2016 Shipshewana After-Action Report

Posted: 9/6/2016

After-Action Report

Shipshewana, Indiana Come-Around

September 12-19, 2016

Mother Nature provided perfect weather for our week-long, well-attended Come-Around in the heart of northern Indiana Amish country.  The Firsties were Karen and Keith Waldrop, ’64, both of whom grew up not far from Shipshewana and were very familiar with the area and its many attractions.  The Class of ’59 took attendance honors, being represented by Walt/Chris Baskin,

Jack/Mary Glaeser, Jim/Marie Roberts and Larry/Sharon Weaver.  Other attendees included Sandy/Hal Anderson ’64, Dee/Bill Bradford ’63, Su/Dale Gange ’70, Denise/Charlie Lueth ’63, Susan/Charlie Norton ’62,  Tim/Joan Platz ’81, Val/Gary Polansky ’69, and Glenn Shindler ’64

The week began with a Tuesday informational visit to the Menno-Hof History Center offering multi-media exhibits and presentations explaining the history, beliefs and culture of the Amish and Mennonite people.   The next day we were picked up at our campground by several members of a large Amish family who drove their horse-drawn buggies to take us to their farmhouse about one-half hour away where we joined the family for a delicious, traditional homemade Amish dinner in their kitchen and dining room.  Everyone enjoyed this unique experience and opportunity to engage in dialogue with the family to learn more about their daily activities and lives.

Additional group activities during the week included (a) an excellent two hour guided tour of the Entegra Motorcoach factory in nearby Middlebury where we were able to witness firsthand the hustle and bustle of full production of high-end Class A motorhomes, (b) a visit to the National RV Museum in nearby Elkhart, and (c) a family style traditional Amish dinner at nearby Das Dutchman Essenhaus restaurant, topped off by each person’s choice from the list of over 30 delicious homemade pies.  Much of Friday was spent in South Bend where our RV Chapter members toured the National Studebaker Museum and the adjacent incredibly beautiful 1890s era, 38-room Oliver mansion, complete with all of its original furniture and fixtures.  After our tours, we gathered for drinks on the patio of the nearby, most impressive Tippecanoe Place, the mansion built in the 1890s by one of the Studebaker brothers … now one of the better South Bend restaurants.  Libations were followed by dinner in the beautiful mansion library.

The Firsties provided a full welcome aboard dinner upon everyone’s arrival on Monday, as well as a Sunday brunch.  Attendees pooled their efforts to provide the food for two potluck dinners during the week, as well as a potluck brunch preceding our drive over to South Bend on Friday.

Even though the week was pretty well packed with planned activities, there was still ample time for attendees to enjoy drives through the beautiful, rural countryside with its many well-maintained Amish farms and attend a locally produced play as well as a concert by the very talented Texas Tenors.