15 responses to Dr. Rob Reynolds on Pennsylvania German Society
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    Comment on Dr. Rob Reynolds on Pennsylvania German Society (February 29th, 2012 at 07:40)

    This is a very nice summary, Erik. I also like the photos. I believe the third one down shows both a melodium and a “magic lantern,” which projected images from glass slides on a screen or wall. They were very popular educational and entetainment devices. I catalogued a huge collection of glass slides in Ontario a few years ago. The slides were fragile, both for their material and for the emulsions containing the image. Not a great many survived the last 120 years!

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      Magdalena in my visit and very interesting discussion with Dr. Reynolds I only scratched the surface of PA German culture. I’d like to experience the melodium and magic lantern in action. The home is fascinating. Tours are available but I believe by appointment only.

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    Richard from Amish Stories
    Comment on For me its the food that reminds some folks about the culture in Lancaster/Lebanon (February 29th, 2012 at 07:44)

    For me its the food that reminds some folks about the culture in Lancaster/Lebanon

    For me other than hearing at times folks speaking the Pennsylvania Dutch language in the Lancaster/Lebanon area the thing that i notice most for me is the food, so its the food that reminds me that I’m not just living anywhere but in a area with roots very deep in Pennsylvania Dutch. Even most regular restaurants highlight on their menu having some Pennsylvania Dutch specialties. And i realize that the heritage goes beyond just food but it is showcased a lot and helps to remind some folks perhaps of the culture itself. Richard

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    Richard from Amish Stories
    Comment on about the PBS special last night on the Amish........ (February 29th, 2012 at 08:06)

    about the PBS special last night on the Amish........

    Erik i thought id make a comment about that PBS special shown last night on the Amish, for me it started out a little typical and predicable to be honest. Maybe its because i might be a little jaded from watching so many of these type shows, and i think most of the shows on PBS are very well done so maybe i was expecting too much with this one. And since there has been reality show’s and so many other types of program’s covering the Amish maybe i feel that unless I’m seeing something new and fresh, i feel like I’ve seen something like that before. I know i will be getting some flack maybe from this from folks who really enjoyed this one, but that’s the ex New Yorker in me just keeping it real! Richard

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      Comment on Experiencing the Amish on PBS (February 29th, 2012 at 10:45)

      Experiencing the Amish on PBS

      Hi Richard, that is fair enough, maybe it is harder to impress the NY contingent out there 😉

      I do think for people that know more about the Amish than average, they will know the factual side like you of course do, but there are some facts and figures and concepts you have to include that just have to be in every Amish film or book.

      But after watching the second time I wrote a little bit about why I thought it was well done–I really think that American Experience brought us the “Amish Experience” in about the closest way you can “experience” this people through the TV. You mentioned the beginning being predictable, I wonder if you’d agree with what I wrote about it as a whole:


      Also, the local PBS showing (UNC-TV) got bumped from 8 pm to 2 am. They showed an old Barbra Streisand concert instead 🙂

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    Comment on Word on Blackbaord (February 29th, 2012 at 08:46)

    Word on Blackbaord

    OK. I give up. What’s the word on the blackboard? I’ve tried every German word combo I can imagine.

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    Comment on RE: Word on Blackboard (February 29th, 2012 at 09:01)

    RE: Word on Blackboard

    Die Marriyeschtanne = The Morning Stars (in PA Dutch). It is the name of a band I perform in, this photo must have been taken right after the Heritage Center’s Harvest Fescht, where we performed.

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      Wow Amanda, thanks for sharing that. I took this in what would have been mid-late September of last year. I am curious what type of music you perform.

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        Comment on Dr. Rob Reynolds on Pennsylvania German Society (February 29th, 2012 at 13:25)

        Hi Erik,
        We perform traditional Pennsylvania Dutch folk songs with bass, mandolin, and sometimes fiddle. It was something that spawned out of our love of PA German Culture and history, as we both went through the PA German Studies program at Kutztown University.

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          Comment on Dr. Rob Reynolds on Pennsylvania German Society (February 29th, 2012 at 13:36)

          Can you purchase this music Amanda?
          I think you sparked some interest here!

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            Comment on Dr. Rob Reynolds on Pennsylvania German Society (February 29th, 2012 at 13:54)

            Hello Valerie,
            We have CDs for sale, but we are only equipped to do face to face cash sales. We have a Facebook page, but not much info there. If anyone is interested, email me and I’ll see what I can do, I’ll have to see if my band-mates have more CDs available. My email address is amandalynn0414@gmail.com.

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    Alice Mary
    Comment on Germanic influence (February 29th, 2012 at 12:32)

    Germanic influence

    Thank you, Erik (& Dr. Reynolds) for this information. It’s interesting to learn why and how people emigrated to this country from various other parts of the world.

    The photo of the schoolroom looks very much like one I took at the McHenry County Historical Society (IL) last fall. They have a one-room schoolhouse which they moved from a local rural area. This area was populated (1800’s) primarily by people from Germany (many Lutheran churches here), so it’s interesting to recognize similarities with other German “settlements” throughout the country.
    It’s especially interesting to me–my maternal Grandmother was born in Berlin, came to the US with her parents about 1904, and spoke German as a young wife/mother (according to the 1920 Census), but was married to a Polish immigrant.She eventually learned English, but I don’t think she ever really “mastered” Polish. She died when I was 7 or 8, and always spoke English to me.

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    Richard from Amish Stories
    Comment on Hey Erik and your New York comment makes me think a little ........... (February 29th, 2012 at 15:10)

    Hey Erik and your New York comment makes me think a little ...........

    Hey Erik and your New York comment makes me think a little about that commercial when that fellow says” Made in New York City” for that chip dip or something like that. And your right that sometimes you really have to watch something maybe a second time to get a different point of view, and i had thought it was well made dont get me wrong and i really enjoy PBS for their high quality specials like the one shown last night with this Amish series. And there is a lot that i dont know about the Amish which is really why i watch programs like last night so i can learn something, and i did learn something that hit home to me so for that reason alone it was maybe worth watching. I know when i get a chance to talk with someone who is Amish i almost seem to forget that I’m in a conversation with someone who is plain, but that difference is really always there for me in the background whether i like it or not, and a good conversation is a really beautiful thing between 2 people regardless of those differences. Richard

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    Comment on Dr. Rob Reynolds on Pennsylvania German Society (March 2nd, 2012 at 11:53)

    Richard would that be the vintage commercial for Pace’s Picante Sauce when the cowboy brought some salsa that was “Made in NEW YORK CITY!” to a campfire gathering and off camera another cowboy says: “Get a rope”? I loved that commercial. For years and years anytime someone around where I live mentioned NYC someone else invariably said “Get a rope!”

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    Comment on Dr. Rob Reynolds on Pennsylvania German Society (March 2nd, 2012 at 21:22)

    Erik: This is fascinating. Thanks.

    I imagine that WWI and WWII had a huge impact on PA German society. Undoubtedly people and whole communities did what they could to suppress any “Germanic” influence, given the sentiments of the times. I remember hearing an older relative comment that German was dropped from his town’s high school curriculum in response to World War I, and to this day is still not offered.

    While we certainly haven’t abolished the scrouge of warfare, perhaps we are becoming more erudite about languages. I understand that many more college students now that in past decades are studying Arabic. I’m also hearing about more and more elementary, middle and high schools offering bilingual or multilingual options. Little be little, we are realzing that language and culture are inseperably intertwined. Glad that the Amish have carried the torch to preserving the PA dutch language and culture.

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