This was because the lake was ringed with birds and as they flew off from their treetops they fertilized the lake. The campus also had a campanile and if they were playing some slow music she would be a few minutes late for our lunch. We always had soup and a sandwich for lunch and most often had fish sticks for dinner. To this day I will refuse to each fish sticks again. We listened to “You Are What You Eat” Victor Lindlahr and perhaps that improved our diet a little.

Winter started to set in and life went through some changes. First I was offered the opportunity to teach a couple of courses and I jumped at the chance since my fellowship paid so little and I got a raise to $85 per month for the teaching. My course work was going fine, and I started on my Master’s Thesis research. The winters in Ames are frigid. The cold wind blows across miles of relatively flat land and we shivered all winter long. The battery in our trusty little Dodge gave up the ghost and I replaced it with the cheapest car battery I could find. This was stupid, of course, for then even the new battery couldn’t start the car on the cold days and I had to give the car a push to encourage it.

But this was the not the worst problem. The coal miners of Appalachia had long been upset by the operation of the mines, and John L. Lewis, the head of the miners union, was slowing down the production of coal. During the winter of 1949-50 the miners took matters into their own hands and shut down all mining. The landlord of 203 Welch took this as a grand opportunity to reduce expenses and basically shut off heat to the apartments. I remember one time I went to their apartment to complain about the lack of heat and found their apartment to be warm and cozy. We did not even have a kitchen in our apartment but did our cooking on a little two burner gas hotplate tucked into a little closet. So we couldn’t get much heat from it into our apartment. Further the second room over the porch was as cold as the outside temperature, so we had to close it off and sleep in the remaining room.

But, winter passed and my thesis work was going fine. The final experiments were done about two weeks before the end of the summer session, and my oral exam on the Thesis was held on the day before we were leaving Ames. The exam went fine, and there were no corrections to be made in the Thesis. So the next morning, in mid August 1950, we fastened four huge ears of Iowa corn to the hood of the car and fled from Iowa. On the way out I informed Sally that that morning I had seen a couple of huge rats in the hallway of the building.

During the Spring of 1950 I had applied for a job at Bell Aircraft in Buffalo, New York, and also at Boeing Aircraft in Seattle, Washington. I had not heard from Bell and Boeing offered me a job, so that was where we were heading. We figured that moving all the way to Seattle would mean we wouldn’t be out East for a while so we decided to leave some of our belongings in Ames, drive to Auburn to visit Sally’s parents then to Upper Michigan to visit mine, then back to Ames to reload the car and away to Seattle. Since Boeing was paying for the shipment of our things from Ames we mailed some big things, like an ironing board directly to Seattle. The trip to Auburn went fine, although we couldn’t drive above 50 miles per hour since above that the Dodge shook badly. Driving through Cleveland was a challenge, but when people saw the corn on the car they swerved out of our path. After visiting the Corp’s we drove to Hancock to say goodbye to my folks, but while we were there we received a telegram from Bell offering me a job and we readily accepted it. So back we went to Ames, picked up the valuables we had left there and proceeded to Buffalo.

We found an apartment in North Tonawanda, on the second floor of the Argina’s house at 455 Goundry street. The first floor was where the owners lived – we referred to them as Anna and pappy. We had to go through their apartment to get to our apartment, and Anna would often go to our apartment while we were out – I guess to check and see we weren’t ruining anything. Anna was a large very powerful woman, and pappy was a short little runt. They had a 5 inch TV set and would watch wrestling every chance they could. There wasn’t much else to watch on TV those days. It was great, sometimes, to watch TV with them. They would end up wrestling on the floor and trying to outdo the actors on the TV. The material we had shipped to Seattle finally arrived and cost us a bundle since we had to pay for it from Ames to Seattle to storage to Buffalo. The ironing board probably cost us 10 times its value.

Anna cleaned house for people to raise some extra money, and told a great story about that. She drove a huge older car very cautiously and one day drove it to her job and pulled into the driveway to park it. When she was finished she went out to her car. The man who hired her looked out the window and saw her car slowly moving down the driveway into the street. He rushed outside to stop the car and what he saw was Anna pushing the car down the driveway. She didn’t feel comfortable backing up, so she was getting the car into the street by brute force!

Anna and Pappy were great fun and the rent was affordable, but we wanted more privacy, so we found an apartment in Kenmore at 251 School Road. It was an upstairs apartment, but we had our own entrance and thus a much better level of privacy.