What we love most about driving a straight truck is the unexpected delights we discover in driving our country's back roads, even in the snow.
In early January we had a load that took us to Berlin Ohio, in the east central part of the state, not too far from Pennsylvania. Never been there, but wasn’t expecting much of a change in scenery, just the same old flat Ohio farm lands but with a fresh winter coat of snow. As we drove into the region we noticed something different and unusual as the farm country became more rolling with more and more winter. The sights which were different was the presence of neat stacked piles of harvested corn stalks surrounding tidy farms which lacked the plethora of modern day farm equipment. We were in Amish country.
With all our journeying across America’s farms lands, we had never seen such remnants of a corn harvest. As we were to find out later, we were to deliver a load of furniture making glue to the center of one of the largest but little known Amish communities in the US. It seems this area has not received as much tourist attention such as the Amish in the Pennsylvania Dutch country in Lancaster PA. Berlin is the center of this large community of Amish but the town is small and with not one red light or traffic signal. We also noticed something else, the presence of furniture making signs posted on just about every other drive way. This region is certainly the hub of Amish furniture making and is probably their second largest source out commerce outside of farming.
As we made an extra effort to drive our way through their back country, we began noticing their one room school houses with their adjacent outhouse. We understand that the more strict Amish usually don’t allow more than an eighth grade education for their kids. We also noticed that about every two to three miles there was a one room school located near the road, but only about half or less where in use. Seems the Amish don’t have school buses (duh) and they send their kids to the closest school to the farm. As the demographics of the kiddy population shifts, schools are opened and closed to accommodate the clusters of kids.
This particular school house caught our attention. It was obviously being used with the row of sleds stacked against the school house wall. We imagined oh what fun it would have been to actually see these kids making their way to school on their little Amish schoolbuses. There were no tire tracks in the snow leading up to the school ,so no moms dropping of the young ones and no school closures because of a little or a lot of snow.
Check your mirrors and keep’r between the lines
gary and barb