There’s nothing like a good rumor. About a year ago my newspaper editor told me that Harm’s Manufacturing, a machining and repair business in Bertha, had been sold. Since I’d done an article about the business prior to that, my editor suggested that I do a follow-up with the new owner. When I called to arrange an interview, the old owner answered the phone. He said a sale of the business was, “news to me.” I asked him a couple more questions and all he would say was, “It’s news to me.” That rumor of the business being sold was obviously untrue. The Harms brothers are still working to fix “anything but broken hearts and the break of day.”
A new Bertha rumor is that the former Mattress Factory, a building that has been sitting idle for a few years, has new Amish owners.
I set out to find the facts on this one. I drove up to the front door, noting the “sold” sign. I expected to see buggy tracks in the gravel drive or maybe even a gathering of buggies which would have made for a great photo. No sign of narrow wheel tracks or hoof prints. In fact, no one was to be found.
I figured the grocery store would be a great source of information but the clerk was a young lady who didn’t know the goings-on of the community. “Check with Vicki; she’s in back,” she said. I traversed the narrow grocery aisle, my footfalls echoing on the old wood floor.
I found Vicki and asked her if the Amish community had purchased the Mattress Factory. She told me who had bought it. It wasn’t the Amish. That rumor, too, was untrue. Vicki said I should check across the street. The mechanics there would know more. They did, but they weren’t telling.
I stopped back at the Mattress Factory a few days later. A pick-up was parked out front, the door stood open. I went in. Music blared from a boom box several rooms away. I wandered through fresh sawdust from empty room to empty room, helloing as I went. While it was obvious that someone was working to get the building ready for something, I didn’t find any one to answer my questions. I’m going to have to do a little more investigating to find out what the new owner’s plans are. I do know who to call.
Since this is a blog and I’d love to have some input from readers, I’m writing this while I know some, but not all, of the facts. Why don’t you tell me what you’ve heard? There’s nothing like a good rumor.