jerry whited

Remember that little building out behind the house, the one with the half-moon cut out on the door? As the years pass by I’m afraid more and more will not know what we are talking about when we mention the “outhouse.”

They were very necessary additions to the landscape a few years ago. They were placed about 100 yards away from the main house, preferably to the east or west, never directly north or south. Nevertheless, they were 100 yards too far in the winter, 100 yards too close in the summer.

It was all we had before indoor plumbing came along. They were one-hole or two-hole “privies,” although those using them almost exclusively were alone. A hole is dug and the little house placed on top of it. The half-moon allowed for ventilation and light.

I don’t know if we couldn’t afford tissue, but I remember using the Sears and Roebuck catalogues or newspaper. It was inconvenient, but if it’s all you’ve got you make do and don’t think about it. A lot of hi-jinks went on, such as seeing someone go in and throwing rocks at it, or even turning it over. The older boys found one and put it out on the town square for Halloween.

There was always a worry about wasps and spiders, and even at times find some critter such as snakes, skunks or opossums making it their shelter. Ah, those were the days.

Nature calls everyone – people of every religion, of color or social status. Even U.S. Presidents. I read in Vintage Magazine that some have been preserved: Washington, Adams, Hoover and Johnson and others.

I’m glad to reminisce, but I’ve thankful for indoor facilities.