Es Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch Eck

Es Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch Eck

(Originally published in the June 3, 1987 issue of The Shopping News)

Stevens
(Conclusion)

By David G. Hornberger

Die Stevens Leit waare wunderbaar patriotisch. Uff der Viert Julei un Decoration Daag hen sie ihre Portsch ausgedeckt mit rode, weisse un blohe Faahne un Duch. Not hen sie als en Parade ghat mit en Baend. Der Shorty Enk hot als en Beisickel-Rees ghalde. Nochderhand hot’s en Fescht gewwe uff em Schulhof. Die Weibsleit hen Supp, Eiskriem, Soda, Kuche, Caendi, un Sandwiches verkaaft un die Mannsleit hen Schpielredder un Balle-Schpiele fer Geld mache fer die Feier Kumbani. Maniche Lewesknepp waare gebunne an so en Fescht. Des wees ich woll aus Erfaahring.

Bauersdaag 1932 waare mir rumgedappt uff Main Schtrooss in Effredaa. Do hawwich des schee, glee Maedel gsehne. No hawwich gsaat, “Don’t I know you?” Sie hot g’antwatt, “I don’t think so.” No hawwich mich bekannt gemacht. Vierunfuffzich Yaahr schpaeder un siwwe Kinner, fuffzeh Kinskinner un drei Grosskinskinner, hawwich des Ding gelannt.

Baut 1928 hot der Harry “Spikey” Fausnacht en gross Feld kaaft. Es waar “The Stevens Amusement Park.” Er hot Radio Leit un grossi Baends, wie die U.S. Army Baend, reigrickt, die Pickard Famillye, Interwoven Pair, usw. Ee Nacht waare baut acht Dausend Leit datt.

Die Karich waar die United Zion Kinner Gmee. Wu die Harebscht-Arwett verbei waar, hen sie en gross Versammling ghat. Ebmohls sin sie aangange fer sex bis acht Woche. Die Karich waar yuscht en eefach Gebei. Yuscht en Bank fer die Breddicher, en Kansel mit em Wasserpitscher un en Glass druff. Drin waar aa en Drauerbank, Kohleel-Lichder, en Scheidwand in die Mitt, en Amen-Eck uff yeder Seit. Die Mannsleit waare uff eener Seit un die Weibsleit uff der anner Seit. Uff yeder Seit hen sie en alt “pot-belly” Offe ghat mit Benk drumrum. Do sin die gleene Kinner eigschlofe. Owwedraa waar en Brett fer die Leit ihre Hiet un Schtrupphiet. Die Weibsleit hen’s Lied aagfange singe, weil sie ken Arigel gyuust hen fer die Gross Mieding.

Der Rube Glass waar der Karichediener. Ee Nacht is es schpot warre. Sie hen so lang gebreddicht, gsunge, gebet un Zeignis gewwe. Dann hot der Breddicher gsaat, “Nau welle mir widder ans Bede.” Awwer der Rube is uffgschtanne un hot gsaat, “Dir hen nau genunk gebet. Mir gehne nau heem. Sis Schpoot.” Sell waar dann der Segeschpruch fer selli Mieding.

Die Vorschteher waare baremhatzich un freigewwich. Sie hen der Stevens Leit ihre Versammlinghaus gewwe fer Sunndaagschul halde. Es waar die “Stevens Union Sunday School.” Mir hen Lehrer ghadde vun unnerschiddliche Gemeene. Sie hen aus erlabbt en Arigel neiduh. Es waar verschtanne as es zugedeckt waar wann sie ihre Miedings ghalde hen.

Fer en Grischtkindli hen mir als Kaendi un en Orange grickt un fer die Oschdere hen mir en Schocklaad-Oi grickt. Ich erinner noch deel vun der Amtsleit un Lehrer vun der Schul: Squire Geore Ludwig, Harry Ludwig, Evan Gockley, Maggie Gockley, Milton Gockley, Harry Dehart, Paul DeHart, Florence (Mellinger) DeLong, Mary Hirneisen, Reuben Hornberger un Edith (Hornberger) Risser. Do hen mir Biewel Schtories glannt as mir sei Lewe net vergesse hen.

