National Geographic : 1938 Jul
ROADS FROM WASHINGTON thought it a bad influence on young people, but made no fuss about it; just bought the tavern, and closed it. "They're generous and helpful. When a farmer needs a new barn, 50 or 75 men come in the morning for a barn-raising and by night it's almost finished. I've seen them harvest 10 or 15 acres of corn in a day for a sick neighbor. "Recently, to enlarge my store, I had to tear down the long brick side wall. I told a group of customers that it would interrupt trade for a long, dusty week. " 'We'll have a frolic,' they said. "When the day came, forty Amishmen were here at eight o'clock. They worked all morning, with some horseplay, trying to see who could do the most. My wife and the neighbors gave them dinner. By four o'clock the wall was down. Every brick was cleaned, and piled for the masons." That night in Lancaster I complimented a restaurant man on his fine Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. He spoke of Amishmen. "They've been courteous," I said, "but I'd like to see the inside of one of their homes." "Maybe I can help," the restaurateur said. "I buy 800 bushels of potatoes every year from a farmer near Bird in Hand." Next day we drove through the country, pausing often to talk to the Amish. Be side a horse and buggy, we waited for a long, slow freight train at a grade crossing. A little boy watched, fascinated, from his buggy seat. At last, glimpsing the caboose coming round a bend, he said to his mother: "Ain't, mom? When it makes the little red house, it's all!" At dinner time we called at a farmhouse, where a bearded man stepped onto his porch and closed the door. "What brings you?" he asked. "You Amish have no telephones," my companion explained, "so I had to drive out to cancel my potato contract." The worried farmer invited us in. His wife asked us to stay to supper. We sat around a big table with four little Amish boys and their parents.* Fried cornmeal mush, crisp on the sur face, soft inside, was served hot with molas ses. We had home-preserved tomato sauce, cooked with a little flour and poured on crackers. There were dried apples and dumplings-called "snits and nep"-Lan caster County Swiss cheese, hot roasted pea nuts grown in the back yard, and pear * See, in this issue, the color series, "Pennsyl vania Dutch-In a Land of Milk and Honey." Photograph by John Patric FROM A FIREMAN'S LADDER THE CAMERA SEES MONTICELLO FROM A NEW ANGLE Below the hedge is a hook and ladder truck. driven to Jefferson's "Little Mountain" by the Charlottesville Fire Department (page 46 and Plate II). A friendly fireman brings a color filter to the photographer.