Friday, March 23, 2007

Confessions of a Farm girl's past (Pt.4)

Gently and patiently Mr. Miller explained to me that "THE DOCTOR" was none other than Dr. Armand Hammer!  Ok...I confess...I was still clueless!  The first thing that popped into my mind was this thought..."the guy who invented baking soda?"

 I am thankful to this day that I did not share that thought out loud.  Dr. Hammer, at that time, was probably the most powerful man in the world.  Yes....even more so than the President. He was the CEO of Occidental Petroleum also known in our office as "THE COMPAY". He was close personal friends with Lenin and worked tirelessly to end the cold war between the U.S. and Russia.  When he wanted a meeting with almost any world leader, calendars were cleared and the meeting took place.

I remember him as a small man with a very powerful presence.  His entire personality, although quiet at the office, spoke of power.  Dr. Hammer had a plane that was much like a home inside- his wife traveled with him often and this was truly one of their homes away from home. It was not unusual to get a phone call that Dr. Hammer's personal plane was landing at  D.C.'s National Airport (now Reagan National Airport) and we had 60 minutes to prepare a 6 course meal for 20 people, heads of corporations, Congressmen, Senators and more.

I learned quickly that no matter what "THE DOCTOR" wanted "THE DOCTOR" got!  The office transformed into an incredible sight when one of those phone calls came....a "flurry of activity" just doesn't seem to do it justice.  No matter what your job there, we became one large team working for a common goal - the satisfaction of "THE DOCTOR".

Sylvester, the chauffeur, donned his best uniform and headed for the airport to pick up Dr. Hammer. Nick, the chef, began to make sumptuous meals out of the most basic ingredients - it mattered not whether he was preparing lunch for just Dr. Hammer or whether he was working on a huge dinner - he was quick, never flustered and always successful.  It was the first time I was exposed to cooking with fresh herbs. Nick taught me that fresh herbs can transform a meal from common to exotic for very little money. Oh, the smells and tastes - my office was directly across from the kitchen and I often helped Nick in a crunch.  I wish I had cared more for cooking at that time.  Although I have a few recipes, I could have learned so much more! All of us underlings were employed either running errands, helping in the kitchen, getting out the crystal and china and turning the massive conference table into a banquet table fit to serve the notables of D.C., or cleaning bathrooms and vacuuming and dusting - everything needed to be spotless! And we always succeeded....I can't imagine what would have happened had we failed.  It just wasn't an option.

The years I spent working in this office changed my life forever.  I learned re-learned many things.  I went to The Hill a very naive and trusting young lady.  I believed what they taught in high school about how our Congress worked - that the representatives were actually there to represent the views of their constituents.  I came away very disillusioned after seeing how things really worked.  Outside of a few good men (Yeah,  Ron Paul of Texas!!!) most of the people were there to line their pockets and further their own power and interests. There was so much corruption, greed, vice!  The Constitution appeared to be a vague irritant at best. I learned that many votes were traded - "you do this for me and I'll do this for you" is a common occurrence.  There are many ways to get around things....votes can be taken without names being recorded - that way the people don't really know what their representatives did.  I saw politics operating at its best...and...most often.... at its worst.  It left me fully convinced that lobbying should be forbidden, that we have many politicians and very few Statesmen and it left me fully aware that I need to be involved in the political process as much as possible, by voting, by writing and by calling.  I know firsthand that it does make a difference.  I have seen many representatives change their minds because they were afraid that their constituents would find out (or had found out) what they were planning on doing.

I had many adventures and met many famous people.  I had trouble with a particular Senator who felt votes could be bought with a little extra curricular left me quite shaken and upset.  Dr. Hammer wanted to know why and I bluntly told him what had been proposed to me....Dr. Hammer made one phone call....rather a quick one at that....I never...NEVER...had trouble with anyone else....EVER!  I also had a personal apology from the afore mentioned Senator.  Aaaahhhh...the benefits of working for the most powerful man in the world!

I went through a period of time where I seemed to see the same 3 or 4 men wherever I went.  At first I thought I was seeing things.  But when I noticed two of them over a weekend, following me around a mall in a far away city, I became frightened.  I mentioned this to Ginny (of the beehive hairdo) on Monday morning, she assured me that it was just the Secret Service or the F.B.I.....after all they always investigate and put under surveillance anyone that is a frequent visitor to the Russian Embassy.  It lasted a few months and then they just disappeared.  Guess they quickly figured out that I wasn't a spy....

I got to attend diplomatic parties, fancy dinners and other fabulous events.  I was even invited to breakfast at the Whitehouse by one of the President's sons....I far as I was concerned he was a self-centered, conceited, pompous young man...who apparently was quite shocked that a woman would say no!  I guess the lure of "Breakfast at the White House" had been quite a successful line for him.

God also used that time in my life to begin wooing me to Him by showing me the ugliness of the things the world holds dear  I saw that what D.C. valued was "the right".  What I mean by that is "the right" car, the right house....  All the things that God says are not worthy of our desire.....and D.C. cared nothing for Godliness, kindness, honesty, purity, family and...gasp!...the desire to have fact those things were mocked.  Even as a non-Christian at the time, this offended my sensibilities. I was known as a "good girl" and rest assured that phrase was not used in an admirable way!  The oddest thing was that all of these people who had "the right" everything...I discovered that most of them were miserable.  They were always hoping that the next acquisition would bring happiness whether it was another shopping spree, car, home, or spouse...but none of them ever found more than a momentary thrill.  It was sad to see but showed me so much truth!

