Growing up I was always Cheri Timm, the daughter of Allen and Jean Timm. Most people knew my parents; it wasn’t until after I moved out of Seymour, the small town I grew up in, that I became a totally different person. No one knew me and frankly I liked it. I didn’t have the stereotype that was given to me by the people I grew up with. Granted anytime I go back to Seymour I will always be known as Al’s or Jean’s daughter. My dad is the chief of the town fire department and a guy that will drop everything to do just about anything for any of his neighbors. My mom on the other hand was a stay at home mom that then became president of the Home of the Hamburger Organization and had a lot of pull in town.
When I got married I became Cheri Klussendorf. I still lived in Seymour and was known as Cheri “you know ummm, Timm?” But when we moved to Medford I become a full blown Klussendorf. I was elected on the Farm Bureau board and I started volunteering at the school through the Ag in the Classroom program. The kids called me Mrs. Klussendorf; I didn’t like that because that was my mother-in-law’s name. I asked them to call me farmer Cheri, because that is what I was: a famer. I joined the dairy breakfast committee and through Farm Bureau made a name for myself in the county. Good or bad it was a name, other than Al and Jean’s daughter.
For years now I have been “farmer Cheri.” Last summer I was in Target and out the blue I heard, “Hi farmer Cheri.” At first I never thought I would get used to that, but now it is my name at school. At home it’s “MOM,” it’s never been mama or mommy, it’s always been mom, and sometimes even that gets old.
When I started my new job at Riesterer and Schnell I was Cheri to all of the customers. I have been there now for three months. Our customers are just now figuring out who I am and where I worked before. Most of the time people say, “Aren’t you at the wrong place? Don’t you work down the road at the Co-op?” “Don’t you miss it?” “Why did you leave there?” I really don’t like having to justify why I left my job at the Co-op, and I didn’t think that job had that much of an influence on who I was…Co-op Cheri. The other day when one of our pretty frequent customers came in I gained another name. Our conversation went like this:
“Good morning (customer name), how are you doing today?”
“Good Cheri, how about you?”
“Oh you know, the sun is shining couldn’t be better! Haha. What can I get you today?”
“You know, I just figured out who you are the other day.”
“Oh yeah who is that?”
“Well, your Ryan Klussendorf’s wife.”
“HMMM well (customer name), I’ve been married to Ryan for 11 years now and this is the first time I’ve ever been called Ryan Klussendorf’s wife.” (Enter cricket sounds here.)
Lots of laughing and shooting the crap went on before I got him his part and he was on his way. I think you could have knocked me over with a pin when he said Ryan Klussendorf’s wife. Ryan is a very quiet person, not many people know him and he is about the hardest person to have a conversation with unless he really wants to talk to you. I usually have to introduce him to people and then carry the conversation because Ryan would just stand there and give yes or no answers. I really thought I had all the names someone was going to call me after the Farmer Cheri and Co-op Cheri names came out. But I guess there is room for another if it is as great as Ryan Klussendorf’s wife.
How many names do you have?