A Little Twig from Ladonia (My Family Tree)
By Mary Katherine James Dowell -- 1987
Provided by Glenn Ann Dowell Hunt
More Memories and School Days -- (1 of 3)
Before Ladonia got sewerage everyone had an "outhouse" behind their home, in the back yard. Ours was in the wash yard. A big black washpot stood on bricks. The clothes lines were here too. The wash pot was to boil the clothes in after they had been scrubbed on a washboard in a galvanized tub. You also used your wash pot to render your lard in when you butchered your hogs. You also make your lye soap in it. A real handy and necessary item - the wash pot.
Anyway, our outhouse had class. A wisteria vine ran upon a trellis in front of the door to partially conceal it. The house was a "two-seater" and even had a little step in front of one of the seats so a child had no trouble in climbing upon the seat. It had two small windows high up on the sides. These were to let in light when the door was closed. This made for good reading. There were always plenty of books and magazines in handy reach. The most popular, of course, was Mr. Sears and Roebuck. You could sit there for hours and plan what you were going to buy when you grew up and got rich. It made a good "hideout" too, when there were dishes to wash or other chores that did not appeal to you.
Ladonia began to grow and the ditch digging machines were moved in, along with the workers. The sewer lines were being laid.
My friend, Maxine, and I were the chief supervisors. I don't believe they would have ever made it without us. When they had begun to lay the line on Church Street we would sit down by the edge of the machine and as the dirt was dug out we would let it cover our legs. When it got nearly to our knees, we'd jerk our feet out and begin all over again.
One day Maxine was playing the game by herself and she let the dirt get too far up her legs and when she tried to pull her legs out, she could not. She was stuck tight! She began to scream but the men could not hear her and the dirt kept coming. Nearly to her waist! I shudder to think what would have happened if a neighbor, Mr. Miller, had not walked out on his porch and seen her. They immediately stopped the machine and dug her out. Needless to say, that was the end of that game.
I put Mother Roan in business during the sewerage installation. We were riding our horse in the north part of town during the beginning of the work. One of the workers asked did we know any place where he could get board and room. I told him probably my grandmother would let him have a room.
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Her mother's book provided to us by:
Glenn Ann Dowell Hunt