In most respects my life is very different - I gave up everything to get married and have babies - my heart's desire since I was a little girl.  I was told I was crazy - to give up this job to stay  home and "wipe dirty noses and bottoms" was a waste they said....yet it has been the most satisfying, rewarding and fulfilling thing I have ever done.  I would not give up one minute to go back to the other life. I am so thankful that God allowed me to see the foolishness of the world - even when I didn't belong to made that decision so much easier a few years down the road when I heard the gospel for the first time.  Many of the verses in Proverbs leap out at me because of the years I spent in D.C.  I am so thankful that He did not allow me to get drawn into that lifestyle - to think of what I would have given up sends chills down my spine!  God is so merciful and gracious to me - even when I was yet a sinner not saved by His grace!

I have an aversion to chemicals now...don't use them on the farm, on our bodies, in the kitchen or anyplace else if we can avoid them.  I am a homebody...I am not a big shopper and love the challenge of "making do" through frugality, thrift stores etc. I don't have "the right" anything according to D.C., home, clothes, neighborhood, school or connections....yet I am happier than I have ever been and much happier than those I knew in D.C.

In one respect I am very much like those in D.C........we both shovel a lot of manure!  But at least the manure here on the farm has long lasting benefits!


  1. Ah, excellent. I'm either of the wrong generation or wrong geography because even with the satisfaction of the identities of the company and the doctor, I don't recognize them. :)

    I'm not an agrarian in the anti-industrialism sense, but I certainly espouse stewardship and personally enjoy producing my own (enter item here) as much as possible.

    By the way, the bread is incredible! Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  2. Armand Hammer!


    That's quite a story.

    I'm curious.... Perhaps you mentioned it but I missed it... How long did you work for "The Doctor" and what years did this take place?

  3. Thanks for sharing such an interesting story!
    I met Dr. Hammer twenty some odd years ago when I worked at an Arabian horse ranch in California. He owned a big Russian stallion named Tex that he was keeping at the ranch to breed. What an animal! (the horse not the doctor). I said hey to Dr. Hammer early one morning when he visited Tex, and he wished me a good morning with a great big smile. Though I knew he was Dr. Hammer, I didn't know WHO Dr. Hammer was until years later. Wow! I always admired a man who bid a lowly groom with manure on her boots such a cheerful good morning and then went on to run the world!
    ...and I think your choice for a farm life is admirable. I don't know a single ranch hand that I worked with back then who envied the lifestyles of the rich and famous. We saw the underbelly of that life, and it is anything but desirable.
    I wasn't a Christian then, but I loved living and working on a ranch and nothing about what I loved involved money. I guess your blog is a vicarious trip back to that life...thanks! :)

  4. I don't remember much about the man, but my first reaction when you mentioned his name was "baking soda." Must be our generation!

  5. Ellajac,
    Different generation perhaps but until I walked into that office I had never heard of him either...I'm so glad you liked the bread recipe!

    Although we all worked for Dr. Hammer when he was in town...technically I worked for Mr. Miller. It was in the late 70's and without going back to check records..I believe it was for several years. Most of the time it was very routine but we did have those days :) Did the name Hooker Chemical ring any bells for you since you are from New York?

  6. Julia,
    What a neat story! Dr. Hammer had a lot of tragedy in his life - at times I felt sorry for him. I can say that he was always kind and a gentleman in the office. Glad the story brought back enjoyable memories!

    Dr. Hammer always thought it funny with the baking soda thing....he actually tried to buy that company once! I think at the time I didn't care about politics, world affairs etc. I was in my early 20's and although I read a lot...I rarely read the newspaper! So glad I never said that out loud :)

  7. Well, now I know why you seem to know so much about the globalists and the NWO were in the thick of it. Amazing stuff, I'd never have guessed.

  8. Hi Scott,
    And I didn't know a thing about it at the time - but it has been very interesting in the last 30 years to learn about so many of the people I met....probably why I got interested in the globalist agenda in the first place...once I began to learn it was enough to keep me interested...wish all Americans were aware!

  9. Yes. Hooker Chemical and Love Canal (near Buffalo) go together. They dumped their waste there for years. Then someone built houses there. People got sick. It was a bad situation. I didn't realize Hooker was owned by Occidental.

  10. Herrick,
    That's right! The history of it is very interesting....not sure if Occidental owned Hooker at the time or not but they ended up paying a lot for the clean up.

  11. Cheri,
    We are sure enjoying your story. For a while we thought that perhaps the Dr. was Henry Kissinger and the company was the State Dept., but now we know!!

    Headin' to TN in less than a week. My folks say that it is very dry - 6 inches less rain than normal for this time of year.

    Hope you are getting enough rain!

  12. My friend Ellen told me about your site. What a great story you have! I love that you can trace the hand of God in your life back then. It's amazing how God moves and we do not even see it. I hope you will share more.

  13. Hi Cheri,
    Looking forward to seeing you - will email you tomorrow :)

    Glad you are enjoying it...isn't it amazing how patient God is to draw us to him...even if it takes years!

  14. Wow, Cheri. I never would have guessed. Isn't it awesome what God does with our lives and how He changes them as well as our perspective on things? What would those folks in DC think of you now??!! Thanks for sharing!

    I once was lost but now am found!

  15. Hi Lisa,
    Isn't God's mercy and grace just an amazing thing.....I am so thankful! The people in D.C. would think I had lost my marbles....but I know exactly what jar they are in and what shelf they are on :)

    PS I LOVED the video of your first year on the farm - you'll see it in a post coming soon :) Thanks so much!!


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