The Outhouse, variously dubbed "Private," "White" or "Red," (depending on the color) was the source of protection from dishwashing, floor scrubbing, and/ or punishment.
Number one was the home outhouse. Last year's Montgomery Ward or Sears catalogue afforded hours of browsing entertainment. The usefulness was evident by the absence of the black and white softer sheets, leaving only the heavier colored pages to read. Two catalogues put one in the "rich" class.
Number two was the outhouse at school. It was, of course, much larger with a single door in the high board fence in front, and no doors at the openings to the stalls. As I remember, there were five stalls, with a catalogue in each. We were lined up outside and allowed five in at a time. Teachers took turns at supervising, as at playground duty. On cold days, depending on the wind and the number needing to "go," we were sometimes packed inside the fence for protection. At other times, we were kept inside and the allotted number sent from the cloakroom. There was, I suppose, a duplicate for the boys.
Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.
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