Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Friend Dutch

We have been fortunate to make many friends over the years on the Internet. You have to read this story about our friend Dutch or Maarten from Holland. It will make you appreciate being born in America.

I met Maarten known as Dutch in the Internet back in the 90's on agonline. We both moved to NewAgTalk in 2001. On one of our camping trips heading for the big caverns in New Mexico and Arches National Park we stopped and saw Dutch and Katie and the boys. We had a wonderful dinner Katie cooked and talked and camped outside their house. We ate Mexican at town and they sent us home witha big bag of Texas peanuts I will never forget.

Maarten Van Zielst was born in New Tong, or New Tongue Holland, a 500 year old part of the Netherlands reclaimed from the ocean. The Netherlands is often referred to as Holland.

I am missing part of the story from the PDF file I can't convert but will add it if I can.

Maarten moved with his parents to Texas in 1982. They had great difficulty with Immigration. It alone is quite a story.

Maarten met his wife Katy through a church meeting. They soon began dating.

Meanwhile, Maarten's battle with the immigration authorities was just
beginning. He was doing everything he knew to do to get permanent residents
papers, and it seemed they were doing everything in their power to have him
deported. They told him he was an illegal alien. When it was time to renew his
visa he went to Dallas and had it renewed, only to be told by the peopie out
here they had no record of rt. He hired a iawyer in Lubbock who eventually cost
him over $30,000, and did him no good.

He and Katy were married on November 24th, 1986. While he didn't marry for
this reason, he hoped it would settle his problem, thinking his marriage to a
citizen would automatically make him a citizen. His lawyer told him this rule
went out two or three days before their wedding, saying, "immigrations laws
change daily." Maarten said, "Katy married a wet-back!"

He formed a partnership with a farmer, who, without Maarten's knowledge, was
stealing tractors in Texas and selling them in Mexico. He was caught, and
committed suicide before he could go on trial. Maarten was relieved the man
didn't steal his expensive equipment he had for raising flowers.

The border patrol tried to pick Maarten up twice but he was able to avoid
them. He had a large stack of papers which showed he was trying get his legal
visa. He finally gave up trying, and turned his attention to farming, but with his
partner gone, the farm went broke.

He said, "Myoid neighbor from east Texas, Jerry Hall, felt sorry for me and
invited us to move back to Ravanna. Together we were going to farm 1400
acres and ranch about as many acres."

In Ravanna, Maarten raised peanuts, a~alfa and soy beans. They, also, raised
about 60 head of their own, mix-breed cattle, and ran cattle for other
people. Hall taught Maarten the catUe business.

After Hall's daughter married, his son-in-law wanted the farm so Maarten and
his family moved back to West Texas.

He met a Nephew of Alvin Forbis who told him Forbis was looking for hands on
his fann. He wanted someone who was a hard worker. Maarten went to work
for Forbis/Cheuvront Farms in Seminole in 1990.

Maarten and Katy have two boys, William and Andrew. William was about six
months old when they left for Ravanna. He is now 24, lives in Seminole and
works for Birdsong Peanuts.

Andrew was born just before they moved to Seminole. He is 20, and will
graduate from South Plains College in Levelland in December with an
associate degree in Animal Science. He plans to go back to South Plains and
study Diesel Technology.

Katy's parents are Wayne and Jean Crittenden. Her dad used to own a Ford
Tractor Shop, in Muleshoe, and ran a Conoco Service Station. He worked in
Texas Sesame Grain Elevators from 1982 until 1990. Her mother is a
homemaker, but kept books for the Conoco station. They are now retired and
living in Lubbock.

Maarten's dad passed away in 2010, his mom lives by herself in Holland, she is

Katy became friends with a lady in Andrews whose mother was a retired
Immigrations Judge in EI Paso. She helped get Maarten's legalization efforts
going again. She put them in touch with Family Catholic Services in Lubbock
who helped greatly.

Maarten came very close to being deported. He received a letter from a judge
ordering him to show up in Dallas with one suitcase weighing no more than 40
pounds. He was being sent baclk to Holland and his family wasn't going with

When he arrived, a large, gruff officer took him baclk to a little office surrounded
by several small holding cells. The officer seemed impatient, perhaps angry at
having to be bothered with this case. Maarten handed him his stack of papers
which he hurriedly thumbed through. Surprisingly, he located one peper with a
number on it which proved Maarten had been working to get cleared to stay in
the U.S.A. He was allowed to go back home.

Gloria, from Family Catholic Services, made many trips to Dallas and went to
many hearings. Finally Maarten had to go before the judge to decide if he
could have permanent residence or be deported.

The judge chatted with him briefly, and then "chewed out", (reprimanded), the
people who were bloclking his claim for permanent residency. He was finally
granted his claim. It took five more years to get his citizenship, but he received
it in 2000. Altogether, this cost him about $50,000.

Maarten's hobbies are watching auto racing, hunting and fishing and
farming. He also likes to cook outside.

In school Katy played basketball, ran track, (the two mile run and discus), and
played clarinet in the band in Muleshoe.

She lists reading, and doing crafts among her hobbies. She works at the First
United Methodist Church, where they are members, cooking on Wednesday
nights and she does volunteer work at Gaines County Library.
They enjoyed going to the stock shows with their boys.
They both like fishing, and there is a pond with fish in it on their place. In
Ravanna, the Red River was at the back of the ranch.

The Dutch people still wear wooden shoes called, klompen, (or
Clogs). Maarten says they feel good on your feet when you get used to
them. Their boys learned to wear them and Andrew loves wearing them. Katy
doesn't care so much for them. Maarten has a pair he called, 'fake klompens,"
wooden soles and leather uppers.

The vanliels!'s really like living in Seminole. Maarten said, "The people in
Texas are very friendly and we have been welcomed with open arms." He
added, "Seminole is a great place to raise children. I wasn't born here, but I got
here as quick as I could!"

Author: Leo Copeland

Everyone has a story, and this is a good one.



  1. A lot of Americans take for granted what Maarten and Katy fought for.
    Good Story.

  2. Thanks Bobby, I totally agree. I try to give thanks every morning when I get up and everynight before I lay down. Thank YOU for taking the time to answer, I really wondered if anyone noticed this great story, one we really need to think about.