Outhouse Hideout

A number of years ago the Santa Fe Railroad had a small passenger train that stopped in our small community in Oklahoma. We affectionately called it the “doodlebug.”

We had an elderly neighbor who lived with his daughter who needed to make a trip to Kansas City to be with her daughter during childbirth. She didn’t want to leave her dad alone, so despite his protests she had arranged for him to ride the “doodlebug” to Shawnee to stay with relatives.

As the hour drew near for the doodlebug to make its local stop, the old gentleman became more adamant about not making the trip. The daughter was determined he should go, but while she was busy, this clever old fellow slipped out to the outhouse and locked himself in. All her pleading and tears were to no avail.

The doodlebug came and went, but it was minus one elderly passenger who used the outhouse as a much-needed sanctuary.

Peggy Whitt
Burbank, Oklahoma

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.