A Gig for Me

Back last year when I was researching a piece on Amish converts, I read Called to Be Amish: My Journey from Head Majorette to the Old Order by Marlene Miller, which is, as the title describes, Miller’s memoir of becoming Amish.  She fell in love and eventually married a man who was born Amish but hadn’t, during their courtship and marriage, chosen to join the church (important note: the culturally popular notion of “rumspringa” isn’t always a year.  Because Amish aren’t eligible for baptism into the church until maybe fifteen or older––varies somewhat from community to community––a teenager can put off joining the church for years, during which time he or she could feasibly explore the world.  Shunning, as a postscript, really only happens when someone has joined the church and then reneged on his/her vows.)  After they had their first child, the couple joined the church together.

Anyway, back to Miller: now that I know I don’t need her participation for said piece, I can say without fear that the book isn’t good.  I mean, it is good in that the story is interesting and the perspective rare, but the writing isn’t going to get your blood flowing, if you’re into that kind of thing, which I am.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say she shouldn’t write because she isn’t a writer (like I would with many celebrities who pen memoirs) but high art, this ain’t.

And yet––there was a moment in her prefatory acknowledgments that made me jealous about my lack of involvement with the text.  Here it is:
“I’d like to thank Elsie Kline for typing my first draft.  Because I wrote everything longhand, I’m sure she had a very difficult time.”

Now there is a job for me: typing up the memoirs of an Amish convert.  Who is this Elsie Kline, and what kind of bribery does she accept?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: