We knew we were getting into the town of Randolph by the horse and buggies we began seeing. The town of Randolph is in Pontotoc county in northern Mississippi. There are very few Pontotoc county Amish. We saw a little over a dozen homes. They live right in the middle of non Amish folks. These Amish are of the Swartzentruber order. The use no safety triangles on the back of their buggies. All the Amish we saw had no shoes on and their clothes were quiet dirty, this is probably because of all the hard work they do.
Almost all of the people we talked to had large families. We saw a man in the field with several young boys picking okra. Most of the families sold products in a little building next to their house. They sold things such as okra, tomatoes, peanut brittle and candles. There were signs at the end of the driveways telling us what was for sale.
Pontotoc Amish Interview #1
One of the Pontotoc county Amish we visited was very shy and guarded. She was a 14 yr. old girl. We only got one word answers to our questions. She still goes to school, but I’m sure not for long since Amish students are not formally educated beyond the 8th grade. I asked if I could take a picture of the products they were selling. She was quick to shake her head and say no.
At the next stop we met a 28 year old man who had no trouble talking to us. When I asked him if I could take a picture of his barn, he said yes. I could take pictures of anything outside. He had come to Pontotoc as a child with his family. They traveled by Greyhound bus from Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. He and his wife have 3 children. They own 80 acres with horses, cows, chickens and goats. There was a vegetable garden and they also grow oats.
Our next stop of the Pontotoc county Amish was a home with a married female. We asked her if we could ask her some questions. She said we could ask but she might not answer them all. They have 13 children, in addition, her mom and dad have 19. I asked her if she ever felt neglected or ignored growing up. She replied that if she did, she didn’t notice it. As we were talking, her youngest child made his way into the building. The child, who was one year old, was chewing on something. His mother gently used her finger to scoop it right out. Her husband ran a saw mill. The family had cows, horses and chickens. They also had a small garden with vegetables. Interview #4
At our last stop we found another married man. Several homes were either closed or not selling anything. He and his wife have 2 young boys. One is 19 mos. and the other is 3 weeks old. The 19 month old has cystic fibrosis. So, he spent most of last year in the hospital. His father said he’s doing fine now. We told him we would be praying for the little fellow. They were in the process of buying the house they were living in from his parents. The family raises both chickens and sheep. He has an upholstery business. The main things he covers is boat seats. Also, one of his brothers is learning to butcher pigs. Boy, in South Louisiana, we could show him a thing or two. Oh, and his younger sister was outside washing the family buggy.
We only spent a couple of hours visiting the Pontotoc county Amish. There is not a whole lot to see but we loved every second of it. We, my husband Todd and I, thought they were quiet charming. No electricity, no shoes, no problem. In conclusion, they have a love of life that’s quite contagious.