Open Session: What Readers Think

Mark Twain, Outhouses, and Voting take center stage this month.

Ty Nagle

Digging right in – Like many grandmothers, I baby-sat when my children had activities to do without their children. Fun time with grandchildren was spent baking something “yummy.” This day, it was cake with icing, and my grandson, Ty Nagle, didn’t hesitate to dig in. Susan Walter, St. Joseph, Mo.

Susan Walter

Content Tools

Mark Twain’s Missouri – I read the piece in your August issue about plans for an archaeological dig on a site outside of Florida, Mo., that was familiar to Mark Twain when he was a child (“Farm’s Mark Twain ties lead to research plan”). The short article carried me back to my visit to a Hannibal, Mo., home on the Mississippi River where Twain lived as a boy.

I visited there July 15, 1980, a date I recorded in the back of a book of poetry I purchased that day.

Barges flowed gently along the “Father of Waters,” the Mississippi River, on that hot summer day. The river was a personal acquaintance of Twain’s – he was a Mississippi River Pilot from 1857 until 1861. A towering statue of the author in a Hannibal park allows him to gaze out upon his treasured river. The inscription on it reads, “His religion was his humanity and a whole world mourned for him when he died.”

The author lived to be 75. Memories of Twain’s stories will never die, especially within older people.

Hazel Bell Nicholas
Marietta, Okla.


Fond of outhouses – I just finished re-reading the story about Mr. Elbert “Lee” Preston and his outhouse, and I admire his refusal to give up his desire for privacy (“Ohio man stalls long enough to get new outhouse,” August).

I turned 90 this year, and when I was growing up, we used an outhouse with a Sears catalog instead of tissue. For several years, I’ve wanted to build an outhouse, and this year I did, with some help from my grandson.

My new outhouse sits in my backyard. I only wanted it as a conversational piece, but it could be functional if need be.

Cecil Stoner
Sumter, S.C.

Editor’s note: Building an outhouse was no small task for Stoner, a retired Air Force veteran. He noted in his letter’s postscript that he is disabled and in a motorized chair.


Good advice – Thanks to Dr. Donohue’s advice to use selenium sulfide, my tinea versicolor fungal infection cleared up after one treatment (“Doctor’s prescription,” June). Selenium sulfide can be found in several shampoos, including Selsun Blue.

Reading Dr. Donohue’s column is well worth the annual subscription price of CAPPER’S.

Glen Kartin
Duluth, Minn.


Vote in unique election – I contributed a story about the residents of the small river town of Rabbit Hash, Ky., electing a dog as their honorary mayor (“Town elected dog into mayor’s office,” July). Recently, I learned that Junior Cochran, the dog mayor, passed away.

Now, Rabbit Hash is electing a new mayor, and this time, the candidates include 10 dogs, a cat and a donkey. New candidates are permitted to enter the race, too, provided they are residents of the town.

The election runs through Nov. 4, and anyone may cast a ballot by paying $1. Voting is available through the Web site www.RabbitHashUSA.com, and there’s no limit to the number of votes an individual may cast. Pro­ceeds will benefit the Rabbit Hash Historical Society.

Kerri Williams Boyle
Cleves, Ohio


Open Session

We welcome letters from readers. If you have an opinion or comment on an article you saw in CAPPER’S that you’d like to share, send it to Open Session, CAPPER’S, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265.