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Re: Excerpts from How We Used To Live

I lived in Alabama from 1963 to 1972. My stepfather was a pastor, so we traveled the state a lot. I can remember some houses in Autauga County that did not have glass windows. But most of them did. There was also houses that were not painted inside or out. Some had holes in the walls and some used newspaper for wallpaper.

We visited one house that had a huge porch in the middle of the house with rooms on either side of the it. (It may have been slave quarters at one time.) Most folks did not have indoor plumbing but instead had "out houses" and used a foot tub or a galvanized tub to bathe in. I can remember one family that used the same bath water for all the children. There was another house that didn't have an "outhouse" at all.

Some of the out houses were made of untreated wood. And splinters were a
problem. Those with a little more money would put a "real" toilet in the out house and some put a toilet seat on the wood. At night they used a "slop jar" that was emptied in the mornings. (No septic tanks.)

Also those that had telephones were on a "party line" If I remember correctly, there were at least 4 families on the same line. Each phone call could be heard by all the
households. The way they knew who the call was for …was by the ring. One family had "1" short ring another may have would have "2" short rings. and another would have a long ring and still another "3" short rings.

Most had wells and a few had a pump so they could have indoor plumbing. When I left Alabama in 1972. This is the way it was......


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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