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December 07, 1975 - Image 3

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1975-12-07

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niary long
jo narcotty
barb cornell


Number1 Pag ThreeDecem

page four-books
page five-

Number11 Page Three Decemb
The Farmert!S Mrket:j
By ANN MARIE LIPINSKI wooden table scarred by knife cuts covered in Osh-Kosh overalls and s
and soiled by years of service - protective rubber boots to fight off
go the hand-tilled products of the the damp cold. -
farm as Josephine and Everett VanHoy farm. Carefully and exact- Crates and pecks of the hand- s.F.'.
ingly the seven kinds of apples, nurtured vendibles are piled and
VanHoy begin loading Winesap the soil-covered beets, the carrots l -
apples, giant sugar pears, home and the pears are ordered. Then the first sleepy-eyed shoppers be- .. r :-
canned bread - and - butter pickles come Mrs. VanHoy's kitchen cre- fi e ed p e-
and Hubbard squash into their gin foning te dew dample-~en, -
tions: jams and preserves bottled tuce, the -once desolate market is * A
white Chevy van. in baby food jars, pickles produced transformed into an animated fruit
Secured i layers of lumber-jack from their summer cucumber crop, and vegetable bin. It's Saturday
flannels and hand-crocheted knits, and tempting apple pie and banana morning at Ann Arbor Farmer's
the VanHoys don't notice the bit- bread which she took from her Market. }
ing 4 a.m. frost. Seventeen years oven only hours ago.a
of early morning preparation for Haggard -looking professorial
the Farmers Market have earned THE ALMOST EERIE silence of types in houndstooths and Hush
them near immunity from the the early morning outdoors Puppies, middle-aged housewifes¢<r 'i M
wintry perils. starts to fade as a caravan o with their weekend hairsets' and
It is a short drive from their trucks and station wagons begin double-knit pantsuits, and spunky
15-acre farm to their permanent rollingk12-year-olds in parkas covered "' f, -
stall in the outdoor city market, vehicles negotiate the parking with hockey emblems, are all eye- Doily Photo by PAULIN
so by 6 a.m. the VanHoys are space behind each of the market ing and fingering the early morn-
positioning bushels and sacks of stalls, and soon the doors are flung ing fare, tossing raisin bread and disecting the squash with her eyes At the risk of losing her cus- removes a jigsaw from th
their earth-born wares in enticing open and out climb the venders parsnip into shopping baskets and from beneath wing-tipped bifocals. tomer, Mrs. VanHoy concedes. "If a cluttered van.
fashion. Out of the van and onto - healthier, happier versions of net bags. Waving her finger she attracts you want, I'll cut it," she says. With the tender preci
their make-shift showcase-a long Steinbeck's characters, they stand MARIAN AND STEPHEN Kucketa Mrs. VanHoy's attention and be- "But I still don't know how you'll surgeon, she begins s a w
Aray their stand, positioning gins quizzing her in thick Russian be able to tell if it's sweet," she large squash through th
tones,- adds.
a collage of 20 spices and 50 varie- Upon opening it, she r
ties of dried flowers. "It's potpour- "Vut kind of t a s t e de dees I be back, maybe," the woman small paring knife from
ri." explains Mrs. Kucheta, before squvash hay?" she asks. answers, and goes tripping in her and carves out a small
revealing that scented geraniums, "They're delicious," replies Mrs. spiked heels to another booth. the fruit and hands it to
rosemary, lavender, sweet marjo VanHoy quickly. "Everybody says " A CAY"Md a tomer.
. ,rim, basil andpiepl sage were te r. Hoy mumbles under her beath, Immediately up on p
combined to produce the wistful "But are ze sveet?"she demands, straightening a bag of Spy apples. sample in her mouth, th
scent. "I can't buy dees squvash unless "The stories I could tell you ..:. hands down her verdict.
- *+ In a far corner, near the enclosed I know is sveet. You cut for me so she says, her eyes brightening as "Is delicious," she exc
Kerrytown, an 11-year-old girl with I can taste and tell if is veet, no? she recalls a summer customer of take whole thing."
stringy blonde hair kneels next to If sveet, I buy ze whole squvash." hers who insisted that Mrs. Van-
a cardboard box containing a lit- "I don't see how you can tell if Hoy remove all other flowers except Mrs. VanHoy hides a
.g.i, grin as she places the squ
ter of new born kittens. A hand it's sweet or not when it's not cook- snan dragons from a mixed bou- in a poultry scale. Ho]
scrawled sign tacked to the box ed, snaps Mrs. VanHoy, annoyed duet before she would buy it. Uon .
reads: "Free Kittens." Few shop- that this woman should be ques- discovering one rpmaining butter- head, she computes the
dupers resist the temptation to bend tioning the quality of her produce. cup in the bunch when she got t
>s". ~~over and pet the furry things, but "I tell," the woman rpis "I home, "She drove I don' t know how tepoue
none offers to give them a home, bought squvash here last week zat many miles back to market," Mrs. "Ninety-five cents," she
"I think your kittens must be cold, vas best I ever had. I taste before VanHoy laughs, "just so she could "Out of five," the won
honey," an elderly man advises the I bought, and it wassveet." throw the flower on my table and as Mrs. VanHoy fishes fo
girl. "They're shaking." Rolling the huge Hubbard squash say 'I told you I only wanted snap from a small tin can. "I d
"They're not cold," she defiantly between her right hand and her dragons,', Why didn't she just throw bag. I'll put in here,"
:i answers as she lifts the smallest left repeatedly across the table, it out the window?" dropping the squash into
of the litter and tucks it under- Mrs. VanHoy considers the conse- As Mrs. VanHoy concludes her dimestore shopping bag.
neath her bulky sweater next to quences of slicing open the fruit. story, the stodgy Russian woman she flew.
her skin. "hyrocld" Sensing her indecision, the discern- reappears. "People,"lagsM.
ing shopper offers a new alterna- "He doesn't have squvash today," shaking her head. "I coul
ASHORT, STOCKY woman cloak- tive. she announced, "so you just cut for book."
ed in imitation fur and balanc- "Alvriht. I go over to other me and I buy. I'm sure is good."
ing on spiked heels, saunters over farmer, see if he has good squvash. "I told you I'd cut it," Mrs. Van- Ann Marie Li inski is aI
Doilv Photo by PAULINE LUBENS to the VanHoy's stall and begins I be back maybe. Okay?" Hoy reminds the woman as she writer.

