South Georgia April 6, 2005 edition
Recently the Georgia Cotton Queens, and their parents went to
Atlanta and met with, and had lunch with Gov. Sonny Perdue and other
state officers. Little Miss Georgia Cotton, Haley Ray Warren of Adel,
and Tiny Miss Georgia Cotton, Marlie Brooke Croft or Hahira were among
the queens. The queens presented Gov. Perdue and Commissioner of
Agriculture Tommy Irvin golf towels to support cotton.
The Cotton queens for 2005 are, Miss Amy Bartley, Teen Miss Jamie Kay
Ireland, Junior Miss Erica Tucker, Little Miss Haley Warren, Tiny Miss
Marlie Croft, and Teeny Miss Grace Palmer.
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From the Headlines
Plot to kill officer had vicious side
The Chicago Tribune, September 20
Some phone psychics provide useless, erroneous information
Staten Island Sunday Advance, September 15
Iowa move back to Pittsburgh
The Flint Journal, August 15
Infertility unlikely to be passed on
Montgomery Advertiser, May 11
Study Finds Sex, Pregnancy Link
Cornell Daily Sun, December 7, 1995
Whatever Their motives, Moms Who Kill Kids still Shock Us
Holland Sentinal, date unknown. (Sent to me by Steven Hansen.)
Survey Finds Dirtier Subways After Cleaning Jobs Were Cut
The New York Times, November 22
Larger Kangaroos Leap Farther, Researchers Find
The Los Angeles Times, November 2
`Light' meals are lower in fat, calories
Huntington Herald-Dispatch, November 30
Alcohol ads promote drinking
The Hartford Courant, November 18
Malls try to attract shoppers
The Baltimore Sun, October 22
Official: Only rain will cure drought
The Herald-News, Westpost, Massachusetts
Teen-age girls often have babies fathered by men
The Sunday Oregonian, September 24
Low Wages Said Key to Poverty
Newsday, July 11
Man shoots neighbor with machete
The Miami Herald, July 3
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Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his
shoes. After that, who cares? ...He's a mile away and you've got his
I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the
Sometimes I need what only you can provide - Your absence.--Ashleigh
If at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style.--Quentin
We're not lost. We're locationaly challenged.--John M. Ford
I phoned my dad to tell him I had stopped smoking. He called me a
If your parents never had children, chances are you won't
The trick to flying is to throw yourself at the ground and
miss.--Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
People who are late are often happier than those who have to wait for
them.--Chinese Fortune Cookie
Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something.--Pancho
I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally.--W.C.Fields.
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My Powerful Memory
by John R. Taylor
Once again my cousins have questioned my memory. Because they have
puny memories they are awed by my great recollection. I guess I should
say that they are 'recall challenged", not possessors of puny
memories; you know, political correctness and everything. But they do
have puny memories. After much brilliant debate on my part I have
finally got them to concede that I do have a superior memory. In fact,
they now say my memory is so mighty that I can actually remember
things which did not even happen. It's about time they came around.
those of you who aren't fortunate enough to possess such awe inspiring
great memory as yours truly, don't be too dismayed. It is not all fun
and games. There is a marked down side to this great divine gift. For
example, I bet most of you can't remember going to your parents
wedding, but I can. Now wait! My parents were married twice. I wasn't
around for the first one, but I remember well the second time they got
hitched. The ceremony was at a friend's home in Tuscaloosa Alabama. I
was three or four. It was torture. They had my shirt buttoned all the
way up and I had on a tie that had elastic straps which went around my
neck. They should not have been surprised if I had chocked to death
and died right there. They made me set on this lady's big brown couch.
They made me set back and said, "set up straight now." My knees of
course would not reach the edge of the couch so there I sat with my
legs out straight, my head about to pop right off form the torturous
tie, and they would not even let me play with the two little dolls on
the cake. Now I being a very masculine, tough little boy, I never
played with dolls, but if my parents, being full grown grownups could
have these little dolls, then I thought I might make an exception. But
no. The blasted little dolls had to just set up there on top of the
blasted cake and do exactly what I was doing - nothing! Being bored!
