About the author


Hi, my name is Kevin Williams and I am owner of Oasis Newsfeatures and editor of The Amish Cook newspaper column.

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  1. BethR

    When I’m near an Amish or Mennonite community, I can’t help myself when it comes to school pics. I just love them. If they’re not fenced off, I go peek in the windows. Was an a Mennonite community last month and the teacher was inside cleaning up so she let me come in and look around and take pictures. Besides being a one-room school with no a/c, it was pretty modern.

    1. Kevin

      Beth, I love the schools, too…they are all a little different with their own quirks and characteristics. You are braver than I, but I think it’s worth exploring why: part of me wants to dismiss it as I’m just a little more shy and you’re more bold, but I think it goes deeper than that. The Amish are historically a very gender stratified society and culture. Add to the mix the school shooting at Nickel Mines and I think if I were a female, I’d feel a lot less reticence to go poking around the school-grounds. But I think a lone, 40ish male stalking around a school just looks bad so I often only go near unless I have the teachers permission. When my wife is with me, I feel much more emboldened exploring the grounds. Make sense? (of course it may also be that you’re just less shy than I!:)

  2. Shelley V

    Did you ever take philosophy classes with Prof. Sommer at Miami University? My sister is married to one of his sons.

    1. Kevin

      No, I didn’t..my degree is in philosophy, but it was earned as part of the school’s “Western College” program, which was sort of a separate system.

  3. Barb W.

    The pictures of the Swartzentruber school is quite nice, but I think that those stacks are schochs of wheat waiting to be thrashed. 🙂

  4. Tami

    I really like when you focus in on Ohio since I went to college in Wooster. I had my first introduction to the Amish there and my interest has grown since the first move in day in 1990. I live in SE Minnesota now and am planning on doing one of the Amish ‘tours’ in Lanesboro this summer. According to the information they are old order. I am not sure of the ones who lived in and near Wooster were old order or not so it will be interesting for me to see this community and see the differences.

  5. Dawn Kirk

    Totally makes sense,Kevin! I understand.


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