Sunday, July 29, 2007
My Amish Bonafides
Last week I discovered some pictures of my maternal grandfather and grandmother. They were born in 1894. The first picture, on the left is of my grandfather as a young man, evidently before he joined the church, since he would be violating the ordnung by wearing a tie and having his picture taken, and judging from the cut of his hair. His coat, though is an Amish coat, with the lapel turned to make it appear to be an ordinary suit coat. I would guess he was around 17 - 18 years old, maybe about the time his father sent him east to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania with a couple of thousand dollars in his pocket, to look for a wife. That was the trip, after which the Lancaster County bishops sent a letter to the Illinois bishops saying, "Don't send us any more of your young people because the last one taught our young people how to dance." The wife he found was back home in Illinois and the second picture is of my grandfather and grandmother in 1969, when he was a respected Amish bishop, 75 years old and not about to voluntarily allow anyone to snap his photograph. I am told that one of my cousins took this picture surreptitiously from a long way away. My how things change.