November 2, 2011

Culture Shock

A recent vacation to Tennessee was cause to soak up live music and hot summer sun. One surprising discovery was a large Amish population. An eighth grade English book on seven mainstream American subcultures led to an early fascination with this particular lifestyle.  Some basics are quite appealing: raising your own crops, skilled wood-working, tending organically raised livestock, and strong family ties. I’m unable to speak on other beliefs Amish hold dear, but I wouldn’t mind living without modern technology, either.
Twenty dollars paid for a tour guide to show us this tight-knit community. The means were primitive - a horse-and-buggy. Stops at each homestead led to interesting conversations and delectable homemade pies and peanut brittle.
Our last stop was a most interesting experience. “Where are you from?”, an Amish man asked from the steps of his woodworking shop. Our answer made his jaw drop. He detailed how his nephew and extended family had recently moved from this little town in Tennessee to the outskirts of our hometown in Maine. (Northern Maine has had an influx of Amish families over the last 5 years.) He gave us a handwritten note to bring back home with us for his family. It’s a small world. We found his nephew in Maine and we now buy all of our eggs from his farm.

Casco loves the highways.

Golden grains.

Meticulously planted rows of every crop.
Handmade crafts.


We loaded up for the tour.

We were able to take the reigns.
We spotted this drivable banana on our way back to the hotel. Immediate culture shock.

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Nashville, TN


Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding me of home. We have a large Amish population in Northern Indiana so I grew up believing hitching posts at Wal-Mart and accidents involving horse and buggies happened everywhere.

Rhon Bell said...

Glad you found it interesting. I felt awkward taking photos in the area as they aren't fond of their photos being taken... Hope all is well man.