By Kevin Williams
Okay, let’s look at Amish in the news this week…kind of a slow news week (which isn’t a bad thing), so let’s get started:
SIMPLE LIFE TOURS: Okay, this article evoked really strong mixed emotions within me. On one hand, this woman is clearly intelligent and entrepreneurial. She saw a need and filled it and isn’t that the American way? Good for her, she’s built her business on quenching curiosity in the Amish. This is an Amish tour company based in New Wilmington, PA, home of the beautiful brown buggies. But this quote from the tour company’s owner make me roll my eyes:
“This area is untapped and not touristy. So we get to see the real Amish life from right outside their homes,” Hougelman says. “I tell people that Lancaster is a whole different kind of Amish. They have restaurants and businesses [for the public]. The Amish [in Lawrence County] are not allowed to even own a restaurant or work in one. You get the real thing here.”
I think the Amish of Lancaster would take umbrage at not being considered “the real thing.” Yes, the Amish of New Wilmington are more agrarian and less touristy, but the Amish are a complex, nuanced culture and I’m not sure that any one is more the “real thing” than another group.
MILLIE’S STRAWBERRY PRETZEL PARFAIT: Check in with Illinois Amish writer Millie Otto who shares her life with us and her audience in Illinois. This week’s recipe sounds good, sounds very similar to a “pretzel salad” that I have had in the past. Here is an excerpt of her column this week:
I had forgotten about my peas that they should be picked on Friday. So Saturday afternoon I had to do that. I came home later than usual on Saturday on account of not doing any cleaning on Friday evening.
HOLMES COUNTY COVID-19: Now this area is a huge tourist destination and the Amish here depend on tourism dollars, but it sounds like it could be a tricky reopening. Per the Columbus Dispatch:
An epidemiologist warned:
Holmes County could face unique challenges as tourists return to Amish Country this summer.
“Reopening means that many out-of-towners will be visiting, shopping, eating and lodging in these rural areas, potentially bringing the virus with them,” Smith wrote in an email.