THE FLORIDA THING: Businessweek Magazine has a long piece this week about an investment scheme that lured Amish into sinking money into a Florida development. The story is long, but it's worth a read if you have some time. It really brings a lot of truisms. Everything I see in this story, I've seen in real life. First, there is a big difference between someone who is in business with an Amish person and just makes poor decisions and the business loses money versus someone who is deliberately defrauding. In this case, it's not 100 percent clear to me what is happening. The story also brings together two classic ingredients: one, a huckster, and two, someone trying to "rescue" the Amish. The Amish are generally very smart people and don't need rescuing and, in my experience, the outsiders trying to do the rescuing are usually a bit off-kilter themselves. (And, yes, I am a writer and most of my life paycheck comes from writing about the Amish...I think the term "making money off of the Amish" is a bit sanctimonious and gets thrown around a lot, but that is another post for another day:)
The Amish are an extremely entrepreneurial people and capitalism is very much a part of their identity as this piece shows. Click here to read it.
INDIANA DROWNING: Tragedy out of southern Indiana. A young Amish man drowned in about 10 feet of water. Really sad and puzzling how a young man in his physical prime could just drown like that. Our thoughts and prayers are with him. Click here to read more.
Kate Stoltz 25 Things You Don't Know About Me - Us Weekly stoltz KATE STOLTZ INTERVIEW: Kate Stoltz is one of the stars of "Breaking Amish" and "Return to Amish" and is now a model and honestly I just don't know enough about her to have an opinion. I don't watch the show. I'm dubious about her Amish upbringing. She's 23 years old now, which is very young. She debuted in Breaking Amish when she was 21. And yet she "used to own a bakery." Yet she was also into rap, wearing jeans under her Amish dress, etc...I don't know, I'm not saying her life story isn't true, but I'm saying there are a lot of pieces that just seem "off." On the other hand, the interview does have a aura of credibility. I can absolutely believe kids making up going on a bathroom break just to stretch their legs from church services (although that is usually perfectly permissible anywhere, so not sure why they'd need to make that excuse up)...Anyway, you be the judge...click here to read US Magazine's 25 Things You Didn't Know about Kate Stoltz.
Merissa @ Little House Living
We have watched some of the Breaking Amish series and I do believe that all of the kids have been Amish in the past. Of course not everything about their lives is what is portrayed on tv so it makes things seem a little odd when you start to think of them only as the person they are portrayed. The thing is that I don't think one can truly understand what it means to leave a fundamentalist group until you've actually done it and been around people that have. Everyone's reactions can be very different to the "outside world". Oh and I totally believe that Kate did those things while still Amish. It's something that someone that was still Amish would never tell you but I'm sure it happens all the time!
I spent 2 and 1/2 years going to church in the Amish community where the drowning happened. On the day after the drowning, I felt a compelling need to visit despite the driving being over 200 miles. I was informed of the drowning within the first minute of arriving. I forgot all that I came to complain about.
It is amazing how facts can be twisted around in a story. This is what I was told: The boys went swimming after a day of work thrashing barley. They were all in the water, but three young men, all born within 6 months of each other, decided to swim across the pond together. About 1/2 way across, the boy that drowned started struggling, and called for help. A second boy went to his aid, but the first immediately wrapped his arms around the second, in order keep himself up. The third boy saw that the second was being drowned, so he came to help. He pulled the first man's arms off of the second, allowing the second to get air. With that, the first went under and resurfaced three times. After which, he sank to the bottom. Seeing the commotion out in the middle of the pond, 2 others ran to get the parents and one ran to call 911. Others grabbed the small boat on the shore and paddled out to the scene. Using the boat for support, the young men took turns diving to the bottom and found the young man quickly. They brought him to the surface and got him to shore before the first responders even arrived, in about 10 minutes after the phone call. They attempted to revive him and those first responders took over upon arrival. With no response from the young man, they loaded him in the ambulance and took him to the local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
This could have been much worse. The second young man was not drowned, but only because of the third. If only two had swam across, both would have drowned. Yet, the two that survived will have a hole in their lives at the loss of their life long friend, with whom they have sat with in church and at group meals since they were all 10 years old. The second has headache spells, so the doctors gave him medicine for such. The young man that drowned could only 'dog paddle', so he really did not know how to swim. No one knows what made him start struggling. The pond was on a non-Amish neighbor's property that the young man's father had rented to farm for a very long time. The young man that drowned was the youngest of seven children, all boys. He was engaged to be married this coming fall.
As I sat and chatted with the men of the community that Friday evening, the theme that kept being discussed was "are you ready to go today?". If you died today, would you be ready meet God? Daniel had no clue that he would not get to the other side of that pond, and he did not. We can hope he went to his eternal reward with God. But what about you, are you ready, today?
Thank you, Lance. Always good to hear from you. No, I am not ready today and, you're right, we should all live so that when our time arrives, we are ready...