I lived though my parents wedding. I also can remember my third
birthday. In truth, it may have not been my birthday. At that time in
my life I didn't have a watch with a calendar on it. I didn't have a
watch atall, but you get my point. It was the day they had my birthday
party, and I believe they said it was my birthday, but if it wasn't,
it was around my third birthday.
got up that morning and got dressed. I remember Daddy putting his
pants on. He mostly wore kakis but this morning he put on a pair of
green pants. They were not dress trousers, but work clothes. When
Daddy dressed up he always wore a black suite, so I guess he didn't
dress up for my birthday. My pants were red corduroys with elastic in
the waste. It was the first time I noticed they didn't have a fly or a
zipper, I complained to Daddy about this and he said, " don't worry
son, we'll get you some pants with a zipper." And sure enough, I don't
remember the first pair of pants I had with a zipper, but pretty much
all my pants have had zippers. Well there was that wind suite the crew
form Weyerhaeuser got me for Christmas that time. It didn't have a
zipper. Of course I didn't ware that suit many times. I wore the coat;
it was kinda cool; no, no, I don't mean it wouldn't keep you warm. It
kept you warm enough, well if it wasn't too cold, I mean dang, it was
a thin coat, but if it wasn't real cold it kept you warm, but it
looked cool. My kids said cool wasn't the way it made me look. They
said something about having a little extra sugar in my coffee. Don't
know what they meant by that, I don't even drink coffee. But I wore
the coat, but those pants without zippers, they just would not do. You
couldn't tell the back from the front.
Anyway, the morning of my third birthday we got up and went into the
dinning room. At the time we lived with my Aunt Bonnie. Her husband,
Uncle Felton had been killed in a car wreck a year before I was born.
It is strange, but I don't remember Uncle Felton at all. Aunt Bonnie
was also killed in a car wreck before I turned four, but I remember
her well. She was pretty and smelled nice. She was nice to me and
since Uncle Felton was deceased anyway, and she was alone, I tried
hard to impress her. She was my aunt, but at the age of two or three I
was not aware of the inbreeding taboo.
was apparent that Aunt Bonnie reciprocated my affection and
infatuation. When we got to the dinning room there was a huge
chocolate cake. It was almost as tall as I was, of course I wasn't as
tall as I am now, but it was a big cake. It had beautiful chocolate
icing with pecan halves all around. When Aunt Bonnie cut it, it was
too good to be true. You see at that early age I understood that there
was a balance in the universe. A ying and yang. Good and evil. God and
the devil. To me the cake was the punishment one must endure to keep
the eternal balance of the universe to have the joy of eating the
icing. This cake was almost all icing! There were two layers of
chocolate cake of about normal size separated by a monstrous layer of
chocolate icing. The top and the sides had equally generous portions
time before my third birthday I had another curious experience. I had
been playing or otherwise occupying my time as two year olds occupy
their time, and I got up to walk across the living room floor and I
could not remember how to hold my hands when I walked. I stood there
in the middle of the living room trying different positions for my
hands. I clinched my fists and held my arms straight by my sides, but
that just didn't feel right. I tried holding my fingers straight and
together and then straight and apart. In the end I decided that my
fingers straight and together and my arms straight and stiffly
swinging as I walked was the way to do it. Walking across the floor, I
caught Aunt Bonnie's attention. "What is he doing?" she asked my
daddy. "I don't know. I guess he is just playing. He has a good
imagination." My father answered.
Sensing by their comments, and later comments that were made, that I
was doing it wrong, I clinched my fists and held my arms tightly by my
side. Every time someone said something to me or about me I'd try a
new way. For sometime, I must have looked quite peculiar. In due time,
I forgot I didn't know how to hold my hands and began walking
said at first that there was some bad to go along with the good about
my memories, but that is not true. It is all good. It is so good that
I would take nothing for even one of these memories. It Bill Gates
offered an even swap, his Microsoft shares for my memories, I'd laugh
in his face. My memories are of far greater value that all his wealth.
And when we lay down in death, his earthly wealth, like everyone
else's, will not go with him, but my memories, and yours, will.
