Sunday, January 7, 2018

Business card for the late "Jakey Budderschnip" of Noodle Doosie

On the heels of last week's post about the Soudersburg Motel, here's another vintage Lancaster County business card. It's the calling card of Pennsylvania Dutch folk humorist Jakey Budderschnip.

"Jakey Budderschnip" was the stage name of Melvin J. Horst, who lived from 1928 until 2008. Here are some excerpts from his obituary, which was written by Larry Alexander and published on March 8, 2008:
An icon of Lancaster County tourism and heritage is gone.

Melvin J. Horst, aka Jakey Budderschnip, died suddenly Wednesday at his home on Mount Sidney Road in Witmer. He was 79.

A photographer for more than 50 years and founder of Folk Craft Center and Museum in Witmer, Horst, along with Elmer Lewis Smith, researched and supplied the photos for more than 40 pictorial books on local Pennsylvania-German lore. ...

"There were four or five key individuals back in the 1950s who were instrumental in sparking the local tourist industry," Eric Conner, marketing director of Amish Farm and House on Route 30, said Thursday. "Mel was the last of them. He really helped open up the doors of Lancaster County tourism back then because not many books were written about the Amish and local heritage."

Born in Brownstown, Horst was a photographer for the U.S. Army Signal Corps during the Korean War.

After his military service, he worked as a photographer for Armstrong World Industries and attended Albright College, graduating in 1957 as president of his class.

About the same time, Horst turned his camera lens on Lancaster County, shooting photos of the Amish, covered bridges, farms and other sights that make the county unique.

Fluent in Pennsylvania Dutch, he began immersing himself in local heritage, which led, in 1972, to his opening Folk Craft Center and Museum. In 1998, Horst opened Folk Craft Center Bed-and-Breakfast on the site of the center.

In 1990, Horst created a 52-minute video titled "The Amish," which included images he took as a boy at 14 using a Kodak box camera.

In 1968, Horst added humorist to his resume when he introduced his alter ego, Jakey Budderschnip of Noodle Doosie, a quick-witted Pennsylvania Dutchman with an overly thick accent.
You can see many of the books that Horst provided photographs for at the Folk Craft Center's website. These are very familiar, I think, to anyone who's spent time in a gift shop or bookstore in Lancaster County.

And what about Noodle Doosie, the home of Budderschnip? It's a real place. Or it was a real place. It now goes by the far-less-interesting name of Napierville and it's located in West Earl Township, Lancaster County.

Again we turn to former Lancaster journalist (and colleague of mine for a short time) Larry Alexander, who first wrote about Noodle Doosie around 1993 and followed it up with a 2008 piece on Here are some excerpts:

I wrote a story about Noodle Doosie some 15 years ago, and it became something of a sensation nationally. Shortly after it was published, an Associated Press story about the town also appeared, followed by stories from other news services. The world experienced Noodle Doosie-mania.

The place is easy to find. Just turn onto Hahnstown Road from Route 322 east of Ephrata. Continue to Napierville Road and turn right. Follow Napierville Road to the "T" intersection with Landis Road. Stop your car and get ready to high-five because you are in downtown Noodle Doosie. ...

Pennsylvania-German folklore regarding how the village earned its name involves two overeager men who got into trouble "noodling" with the same woman.

Since its founding in the mid-1700s, Noodle Doosie has spawned enough colorful characters to resemble a Pennsylvania Dutch version of Hooterville.

My favorite is a former Hessian soldier named Gen. Willembrock, who settled there about 1800. About 30 years earlier, while fighting for England in the American Revolution, Willembrock had been captured at either the battle of Saratoga or Trenton, or possibly both. After the war, he decided to stay in America.

Every Saturday night, Willembrock rode his horse to a nearby tavern named Die Rotie Kuh, the Red Cow, which still stands at Red Run and Fivepointville roads. There, at 3 cents a drink, he proceeded to prove that Germans invented beer and beer-drinking.

One night, too inebriated to get on his horse unaided, he was loaded onto it by some of the young bucks of the village. Since the horse knew the way home, they slapped its rump and sent it off, with Willembrock hanging on.

Meanwhile, the young men ran ahead to a stone bridge that spanned Muddy Creek, arriving before the general. They donned white sheets and hid beneath the structure until the general's horse arrived. Then they sprang out in surprise. The horse reared up and galloped away, carrying the pickled general, who hurled unprintable German words loudly into the night.
Check out Alexander's article for more about Noodle Doosie.

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