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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Davy Crockett - King of the Wild Frontier

He may have been "born on a mountain top in Tennessee," but in the mid-1950s he was definitely a hero in North Lewisburg, Ohio.  Davy Crockett, as portrayed by actor Fess Parker, hit the television screens (and remember, this was in the days of black-and-white TV) in 1954.  The program was made especially for the television market by Walt Disney Productions, and was an instant success.  From the time of the first episode, "Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter," the series made TV history.  Within a matter of days people of all ages were singing the "Ballad of Davy Crockett."  And one of the greatest mass-merchandising campaigns in history took off like a bat out of Hades - not to be equalled again until the "Star Wars" craze of the 1970s. 

Boys - and girls - were attracted to the famous coonskin cap worn by Parker during the series.  Within a relatively short time, over $100 MILLION in sales were generated by the cap!  (And remember...that's 1954 dollars, and about 6 times that in today's money!)  I was one of those kids who nagged my folks incessantly until I had one of those hats in hand - or rather, upon my head.  I wore the thing to school, while playing both outdoors and in the house, and even (on a few occasions) to bed.

I even went to great lengths to emulate my hero.  I soon owned a Davy Crockett lunch box and thermos, a Davy Crockett gun set (with cap rifle, belt, and powder flask).   For Christmas, 1955, I asked for - and got - one of the Davy Crockett "Alamo" play sets, which was manufactured by Marx.  It consisted of a bunch of plastic figures who were the defenders of the "Alamo," and a host of Mexican soldiers, horses, cannons, and other accessories to supplement the tin, lithographed "Alamo" building and mission walls.  I spent hours on the floor of our dining room, setting up the battle scene and playing with the figures and accessories.

I once knew every verse of the "Ballad of Davy Crockett," from start to finish.  I even had one of the 45 rpm records which I probably wore out on the phonograph. 

Davy appeared in four more made-for-TV movie episodes in 1955:  "Davy Crockett Goes to Congress," "Davy Crockett At the Alamo," and then the prequels "Davy Crockett's Keel Boat Race," and "Davy Crockett and the River Pirates."  These shows were so successful on the "Disneyland" show that the Disney studios did some quick patching and other editing to bring two feature-length movies to the big screen as theatrical releases.  These compilations were just as popular as the TV series had been.  And remember, this was the first chance we had to see them in color!  It was almost another decade before they returned to the TV screen in color.

Fess Parker, as "Davy Crockett," and his sidekick "George Russell", as portrayed by Buddy Ebsen, were forever associated with these characters.  Fess Parker was considered an American icon of the acting world.  He toured 13 foreign countries and 42 American cities promoting his role as "Davy."  In later years, he took on the role of "Daniel Boone" in the TV series of that name, one of the highest-rated television programs of that era.  Unfortunately, the fact that he played both "Davy" and "Daniel" kind of blurred history a bit; many people who grew up in this era confused the two characters or combined them as one.  When he eventually retired from acting, he owned and operated a 714-acre winery in California.  Fess Parker died of natural causes at the age of 85 in 2010.

Buddy Ebsen was a multi-talented entertainer (song and dance man, as well as actor) who was first slated to play the original Scarecrow in "The Wizard of OZ."  He and Ray Bolger, who was first cast as the Tin Man in "The Wizard of OZ," decided to change roles.  Unfortunately, Buddy was allergic to the special body paint which was necessary to give the character his "metal" skin.  Buddy bowed out of the picture.  He was replaced by Jack Haley.  Ray Bolger fulfilled his role as Scarecrow.  Buddy was one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood in the 1940s, earning $1500 a week with his contract (about $24,000 per week in today's money).  He went off to service in the Navy in World War II, and was later discharged as a Lieutenant.  Buddy eventually went on to great personal success in three television series:  "Northwest Passage," "The Beverly Hillbillies," and "Barnaby Jones."   He suffered from lung ailments all of his adult life, which he attributed to his ill-fated role as the metal-skinned Tin Man.  He died of pneumonia at the age of 95 in 2003.  In accordance with his wishes, his ashes were scattered at sea.

