The house in Arlington had been rented out, and an apartment
in Takoma Park, Maryland, not far from the building where Richard
would be working seemed the best place to settle the family for a
little while. With three children and another on the way, the two
bedroom house in Arlington would be inadequate. Richard sold the
house to the next door neighbor and purchased a house in Falls
Church, Virginia where the family moved not long before Pat gave
birth to Patricia Fei-yun Chiu (Tisha)
on June 30, 1970.
Richard had a very nice camera, a
Canon that he loved. He was fascinated with technology but
did not like to spend money on film and developing. Pat bought a
Polaroid camera and Richard took this picture in the spring
1971 during the Cherry Blossom Festival. Pat is holding
baby Tisha in one arm and Nancy, Meg and David are with them.
long after moving to Virginia Richard moved to a job with the
David Taylor Model Basin, a Naval research facility just outside
the belt-way on the side of the western arm of the Potomac. In
this overhead view you can see the long building where hulls were
Although he traveled now and then,
sometimes as a recruiter of engineers for the civilian support of
the Navy, his career was relatively stable. Family vacations were
usually associated with some project he had arranged to perform in
the western part of the U.S.
One of Richard’s first
acquisitions after he purchased the house in Falls Church was a
radial arm saw that would allow him to make virtually any
he wanted in wood, as long as it was not some form of arc. He had
vision of what the small house could become and over the next
as two more children were born, he expanded the
house to almost double its original size.
Here you can see various family
members peeking from the windows of
the new addition. Tisha is
next to Nancy on the left with David standing behind Richard on
the right of them. Last is Meg with the baby, Maryjane.
Not long after the first part of the
remodeling job was finished, Richard’s parents came from
China. Richard hoped to build a family business with his father’s
help, but Ho-yee was confused about the motives of his son, and
worried about the level of his temper. Before long they returned
The first time Richard decided to
stay by Pat’s side while she gave birth was with the
appearance of their fifth living child, a son, in September of
1972. Much to Richard’s delight and his wife’s
surprise, the tiny infant smiled at his father, revealing a deep
dimple in his cheek
when he was only minutes old. Richard
decided that the child showed unusual aptness and decided that
this, his second son, would be given
his own chosen name,
stone eagle provides a perch for ‘little Richard’
while Nancy, Tisha, Meg and David look on.
doing well in his career and the family was generally healthy, but
Richard seemed unhappy with his life and looked for another
challenge. There were problems between him and his wife that they
had tried to work on over the years. He was a scientist, she was
an artist. When he became frustrated, he became overtly angry and
sometimes abusive. When she
became frustrated she retreated
into reading and overeating. She was a poor housekeeper, a
situation exacerbated by many children and a construction project
in the living space. In Chinese astrology, they were antagonistic
Before he had finished working on the house on Johnson
Road, Richard looked around to find another house in which he
could invest his money and his labor. He found a little house on
3/4 of an acre on Arnold Lane near the border of Annandale and
Falls Church only a couple of miles from Johnson Road and
He was seldom home in the months that followed.
come home from work, change into his work clothes, and
go over to
Arnold Lane where he was constructing an ambitious
addition. Pat was
reluctant to root up the family and move, but
the next child born to her
eventually changed her mind.
Maryjane was born in January of 1975. Although this new-born
picture shows her with her eyes closed, from the beginning she was
an active, curious little girl with her eyes wide open to the
world. When she learned to walk she loved to find her way out of
the house, an easy task with so many older brothers and sisters to
leave doors ajar.
Once outside, she would hurry to the street
and stand in front of one of the many passing cars. Johnson Road
was a busy, narrow street with many cars parked along the sides.
It was this that caused Pat to relent and agree to move to the
unfinished house on Arnold Lane.