This photo comes to me from a reader who spotted this eye-catching scene near De Graff, Ohio.
First of all, a teaching moment. After some thought, I did white-out the faces in the picture. The De Graff Amish settlement is very conservative, so I’m guessing that these people didn’t want their photos taken and plastered all over the internet. Secondly, though, I’ve run into this sort of thing in other situations, Amish or not. If I want to post a photo, say, with an Italian restaurant review on my personal blog and I snap a picture of a customer stuffing their face with spaghetti, should I post it? No, I’d say not, unless the person’s identity is clearly indiscernible. Even though it’s a public place, I wouldn’t want someone doing that to me, so I try to extend the same courtesy. I think a photo of someone from behind – whether they are Amish or not – is okay, or from some other angle if they are not identifiable. For instance, I was biking yesterday along the Wolf Creek Trail outside of Dayton, Ohio which runs right through German Baptist country. I wish I had had my phone camera with me because I happened upon four German Baptists strolling the trail, their beautiful dresses and kapps framed by fields of colorful late spring wildflowers. Snapping their photo from behind, I think, would have been perfectly okay. From in front, no. What do you think?
But blurred faces aside, what a fun photo. this is! Nice day for fishing and what looks like an Amish father and son are taking a advantage of a weekend day to go fishing. As a sign of just how conservative this settlement is, take a look at the the buggy wheels: all steel. And, as if to highlight the fact, notice how the boat trailer wheels are just steel rims clattering down the road. Must have been noisy! Many Amish settlements allow rubberized buggy wheels, while the more conservative ones do not. The disagreement stems from convenience and mobility limits. If one has rubber wheels they’ll be able to more easily travel farther which can strain the church geographically. The steel wheels keep people close to home which is in harmony with Amish goals.