Folks who are celebrating their mid-to-late sixties birthdays undoubtedly remember the "Davy Crockett" series with fondness.  There are probably some who can still sing all 21 verses of the "Ballad of Davy Crockett."  There are probably others who still possess some of the merchandise which was marketed in the mid-1950s.  And if they do, they are holding on to some genuine treasures.

Values have been placed on some of the items from that era.  For instance, that old 45 rpm record that I wore out is now worth about $50 to collectors.  The "coonskin" cap (which was probably rabbit) is now valued at $250.  The metal lunch box and thermos now sells for about $400.  And the Davy Crockett "Alamo" set - which I once lovingly spread out across the dining room floor - is now valued at about $1000.  I sure wish I had held on to that set!

If you would like to exercise your vocal cords with your rendition of the "Ballad of Davy Crockett," I suggest you check out the lyrics (all 21 verses) on the Internet at http://www.fiftiesweb.com/tv/davy.htm  Now, everyone join in...

"Born on a mountain top in Tennessee,
Greenest state in the land of the free,
Raised in the woods so he knew ev'ry tree,
Kilt him a b'ar when he was only three.
Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the wild frontier..."

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Young Lives Lost - But Remembered Forever

War is a terrible thing, destructive, horrible, heartbreaking, and traumatic.  Almost from the time of the founding of North Lewisburg,  the town's sons and daughters have been called upon in times of war to serve and to sacrifice.  The old Roll of Honor which is painted on the wall of one of the town's retail stores on Sycamore Street has stood as mute testimony to this fact.  The new, marble Veterans Memorial on East street likewise honors these patriots who have answered our nation's call.

I would here like to pay tribute to three young men who were called upon to serve during the Viet Nam War.  These three were drafted into service during the turbulent times of the 1960s, when the war was on every one's mind.  One was a resident from within the boundaries of the community.  The other two were not residents of North Lewisburg, but were part of the greater community - those who attended school, or who were our neighbors, or who were our friends.  One name appears on the town's memorials; the other names do not.  But, each paid the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of freedom.  Each should long be remembered as patriots - young lives lost in the service of others.

Private First Class Walter L. Burroughs was born on March 13, 1947.  He attended schools in the North Lewisburg area before being called to service.  He became an infantryman, military occupational skill (MOS) 11B2P.  He was jump-certified, meaning he had completed the requirements to earn his paratrooper/airborne "wings."  He was assigned to Company B, First Battalion, 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade, in Viet Nam.  He started his tour of duty there on March 28, 1966.  He was hopeful, like so many others of his comrades, that he would complete his assignment without injury, and return home to his loved ones.  This was not to be, however.  On May 17, 1966, while on a mission in the Phuoc Tuy Province of South Viet Nam, he was killed by an enemy explosive device.  After the battle, his body was recovered and returned home to North Lewisburg for burial in Maple Grove Cemetery.  He was buried with full military honors, complete with firing squad to render the military salute.  The whole town turned out for his grave site services - Walter was the first Champaign County casualty of the war.  I was privileged to play the traditional "Taps" bugle call as part of his service.

Walter was the recipient of the Purple Heart for wounds received in action, the National Defense Service Medal, the Viet Nam Service Medal, the Viet Nam Campaign Medal, the Airborne wings, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

Corporal Carl Richard Dagger was born on October 23, 1947.  Although Urbana, Ohio is listed as his official home of record, he had attended schools in the Triad School District.  He was a member of the United States Marine Corps, and saw service as a rifleman, military occupational skill (MOS) 0311.  He was assigned to Company I, Third Battalion, 4th Marines, Third Marine Division, III MAF.  His first day "in-country" in Viet Nam was September 14, 1967.  Over the next eight months he participated in additional training and operational campaigns in South Viet Nam.  On May 17, 1968, he died as a result of hostile small arms  fire while engaged in battle in an area of South Viet Nam.  His body was recovered, and returned home for burial.

Richard was the recipient of the Silver Star, the Purple Heart for wounds received in action, the National Defense Service Medal, the Viet Nam Service Medal, and the Viet Nam Campaign Medal.

