How Poor Were We?

Brother Dan upon reading a recent entry wondered why the heck WB did not build a house—after all, it was a new house—back in 1947 with an indoor toilet in it.  That’s a good question really that I wbhorsedon’t know how to answer.  Maybe it was just tradition.  Grandma didn’t have indoor plumbing either. This question is also related to another raised by brother Dan and that’s how poor were we back then and there.

I do think money had something to do with not have indoor plumbing and tradition might have made it easier to go without.  We did, as I said, have our own well, and WB ran pipe into the kitchen.  We had running water there and I do believe the water ran also to the washing machine.  But that part of the house—the kitchen and the little porch with the washing machine—directly adjoined the well.  So the house had water but no bathroom had been built, so no water could get to what wasn’t there.

So how poor were we?

We were so poor the rats dined out.  Ha ha.

We were so poor the roaches became cannibals. Ha ha.

I don’t know how poor we were.  I know WB went back with the idea of growing cotton and being a farmer, and that did not work out AT ALL.  He was trying to make ends meet with the assistance of a white mule. So when the house was built they just may not have had the ready money for the extra room that would have been the bathroom and for the appointments—like a toilet—that go along with a bathroom.

I don’t remember having been hungry in a really unpleasant gnawing at your stomach way, though I do remember having occasionally really wanted that last pork chop or part of it anyway.  The kitchen table, though, according to Joan, was not a proper table but a table frame to which WB had tacked a piece of plywood.  Seems as if we could have gotten a proper table from somewhere, but apparently not.  Also I did not have a proper chair or a chair proper at the table.  My seat was a nail keg.  I imagine brother, Steve, sat in a highchair as long as they could keep him there.  I don’t know what he sat on when he was big enough for a chair proper.

The hot water heater was right there in the kitchen with us and not off in its own little room as is the custom today.  We did not go in the kitchen when there was lightening because sometimes a nearby strike would cause a bolt of blue electricity to arch across the kitchen from the wiring on one side of the room to the refrigerator on the other side.

Joan also paints a pathetic picture of her driving into town, clutching me to her bosom, tied down by a rope to the front seat, because her side of the vehicle had no door.

So, overall, I think a money shortage might have had something to do with the lack of an indoor toilet.

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