January 18, 2013
AN ODD QUIRK of scheduling this week brought the openings of two plays that, while sharing a common trait, are at polar ends of the theatrical spectrum. Both "The Amish Project," which runs through Feb. 3 at Studio 5 inside the Walnut Street Theatre, and "Catch Me If You Can," here through Sunday at the Academy of Music, are based on actual events. But it's hard to imagine two more dissimilar offerings. 'Project's' new relevance We're sure playwright Jessica Dickey would have preferred that her 2009 piece, "The Amish Project," did not have such of-the-moment resonance for theatergoers.
December 24, 2012 |
In his role as a chaplain for the state police and, decades ago, the U.S. Army, the Rev. Grover DeVault held dying Marines in his arms and comforted distraught troopers in the hours after violent shootouts. But even those experiences could not prepare him for the scene six years ago in the one-room schoolhouse in Lancaster County: the bodies of five Amish girls in long-skirted dresses and the gunman lying on the floor of the Nickel Mines school. "There was nothing unique about seeing the carnage," said DeVault, "but he had brought in 2-by-4s, eyebolts, and ties.
December 19, 2012 |
NICKEL MINES, Pa. - Members of an Amish community where a gunman killed five girls in a one-room schoolhouse in 2006 are writing letters to reach out in sympathy to grieving parents in Newtown, Conn. A farm services business owner who is not Amish has promised to drive the letters to Connecticut. He said Tuesday that he raised the idea over the weekend with the father of the woman who was teaching the day the massacre occurred at West Nickel Mines Amish School. Jerry Feister of Honey Brook said, "It just seems there's a connection or bond there.
December 18, 2012
LET'S STOP shaking our heads in disbelief. Let's stop wondering how the methodical slaughter of children - babies - in Newtown, Conn., could possibly happen. Let's instead take a long hard look in the mirror and realize we had a role in this: All of us who watched tragedies unfold in a Colorado movie theater, an Amish school, a Texas military base. We grieved, but failed to demand politics and policies that might have helped end the slaughter. And please, TV reporters, stop calling Connecticut "idyllic.
December 2, 2011 |
"I'm not really the heroic type. I was beat up by Quakers. " - Woody Allen as Miles Monroe in "Sleeper" Quakers aren't part of the American Anabaptist tradition. Other than a shared predisposition toward nonviolence, they have nothing in common with the Amish. Still, Allen's quip helps us think realistically about groups with reputations for fierce peacefulness. Recently, seven members of a breakaway sect were arrested in Ohio for chopping off the beards of their fellow Amish for refusing to tolerate their bad behavior.
October 2, 2011 |
Acid corrodes the container that holds it. That's what happens when we hold on to bitterness. - Amish farmer from Nickel Mines, Pa. BART TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Christ King leans back hard against the weight of his daughter's wheelchair, lowers her with gentle thumps down the porch steps, and pushes her across the garden into the shade of a maple tree where a stranger waits. "Hello, Rosanna!" the stranger says cheerily. He is Richard Egan, a 72-year-old retired fund-raiser from Northeast Philadelphia.
October 2, 2011
L. Gregory Jones is professor of theology at Duke Divinity School, author of Embodying Forgiveness, and coauthor of Forgiving as We've Been Forgiven Five years ago, Charles Carl Roberts IV entered an Amish school in Nickel Mines, Pa., and shot 10 girls - mortally wounding five - before killing himself. This quiet, rural community in Lancaster County suddenly became a place of unprecedented contrasts - violence amid peaceful people, hordes of satellite trucks in a place that favors simplicity.
May 16, 2008 |
Weeks after a milk-truck driver opened fire in an Amish school, a state police commander sought an unconventional way to both evoke and transcend the tragedy: a piece of art. The resulting watercolor, Remembering Nickel Mines, will be hung today at Troop J headquarters in Lancaster after a private ceremony. It took more than a year for the artist to render the painting. First he had to overcome his own emotional misgiving, for this artist was also a state trooper - one of the first to arrive at the shooting scene on that October day in 2006.
April 24, 2008 |
As the casket bearing the body of William J. "Stretch" Smaltz was lowered into the earth yesterday, the minister's wife saluted a larger-than-life character. "Wow! What a ride," exclaimed Linda Grill, and applause arose from the sea of mourners crowded into the church cemetery near Skippack. The burial service punctuated a daylong, 40-mile tribute to the 68-year-old Smaltz, a well-known figure in motorcycling circles. From 1993 until his death last week from cancer, the Honey Brook resident and his wife, Karen, ran a popular Harley-Davidson dealership in Eagle, Chester County.
November 14, 2007 |
'IT WAS our Sept. 11. " That's what one Amish man called the schoolhouse shooting in Amish country last year in which a local man shot and killed five Amish girls and wounded five others (one remains severely disabled) before killing himself. The arrival of police apparently prevented him from carrying out his plan to sexually assault them. The day after our Sept. 11, in 2001, this newspaper's front page reflected at least a portion of the national mood for revenge. The headline screamed "Blood for Blood.