Lancing Boils and
Working Medicine or Physician Heal Thyself
by John R. Taylor
Watching my children raise their families, I have noticed that they
carry their children to the doctor much more frequently than I did
them. And as I think back, my parents used physicians much less than
even I did. Now I, in no way, am implying or suggesting that my
children use doctors too much or that my parents use them too little.
But this has made me think about my childhood, and how things were way
Growing up I was cursed with chronic
lesions or boils. The things old folks back then called rasens. More
often than not, I had one of these painful and embarrassing sores
someplace on my body. Daddy took me to the doctor a time or two about
them, but all we ever got from him was a bill, so Daddy and Mama
treated me themselves.
Mama's idea about the cause of my
affliction was that I had poison in my system and it needed to come
out. I just needed a "good working". Her approach to getting it out
was straight forward enough. She give me large doses of an archaic
laxative called Syrup of Black Drouph; I, nor my computer can spell
it, and it may have been drought, or something else, but this black,
sweet tasting liquid had an effect I remember all too well. I think
this stuff must have been invented back during the Spanish Inquisition
for torturing heretics. I have read about some of the instruments used
for that purpose and this tonic would have fit right in.
It tasted about a billion times better
than most of the other medicines of the time. The first time I had a
spoonful of it in my mouth I thought it was my favorite medicine. But
about an hour after you take it, it starts doing its thing. You
stomach starts rolling and growling. It feels like there is a pair of
giant hamsters chasing each other on a wheel in you gut, and sounds
like there is a grizzle bear trying to scare them off. All this
increases in ferocity until the hamsters tune into angry, panicked,
house cats with their tails afire. If you look down, you can even see
there heads as jump and claw to escape. You can feel them bouncing off
you ribcage and backbone and their claws ripping your stomach walls.
The grizzle bear is still growling, but now he is joined with what
sounds like buckets of water being poured back and forth and being
sloshed about. When you think that your stomach is hurting about as
much as a stomach can hurt, the cramps start.
Though they don't look like it, these
cramps feel very much like being drawn and quartered. After two or
three hours of the most ghastly pain, you get the instantaneous urge
to go to the bathroom, and you have to go right now! For the next
eight to twelve hours you cannot be more than three steps from the
toilet. Well you can, but you'll wish you weren't.
Whether the ordeal helped my boils or
not, I can't say. But if there was poison in my system, it most
assuredly got it out. It got everything out. There were two or three
times that I am sure I turned completely wrong-side-out. Later
Phenamint and Exlax took the place of Syrup of Black Drouph. One was
gum and the other disguised as chocolate candy. There is a funny story
about Exlax and cousin Buie. Buie didn't know what Exlax was. And the
story wasn't funny to him, but we all thought it was very funny. You
can probably guess the general idea. I'll give you the particulars at
As bad as Mama's cure for my boils
were, I actually sought her out when I had one. The reason for this is
simple - I wanted her to cure me before Daddy found out. You see,
Daddy had a very similar notion about what cause my boils. I had
poison in my system. It had to come out. Sound familiar? He too
utilized a good working medicine. And he thought it perfectly logical
that if a teaspoon of a remedy was good, then three or four
tablespoons would be great. So I'd get a super dose of "working
medicine", but that was not all. Daddy felt that only part of my
poison could be removed by the torturous laxative. The rest had to be
removed by lancing the sore. For those of you too young and fortunate
enough to know what lancing is, it is cutting open the wound. If this
sounds painful, that's because it is, very. Now if you are among the
blessed lucky ones who have never had a boil, let me explain. These
things hurt. They are like the biggest, nastiest, most inflamed pimple
- on steroids. I had one on my left elbow that was so tender that if
you lightly touch my right knee I cringed.
In truth, lancing these things may
actually have relieved some pressure and lessen the pain, but it was
horrible to me. The only thing that I remember that was worst than
having a boil lanced was the time Daddy made me lance an infected
ingrown hair on his neck. I was very young, maybe only seven or eight.