Specialist Four William Emerson Shaffer's home of record in his military service file is Cable, Ohio.  He was born on July 6, 1947.  He served in military occupational skill (MOS) 13A10, as a member of the Field Artillery.  He was assigned to Battery B, 8th Battalion, 6th Artillery, 1st Infantry Division ("The Big Red One"), USARV.  He arrived in Viet Nam on May 23, 1967, for his scheduled 12-month tour of duty there.  On May 5, 1968, less than three weeks before he was to complete his assignment, William was killed in action by enemy rocket, mortar or artillery fire while serving in the Binh Duong Province, South Viet Nam.  His body was recovered and returned home for burial.

William was the recipient of the Purple Heart for wounds received in action, the National Defense Service Medal, the Viet Nam Service Medal, and the Viet Nam Campaign Medal.

These three young men who lost their lives in this conflict are memorialized on the Viet Nam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.  The name of Walter L. Burroughs can be found on Panel 07E, Line 068.  The name of Carl Richard Dagger is incised on Panel 62E, Line 002.  The name of William Emerson Shaffer can be located on Panel 55E, Line 030.  If you, the reader, should ever have the opportunity to visit the Viet Nam Memorial Wall, please contact one of the volunteer guides there for assistance in locating the names of these men, and honor them with a few moments of quiet contemplation.

If you do not have the opportunity to visit Washington, D. C., you can still honor the memory of these men by visiting the Viet Nam Virtual Wall on the Internet at http://www.virtualwall.org/  A great deal of painstaking effort has gone into creating this fact-filled memorial in cyberspace.

And, you - the reader - probably are unaware that the names of these three men (as well as all of the other names which appear on the Viet Nam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.) are destined to live forever in real space. 

On February 7, 1999, the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) launched the "Stardust" spacecraft to pass by Comet Wild 2.  This vehicle carried, as part of its payload, sets of microchips which contained the names of 1,136,000 individuals to be remembered for "time and eternity," to include the approximately 58,000 names from the Viet Nam Memorial Wall. These names were previously collected during 1997 and embedded as data in the microchips.   "Stardust" rendezvoused with the comet in 2004.  As part of the mission, a capsule containing a full set of these microchips was then jettisoned for the return trip to earth, and landed in the Utah desert on January 15, 2006.  The recovered capsule was then taken to the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, on January 17, 2006.  The microchips were removed, and are now maintained in the Curation Facility there.

The other set of names contained on microchips are still part of the "Stardust" spacecraft, which continues on its journey through outer space.  To see where this spacecraft is today, visit the NASA Website at http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/scnow.html

Although nearly fifty years have passed since the Viet Nam War, it is comforting to know that the names of those who died there are remembered at home, on earth, and in the far-flung reaches of space.  These are fitting tributes to their memory.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Old Town Hall

For a great number of years one of the most imposing structures in North Lewisburg was the old Town Hall.  This three-story edifice was constructed in 1870, and stood for a hundred years on the south side of Maple Street in the "downtown" area.  This brick-and-mortar structure was a hub of activity for the community.  On the street level could be found retail shops and a tavern.  On the same level, but outside the normal view of the townsfolk was the jail, a sturdy, interior, boxlike area for securing the town's ne'er do wells.

The second floor area consisted of some small meeting type rooms, with a large kitchen, and a much-larger assembly hall.  This area was used by various organizations for a great variety of gatherings.  In the years following the Civil War, the veterans of that conflict - now members of the fraternal organization called the Grand Army of the Republic - held regularly scheduled meetings here.  Likewise, there were other civic affairs which took place in the hall - dinners, ice cream socials, Halloween carnivals, dances, and various holiday parties.  As time passed, the introduction of silent movies and eventually "talkies" took place in this building as the equipment was set up to project the shadowy images on one wall, or a special screen which had been installed for just that purpose.  Following World War I - "the war to end all wars" - the newly formed American Legion and its auxiliary held meetings and other events in the building.  There were a great many "fish fry" dinners which were held here over the years as fund raisers for the local American Legion Post (which was originally named after Chester F. McCrery - 1897 to 1918 -  the town's first soldier to be killed in action in France during World War I).  Local fishermen would often travel the distance to Lake Erie to catch the fish - primarily perch - which were then cleaned, battered and deep fried and served as steaming mounds on plates or sandwiches.  Often, these special dinners were part of  poker nights, where tables and chairs were set up to accommodate card players.  Beer was served, fish was consumed, and money changed hands as the evenings wore on.

