Privy Thoughts

Photo courtesy of Randal L. Hall.

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Privy Thoughts

by Randal L. Hall
Southern Cultures, Vol. 15, No. 2: Summer 2009

"I stood on the back porch and gazed across the fresh spring grass toward the squat little outhouse nestled at the edge of the meadow, behind the old chicken coop. All outdoor toilets are not the same, and ours has some unusually fine qualities."

I flushed with excitement. After generations of anticipation, the house finally had a functioning toilet.

Naomi and I had worked toward this moment for six of our nine years of marriage—ever since my grandparents’ old farmhouse in Carroll County, Virginia, came to us in 2000, shortly after my 93-year-old paternal grandfather died of lung cancer (following about eighty-six years of smoking). The house in Fancy Gap brought with it many blessings, including a deep well with minerally, cold water that blasted straight into the kitchen through a creaky faucet. That was it for the plumbing. Indoors, that is.