Daddy had an exceptionally thick and heavy beard. There were times
when a hair would turn and grow into his skin. This would of course
cause and infection. This particular time he had an ingrown hair about
level with his Adam's apple and a couple of inches to the side. He had
been in the bathroom trying to see about it, but it was in such a
place that he really couldn't see it well. He had been severely
wounded in World War II and had lost his right hand. This further
compounded his problem because he could not pull the skin over to see
better. Finally he came and told me to lance his neck. Now I never
augured when Daddy told me what to do, but this time I did plead and
beg that I not have to do this. He explained how to do it, and assured
me it would be alright. All the time I am saying, "No,no,no!" He was
patient with me, but there came a time when I had nothing to do but
comply. He had carefully wrapped a washcloth on one side of a
double-edged razor blade and handed it to me. I held the blade with
the cloth. I knew nothing of razor blades; I had not idea how sharp
they were. I had the blade about halfway down its length. Daddy had
taught me that a bad thing was better it you did it quick. He had
often stanched off a Band-Aid and I had remembered how it was better
than the time I pulled one slowly off. With this in mind, I stabbed at
the sore on my Daddy's neck with the razor blade.
I felt Daddy's neck touch my fingers as
the blade went deep into his neck. Immediately, blood squirted from
the cut. I jumped back. Daddy jumped back. He slapped his hand over
the cut and blood shot between his fingers and I felt and heard it
spatter on my face and neck. "Son, you've cut my jugular vain!" he
shouted. I stood in shock as he attempted to stop the bleeding. Blood
was going everywhere! I thought for sure he was going to die. "Get me
a rag," he told me, mostly just to give me something to do I think.
Having his throat cut did not kill my
Daddy, but a heart-attack did less than a decade later.
While many of the humanists and atheists
would have us believe that religion is outdated and irrelevant in
today's world, the fact is that the overwhelming majority of the
world's inhabitants have very strong religious views. Most of the good
actions, and sadly, many of the bad, are done for religious reason. In
this country we as a nation have strayed far from our religious roots.
Views & News will present an essay on a different religion each week.
We will be as subjective, opened minded,
factual, and fair as possible. Nothing in any essay is in anyway
intended as an endorsement of any particular religion. If you would
like to dispute, correct, or add to anything presented, please submit
these to us. Christian and non-Christian religions will both be
covered and we will select their order by what we deem as relevant and
interesting at the present time. Religions that are very well known,
will be presented after those we know little of as a matter of course.
If you have missed any of our past essays on
Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Presbyterians, The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints, or the Anglican Church, you can read them online
On any Sunday you will find Mennonites gathered for worship in about
60 countries around the world. With over one million members, the
Mennonite church has been in existence for more than 475 years,
expressing their faith in various ways and including a wide variety of
people: from a Midwest farmer, to an European architect; from the
African chieftain, to the South American sociologist. Although they
speak dozens of languages, the thousands of different Mennonite
congregations count themselves as one family of faith--one of many
faith families in the Christian church.
The Mennonite (Anabaptist) faith movement
began in Europe in the 16th Century when a small group of believers
challenged the reforms of Martin Luther and others during the
Protestant Reformation, saying they were not radical enough and
calling for adult rather than infant baptism. In 1525, several members
set themselves apart from the official church by publicly declaring
their faith in Jesus Christ and re-baptizing each other.
Church-state structures did not tolerate
these Anabaptists or "Anabaptizers," meaning re-baptizers. Over the
course of two generations, thousands were persecuted. Many met death
as martyrs. In order to preserve the movement, the survivors went into
hiding. From 1575 to 1850, membership grew primarily when adults
passed their faith to their children.
Mennonite Church USA is one of nearly 20
formally organized groups of Mennonites in North America that vary in
lifestyle and religious practice but all stem from the Anabaptist
movement. Though their streams of faith may differ, Mennonite groups
hold common beliefs: Jesus Christ is central to worship and to
everyday living. Behavior is to follow Christ's example. The Bible is
considered the inspired word of God. Membership continues to be
voluntary, with adult baptism upon declaration of faith.
