Sunday, June 04, 2006

My Amish Bona Fides

Not lately, but every once in a while, someone questions whether I ever really was Amish. In looking through some family photos this weekend, I found this photograph which proves my credentials. In general, it is forbidden for Amish people to have their pictures taken, so there exist very few photographs of my time as an Amish boy. This one was taken by my Aunt Emma, who worked for us as a maid when I was probably six or seven years old. Aunt Emma by then wasn't Amish anymore. She developed the wanderlust as a late teenager, going to Oklahoma to pick cotton two summers in a row. As soon as she turned 21 (the age of emancipation then,) she took off with her friend Josephine for Florida. Although she, like all Amish children, had left school after completing eighth grade, she got her G.E.D. certificate, attended college, became a registered nurse and worked in New York City as a nurse for many years before finally getting married late in life to a jerk. I'm the one in the middle with the twisted suspender; my sister, Jo Ann, is the little girl on the left; my brother, Wilmer, is on the right and my late brother, Gene, is the baby. Notice the "crockhead" haircuts of Wilmer and me. (And if anyone says, "Ahh, you were so cute," there will be serious violence.)

12 comments:

rdl said...

I can't wait to see the pic, hope yoy can get it on here.

Debra Hope said...

Ahhhh, you were SO cute!!

Ich bin auch Amisch said...

I'm glad that your muse has returned! Do you remember the story behind the photo? Did your Aunt Emma secretly pose you all for the photo when your parents were away? Or, did your parents proudly consent to the photo of their cute children but humbly stand out of range of the camera? Somehow they were not so "demütig" as to destroy the photo when the wild aunt gave them a copy.

Amishlaw said...

I believe the picture was taken while my parents were away. I don't think my aunt gave my parents a copy of the picture; I think it was found with her personal effects after she died. But my parents left the Amish church a few years after this picture was taken, so even when it was taken, they would not have been so doctrinaire as to destroy the picture.

pgspringer said...

Your digital shot turned out good. Think I'll use this as my wallpaper. You are so cute. (Use of present tense intentional, so as further to embarrass you.)

Anonymous said...

Since I am seeing you in a couple of days, I do not want to risk harm to myself and my husband, so I will not say how cute you were. :>)

Amishlaw said...

Around the age I was when this picture was taken, our family went to the county fair, and as we were walking down the midway, I heard people saying, "Ahh, look at those Ay-mish children. Aren't they cute?" like we couldn't hear or understand what they were saying. I felt like a freak, which I was. I realize I set myself up with my last sentence in my blog entry. I'm not only a freak; I'm stupid.

gloria swartzendruber said...

amishlaw, the picture is great. I must make sure Holly sees this, love all the hair! See you at the wedding Saturday, although will miss seeing your dear wife; but know she is having a great time.

Lauren said...

Two summers picking cotton in Oklahoma? You can't get more wild than that.

Fabulous picture. You look so . . . so . . so SOMETHING.

Amishlaw said...

Lauren, do you think your main line Philadelphia parents would have been any less shocked than Aunt Emma's parents were at a decision to go pick cotton in Oklahoma? -- twice?

rdl said...

nice post and the pic is sooo c--e!

Trucking Fiddler said...

funny stuff! I haven't laughed so hard for a long time - at some of Aunt Tillie's comments...and at the many reitterations of the cuteness of a certain dignified Champaign lawyer.