To the Editor:
As a North Country native and frequent return visitor, I deeply appreciate what the Amish have done for “God’s Country.” Through very hard work, they have brought back farmland that was going to waste. Their roadside vegetable stands and sawmills offer quality products at affordable prices.
Their horse drawn buggies are slow, but I don’t expect them to be fast, and I drive accordingly on Rt. 11 B. Their horse drawn buggies are black and sometimes hard to see. Any black or darkly painted automobile is also difficult to see, yet many drivers persist in driving without headlights at dusk or later. That does not excuse us from being vigilant. As for horse droppings, well, golly gee whiz.
Instead of complaining, scoop the stuff up and compost it for your garden. (I truck tons of the stuff in every year for my garden and glad to have it). Yes, the Amish are different from many of us. Compare, for example, their handwriting with your own. I’ll wager that their handwriting is beautiful, and that yours is not.
Yes, they dress differently. Their clothes are homemade, while yours are made in China or Pakistan by the equivalent of slave labor. The interior of their homes is elegantly plain and simple, while my own is complicated and cluttered. After all, I’m a materialist. The Amish are not.
Down here in New Jersey, where I’m in exile, we frequent the local Amish market before we shop anywhere else. I’m especially fond of their grass fed beef, their raw honey, and their high quality bulk foods. You can tell their eggs from supermarket eggs because the Amish eggs have thick shells, where the supermarket eggshells are paper-thin (tells you something about what’s inside).
Personally, I am concerned that so many North Country residents have chosen to scapegoat the Amish for their way of life. I believe that we should welcome and cherish the Amish, if only because we appreciate the hard work that they do and the model that they provide for us.
Live and let live, methinks.
Thomas W. Perrin