Writins of Weakeyes Cody
Talented and witty writings
A Thing Remembered @2001
In our stampede through time we tend to leave a lot of debris in our wake. Americans, have always been innovators and new machines are ever presenting us with new and more efficient ways to produce a thing, and our comforts have also been heeded as well. Having lived in eight decades, I see so much that we no longer value that we once depended on so much. Old wash boards, flat irons, wood stoves, cast iron pots, and other forms of past housekeeping necessities grace the tables of antique shops and flea markets. Rusted farm implements slumber away the years beneath old oaks, and the barns that once housed fine harness leather, hay, corn, and grain for choice livestock, stand leaning to windward on abandoned farms where old windmills with bent and missing blades still humbly try in vain to face into the wind. I wax a little poetic when I see such sights along the Interstates as I cruise by at seventy-five miles per hour. At that speed it's hard for my mind to reckon back to 1944 and hear again the jingle of trace chains as our team of grays labored up the rolling hills pulling our months supply of needs.
True, we were behind times being a bit financially challenged back then. The more advanced farmers had more land and tractors to plow it with. But even the old International Farm all and popping johnnys, (John Deere) tractors of that day and age, are now collectors items. I vividly remember cotton pickers, cotton gins, wheat thrashers, hay bailers, and a host of other jobs of those by gone days. In the realm of creature comforts, as they are so aptly named these days, considerable progress has been made. I can recall a hand pump and a sink inside the house as being sufficient for my mother to call it a 'modern house.'
Any forced air heating we had came from through our open windows on a summer night. If you walked into my Mother's living room, you would always see her quilting frame suspended overhead. Mom always kept plenty of warm covers for us in winter.
But being an appreciator of off handed things, I would like to mention a thing that was at special times revered by us all and lingered in the scenes of rural communities for a long, long, time. That being the necessary outhouse. They came in many varieties. But my old Tennessee mule skinner step pop, insisted on the single holer each time he built one, saying there was no need for a two holer, the task at hand being a very private and personal one required no need for companionship. Moreover, he questioned always any subject two people so disposed would discuss. Only Yankees, School teachers and Republicans, would ever consider a two holer. I do recall six holers, being placed at each corner of the acreage of rural schools. But can't remember anytime ever intimately performing in tandem. So maybe the old man had a point?
Teen age boys loved to turn these small vital structures over at Halloween. Or else simply move them back a few feet so those approaching in darkness would arrive unexpectedly. I was once party to turning one over on its door only to discover the resident owner being inside. Our big decision being whether to right the thing and be attacked by its occupant, or run. We righted it then ran, hoping darkness would not reveal our identity.
Modern toilet tissue as used today, was a luxury. In fact, the ladies carried it to and fro if there was any to be had at all. But men and boys suffered through with the Sears Roebuck or Montgomery Ward catalogs. This is why men of my age still read while performing. It was an acquired habit, you see.
Kicking back in my chair with my remote control in my hand, I am made to wonder, what will the people of 2101 have to remember of the debris that they will leave behind in their rush for the betterment of mankind? Will it be so grand and glorious as the debris I have known? Or will the wake simply be strewn with plastic?
Betcha they won't have anything so cherished as an outdoor toilet.
~ Weakeyes Cody