I stumbled upon a superb mini-documentary today about the Old Order Mennonites near Elmira, Ontario. Elmira is in the Kitchener-St. Jacobs-Waterloo area. There were several fascinating aspects of this documentary. One was an interview with a tailor who services many Mennonite and even Amish suits. This is a case where I think a business owner almost 80 years or so ago just happened to establish a great rapport with the Plain community and has kept the commerce going ever since. Because in my visits to Amish settlements across the USA and Canada I have never heard of clothing being taken to a tailor (not that I go around asking, but….). Most Amish and Old Order Mennonite women do all the sewing and alterations “in house”, it’s just part of the array of skills that a young Amish woman is supposed to learn. So it was really neat to hear this tailor talk about his business among the Plain people and see those suits on the rack.
I also found the interview with Cleason Martin to be fascinating. The documentary-maker found a great subject in Mr. Martin. He still travels in horse and buggy to church each Sunday, but he’s stretched the rules of the church so much that it sounds like they really don’t want much to do with him anymore, but they haven’t technically expelled him. Nor has he officially stepped away. He seems like a colorful character living with one foot in each world. I found myself sympathizing with him somewhat.
Okay, the video is 13 minutes in length and well worth watching. Click here to watch!