(Anna Cow is a bit embarrassed by this photo)
Holy cow! Nana Lou has posted a gif to the family album. She says, ” I hear the Burgeron Bovines made a special trip from the old country. Here they are being unloaded at the dock.” Why Ma and Pa ever ordered milk cows from Holland, I’ll never know. Those animals had to be shipped across the Atlantic by steamship, loaded and unloaded at the New York docks and then transported by rail all the way to Bovine County, Texas (of course, you know that New Amsterdam is the original name of New York).
I think it was our neighbor’s big idea in the first place. The de Boers were also from the old country and knew a lot about dairy cows and making and selling cheese, so they talked Ma and Pa into starting up a small side business selling fresh milk and making fresh cheese to earn some extra money in hard times. Of course, the trailer was too small for this kind of production, so Ma and Pa built a little extra shed out the back to run their dairy business.
For a while, we had the best fresh cream for our breakfast cereal and lots of milk for puddings and for our 13 cats. The cheese enterprise didn’t work out so well because Ma and Pa never really mastered the art of cheese making in the de Boer family tradition. Sometimes the smells from that shed were unbearable.
It really was Jimmy de Boer, anyway, that I was really interested in. He was in my school but two years older than me. I had a crush on him. He could do backward flips and he told jokes all the time which made me laugh. Jimmy always had some yummy special cheese with his sourdough bread for lunch and he would give me a taste of some new cheese his parents had made from the milk of their dairy cows. I could never pronounce the names of his special cheeses. Maaslander? How do you say that? Jimmy told me that his great grandparents even made cheese from reindeer milk in the old country, so the story goes.
Jimmy liked to be the big shot around the school yard because he was pretty strong and athletic (must have been all that home- made cheese he was eating) and one time my cousin, Ron Burgeron, who had a crush on Betty Lou, challenged Jimmy to a fight to see who was tougher and Jimmy gave Ron such a shiner with his punch! Jimmy got into a lot of trouble for that, but Ron got some special sympathy attention from Betty Lou which made him happy.
The other thing about Jimmy that I liked was that he would tell me some of his grandparents’ stories about moving to America. His family could trace their roots back to some of the original Dutch settlers. The Burgerons were not able to do that which is why the new Burgeron generation has resorted to hiring the services of Dr.M.
You see how the milk cows of Bovine County tie up many loose ends? Or do they begin new story threads?
In case you are interested in early Dutch settlers in America, this is Wyckoff-house in Flatbush Brooklyn, NY.
It is one of the earliest Dutch homes in New York. The Dutch migrated West much after the 1600’s.