One small office area of this floor was used by the American Legion for the maintenance of their membership records as well as minutes of their meetings and other activities.  There was also an armory of sorts, where racks of Springfield M1903 rifles were secured away until they were used for military parades or firing squads at military funerals. These sturdy, dependable .30-.06 caliber rifles were first introduced into the U.S. military in 1905, and were widely used during World War I.  They were supposed to be phased out of service by 1937, but were still in service when the United States entered World War II.  As a matter of fact, the trusty rifles remained in service through the Korean War, and as a sniper rifle during the early part of the Viet Nam war.  Several of the old rifles were consigned to the American Legion post for ceremonial purposes.  Today, they are housed in the new Municipal Building.

In the mid-1960s part of the second floor was also used by the young men of the local Explorer Post - an organization for older boys who were enrolled in the Boy Scouts of America.  They conducted their weekly meetings there, to include planning and preparation for their periodic excursions into the wild.

The third floor of the building was used by fraternal organizations made up of members of the community.  The Masonic order and Eastern Star order held regular meetings in this area until they acquired the old Red and White grocery store on Sycamore Street which had been owned and operated by Burleigh Woodruff.  They remodeled this building, to include the brick enclosure of the old store front in the 1960s.  In addition to the regular meetings held in this remodeled facility, there were occasionally birthday, wedding, and anniversary receptions held on the ground floor level.

Goldie Millice operated a retail store on the ground floor of the old Town Hall.  Townspeople could also pay their utility bills at her shop, and catch up on the local news.  Goldie was the town's correspondent to the Urbana Citizen for nearly a half-century.

Spike Tanner operated a barber shop for a number of years which was first located in this ground floor area of the Town Hall.  Later, he purchased a small masonry building at the end of the retail block and relocated his barber shop there.  Prior to this, it had been the site of a television and electronics shop owned and operated by Richard and Leatrice Russell.

Probably the most popular of the facilities to be located on the ground floor of the Town Hall was the tavern which was owned and operated in later years by Junior James.  He had a faithful clientele who frequented the tavern on a regular basis.  He operated a small kitchen where sandwiches and fries were prepared to supplement the patrons' favorite brews.  There was a juke box in the 1950s and 1960s which belted out the likes of Hank Williams and other country music artists.  There was an electronic bowling game which saw hard use on Friday and Saturday evenings.

For a number of years, the southwest corner of the ground floor also doubled as the town's fire department.  An interesting array of horse-pulled and combustion engine vehicles were used by the volunteer firemen to extinguish the blazes which periodically erupted in town.  Later, when the building which housed the town's movie theater was converted for the fire department, the equipment was merely moved across the street.

The usefulness of the old Town Hall faded as time passed.  It was determined that repairing and renovating the building would be too costly, so the decision was made to tear it down.  Arrangements were made to do so, and shortly thereafter the old structure was gone.  A vacant lot served as a reminder of its absence until a new furniture store was erected on that spot.

Old photos - and memories - are all that remain of the Town Hall. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Please Sign Up As A Follower

If you will take the time to notice the left-hand column of this page, you will see two areas in which the followers of my blog are listed.  The first major area lists those individuals who have signed up as followers through the Facebook networked blogs.  As I write this, there are 18 folks who have signed up as followers.  If you subscribe to Facebook but have never yet clicked on this area to become a follower, I respectfully ask you to do so.  This will help to immediately notify you when new articles are added to this blogspot, and will help to spread awareness of this site through the Networked blogs system.

The second area in this column offers you the opportunity to sign up as a Google Friend Connect follower.  As I write this, there are five listed followers.  Even if you have already signed up as a follower via the networked blogs followers process referred to above, I would appreciate it if you would also sign up as a Google Friend Connect follower.  This helps to spread awareness of this site through the Google network, and should bring more Internet traffic to this site. 

Your support of this effort will be greatly appreciated. 

