The Goats of Kinzers (Part I)
Kinzers, Pennsylvania is a community in the Amish country, just a bit east of Paradise, PA. Kinzers was named after Harry Kinzer, a descendant of Huguenot settlers, and was founded in 1835. Located along the historic Lincoln Highway, Rte. 30, it is known to many who travel this stretch of the state which is really one of the only routes between the central PA and Philadelphia. Seems I've always lived along Rte. 30, ever since my toddler days in central Ohio, to York, PA, to West Chester (30 or so miles west of Phila.), to the University of PA in Phila., to Ohio again for a job, to the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh for another job - there it was at every turn, that very well traveled highway which runs from Oregon to New jersey. Anyway, it has been a seriously important road for me, and no doubt many others.
I first met the Goats of Kinzers when I headed out from my home town of York to give college another shot at West Chester State University. They appeared on the north side of the highway, seemingly effortlessly clinging to the walls of an abandoned quarry which was enclosed by a high chain link fence. I remember pulling off the road to gaze at this sight. I must admit that I'd never seen a goat close up before - much less a goat who is clinging to the steep side of a quarry, long since abandoned and filled with water.
In an effort to learn a little more about these critters, I decided to go to Kinzers and ask around. This led me to a breakfast fundraiser at the Kinzer Fire Company, which apparently owns the property where the goats are kept. And so I sat at a table with some men a little older than me (I am 61) and tried not to be so crazy as to ask them about those goats (I totally failed in this) . Really, I had prepared in advance by calling the fire house to get a name or two to pursue. But these men I was eating a fundraiser breakfast with were not very well acquainted with the goats.They were mildly interested in the clinging to the walls thing, but otherwise, these gentlemen were there to eat I wasn't deterred.