If you use Facebook I am sure you have seen this before. If you have used one you are going to know where I am coming from but if you have not I may be hard to follow.
My story begins in Lafe, Arkansas in the 50s. My grandparents had a farm located here. They lived in an old farmhouse with out running water and ………NO BATHROOM! Yep you heard me right, no bathroom.
Now it just so happens that they did have an outhouse. Because of their glamorous aroma, especially in the hot weather months, the outhouse was located some distance from the house. Did I mention that it didn’t have electric in it. Anyway ours wasn’t just any old outhouse. No siree! It was a genuine two hole privy. Not just one hole by two! Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit, we were styling.
Or were we. Now if you have never seen a two hole privy let me tell ya, the holes ain’t that far apart and there is no divider or stall like you see in the public bathrooms today. Nope, just two holes cut in a piece of wood. However my grandpa had installed a couple of real toilet seats which added some comfort. Now for the life of me I can not, CAN NOT, imagine two people sitting there, that close together, beside each other having their morning bowel movement. I read that back and it even sounds sick. I don’t ever recall seeing two people coming out of the outhouse together. One hole would have been enough.
Grandparents old house.
Now when I was knee high to a grasshopper I became acquainted with my grandma’s tom turkey. Now he had somehow figured out that I was terrified of him. Now in my defense, if you have never seen an old tom all puffed up and strutting his stuff and coming at you don’t pass judgement on me. I am here to tell ya that will scare the devil out of you especially when you are only 5.
Now every time I had to go to the bathroom that old tom would be between me and the outhouse. I need to explain something at this point. When a guy is headed for the outhouse that can only mean one thing because there were plenty of trees to tinkle behind. Ok now that I explained that, when you have had a big plate of biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast time is of the essence. It is dangerous to be playing around at this time.
Another view of the old farmhouse.
My grandparents got running water in 1970. All the kids, there were nine, chipped in and had a well drilled for them. Then five years later my uncle and I put a bathroom in the old farmhouse for them. I remember one visit in the summer not long after we installed the bathroom, I saw grandma grab the TP and head for the barn (outhouse had finally succumbed to gravity). I asked her why she didn’t use the bathroom and she said it was too “purty” to mess up. That winter when I was down visiting and the snow was whirling she used the inside bathroom. I guess the bathroom wasn’t that “purty after all.
I had a lot of fun on the farm. I wish my son would have been able to experience some of the things that happened on the farm. It was a great time in my life that I will always cherish and Grandma White, well she was a saint and the sweetest person you ever met.
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