er 7, 1975
ie back of
sion of a
iing the
*e middle.
emoves a
the truck
wedge of
her cus-
itting the
e woman
laims. "I
n impish
ash halves
ding the
bove her
price of
nan says,
r change
[on't need
she says,
ra plastic
And of f
d write a
Daily slaff

A Saigon elite's ilfe in Ann Arbor:
The flip-side of the American dream

family were rushing aboard an
escape boat outside Saigon when
the Provisional Revolutionary Gov-
ernment soldiers opened fire. Their
grenades exploded into the water,
shooting fountains of spray sky-
wards. That was on the afternoon
of April 29, 1975 and for the next
day and half the boat waited in the
harbor. No one could sleep: Saigon
was burning.
While the boat awaited news of
Saigon's fate its passengers hung
in the ,twilight zone - homeless.
Finally, word came over the radio
that South Vietnam had surren-
dered and the boat slipped out of
the harbor to join up with the
American Seventh Fleet. Madame
Cao, her husband, her five daugh-
ters and son-in-law began their
month-long journey to the United
States aboard a ship crowded with
3,000 refugees.

what I was," her collection says.
One glance through color snap-
shots of an elegantly dressed, fine-
boned woman, officials letters of
recommendation from high-placed
Americans in Saigon, and a pass-
port stamped from all parts of the
world and the curious American
knows: Madame Cao was a mem-
ber of Saigon's elite.
serving food and cleaning up
in the kitchen of the Martha Cook
Menial labor is not pleasant for a
wealthy woman who once had ser-
vants, a three story house, and a
position she describes as bureau
chief of immigration in Saigon.
While American artillery and air-
craft ravaged Vietnam's villages,
American style bureaucracy and
luxuries made Saigon a paradise
for Madame Cao. The Americans
rented rooms in her house; they
brought televisions, radios, wash-
irer-m nh rtno .lA mn- nr __ _- -A

The mustard colored uniform
and regulation hairnet she wears
are effective: the women hurrying
through the lunch line barely
glance at the small figure. Most
were not on campus during the
years of protest against a futile
war, and they do not see Madame
Cao as a symbol of what went
The student waitresses who work
behind the counter with Madame
Cao were at first impatient with
her slowness. But she has since
mastered the kitchen tasks and
gained acceptance. She replaces a
plump, black woman who gossiped,
scolded, and joked with the stu-
dents whose names she always
knew. Clara had been behind the
line for 14 years; she ran her kit-
chen like a queen. But Madame
Cao is not yet confident enough
with English to say more than
hello and few women take the time
required to ease into conversation
with her. In Saigon, the staff she
supervised adored her, she says.
And she would like to command

At first she did not tell her
daughters where she worked and
they wondered why she came home
physically exhausted from what
they were told was an "office job,
just like in Vietnam." But now she
talks of having one of her daugh-
ters work alongside her in thekit-
chen. She says she needs the extra
IN ONE OF HER snapshots, taken
in Washington, D. C. in 1972
Madame Cao stands regally smiling
in the center of a large delegation
of Vietnamese men. She wears an
orange silk gown of exquisite cut.
It is the kind of VIP shot that
shows Americans that she's moved
with important people in import-
ant cities. So when they ask her,
as they always ask foreigners from
warm climates, "How do you like
the snow?" she can tell them she's
seen it before - and there is a
picture of her snugged against the
Switzerland cold in a winter coat.
Jackie Onassis - style dark glasses

. . .'-'fir -? ' v k .;:t - f .: ti: 'y ,. ..r. k.. .ti

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