Mennonites are known for their peace stand,
taken because they believe Jesus Christ taught the way of peace. Many
members choose not to participate in military service. Some take their
belief further by objecting to government military expenditure; a few
choose not to pay the percentage of their annual income tax that would
go for military purposes.
Mennonites are also known for their strong
commitment to community; interest in social issues; voluntary service
to those who have experienced hardship and loss in floods, tornadoes
and other disasters; and mission outreach.
You're welcome to attend any Mennonite
Who are the Amish? Are they the same as the
The Amish are a religious group who live in
settlements in 22 states and Ontario, Canada. The oldest group of Old
Order Amish, about 16-18,000 people live in Lancaster County,
Pennsylvania. The Amish stress humility, family and community, and
separation from the world.
Although Lancaster Amish are Pennsylvania
Dutch, all Pennsylvania Dutch are not Amish. The Pennsylvania Dutch
are natives of Central Pennsylvania, particularly Lancaster and its
surrounding counties. Unlike the Amish, they are not all one religion.
Instead, their common bond is a mainly German background (Pennsylvania
Dutch is actually Pennsylvania Deutsch, or German). They also have
Welsh, English, Scottish, Swiss, and French ancestry.
What is the history of the Amish?
The Amish have their roots in the Mennonite community. Both were part
of the early Anabaptist movement in Europe, which took place at the
time of the Reformation. The Anabaptists believed that only adults who
had confessed their faith should be baptized, and that they should
remain separate from the larger society. Many early Anabaptists were
put to death as heretics by both Catholics and Protestants, and many
others fled to the mountains of Switzerland and southern Germany. Here
began the Amish tradition of farming and holding their worship
services in homes rather than churches.
In 1536, a young Catholic priest from Holland
named Menno Simons joined the Anabaptist movement. His writings and
leadership united many of the Anabaptist groups, who were nicknamed
"Mennonites." In 1693, a Swiss bishop named Jacob Amman broke from the
Mennonite church. His followers were called the "Amish." Although the
two groups have split several times, the Amish and Mennonite churches
still share the same beliefs concerning baptism, non-resistance, and
basic Bible doctrines. They differ in matters of dress, technology,
language, form of worship, and interpretation of the Bible.
The Amish and Mennonites both settled in
Pennsylvania as part of William Penn's "holy experiment" of religious
tolerance. The first sizable group of Amish arrived in Lancaster
County in the 1720's or 1730's.
The Amish seem stuck in history. Why don't they accept modern ideas
Although the Amish look like they stepped out of the rural nineteenth
century, in fact they do change. Their lives move more slowly than
ours, but they definitely are not stuck anywhere. They choose to
examine change carefully before they accept it. If the new idea or
gadget does not assist in keeping their lives simple and their
families together, they probably will reject it. Each church district
decides for itself what it will and will not accept; there is no
single governing body for the entire Old Order population, but all
follow a literal interpretation of the Bible and an unwritten set of
rules called the Ordnung.
Old Order groups all drive horses and buggies
rather than cars, do not have electricity in their homes, and send
their children to private, one-room schoolhouses. Children attend only
through the eighth grade. After that, they work on their family's farm
or business until they marry. The Amish feel that their children do
not need more formal education than this. Although they pay school
taxes, the Amish have fought to keep their children out of public
schools. In 1972, the Supreme Court handed down a landmark unanimous
decision which exempted the Old Order Amish and related groups from
state compulsory attendance laws beyond the eighth grade. Many
Mennonites and progressive Amish do attend high school and even
Do they speak English?
Most Amish are trilingual. They speak a dialect of German called
Pennsylvania Dutch at home; they use High German at their worship
services; and they learn English at school. They speak English when
they deal with anyone who is not Amish. They pronounce Amish with a
broad "a" (Ah-mish).
The Amish are a private people who believe
God has kept them together despite pressure to change from the modern
world. They are not perfect, but they are a strong example of a
community that supports and cares for its members. They are a people
apart; they are also a people together.
Why do they dress that way?
