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Fifty Years of My Life (1939 - 1990)
A Memoir by Jeff R. Noordermeer

Having Fun with Lu Lu in the Farm

Sometimes I would take Lu Lu for the weekend to my friend's farm. He had about forty milking cows and there was always enough work to do that he could use some extra help, especially in the winter time when the cows had to be fed and the stables had to be cleaned. I always tried to help whenever I was around. The house they lived in was an old farm house where in the winter time you had to go down to the basement and put coal on the stove so that the steam radiators in all the rooms of the house were hot. One day when my friend and I were milking and feeding the cows, Lu Lu walked to the barn. She noticed that one of the cows was pregnant but wanted to know who the father was. So she asked my friend who the cowboy was. My friend, not knowing what she was talking about, said, "I am the cowboy and do all the work around here". Lu Lu didn't know that the male cow was called a steer or bull. Then she explained to my friend that she noticed that one of the cows was pregnant and he couldn't be the father. My friend finally realized what she was talking about, and we had a big laugh about it.

Dairy Cow 

It was a lot of fun hanging around his farm, but you had to be careful what you were doing. One day my friend was milking the cows, and always before he would pump the milk into the holding tank, he would always clean all his milk lines with a soapy water and then give it a rinse with clean water. This time he started to milk and forgot to drain all the soapy water out of the holding tank, not knowing he pumped all the fresh milk on top of it. His milk was all shipped to dairy production plants around the New York City area. It was shipped on railroad tankers which some of them were parked on a railroad station not too far from his farm. A small truck would pick-up his milk every day and pump it into the railroad tankers where it would get mixed in with a lot of other milk from farms around. He said that it was too late to tell the man of the truck who picked up his milk to say anything about it. My friend told me that he never received a complaint about it. Soap is a neutralizer, and in my friend's case he was very lucky that his small amount of milk was mixed in with the large amount in the railroad tanker.

In the winter time many Canadian geese would rest on his farmland and we shot some of them, and Lu Lu would cook them for all of us.

Lu Lu and I went horse-back riding. It looked funny seeing Lu Lu on the horse in her Burmese clothes. It surprised me that she didn't scare the horse. I took Lu Lu to many places she had never seen before. She was very thankful for all the things I did for her. She told me that other boyfriends wanted to date her, but I didn't believe her. She said to me that she told her other boyfriends that she was going steady with me. One of her boyfriends didn't believe her as he had planned to take Lu Lu to his family, but Lu Lu took me along so that her friend could see that she was telling the truth. I was real surprised when I saw her friend. He was well dressed and a good looking man. I noticed he was very serious with Lu Lu. He was a detective in the Syracuse police department. I said to Lu Lu why don't you go out with him; this man is very serious and wants to marry you. She said, "no, I want you". I said, Lu Lu I am not ready yet for getting married, as I have too many things in my mind I wanted to do.

There were many Burmese students going to Syracuse University. Lu Lu's boss, Doctor Swerdlo was a professor of economics at Syracuse University, and since he worked and lived with his family in Burma as an economical advisor under the UN administration, he arranged all the study programs for the Burmese boss's home. All of them shared a big house very close to the University. Lu Lu became their den mother, and sometimes I took some of them in my car and showed them some night life and where all the girls were. Lu Lu was always very helpful to her people. Years later I met many of those students again when I visited Burma for a vacation.

In 1960 Mrs. Arndt who lived in Washington D.C. called Lu Lu and wanted to know if Lu Lu was interested in working for her again and to take care of her older mother. Lu Lu had worked for Mrs. Arndt in Burma when her husband was working for the Burmese government as an economical advisor. Mrs. Arndt's husband had passed away, and Mrs. Arndt needed somebody to take care of her mother again. In Burma Lu Lu had enjoyed working for Mrs. Arndt, and Lu Lu said, the old mother was always very nice to her. Lu Lu wanted a change in work, but she had to give the Swerdlo family a few months notice that she was going to quit. Of course the Swerdlo family was very upset when they heard that Lu Lu was going to quit. They had hoped that Lu Lu would stay on for more years to come. But Lu Lu told them that she wanted a change and eventually would go back to Burma again.

CONTINUED: Lu Lu goes to Washington, D.C.
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© Copyright  - Antonio Zamora

- Foreword
- Old Rotterdam
- World War II
- After the War
- Coming to America
- Washington, D.C.
- Southeast Asia
- Philosophy of Life

- Book Index