It was the spring of 1971 that we had a family meeting. My father had received an opportunity (before this one, he had been offered an opportunity to go to Vietnam. We choose not to go to Vietnam at that time because of the ongoing War) to set up a Science Education program in Thailand. It was scary to think we would be leaving everything we knew, behind for a period. 1971 was not like today. You didn’t have a cell phone in your pocket that kept you connected to everything. The majority of our communication would be via letters. Well, at least we thought it would be via letters. My grandfather gave my parents a tape recorder, so we did get to send tapes of us talking to people that weren’t there. Of course, they sent us tapes of them talking to us as well, so it wasn’t weird.
One of my three favorite all time pictures starts off the expedition to Thailand. My father with my very much younger sister on a beach. I suspect it is Pattaya, but it could be any one of the many beaches we visited. Thai beaches are amazing. In these pictures taken by my mother and for the most part taken by my father you see two critical. You can see in the pictures how much teaching meant to my father. The last pictures in this collection are of various places and groups where dad was teaching teachers. He always used to say those who can do, those who can’t teach, those who can’t teach teachers. I used to smile all the time when he said that, until I turned 13 then I stopped. I realized it was funny again when I was 22 or so and becoming a teacher myself!
These pictures were hand picked by my father. They were the ones he showed family friends to represents Bangkok and Thailand. Yes, there are many pictures dad had of teaching in Thailand. He loved the nation, the people and he loved building the science education program for UNESCO. But the other pictures are the ones that show who my father was. Each of them shows me, my mother and my siblings (sisters) lovingly. They are not posed images of people captured by a photo studio to be left on a wall. 100 years later a tour guide saying “That is the first earl of peanut and pickle sandwiches.” These are loving pictures taken of real moments from our fantastic journey to Thailand. Thank you, dad, for all the memories and all the things you did for us! Thank you, mom, for the memories, and all the things you did for us! My mother took the picture of my father and my little sister, one of my all-time favorite pictures.