Don’t Get Rid of the Outhouse

My family grew up about a mile from the city, yet we had the convenience of indoor plumbing. Nevertheless, the old outhouse remained out back. My father must have foreseen the future, for he was blessed with his wife and four daughters. He knew what he was in for – standing in line to use the bathroom. It got increasingly worse as we became teenagers. My father would always say, “With five women in the house, the outhouse stays.”

As we grew older and moved out of the house, one would have thought he would tear the eyesore down (Mother was in hope). Again, my father was thinking. All of us live in the same city and are frequent visitors to their home. He is now blessed with four granddaughters. Our city has grown up around my parents’ home and they are now annexed into it. They have a lovely grassy yard, with bushes and a large garden spot. To the right of all this is a large wooden fence and there beside the fence stands the outhouse. It sits there like a shrine. Who knows, maybe he foresees great-granddaughters. I just know that the old outhouse will always be a part of the homestead.

Karen Collins
Laramie, Wyoming

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.