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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Rare Photos Of Myself At Six And Sixteen

Me at six, with my next older brother Eli, taken in 1946.

I grew up in an Amish family that didn't allow photographs, since they were believed to represent "graven image" forbidden by the Second Commandment, and would surely lead to pride. In the interest of avoiding any form of vanity, we didn't even have full length mirrors in our home, and lived by the motto "Demut ist die schönste Tugend" (humility is the most beautiful virtue).

That being the case I grew up thinking that no pictures of me as a child even existed. Then recently one of my non-Amish Ohio cousins, Elsie Nisly Bliler, came out with a self published book about our Nisly relatives, complete with the above photograph, one someone from their family had taken soon after we moved from Kansas to Virginia.

Needless to say, I was pleased, not that the picture is particularly flattering of me--especially with a pair of home made trousers I had obviously outgrown. And the gloves, what was that about? But at least it was something I could show my grandchildren.

My brother Eli, pictured above, and his wife Ruth just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary July 6. Alma Jean and I will observe our 50th next month. How time flies.

The following photo of me was taken at around 16 by Eli, I believe, after he and Ruthie had left our community.

I hope posting these images won't do irreparable harm to my humility. Good thing the face is blurred and I'm using our Massey-Harris 22 to spread a load of barnyard manure.


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