I will remember, a good bye to a dear friend

By
Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties Licensed in Connecticut

Goodbye ChickSometimes we are lucky enough to meet a client who becomes so much more. In 2005 I had this privilege, an older gentleman who ran a small dairy farm here in New Milford. Quickly he became much more than a client, he became my adopted dad, I became the daughter he never had.

I was called to do a market analysis of his small farm. I looked around his house, then we moved to the barns. I believe he was hoping for a rise out of me in the barn, he didn't know that I had lived on a cattle ranch though. (I have always loved cows.) I did finally break the news to him that I was not afraid of cows, that the barn didn't bother me in the least. I shared that our foreman on the ranch had claimed that dairy farmers were dumber than dirt because they had to work so hard, milking cows twice a day, 7 days a week, no matter what. Then there was all the other work involved. He shrugged his shoulders and told me our foreman had been right. Then he bet me I wouldn't help him milk his cows....

It took time, but I came back one day, dressed for milking. He was shocked, welcomed the help gladly and so it began. For me it was fantastic, once I stepped into the barn the problems and stresses of life stayed outside, I worked hard and felt good. Every moment I could I was helping, between work and family.

His health was not the best, but he was the hardest worker I knew. He never stopped and often fell asleep at the dinner table. He told me he had always been like that, that his mother had said you couldn't give him soup for dinner because he would fall asleep and drown in the soup. He worked hard all his life, he started milking cows at 8 years old.

As a result of this he didn't get to town much, seriously. He lived in another world. With the modern world swirling around him he clung to his old ways, once you drove in the driveway it was as if you had been magically transported back in time.

One day he told me he wanted a new couch. I brought my laptop, which he called my "hoop-de-doo machine" and we went window shopping and found the couch he wanted. We piled into the jeep and went to the furniture store with one of the boys that worked at the farm. While there he also wanted to look for a new mattress (I think he was sleeping on the same bed he had all his life, but that is another story). After picking out the couch, we followed the salesman up the escalator to the mattress department. All of a sudden I realized he wasn't behind us anymore...

He was still down at the bottom of the escalator looking up. He had never been on one before in his life and didn't know what to do! I had to go back down and help him up the escalator, laughing the whole way. The salesman was stunned, we were all laughing. We told him Chick didn't get off the farm much... which was the truth.

Goodbye ChickI will remember all the memories, they remain in my heart forever. I will remember the stories of when he and his wife took the trip of a lifetime to Europe,just before she died.  They went on a "Dairy Farms of Europe" tour with what he referred to as "a bunch of other hayseeds". I will remember the times I drove him over to look at the farm his family owned in the next town over when he was a youth, the tree he used to stick his rifle in on the way to school is long gone, but we stopped at the intersection many times as he remembered. I will remember his smile, his teasing ways, his stories about life, all the funny things he did, all he taught me about cows, I will not forget. I will remember how he would get up every morning, take his rifle, point it out the bathroom window and shoot, much to the neighbors dismay. I will never forget the time you asked me to make squirrel stew for you... although I wish I could forget that one.

He died last week, now he is with his beloved wife again.  They had such a short time together, he married very late in life. I am sure you are with Claire and Ookie, all the girls you loved so much. He will be missed by many and I will miss him dearly. My life is much richer for having met him. Unfortunately I was not able to help him like I did before over the last 2 years, he understood. He always told me that real estate sounded much like dairy farming anyway. Hard work, more hard work, disappointment and more hard work. But if you loved what you did it was all ok.

Goodbye Chick, thank you for all your gave me in life, I will treasure it forever. And I will miss you.

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Comments 14 New Comment

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Ambassador
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Ed Silva
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754

Andrea a very emotional testimonial ot a dear friend and a piece of less hurried times gone by. May he rest in peace

April 05, 2012 05:37 AM
Rainmaker
172,037
Karin Lundeen
Realtor Centennial Homes For Sale
Keller Williams Realty LLC- Denver Southlands

Andrea ~ What a sweet remembrance of a dear friend!  That is really amaxing that he never had been on an escalator!  You took the time to get to know him and you gave of yourself and it made a big impact in both of your lives!  Thanks for sharing it with us!

April 05, 2012 05:40 AM
Rainmaker
1,052,192
Ginny Gorman
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond
Phillips Post Road Realty ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate

Andrea, may he have lived well because that is what most of us want...and shared with many...what a nice remembrance of him.

April 05, 2012 05:50 AM
Rainmaker
1,387,333
Roger D. Mucci
Lets shake things up at your home today!
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092

This is truly a wonderful testimonial to your dear friend Chick...............fond and loving memories of him will keep him alive in your heart forever.  How lucky you were to have him in your life, and likewise I'm sure.

April 05, 2012 05:52 AM
Rainmaker
805,723
Gail Robinson
REALTOR, GRI, e-PRO, Fairfield County, CT
William Raveis Real Estate

Andre - That's a beautiful tribute to your friend!  I'm sorry for your loss.  I know you will miss him.

April 05, 2012 05:56 AM
Rainmaker
283,438
Marie Graham
Westchester County Interior Decorator, Home Stager
Owner, The Refreshed Home White Plains NY

Andrea-thank you for your story, feel like I not only knew him, but now I miss Chick, too. Only a guess, but I am sure he was so thankful that you had come into his life. 

April 05, 2012 06:04 AM
Rainmaker
358,056
Robin Dampier REALTORĀ®
Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate Source
Coldwell Banker King

A beautiful testimony to a very dear friend.  I'm sure it put a proud smile on his face in heaven.  I'm with Marie and your telling about him makes me sorry I never had the pleasure of meeting him in real life.  Thanks for sharing.

Sue of Robin and Sue

April 05, 2012 08:03 AM
Ambassador
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Craig Rutman
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor
Helping people in transition

What a beautiful tribute to a man who was clearly much more than a friend to you. Rest in peace Chick.

April 05, 2012 08:16 AM
Ambassador
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Andrea Swiedler
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties

Thank you everyone. It has been a very difficult time for me, I will miss him very much. It is good that I have so many happy memories, many of them bring such a smile to my face and warm my heart. I know he is happy now, with his wife again, and all his "girls". He loved his cows so.

April 05, 2012 11:35 AM
Rainmaker
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Judy Jennings
Sales Director
508-209-5000

Oh Andrea, my heart is heavy just thinking about your loss. I have loved your past stories about Chick. Perhaps he will have an opportunity to meet my Dad and his "girls" up there in the great big pasture of clouds. That's what I would like to believe anyway. :)

April 05, 2012 01:14 PM
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Andrea Swiedler
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties

Judy, I am sure they are swapping farm stories right now and comparing the "girls" to each other. And I bet they are bragging about all their tractors they ever owned. At least that is what I am choosing to believe.

April 05, 2012 01:53 PM
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George Souto
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages Connecticut

Andrea this one of those special friendships in life that are few and far in between.  I am sure you consider yourself bless for having known your friend.

April 05, 2012 06:32 PM
Rainmaker
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Larry & Jacque Ficek
Realtors - Wasilla Alaska
Alaska Dream Makers

Hi there Andrea, we are sorry you lost such a dear friend but are happy to share your memories of him. What an awesome gift we have in friends like these (and the legacy of memories).

April 06, 2012 09:57 AM
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Hannah Williams
Expertise in NE Philadelphia & Bucks County
Re/Max Eastern inc.

Andrea What a nice story about a dear friend ..It is sad when we lose friends especially those we treasure You have put  a lot of love into this

Helpfulhannah

April 06, 2012 10:19 AM
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Andrea Swiedler

Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT
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