The Advocate-Messenger in Danville, Kentucky just ran a superb story about the Mennonites of Casey County, Kentucky. The article details the splits within the settlement that are causing many Mennonites in Kentucky to pick up stakes and move to rural Tennessee. This is a wonderful article on several levels. First, in an age when many newspapers are running watered-down recaps of news, finding deep, textured, nuanced feature writing is a rarity. You simply don’t see it much anymore. SIGH, it’s a lament of mine since my days of being a feature writer at a newspaper decades ago. The editor would just sort of “turn me loose” to pursue whatever features I thought would be interesting, we didn’t worry about space restrictions or budgets back then. Secondly, this is a respectful story about the Mennonites. The reporter tells their story honestly and openly (love some of the quotes from the Mennonites!). As a photographer, visiting Amish settlements and not being able to use some of the wonderful scenes one captures is maddening. But, really, if the story violates their beliefs I think the newspaper is doing a disservice by running them and the A-M went along with their wishes, for which I was thrilled.
The Advocate-Messenger runs The Amish Cook column each week, so I hope the column has given their readers a deeper appreciation of Plain life. But the outstanding article they did simply adds to that body of knowledge their readers have. Read the Advocate-Messenger’s article about Kentucky Mennonites here.
The Old Order Mennonites are a fascinating group of Anabaptists. They don’t receive the media glare that the Amish often get, which – I believe – allows them to sometimes live a bit more under the radar. With their large families, the Old Order Mennonites are a fast-growing group.