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 Texas : Features : Columns : Spunky Flat and Beyond :

THE LITTLE HOUSE OUT BACK

by George Lester
George Lester
When we sold the Lorena farm and moved to Spunky Flat we said goodbye to indoor toilets for many years. There is something about a privy out behind the house. It isn't good. For one thing, you can freeze your backside off during the winter. During all that time we did without indoor plumbing I longed for the creature comfort of taking care of business inside. With my grand father, it was just the opposite.
Old outhouse in Texas
An outhouse nearly obscured by bloodweed in the ghost town of Perry.

Photo courtesy George Lester
All his life he preferred the old fashioned way. As modern society advanced, the rest of the family rejoiced when a new bathroom was installed inside the house. My grand father would have no part of it. He refused to give up his old-fashioned ways and continued to use the facility outside. Once he asked my grand mother if he could have cabbage for dinner. She said it was out of the question because it would stink up the house. He pointed to the bathroom and asked why it was all right to do that in the house but cooking cabbage was prohibited (I cleaned that up a bit)

After what seemed like a lifetime with out modern conveniences my father decided it was time to join the twentieth century. We had to dig trenches for the water and sewer lines and that was no easy task. At that time we lived in Gladewater atop an iron ore hill. We slaved away for days chipping through tons of rock before the excavation was ready for the pipes. When it was all done I could hardly contain myself, anticipating the thrill of using this wondrous new innovation. I went into the bathroom, flushed the commode and then ran down the hill to listen for the sound of the water spilling into the septic tank.

Somewhere in the land there was probably a symphony orchestra playing Rachmaninov's "Piano Concerto #2 In E flat minor", but that splash was the most beautiful music in the world to me.
George Lester
Spunky Flat and Beyond - A Memoir >

September 14, 2006 column
 
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This page last modified: September 14, 2006