By Kevin Williams
Yesterday, I had an appointment in Cincinnati, and Rachel and Aster came along. But by the time the appointment was over it was later than anticipated so I wanted to hurry up and get my Amish365.com "email blast" out. There was a bookstore close-by, so I suggested we go there and I'd send out my blast from my laptop while Rachel and Aster played in their fun"kids section." So I settled into a comfy chair and began to email everyone. It was a bit jarring as I'm typing my Amish365.com note to look up and see an actual Amish person standing there. Joseph-Beth Bookstore is along I-75 not far from Cincinnati's urban core. It's just not a place where you'd generally expect to run into Amish people. There are plenty of shopping areas on the city's edges that would be more accessible to people coming from rural areas. JB Bookstore is a sentimental favorite of mine because that was one of the places Rachel and I went on our first date and I have done a book-signing or two there over the years.
There was an Amish man and a woman who appeared to be in their 50s or 60s with a young man, I'm assuming their son, in his 20s. I thought their dress looked very similar to what you might see in Adams County, Ohio and that is one of the closest Amish communities to the area, so that's logical Although there are almost a ton of hospitals not far away so they might have been in town visiting someone and then swung by a bookstore. Or, heck, there's nothing in Amish cultural doctrine that says you can't have a hankering to go to one of the best big-city bookstores around!
I really wish I would have talked them and gotten their story, but I hate to sometimes just bother someone and talk to them simply because they are Amish. Had I introduced myself and explained who I was and what I did they probably would have been very kind, but it still seems intrusive. My photos here? It's always tricky. There's part of me that feels "sneaky" doing it. That said, I try to apply the "golden rule." Would I care if someone took a photo of me from afar in a bookstore? No, I wouldn't....especially if you couldn't really see me...
There's no way you could identify the older gentleman in those photo. No way. The younger man, possibly, a remote, remote chance if you knew him but you can't see his face. I wish I had talked to them, at least the young man who plopped down in a chair right next to me to read a book about golf. Interesting out of all the sports books he was browsing that he'd choose a golf book, not a sport that has much resonance among the Amish. The older Amish man was browsing the cookbook section (maybe he saw one of mine!:) and his wife was looking at titles in the "spirituality" section, which was interesting.
So, not only did I get my email blast out of stopping at Joseph-Beth I got a post and pictures out for it for today!:)