Outhouse Was a Great Place to Read

I will never forget our old three holer out back. A “Papa,” “Mama,” and a “Kid” one. As a child and on up I was, and still am, a great one to read. My parents never objected to my reading, so that is no excuse. But after dark I’d take the kerosene lantern, hang it on the door, take along a good supply of reading material and set and read out there by the hour. Summers I’d read till the mosquitoes drove me in, and winters I’d take some old coats to wrap around my legs and shoulders to help keep warm till my mother yelled it was bedtime.

Why that smelly old place was so attractive when our nice warm house was so much more comfortable, I’ll never know. That old three holer still stands. If only it could talk. 

Ethel Olson
Hixton, Wisconsin

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.