When I was a little girl, I was sometimes allowed to go with Dad to the “Hummi Vendyu” (Cow Auction). The energy and vibrancy of the place captivated me. We would sit on the bleachers and watch the cows barge into the ring, mooing and shoving. I was glad to be up high where they could not reach me.
The auctioneer chanted away so fast I couldn’t understand him. When someone bought a cow or lot of cows, the clerk down by the auctioneer attached a paper to a moving cable that was connected to a room behind us on the next level. I watched the paper slowly traveling up the moving cable to that room, and the clerks there would apparently process it and get the bill ready for the buyer.
Last summer I went to the same place, on horse auction day. It still had the excitement that I remember from my childhood. Retired Amish men were catching up on the latest news with their neighbors. They seemed to be uninterested in the horses – this is their social hangout, the Amish version of the local bar.
High up on the bleachers, three barefooted Amish children were enjoying the spectacle. A little girl sat beside her grandfather, just like I used to sit beside Dad. In a side room, men tangled their wits in a checkers game. My mouth watered from the savory aromas wafting up from the food court.
The cable was missing of course, no doubt replaced by some boring computer technology that is not nearly as interesting as a paper inching up a moving cable.
I think every American child should have the opportunity to visit the “Hummi Vendyu,” just like I did when I was a little girl. Monday at 10:00 is the horse auction and Wednesday is the cow auction. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
New Holland Sales Stables 101 W Fulton Street, New Holland, PA 17557