Loren Beachy Answers Your Questions (Part 1)
We [Amish America] got your questions over to Loren last week, and on Friday I got a fax back from him.
“This is what I’ve got so far,” Loren writes. “I plan to give the other questions some attention, too.” You’ll find about a dozen-and-a-half responses below. I’ll get the rest up [at AmishAmerica.com when I get them in from Loren. Until then, I hope you enjoy. — Erik Wesner
[Editor’s note: Mistakes in spelling/usage etc. from readers are left in.]
Loren Answers Your Questions
Trish in Indiana: Sometimes, I wonder what it must be like to be so “visible” to the community around you, and to know that there are tourists who actually travel from miles around to see Amish people.
Can you tell me if you believe many Amish feel a “burden” of responsibility at being so identifiable to the public?
Thanks, Trish. Jesus calls us to be a “city on a hill”. Yes, that’s a burden, but an opportunity, as well. We are conscious of the scrutiny you mentioned (we even hear it in sermons occasionally), and it is probably good for us.
Bill Rushby: What don’t you like about being Old Order Amish? (Please forgive the impertinent question!)
Nothing major comes to mind. You’re forgiven, go and sin no more.
Slightly-Handled-Order-Man: We’ve read through different Amish America posts that the farm life is not as lucrative as it once was for many Amish (and non-Amish alike) and that many Amish people seek out careers outside of the home / farm, for instance the biographical information provided for your book states that you are both a school teacher and an auctioneer in addition to author and columnist. Acknowledging that, have you ever found resistance among your community toward your career paths as perceived to be immodest, very much unconventional or against community rules, or perhaps just against the personal opinions of other people?
Amish communities across America vary widely in how conservative we choose to be. In more conservative communities my auctioneer career would not work. In our community, as in most large communities, it is accepted. I have encountered very little resistance and much encouragement from my community members in my careers.
Al in KY: Two questions:
How many Amish auctioneers are there in the U.S.?
Are there other training schools (like Reppert Auction school) for
other occupations that are OK with Amish districts for Amish men and women to attend?
Lots. Probably hundreds.
My dad attended a farrier school when he was young. There are probably others, like tax clinics for bookkeepers and so forth, though it’s not exceedingly common for Amish to go.
Kim Shinn: This sounds like a very unique book to be written by an Old Order Amish gentleman…can’t wait to partake in the humor! I am interested in knowing what percentage of the teachers are male, as Loren is, compared to the customary young females that are teachers.
Thank you, Kim. In the past decade or so, the percentage of male teachers in our community has risen to perhaps 20 percent (my guess). In Pennsylvania, there are almost no male teachers.
HDL: As a school teacher, are you concerned with the federal government interfering with what and how you teach?
Theresa H: We have Amish friends in New York and one of their boys wants to be an Auctioneer when he grows up. Is their any books that we could get for him to read about Auctioneering?
Sorry, I don’t know of any.
lincolnlady1121: I would love to read your book. Seeing you are a bachelor I was wondering if there was a certain age that Amish men and women are expected to be married by? Are there many Amish who remain single all their life? If you were too marry, could you retain your job as a teacher or would you have to get another occupation?
Not really, though I think the average is something like 22 years old for men and 20 for the ladies. There are some who remain single–I’m going to guess between 5 and 10 percent.
I could keep my job as a teacher, though some men quit upon marrying because of financial considerations.
tjk: I was wondering how far you travel for auctions, and is this your first book?
The rest of AmishAmerica’s blog post of Loren Beachy’s great and fun answers to questions that inquiring minds want to know can be found here.
[Editor’s note: Feel free to ask your local bookstore to order or carry Chasing the Amish Dream, or you can buy it at our store, here, for just $12.99.]
If you’d like to know how our designer came up with cover design, check this blog post from Merrill Miller. And no, the man running behind the buggy is not actually Loren!