Es Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch Eck

Es Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch Eck

(Originally published in the November 3, 1982 issue of
The Shopping News)

In Memoriam
Harry Franklin Stauffer
March 3, 1896-October 16, 1982
Der Schubbkarrich
By Russell W. Gilbert

Der Schubbkarrich is fer schiewe,

Kannscht faahre rum die Riewe;

Er hot net Grumbiere gsaat,

Muss duh mit yuscht eem Raad.


Der Schubbkarrich hot viel gschwowe,

Fer sell doch muss mer’n lowe;

Gelaade hot er oft,

Was ihm net aaschdeht Schdofft.


Der Schubbkarrich vun de Schwowe,

Wu waern wull bissli verschowe!

Es kummt druff aa war’n schiebt:

War hot en gut geiebt?


Der Schubbkarrich is fer schiewe,

Dewege kann mer’n liewe;

Wann er zwee Redder hett,

So waer er’n Schubbkarrich net.


Der Schubbkarrich is fer schiewe;

Wann dutt mer’n hinnerschich iewe,

Dann is er ausgeort,

Graad weil er hinnerschich faahrt.


Du sottscht en Schubbkarrich dreiwe,

Wann’d witt en recht beschreiwe;

Er is en baddichi Satt,

Allee geht er net fatt.


The Wheelbarrow

The wheelbarrow is to be pushed,

You can drive the turnips around;

It said not a word (“didn’t say potatoes”),

It must get along with only one wheel.


The wheelbarrow has pushed much,

For that fact one must praise it;

It has often loaded

Stuff or goods it doesn’t like.


The wheelbarrow of the Swabians,*

Who indeed would be a bit “batty”!

All depends upon who pushes it:

Who exercised it well?


The wheelbarrow is for pushing,

On this account one can love it;

If it had two wheels,

It wouldn’t be a wheelbarrow.


The wheelbarrow is meant to be pushed;

If one works it backward,

Then it’s not true to its breed,

Simply because it goes backward.


You ought to push (“drive”) a wheelbarrow,

If you wish to describe it rightly;

It is a special sort,

It doesn’t go away alone.


*The Swabians came from Schwaben, a former duchy in SW Germany. Schwob, pl. Schwowe, is a term of ridicule, also meaning cockroach. One can’t be quite sure whether the Swabians knew the difference between one wheelbarrow and more than one.


By Russell W. Gilbert

Sis alles brunell,

Ich saag farriwell;

Es Lewe recht schee,

Mer gucke so glee;

Doch Mensch is wie Gott,

Un so yeder sott

De Nochbere helfe;

Es geht schunn uff elfe,

Mer hen net viel lenger,

Bis Gott watt noch schdrenger;

Glei loss ich moll geh,

Ich bin net allee.


Everything is all right,

I am saying farewell;

Life really is beautiful,

We look small;

But man is like God,

And so each one ought

To help the neighbors;

The eleventh hour is approaching,

We do not have much longer

Until God will be even more severe;

Soon I shall let go,

I am not alone.


*Dr. Gilbert frequently heard Mrs. Gilbert’s grandmother, Mary A. Weida, say “Farriwell” after a visit with her. She died in the Forties, 96 years of age, never having spoken a word in English, even though she was born in America, in the upper end of Lehigh County.


Two weeks ago, on Wednesday afternoon, October 20, 1982, Harry Franklin Stauffer was laid to rest at the feet of his parents (Franklin and Maria Stauffer) and grandparents (Jacob S. and Elizabeth Stauffer) on the ancient Groffdale Mennonite Cemetery. Harry Stauffer’s grave lies in the shadow of the Graabschtee of Hans Graf, from who he descends. The new monument which looms over Hans Graf’s marker tells us that Graf died in 1746. Nearby stand the tombstones of the first Huber (Hoover) and the first Horst. It is entirely right that Harry Stauffer should lie within the long rows which bear the remains of the earliest Mennonite families to settle in Lancaster County.

In this Eck, we bid “Farriwell!” to our beloved friend Harry Stauffer, who, other than a short period of military service in the first World War and employment in Chester County, was a lifelong resident of the Farmersville area. The house he lived in (which overlooks the present fire company building) stands in a field which at one time belonged to the old Stauffer farm where he was raised. It was in this house, which he built, that Harry spent the greater part of his life and raised his family.

We have chosen to honor the memory of Harry Stauffer with two poems by Dr. Russel W. Gilbert, retired professor of German at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Snyder County.

Der Schubbkarrich is appropriate, for it recalls Harry Stauffer’s intense interest in the material culture of the Pennsylvania Germans. Harry’s generation “grew up” with the Schubbkarrich and used it on a daily basis. Harry Stauffer was a widely recognized authority on the buildings the Pennsylvania Dutch erected in the past and on the tools they used.

Clarence Spohn (der Bariyermeeschder vun Effredaa), Dr. Raymond Stayer (der Zaahdokder as noch Afrikaa faahrt), Phillip Stauffer (en Kinskind), Richard Fleckenstein (vum Glooschder Gschenk-Schtohr), John Kraft (der heechscht Mann am Glooschder), and Robert Bucher (vun Halliswill in Munngummerich Kaundi) and Bischli-Gnippli had the high honor to carry der Laad to its final resting place.

The space allotted this column does not permit us to list Harry Stauffer’s many accomplishments. Suffice it to say that he was beloved of his fellow men and that he never forget whence he had come. His life was an exemplary one for his many friends, for he shared gladly what he knew. Even though no Deitsch was used in the simple, yet appropriate rites conducted by Preddicher David M. Martin, Harry’s Dutch friends were present and many of the mourners exchanged greetings in die Mudderschprooch.

As we extend our condolences to Harry Stauffer’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and bid him our last “Farriwell!”, we will continue to be guided by his spirit of true Demut (humility), the most beautiful of all the Mennonite virtues.

November 3, 1982

Es Bischli-Gnippli,

as en wunderbaar er Freind

verlore hot