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

Two car accidents in two months

For three years, Ambassador Kye Myint stayed in Washington. During that time we became very good friends. He came to our apartment many times and we always had good times together.

From Washington he was transferred to be Ambassador in Moscow, Russia. I received several letters from the Ambassador asking us to pay him a visit in Moscow. He wrote that we would receive VIP treatment. I am sure he would have given us that treatment, but I was never able to take that trip. Embassy Dairy was pleased with the Thank You letter he wrote.

For almost three years I had taken full charge of Southland Corporation's Embassy Dairies as a zone quality control manager. My salary had greatly increased over those years, and at the end of each year I was getting very fat bonuses. My profit sharing investment was doing very well. Financially I had done very well over the years, considering the background I had to start from. Mr. Luther Elkins, the executive director of all of Southland Corporation, started to send other people from different dairies in the country to work alongside with me in my quality control program. There wasn't a relaxed moment — I was constantly involved with my work. Even late at night when I was home, at late hours I was writing notes or reports, all related to my work. Writing reports was never my favorite subject but it had to be done and took away a lot of my spare time. I could have given it to one of the secretaries in our office, but I was too proud to let them know what my weak points were in my job.

In the hot summer months I always spent my own time on weekends checking plant equipment for cleanliness. On the parking lot I would check the loaded trucks for proper refrigeration. Products on those trucks had to be shipped very early in the morning to different customers all over the Washington area. All of this I did on my own time and it gave me and the General Manager a lot of information about our products and shelf-life. I knew all along that I couldn't keep up with the pace at which I was working, but I was too much of a perfectionist and couldn't stop. The job had taken over my daily life.

After the summer of 1984 I noticed that I started to tire very quickly. The doctor had told me before that I had some problems with high blood pressure and should be careful and keep it under control. Even at work I noticed that whenever I walked up the stairs I was short of breath. I knew there was something wrong with me, but I was too stubborn to tell anybody, and I had become a robot to the job. Within two months I had two car accidents. In the first one Lu Lu wasn't wearing her seat belt and I ran into a car which stopped suddenly. Lu Lu's head went through the windshield and small pieces had lodged in the skin on her face and head. The accident created a big traffic jam as it happened coming off one of the intersections by the National Airport. Blood was all over Lu Lu, and she was taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital. Luckily it was not that serious and Lu Lu was able to leave the hospital that same day.

My next accident happened on an early morning when I took Lu Lu to work on the Watergate building in Washington. I had taken a high blood pressure pill before leaving the apartment. After I dropped off Lu Lu I had to make a U-turn and in the middle of the road was a concrete island which I drove straight into. I hit it so hard that my oil pan completely came off and the front steel frame of the car was bent. The car was not repairable anymore and had to be taken to the dump. With all of this happening I still kept on working and didn't tell anybody about my physical condition.

CONTINUED: Symptoms of heart problems start
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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