Lo I Yin’s musings tell tale from China to today

By Almeda Girod

Resident Writer

My Musings began when Lo I Yin (people call him Louie) sent his story, “The Musings from an Old Fogey,” to his in-laws, David Valley and his wife, Dr. Chung Sul Youn, in California. They asked for more and eventually offered to help publish them.

In China, during the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) when Lo I was 7 to15 years old, the missionary high school where Lo I’s father was a teacher found refuge in Southwest China. At 15, he entered the Central China University as an English major. Lo had also sought shelter in Southwest China. In contrast to the high school, the college was situated in an idyllic village called Happy Island, a real paradise! 

In 1949, Lo I came to study music at Carleton College, MN, on a scholarship. Later he earned an MA degree in music theory from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. After a stint as a janitor, then a lab technician, at Eastman Kodak Co., he decided to pursue science and eventually earned a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Michigan. There he met his future wife, Won. Initially, Lo I thought Won was Chinese and Won thought Lo I was Korean. “It was an error made in heaven”! quipped Lo I.

Lo I and Won moved to Silver Spring, MD, in 1967 and raised two sons. Lo I worked as a research physicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center where he published many scientific papers and obtained four U.S. patents which were assigned to the U.S. government. Among them was the LIXISCOPE (1979), a pocket-sized portable low-intensity x-ray imaging device which was featured in newspapers across the U.S. and other countries. Later he obtained two more patents privately.

After retirement from NASA in 1990, Lo I composed a host of chamber music pieces involving piano and strings. String Magazine chose one of his published violin duets as an example of modern duos.

On the non-academic front, Lo I achieved a third-degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do. He ran 23 marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 1984. 

In 2005, Lo I and Won moved to Riderwood. Some of the stories in My musings were hatched and born at Riderwood while he was attending a writing class taught by Dorothy Sucher. 

In My Musings, despite enduring many adversities, Lo I reminisces on his life from his early years in China to his adult life in America in poignant, warm, and often humorous vignettes.

My Musings by Lo I Yin may be ordered from Amazon.com.

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