Alle Summer hen mir en Picnic ghat im Busch naegscht am Schteddel. En paar mohl sin mir noch Lititz Springs Park. Ebmohls hen mir en Baend ghat fer schpiele. Es waar wunderbaar viel zu esse. Es waar en Blatz fer Kaendi un Eiskriem kaafe. Ich meen es bescht Ding uff em Disch waare die Kuche. Des hot schier geguckt wie Bauersdaag an Effredaa. Die Kuche waare hoch un gschmickt mit Kaendi un Icing.

Ya, des is der Weg as es waar eb der TV alles iwwer-zwarrich gedreht hot. Die Schtories as ich do gewwe hab sin die Schpitz vum Eisbarig. Ich hab viel meh. Ich hab Stevens Leit gsehne in Schprechers Schtor un sie sin am gucke fer des ECK.

Mach’s gut! Ich bin der alt Professor as Brod gfresse hot in Stevens!

***

The people of Stevens were very patriotic. On the Fourth of July and Decoration Day, they decorated their porches with red, white and blue flags. They always had a parade with a band. Shortly Enk conducted bicycle races. Afterwards there was a celebration on the school grounds. The women sold soup, ice cream, soda, cakes, candy and sandwiches. The men conducted games of chance to make money for the fire company. Many knots were tied for life at such a festival. This I know well from personal experience.

On Farmers’ Day in 1932, we were walking about on Main Street in Ephrata. There I saw a lovely young girl. I said, “Don’t I know you?” She answered, “I don’t think so.” Then I introduced myself. 54 years later with seven children, 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, I finally figured this thing out.

About 1928, Harry Fausnacht bought a large field. He had radio personalities and big bands, such as the U.S. Army Band, etc. One evening there were about 8,000 people there.

The church was United Zion’s Children. When the fall work was over, they had a big meeting. Sometimes these meetings lasted for six to eight weeks. The church was a simple structure with just one bench for the preachers, and a chancel with a water pitcher and a glass. The men sat on one side and the women on the other. On either side there was a potbelly stove encircled by benches. Here the small children used to fall asleep. Up above there was a shelf for the men’s and women’s hats. The women began each hymn because they used no organ for the big meetings.

Rube Glass was the janitor. One night it grew late. They preached on and on; they sang, prayed and gave testimonials. Then the preacher said, “Now we want to pray again.” But Rube stood up and said, “You have prayed enough. We’re going home. It’s late!” That was the benediction for that evening.

The elders of the church were kindly and generous. They made their building available to the folks of Stevens for a Sunday School. We had teachers from different denominations. They permitted us to install an organ. It was understood that it remained covered when they had their meetings.

As a Christmas present, we used to get candy and an orange and for Easter we got a chocolate egg. I remember well some of the officials and the teachers of the Sunday School. We learned Bible stories that one never forgot.

Every summer we had a picnic in the woods next to town. A few times we went to Lititz Springs Park. Sometimes we had a band for entertainment. There was lots to eat. There was a place to buy candy and ice cream. I think that the best thing on the table was the cake. It almost looked like Farmers’ Day at Ephrata. The cakes were layered and decorated with candy and icing.

Yes, this is how it was before TV turned the world upside down. The anecdotes I have given here are but the peak of the iceberg. I have many more. I spoke with folks from Stevens in Sprechers’ Store and they are looking for this column.

Farewell! I am the old Professor that used to eat bread in Stevens!

***

As we indicated last week, this account of early 20th century life in Stevens surfaced early in April This week we are printing the second and final installment. We’re glad to hear that DER ALT BRODFRESSER is still working in Sprechers’ Store. There all the world can keep tabs on him – unless he’s elsewhere at a sale sitting under a tent in a downpour!

This past winter we had the pleasure of attending the annual Deitschi Schul, which is conducted each Saturday afternoon in January and February in the West Stevens Old Order Parochial School. If you want more information on this Deitchi Schul, ask the owner of the Clay Bookstore. This year’s German School came to an end on St. Valentine’s Day with a marvelous Old Order Hymn-Sing.

In conclusion, we want to tip our Deitscher Schtrohhut to the old Professor and urge him to keep digging into his memories of Stevens of yesteryear.

June 3, 1987

En Bischli-Gnippli

as die Reddig Famillye vun Stevens

gut gekennt hot