You know you’ve become too involved with a show when you are walking down the hallway at the dealership, walk by the door to the mens’ room with a sign hanging on the door that says, OUT OF ORDER, and you feel a overpowering urge to get your sharpie out and write above it, AMISH: That’s when you know it’s time to get out of Dodge for a while.
In this part of my blog, I wish to point out that I was thrilled to see that not only did I not get as much face time on episode 8, but the times I was on there, I at least wasn’t bawling my eyes out about some past experiences or some future unforeseen dilemma. Rather, I find myself co signing for Albert Y, the father of 4 ex Amish boys who live in and around Columbia, Mo. Reuben, Levi, Chris, (featured) and finally the last one, Joni. I might add that Albert wasn’t the first ex Amish that I’ve co signed for, and probably won’t be the last either. My motto has always been that every ex Amish that leaves, deserves one chance. What they do with that chance, is up to them. A few have come back to bite me, but most of them, including Albert, are very responsible!
Although I had no way of knowing this when I co signed for some of them, now they are coming in to buy vehicles from me with the very same credit that I helped them to establish. As a matter of fact, between Albert Y and his 4 sons, they have bought a total of 9 vehicles from me in the last year. This is when you know that there is such a thing as karma, no good deed goes unnoticed, or “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you”. After all, how could I have known back in the early 2000’s that I would in the future, be selling cars?
Michaela finally gets a fair chance at the Amish life in a place where they were lenient enough to allow the cameras in and actually show faces. However, she learned the hard way, same as I, that just because that particular community was more liberal, doesn’t exactly mean that they are more liberal in their rules. On the other hand, I’ve learned that often the Mennonites are much stricter and quicker to ex communicate then are the Amish.
As a side note here. This episode was filmed right after I came home from my road trip last September of 2011, and I made it known to Stick Figures and NatGeo that I needed some serious time off. That would explain why a story of Michaela disappearing into the confines of the Amish community in Sarasota, FL became possible.
Although I have met almost all of the people featured, I personally didn’t make the trip down to Sarasota, and so I will let the viewer figure out how I might have then personally met these people.
As I sit in my basement on my day off from work, writing randomly what comes to mind for this weeks blog, I actually find myself somewhat relieved that we have just 2 more episodes of Amish: out of Order left to air.
When I, after many months of arguing with myself and the Owner of Stick Figure Production, Mr Laikind himself, finally committed to doing a whole series of Amish:out of Order late in 2010 and early 2011, and I went to my manager at my car dealership to see if he would allow me to even take time off, and my manager challenged me to be able to whittle 2 major things at once.
As anyone who has ever been in sales might know. If you want to be successful in sales, you have to give 150% of your focus and time to it. I’m talking 14 to 16 hours a day, 6 days a week. Now looking back, remembering all the late nights of filming, the Sundays when my brain and body were absolutely screaming for some quiet time at home with the family, but I’d drag my sorry rear to the next place to film, I finally realized why my manager, bless his heart, was concerned about my managing 2 things at the same time. I will add that I did successfully, out of 18 sales people, keep my position as one of the top in our store during this time. That is, all except September, when I took off on my road trip.
I tell you that behind the scenes story to get back around to my original topic. My thinking process was that when I finally wrap up the filming process, I can sit down, relax, sell cars, spend time with the family, and watch it come across the screen. Did I say RELAX? Boy was I wrong! In the months since the show has been airing, I am receiving mail from all corners of the world, over 5000 emails a week. 2000 facebook requests per episode, and probably 50 people a week just randomly driving in from any Midwestern state to meet me. Although I appreciate the support, and am mighty glad that the show was such a huge hit, for those reasons, the distraction has been multiplied since the show has been airing, vs when we were filming it. In other words, I will take the time after episode 10 has crossed the screen, to finally for the first time in 1 1/2 years, breath for a while.
After tonight’s episode, I will for the first time post a spot on my web site for viewers to actually send mail to a PO box. I will make a valiant effort to in time answer each and every email and letter, and for the people who out of the kindness of their hearts are sending money to help the ex Amish, bless your hearts. It is another step in my already busy life, but one that I more then gladly accept, is the fact that I am in the middle of forming an Non for profit organization for just this purpose. To help ex Amish get an education and get started in the outside world when they first leave.
In tonight’s episode I will try to remain rather short so as not to give it away. Let me put it this way. For anyone who has ever lost a dear, loved one, you will know exactly what I am speaking of. The first thing you say is, “it’s not possible”. “It must be a mistake”. And for myself personally, “surely God would’ve given me an opportunity to say good bye one last time”. Because Verily I say unto thee, The disconnect when you realize that a great friend in surely gone from this earth, and in this life you will never have another chance to speak with this friend, that shock is sometimes greater then any one person can absorb at once.
Although I will not mention ahead of the episode, the name of this friend, I will tell you that you have seen him in previous episodes, and that you will be torn by “WHY” as I was for a long time, and still sometimes am. A Funeral In Missouri
I struggled for just a short time on participating in doing an episode about his passing, but realized very shortly that this is not my or any other person’s decision to make. The decision is “WHAT WOULD THIS PERSON HAVE WANTED”, and it became clear immediately that this is exactly what he would’ve wanted and exactly how he would’ve wanted to go.
As a matter of fact, I remember when I first approached him about participating in filming, his eyes lit up, and he told me that one of his dreams was to one day become a star and have major parts or roles in films.
Although a community grieves, and many will never understand why, an angel went home sooner then expected and is now doing exactly what he always wanted to do, and he is doing it sooner then the rest of us. Heaven can surely use you more then we could here on earth, and may your lofty dreams and goals forever come true!
Until next time: “Es is nach evich nicht zu schpot”! “It is forever, never too late”!