Old Order Amish women and girls wear modest dresses made from
solid-colored fabric with long sleeves and a full skirt (not shorter
than half-way between knee and floor). These dresses are covered with
a cape and apron and are fastened with straight pins or snaps. They
never cut their hair, which they wear in a bun on the back of the
head. On their heads they wear a white prayer covering if they are
married and a black one if they are single. Amish women do not wear
Men and boys wear dark-colored suits,
straight-cut coats without lapels, broadfall trousers, suspenders,
solid-colored shirts, black socks and shoes, and black or straw
broad-brimmed hats. Their shirts fasten with conventional buttons, but
their suit coats and vests fasten with hooks and eyes. They do not
have mustaches, but they grow beards after they marry.
The Amish feel these distinctive clothes
encourage humility and separation from the world. Their clothing is
not a costume; it is an expression of their faith.
What's an Amish wedding like?
Family is the core element in the Amish church, and choosing a mate is
the most important decision in an Amishman's life. Boys and girls
begin their search for a spouse when they turn sixteen. By the time a
young woman turns twenty or a young man is in his early twenties, he
or she is probably looking forward to the wedding day. But several
definite steps must be taken by a couple before they may marry.
Both must join the Amish church. They are
baptized into the Amish faith and are responsible for following the
Ordnung. The Ordnung is a written and unwritten set of rules for daily
living. Joining the church prepares the young people for the
seriousness of setting up their own home.
The young man asks his girl to marry him, but
he does not give her a diamond. He may give her china or a clock. The
couple keeps their intentions secret until July or August. At this
time the young woman tells her family about her plans to marry.
A whirlwind of activity begins after Fast Day
on October 11. Fall communion takes place the following church Sunday.
After communion, proper certification of membership is requested, and
is given by the second Sunday after communion. This is a major day in
the life of the church because all the couples who plan to marry are
"published." At the end of the service, the deacon announces the names
of the girls and who they plan to marry. The fathers then announce the
date and time of the wedding and invite the members to attend. The
betrothed couple does not attend the church service on the Sunday they
are published. Instead, the young woman prepares a meal for her fiancé
and they enjoy dinner alone at her home. When the girl's family
returns from church, the daughter formally introduces her fiance to
After being published, the young people have
just a few days before the ceremony. They are permitted to go to one
last singing with their old group of friends. The girl also helps her
mother prepare for the wedding and feast which takes place in her
parents' home. The boy is busy extending personal invitations to
members of his church district.
And the bride wore...blue. Blue may not be
the most traditional color for a bridal gown, but in one instance it
is actually the most popular color choice. Blue is a typical color
chosen for weddings by young Amish women. Navy blue, sky blue and
shades of purple are the most popular colors donning Amish brides in
any year. An Amish bride's wedding attire is always new. She usually
makes her own dress and also those of her attendants, known as
newehockers, (Pennsylvania Dutch for sidesitters). The style of the
dresses are a plain cut and are mid-calf length. They are unadorned,
there is no fancy trim or lace and there is never a train. Most
non-Amish brides wear their bridal dress once, but an Amish bride's
practical dress will serve her for more than just her wedding day. Her
wedding outfit will become her Sunday church attire after she is
married. She will also be buried in the same dress when she dies. The
bride and her attendants also wear capes and aprons over their
dresses. Instead of a veil, the bride wears a black prayer covering to
differentiate from the white cap she wears daily. And, the bride must
wear black high-topped shoes. No one in the bridal party carries
The groom and his newehockers wear black
suits. All coats and vests fasten with hooks and eyes, not buttons.
Their shirts are white, and shoes and stockings are black. Normally,
Amish men do not wear ties, but for the wedding they will don bow
ties. The groom also wears high-topped black shoes, and a black hat
with a three and a half inch brim.
All of the attendants in the wedding party
play a vital role in the events of the day. But there is no best man
or maid of honor; all are of equal importance.
Wedding dates for the Amish are limited to
November and part of December, when the harvest has been completed and
severe winter weather has not yet arrived. A full day is needed to
prepare for the wedding. Most are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are used as days to prepare for or to
clean-up after. Saturdays are not used as wedding days because it
would be sacrilegious to work or clean-up on the following day,
A typical Amish wedding day begins at 4
o'clock in the morning. After all, the cows must still be milked and
all the other daily farm chores need to be done. There are also many
last minute preparations to take care of before the wedding guests
arrive. Helpers begin to arrive by 6:30 a.m. to take care of last
minute details. By 7:00 a.m., the people in the wedding party have
usually eaten breakfast, changed into their wedding clothes, and are
waiting in the kitchen to greet the guests. Some 200 to 400 relatives,
friends and church members are invited to the ceremony, which is held
in the bride's home.
The Forgeher, or ushers, (usually four
married couples), will make sure each guest has a place on one of the
long wooden benches in the meeting or church room of the home. At 8:30
a.m., the three-hour long service begins. The congregation will sing
hymns, (without instrumental accompaniment), while the minister
counsels the bride and groom in another part of the house. After the
minister and the young couple return to the church room, a prayer,
Scripture reading and sermon takes place. Typically, the sermon is a
very long one.
After the sermon is concluded, the minister asks the bride and groom
to step forward from their seat with the rest of the congregation.
Then he questions them about their marriage to be, which is similar to
taking wedding vows. The minister then blesses the couple. After the
blessing, other ordained men and the fathers of the couple may give
testimony about marriage to the congregation. A final prayer draws the
ceremony to a close.
That's when the festivities begin. In a
flurry of activity, the women rush to the kitchen to get ready to
serve dinner while the men set up tables in a U-shape around the walls
of the living room. A corner of the table will be reserved for the
bride and groom and the bridal party. This is an honored place called
the "Eck," meaning corner. The tables are set at least twice during
the meal, depending on how many guests were invited. The tables are
laden with the "roast," (roast chicken with bread stuffing), mashed
potatoes, gravy, creamed celery, coleslaw, applesauce, cherry pie,
donuts, fruit salad, tapioca pudding and bread, butter and jelly.
The bride sits on the groom's left, in the corner, the same way they
will sit as man and wife in their buggy. The single women sit on the
same side as the bride and the single men on that of the groom. The
immediate family members sit at a long table in the kitchen, with both
fathers seated at the head.
After dinner, the afternoon is spent
visiting, playing games and matchmaking. Sometimes the bride will
match unmarried boys and girls, who are over 16 years old, to sit
together at the evening meal. The evening meal starts at 5:00 p.m. The
parents of the bride and groom, and the older guests are now seated at
the main table and are the first to be served. The supper varies from
the traditional noon meal. A typical menu might consist of stewed
chicken, fried sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, peas, cold-cuts,
pumpkin and lemon sponge pies, and cookies. The day usually winds to a
close around 10:30 p.m.
The couple's first night together is spent at
the bride's home because they must get up early the next day to help
clean the house. Their honeymoon is spent visiting all their new
relatives on the weekends throughout the winter months ahead. This is
when they collect the majority of their wedding gifts. Usually, they
receive useful items such as dishware, cookware, canned food, tools
and household items. Typically, when the newlyweds go visiting, they
will go to one place Friday night and stay overnight for breakfast the
following day. They'll visit a second place in the afternoon and stay
for the noon meal and go to a third place for supper. Saturday night
is spent at a fourth place, where they have Sunday breakfast. A fifth
place is visited for Sunday dinner and a sixth for Sunday supper
before they return to the bride's parents home. The couple lives at
the home of the bride's parents until they can set up their own home
the following spring.
Do Amish children go to school?
Yes...for the many Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonite children
living in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the ringing school bell
signals a time to shift attention from field work to school work, a
time to drop the hoe and pick up a pencil.
Old Order children attend one-room schools
through the eighth grade and are usually taught by a young, unmarried
Christian woman. As a result of the County's growing Old Order
population, enrollment in their one-room schools is surging. During
recent years Old Order leaders have been over-seeing the construction
of new one-room school buildings at the rate of about five per year.
A 1972 Supreme Court ruling exempted the Old
Order sects from compulsory attendance laws beyond the eighth grade.
The one-room schools restrict worldly influences and stress the basics
such as reading, writing and arithmetic. The importance of the
community and cooperation among its members are also emphasized.
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