Amish Acres

Amish Acres® Historic Farm and Heritage Resort is Listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is America's most complete Amish heritage experience featuring historic interpretation, culinary and performing arts, lodging, and shopping.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Good Old Days

I visited the College Mennonite Church at Goshen College this morning. It is an impressive building on the campus. A domed sanctuary with a balcony seats six hundred or so. The congregation is made up of only a third of Goshen College faculty and staff. Following the service I met Sam Yoder who taught at the college for twenty eight years and has now been retired twenty two.

He reminded me that thirty some years ago he consulted with Hook's Drugs on a made for TV movie titled "Beyond the Buggy." Hook's statistics showed that their northeast stores had a lower than normal rate of prescriptions and refills. Their PR department had the bright idea of making a movie about the Old Order Amish of northern Indiana. The logic was that the Amish would watch it and feel more inclined to do business with Hook's. The PR department was somehow unaware that the Amish didn't and still don't have television.

The wasted effort ended up being the orientation film at Amish Acres for a number of years complements of Hook's. It was shown on the upper loft floor of the Greeting Barn with a 16mm projector. The film often broke in mid-movie and I became adept at splicing it back together while our guest waited, usually, patiently. Hook's, one of the state's biggest boosters at the time, sold out to Kroger who in turn sold out to CVS/Pharmacy and the original film was lost somewhere in Tennessee.

After unsuccessful attempts to re-dub the video and audio, I was forced to write and produce, with the assistance of Frank Ramirez, the current films Genesis and Exodus of the Amish. They are now shown in the Locke Township Meeting House via a DVD system that is foolproof except when the $400 high intensity bulbs burn out. Times change and the demise of Indiana's own Hook's into the national CVS chain cares nothing about local distinction. Those were the good old days.

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