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  Texas : Features : Columns : "It's All Trew"

Point of view
depends on viewing point

by Delbert Trew
Delbert Trew
Recently I refereed a serious debate between three "coffee-slurpers" who were arguing which early-day home improvement had the most significance.

All agreed first that rural electricity was number one. But what were numbers two, three and four on the scale?

The subjects being argued were running water in the home, a commode in the bathroom or the advent of butane gas piped into a home. As I listened to the comments, the old adage handed down by Grandpa Trew came to mind. "Your point of view often depends on the point from where you are viewing." Here are some good examples.

The man arguing for running water in the home finally admitted his family's hand-dug water well was located some distance from the house and since he was the youngest, everyone in his large family had the authority to order him to draw and carry buckets of water. It was easy to see how this man's experience led him to think water inside the home had the greater significance.

I remember our first water in the house came from a 3/4 inch galvanized pipe sticking up through the cabinet top with a brass faucet on the end. It was ugly but my mother was proud as a peacock about this new improvement to her kitchen and kept the brass polished and gleaming.

The man arguing a commode in the bathroom was the greatest improvement finally admitted his family's outhouse was located some distance from the house, with the path always muddy, covered with snow or a big rattlesnake guarding passage. The structure was poorly built, freezing cold in winter and stinky in the summertime. His point of view was well-founded by many unhappy experiences during his early years.

I remember we added a commode, bath tub and lavatory soon after we piped water into the house but did not add a hot water heater for some time after when butane bottles became available. To take a bath we still heated water in tea kettles and poured them into the new bathtub.

The third man arguing butane gas was the best improvement in his home described his early years of cutting and hauling wood, ashes, buckets of coal and more ashes. Filling the glass jugs with kerosene along with cleaning and refilling the lamps each day. He claimed he never went to school without smelling of wood smoke, kerosene or cow manure. Since he also ran a trap-line on the way to school, he probably smelled like skunk at times. Sure, butane was important to him because of the point from where he was recalling his chores during youth.

It's no wonder history has so many strange twists and turns among the pages. Stand three people side by side to watch an event, get them alone afterward and ask what they saw and you will receive three entirely different stories. Interestingly, each view will be the truth because each saw the event firsthand. Like Grandpa Trew said, "Your point of view often depends on the point from where you are viewing."

Delbert Trew

"It's All Trew" - April 11, 2005 column
 
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