The Three-Holer

I spent eleven of the first twelve years of my life in that old frame house which still stands at the corner of Sycamore and North Streets in North Lewisburg.  Mom had moved us there - herself, my sisters Charma and Norma, brother David and myself - within a few months after my Dad's death in the closing months of World War II.  Mom was the recipient of Dad's life insurance, all $10,000 - which was the amount the government paid to the war's casualties back in those days.  She decided, as a sole parent with five mouths to feed, to invest that money into suitable shelter for her brood.  The old house, lacking a decent coat of paint at the time, was solid, and well-built in spite of its age.  The old masonry addition which extended from the back of the house toward the north was generally cool, dark, and little-used.  The attic of the structure had once been heavily insulated with a firm wooden floor to support the tons of sawdust which were scattered there.  This place had once been used to store ice which had been carefully sawed from Spain Creek during the winter months.  The construction of the storage area, along with the insulating properties of the sawdust, kept a great deal of ice usable for many of the warmer months of the years.  Unfortunately, that practice of harvesting the ice and storing it away in this attic had ended many years before we took up residency in the old house.  The sawdust had remained, however, and this area became a secretive place where, as I grew older - about eight or nine years of age -  I could explore.  There was an entry door high in the northern-most side of the structure to which I occasionally climbed.  I struggled to open the door, and then entered the dark and dank long, but narrow attic room.  It had a peculiar odor, and looked foreboding, and although I usually had a flashlight with me I never strayed too far from the entrance.  It was just an interesting place to spend a few quiet moments when no one was around to keep my prying eyes away.

The old house consisted of seven rooms:  the living room at the southwest corner, with two bedrooms which extended toward the east; a dining room which was situated in the middle of the house, and two additional bedrooms - a larger one which extended to the north, and the smallest one which extended to the east; and, finally, there was a large kitchen, with a back door which opened on the east onto a concrete porch, and another door to the north which opened onto a damp, musty-smelling fruit cellar.  There were three entrances to the house - a front door with an accompanying unenclosed concrete porch which opened at the southwest corner of the house; a side door which opened onto yet another concrete porch at the west side of the house for entry into the dining room; and the back door, previously mentioned, which opened from the kitchen onto the back porch.

There was a driveway which ran adjacent to the house on the south side where the car was parked, although it was years before we ever had a car to park there  "Back in the day," Mom did not own a car; she walked to the "downtown" area to purchase her groceries, to pick up and send out her mail, and to pay her utility bills.  The local movie house provided periodic entertainment, as did a small roller-skating rink which Lionel Grauman occasionally made available in a part of his auto repair garage.  We kids traipsed off in the early morning hours to make the long walk to the elementary or high schools which were located on East and Maple Streets.  We walked in spite of the weather conditions, knowing that there was no one to transport us to or from school.  (This eventually led to the argument which I occasionally offered to my own kids in the future that if I could "walk to school in bare feet, in the rain and snow, uphill, while fighting off Indians" they could surely do likewise).

My kids and grand kids today find it hard to believe in today's era of "luxuries"  that we had no "indoor plumbing" in that old house when I lived there.  Sure, there was a white, metal,  porcelain-painted, free-standing, two-sink appliance which eventually stood there after plumbing was installed, but before that we washed dishes in a small metal bucket, and ourselves in a large, galvanized washtub using water which had been heated to near-boiling on the old kitchen stove.  The water used for these purposes was gathered from an old metal pump which stood on the concrete back porch.  There was always a bucket of water beside the pump, with a metal cup.  The cup was dipped into the water, which was then poured into the top of the hand-operated pump to "prime" it so there was enough suction for the pump to draw the water up from our rain water cistern.  Yes, that's right - rain water!  The tin downspouts on our house led directly from the roof line to a hole in the top of the cistern.  Whenever it rained -or later when snow which had been trapped on the roof and thence in the gutters melted - the liquid flowed through the system and was deposited in the concrete cistern for storage.  Our only access to that life-giving liquid was via the old pump and its ever-demanding handle.

Buckets of water were carried into the house for use in drinking, or cooking, for washing dishes, daily hand and face washing, and for that once-a-week bath on Saturday night.  Gallons of the stuff were heated up on a regular basis, then poured into that old galvanized washtub to which Ivory soap flakes and a soap bar were added to see to our hygienic needs.  (Historical note:  we used Ivory because it produced a rich, thick lather because it was "99 and 44/100% pure" according to the advertising campaign).  Waste water from cooking or washing was collected - once again in a metal bucket - and carried outside where it was unceremoniously emptied out on the lawn.

