THE NEWS OF THE AMISH WORLD.
The County’s Greatest Newsletter, 1843-2011 (1843)
We are sorry.
For myriad generations, The News of the Amish World had been at the heart of Holmes County’s Amish news hub. Today, our hearts are saddled with great sorrow in light of the recent evidence that reporter Samuel Yoder, under the watch of editor Ruth Edna Brookstetler, and in order to obtain details pertaining to certain stories, had used a device.
Over the past 168 years, the various developments of our ever-changing world– the buggy, the grey-painted buggy, the charcoal grey buggy, the Davy’s grey buggy, and, of course, the printing press– have been faithfully recorded by this letter of record. Many defining moments graced the headlines of This Old Letter. Who could forget, for instance, our classic coverage of such seminal events as:
-The Suspender Rebellion.
-Jacob Hochstetler’s installation of a pedal on his bicycle, and subsequent excommunication.
-Martha Ellen Schwartz’s under-the-table dealings with the Arts and Crafts industry.
-The series of investigations into the Lengacher subprime barley trading scandal.
- The exposé on Silo Tom’s refusal to shave his mustache, and subsequent excommunication.
And of course:
When I, Rufus Merdberger, first took the reins of this newsletter in 1969, it was copied out by hand and saw a distribution of approximately 7 households. After my introduction of the diesel-powered printer press to the Swartzendruber’s barn in 1973, those numbers jumped to 58 households, spanning 3 counties.
Though some accused The News of becoming excessively proud under my ownership– pointing to the letter’s somewhat “sensational” stories of our youths’ activities during their rumspringa– and myself of being shameless and exploitative, I know in my heart of hearts that I am just a harness maker, first and foremost, and a populist, market-attuned newsletter man, second, who is simply in the business of giving the people what they want.
And the Hershbergers, Troyers, Schrocks, Grabers, Hiltys and the Wittmers want what the Hershbergers, Troyers, Schrocks, Grabers, Hiltys and the Wittmers want.
It was during some of the more recent rumspringa stories that , entirely unbeknownst to me or my son at the time, Samuel Yoder, with the explicit approval of his editor, began wearing a hearing aid in order to better listen through bedroom doors and report back on the exploits of our youths during their running around. This breach of Ordnung trust and ethical conduct (and, to be fair, common practice among competing newsletters jostling for coverage concerning running-around) once uncovered, was, of course, brought before the bi-annual meeting of our elders (of which I myself am a part of), and Yoder was duly shunned. We considered the matter settled, until the revelations of yesterday forenoon, in which it was revealed that Yoder had continued to use a hearing aid in order to listen in on conversations among the family members of those injured in the recent buggy flipping. While I personally found that these unsavory tactics could perhaps be overlooked in regards to youth in rumspringa, this most recent turn of events has brought a dark stain upon this newsletter’s reputation, one which can never be laved.
At this point, there is unfortunately no other option than to shut the letter down.
As to the unfolding allegations of Panasonic H.264 Pan/Tilt Network Surveillance cameras being hidden by other News reporters (who, it should be noted, all received and were required to read a copy of our Standards of Business Conduct pamphlet) in the bedrooms of our womenfolk in exchange for paid compensation from the Englisher website “Amish Amateurs,” you may be rest assured, further shunnings are imminent, and that the full brunt of our law will be brought to bear upon them, so that they may be harshly punished and wholeheartedly forgiven.
For the record, my son and I knew nothing of the above activities, any profits derived from them, or, for that matter, what they even mean, for we are, after all, just simple, humble, Amish folk.
Thank you, and goodbye.
-Rufus Merdberger, Keeper of the Printing Press