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Posts published in “Day: May 30, 2013

Returning to Our Family’s Homeland

By Angie Liang

A decade has passed since I last saw Taiwan, the island country where my parents are from. They spent their childhood until their early 20s there, before moving to the United States to advance their education and start a family. They have now lived here longer than they’ve lived in Taiwan, but as much as they love Texas and consider it home, I know how important their native country is to them.

Every few years when I was growing up, my parents would take my sister and I back to Taiwan to learn about their homeland and to know our family. We always stayed in the apartment of my puopuo (grandmother on my mom’s side), where she cooked with my aunts and spoke with a heavy accent. I often had to ask my mom to clarify her mother’s Chinese, but there was one thing I always understood: puopuo sweetly calling me by my middle name, Yen Tzu, and reminding me how good and wonderful I am.

One time I left my beloved teddy bear in her bed and flew back to Texas without it, crying. She assured me over the phone, “Yen Tzu, do not worry. I will watch him closely and take care of him until you return.”

I did return to see puopuo and collect my bear, but years later as an adult, I slowly started turning away from Asia and what I knew. When I first tasted the freedom of traveling on my own, I choose to explore the unfamiliar – such as Europe – wanting to create new, amazing personal experiences.

Over the years, my family has visited Taiwan several times without me. While I always wished I could go too, I never felt too much urgency, assuming there would be other opportunities. It was not until the beginning of this year, when my mom called me to say that puopuo had a stroke, that the need to return filled my entire being.

Unfortunately Puopuo passed away a few weeks before we arrived. (Fortunately my cousin had recently given birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl, and puopuo had been smiling about this news before she passed.) So I was finally back in Taiwan, heavy with mixed emotions, missing the one person I wanted to see most. There was grief for my beloved grandmother, guilt for having waited so long to return, and curiosity to rediscover a part of me, to see where my parents grew up and how it had changed.

In the next JBU columns, I will share some of my thoughts and experiences in Taiwan. This beautiful country is full of wonderful sights, food and, for me, family. I know puopuo was proud as she watched all of us return, pay our respects, and explore our family’s homeland.

After Crosby ISD hearing, Roder no longer vice-principal but can re-apply to district

CROSBY – A Special Called Grievance Hearing of the Board of Trustees of Crosby ISD was held May 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the CISD Operations Center to hear a Level Three Appeal by Dr. Ernest “Cap” Roder III.

At issue was his contract not being extended by Crosby ISD as Vice Principal at Crosby High School. Ninety three people not called into closed session to testify appeared at the meeting.

Originally a quorum of five was in attendance, later Kasprzak and Eagleton attended in closed session. An attorney and Court Recorder also attended the closed session with the Principal of Crosby High School and Mr. Roder.

The attendees sat until 9:43 p.m. until the Board returned, it was then in open session that the Board voted.

Kasprzak moved that the Level 2 Decision be upheld however he recognised in his motion that the Superintendant’s recommendation that he be allowed to move to another Assistant Principal Position within the school district with full opportunity to develop his career.

The motion was seconded. The vote was 6 votes for and JoAnne Crawford against. The attorney asked for clarification of who had opposed the recommendation. Then the meeting was adjourned.

Memorial Day observed at Sterling-White

Ceremony was poignant, catharsis for Vets

HIGHLANDS – The historic remembrance of those that have served their country continues here in a solemn ceremony on Memorial Day at Sterling-White Chapel and Cemetery, the service grows larger in attendance each year and increased in poignancy this year, as a veteran of the War on Terror in both the Iraq and Afghanistan fronts spoke from his convictions and patriotic fervor.

The Memorial Day Service this year began with the Crosby JROTC placing a Memorial Wreath at the Wall of Honor inside the cemetery and especially created section for those that have served their country in the military. Flags of each branch of service fly there.

A Color Guard was performed by Boy Scout Troop #107 with grace as Old Glory was raised on high and lowered to half staff.

Jeff Moore and his son lead the pledge of allegiance and Jeff welcomed the crowd to the elaborately patriotically decorated Avenue of Flags. The flags not only displayed Old Glory in quantitative array throughout the cemetery in the center flew all the flags that have represented this country from colony, revolutionary, Articles of Confederation to first Constitutional Republic times.

Captain Rodney Reed spoke with an incandescent sensibility that evoked empathy from even the most hardened, as one that has seen the realities of the unimaginable horrors, retrieving from that duty honor. His talk feted the struggle still ongoing even as it becomes incipient that many tire of the sacrifice.

Reed was followed by Pastor Jerry Hovater of the Little Country Church, New Caney and Crosby who in a oration that matched the theme of Reed was rounded and full.

Don Guillory, for the David H. McNerney American Legion Post 658 recited the names of those who were laid to rest in Sterling-White Cemetery this year, as family members answered of their presence.

Taps was played by Craig Zlutnik and Pipe Major Tom O’Brien played “Amazing Grace” on bagpipes as Houston Dream Doves released a drove of doves. Next R.A. Mayfield did a quick presentation from Sampson Masonic Lodge in Highlands.

Jeff Moore stated, “I would like to thank all of you for attending our Memorial Day Service. It is a great honor to serve you and your loved ones. I would like to thank my staff for all their hard work and dedication and a special thank you to all the local vendors who have contributed to this years’ service.”