Ah, but what you ask, did we do for our toilet needs if there was no running water in the house?  We braved the elements (wind, rain, snow and dark-of-night) to walk the sixty-feet-or-so distance from the back door of the house to the outhouse - that stand-alone, wood framed, building which sat atop a pit which had been excavated for the purpose of gathering and storing human waste.  The outhouse had an entrance door at the front which could be opened.  As the user did so, he or she could step into a small four-walled chamber which had a raised platform into which two rather large holes had been cut.  The user could then (standing if a male or seated if a female) urinate into one of the available holes.  Or, if the other bodily function was necessary, the user would sit down to make use of the "facility."  On an adjacent wall could be found the occasional roll of toilet tissue - more often or not, the old, periodically-received Sears & Roebuck catalog was sitting on the platform.  It served three major purposes:  as reading material while completing the body function, as a wish book for things the reader would like to have but knew that he/she would never, ever have, and as a source of paper to finish up the process.  The waste paper - and other human by-products - left for deposit in the pit accumulated for a year or two, adding a particularly questionable aromatic environment to the outhouse.  When it became necessary to do so, the outhouse was lifted up from its temporary foundation, and moved to another location, a new pit having been dug specifically for that purpose.  The older pit was filled in with the soil, rocks and other debris which had been removed from the second pit.

Traveling to the outhouse in the dark-of-night was a particularly alarming situation.  There was no outside light to illuminate the path to the outhouse, and there was no light inside the facility to dispel the darkness.  Who knew what demons or other nighttime terrors roamed the shadows on either side of the pathway?  Who knew what evil would be lurking just inside the outhouse door, waiting to snatch some poor, unsuspecting child to the dark side?  And in the foul rainstorms of the springtime, or the cold, blustery snowstorms of the winter, it was a wet, cold, miserable trip to the outhouse.   It was best to quickly finish "the business" and to scurry back into the relative safety, shelter, and warmth of the house. 

By 1957, the size and makeup of our household had changed.  Mom had remarried.  Putt (our stepfather), and two additional kids - Cheryl and Jimmy - had been added to the fold.  Charma had graduated from high school and left to marry Lee Arnold Forrest in 1951.  David graduated from high school, and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1954. The old wood-or-coal burning stoves which were used in the living room and dining room to heat the house had been replaced with fuel oil stoves.  The back porch area had been enclosed with a sturdy addition to the house.  Indoor plumbing was installed in the kitchen, with hot-and-cold running water replacing the old vacuum pump which had graced the back porch.  The old rain water cistern was discontinued, filled in, and covered over with concrete.  But, the configuration of the rooms in the house remained the same.  We still had to make the trip outside the house and walk the pathway to make use of the "facilities."

On a hot, muggy 4th of July in that year, Putt and his father, Tom Forsythe, borrowed a truck and made a short drive into the farm country which surrounded North Lewisburg.  Putt had spotted an old, no-longer-used wood frame outhouse on one of his many excursions into the countryside.  He had negotiated a deal with the farmer to purchase the outhouse.  So, early in the morning he and Tom drove out to the site to load the purchase onto the truck.  An hour or so later they returned to our home, and backed the truck into the yard.  They labored for a few hours excavating a new pit for the benefit of the new outhouse.  As the afternoon wore on they finished the task, off-loaded the frame structure, and positioned it in place over the new pit.  Just a short time later, a fresh roll of toilet tissue was hung from the new holder, and the new "facility" was "ready for business."  The old pit was filled in, covered over with freshly-cut sod, the old outhouse loaded upon the truck for transport to the area landfill, and all was right with the world.

Only later, when the opportunity presented itself and the need was great did I open the door, step inside, and avail myself of the new surroundings.  A couple of things I noticed right away - the new outhouse was wider, taller, and generally "roomier" than the previous one.  And, it now sported three holes in that raised platform instead of the old, familiar two.  We had moved up in the world!

Historical Note:  my cousin, Betty Ruth Evans Dixon, and her husband Floyd bought this home in 1957, and our family moved "into the country" for one year before buying another home on East Street adjacent to the old high school.  Betty and Floyd remodelled one of the bedrooms in their home to accommodate a bathroom, thereby dispensing with the "three-holer."  Our house, on East Street, was the first place (at age 13) I ever lived with an indoor bathroom - believe it or not, kids.