By Kevin Williams
There was an interesting story in the news this week about a young man, Reuben Kauffman, who left his life on his Amish farm to eventually work his way into the world of NASCAR racing. He doesn't race currently, but works as a member of the crew.
This is how this richly written and sourced story begins:
Then came Feb. 20, 2012, when Kauffman walked into the kitchen of his family’s Wisconsin farm home. His father sat at the dining table he helped build, reading a well-used Bible. A kerosene lamp dangled from the ceiling. Kauffman’s mother prepared scrambled eggs and homemade granola.
The spartan kitchen was full of wonderful memories for Kauffman, one of nine children. The cinnamon rolls his mother made were treats that remain unmatched. The mashed potatoes and chicken were just as good.
But this would be a day of different memories.
Kauffman, then 17, approached his parents not knowing how to reveal his heartbreaking news.
There are several aspects of this story that strike me. Number one, there must be some very, very isolated Amish communities in western Wisconsin that are very strict. I've just heard enough stories of Amish who have left settlements there that it just seems more strict. The instance where he doesn't know how to order food from a drive-thru window. I'm not at at ALL questioning his account, I'm sure it's true, but definitely not necessarily the norm. You go to Amish communities in, say, northern Indiana and not only do most Amish kids know how to work a drive-thru, you actually have Amish employees working the drive-thru. You could definitely make a strong argument that Amish kids having a little bit of freedom, such as going to McDonald's, or even working at McDonald's, perhaps inoculates them from wanting to leave...
This is definitely a worthy read, and I wish Reuben the best, click here to read the whole story of Reuben Kauffman's journey.