When I was a boy, my Dad let me tag along with him and a friend to visit an Amish community in Montana. I was too young to recall the details regarding the purpose of their visit now. All I can remember is that it was some sort of business deal.
I do, however, remember how unique the experience was. The way they dressed and spoke was obviously different. The men all had beards. There was no electricity in the shop of the man my Dad and his friend were dealing with. The same was true of their local store, but the baked goods sold there were phenomenal! And the people certainly seemed friendly enough.
Even though I was just a boy, I came away impressed by these people and the simplicity of their style of living. And as the years have passed, I marvel that they can survive in what has become an increasingly competitive, crazy, and modernized world.
I can honestly say that I would love to have these folks as neighbors. They are God-fearing, self-reliant, non-violent, and industrious.
While their lifestyle – and the religious beliefs that drive them – are foreign to most of us, I just can’t imagine having them as neighbors being problematic. Unfortunately, Amish settlements no longer exist in North Dakota.
Yet, it seems that some folks in Essex County, New York are a bit troubled by their new neighbors. In particular, the fact that some Amish sects refuse to put red and orange triangles on the backs of their black buggies. Therefore, creating a bit of a concern amongst some of the locals about late night travel.
But here’s the kicker, how does the state’s Department of Transportation (DOT) propose dealing with the situation? This statement from a local news article sums it up:
“State Department of Transportation officials said signage alerting motorists of buggies on state roads must be sparked by local residents who initiate a traffic survey over ‘unusual circumstances.'”
Seriously. I’m not making this up. Only then could they “conduct a study and [their] findings would then be communicated,” according to a spokesman for the DOT. Wow.
This is certainly one of those situations that makes me shake my head. You know, one of those that you hear just when you thought you’ve heard it all. Bureaucratic red tape to do something as simple as posting “signage”? Forgive me, but only a moron would believe it necessary to conduct a study in order post a sign warning people of late night Amish buggy drivers.
It seems to me that the good people of Essex County, New York have far greater problems on their hands than dark of the night Amish buggy drivers. No, apparently their state is plagued by bureaucratic officials who are about as bright as the colors on the buggy’s they’re so concerned about.
Thank goodness I don’t live in New York.