March 5, 2011


2 Vintage Outhouse Pictures Bathroom Privy Poster PrintMany people my age have not experienced as many of the old time ways. One of them was an outhouse. I moved to my grandmothers who was very frugile. The cost of adding a bathroom was something she was putting off till they had a good crop of cotton. Outside toilet is what we called ours. I had lived in a house with a bathroom in Michigan. Wayne, a suburb of Detroit. You could actually see Detroit skyline from Winifred Street, that was the street my Aunt and Uncle lived on. The bathroom in our house on Morley in Wayne was not much better than the outside toilet in my next home five miles from downtown Lexington Alabama. Mama was really not a homemaker by the time I was potty trained. Daddy was no Tim the tool man either. Wine took the handyman out of him in those days, before the banker came and put all our furniture into the yard. Water was inches deep in the floor from all my recollection of that bathroom. I walked through that water barefooted so often that my toes were split deep and would bleed. Maybe that is why I remember peeing in the yard alot.
When we arrived in Alabama Grandmother took us to her house to live. It was time for her to rescue us. She did in her take control serious manner. She took great pride in the task she had taken on. The house seemed huge to me. It was white sided, the kind of siding that broke if it was hit with a rock. The porch was all the way across the house and had the square brick things that held the studs that held the porch up.
Still Waiting Outhouse Art Print Picture Framed 8x10The house did not have a bathroom which to me was not that big of a deal. I had went outside alot up north because of my toes; it hurt to walk in the water that stood in the bathroom. I was really a bit afraid of the outhouse when I heard an adult tell a story about a snake they saw hanging on the rafters at the ceiling. It was a two seater which made it an upscale outhouse. The smell was, well there was a smell. A trick that was common to hide the smell was to build them close to the pigpen. This made the smell blend and it was hard to tell if it was the pigs or the outhouse. Going out there after dark was not an option for me. I would not, I was scared of my own shadow. The great thing was that Grandmother had a chamber pot to go with every bed. One of her pet peeves was she really did not want us to poop in the pot. I was constantly scared that I was going to not be able to carry out her wishes. Getting in trouble with my grandmother was something I never wanted to do. It was soon after we moved to Alabama that her approval was my main purpose in life. I had to make her like me because she feed me and keep my bed dry. Her going to town without me was like the end of the world to a seven year old that had been cold and hungrey the better part of those seven years. She had even made a riffle to get a bathroom in the old house. It was being built when it the house burnt down. After the old house was destroyed a new house was built with a great indoor bathroom. The new little brick house was like a mansion to me.


  1. You have an amazing way of writing your memories and recollections. Even the most insignificant things to most of us(like the bathroom)you can make us sit up and listen! You REALLY need to get all of these stories/memories written down in a book. I am a serious ...your writings are amazing!

  2. I recall those outhouses, one and two seaters, some with quarter moons cut in the door but most without. Thankful for indoor plumbing although most things from the old days bring nostalgia and fond memories.