Life was simple

by Peter Twitchell

I remember growing up in the village of Bethel. My parents David and Sarah Twitchell lived on the upriver south side of Bethel. Back in the 1950s life seemed simple. There was no delivered water or fuel. There was no sewage evacuation, but there was an “outhouse” behind our house. That’s what they called it.

There was no “latrine” or “lavatory”. These are just fancy words meaning toilet with running water, like “bathroom” and “restroom”.

There was a cool word though, a “night chamber” where you went potty or point blank poop. Mom sure used a lot of pinesol to clean and sanitize it. Gallons upon gallons of pinesol went into the sewage lagoon until 50 years later when we had flush toilets.

See technology was always there to take advantage of gravity. The Civil Aeronautics Administration and Army/Airforce base had running water, showers, and flush toilets just a half mile from where my folks lived down the road in the 1940s across from Bethel.

I guess it wasn’t feasible for them back then, or certain restrictions in place for hazardous waste disposal.

Some things we take for granted in this day and age is still non-existent in some dwellings in bush Alaska!

I was always amazed at some new products like granulated sugar when it was made into teaspoon size small square cubes. I don’t see some of those kind of products today.

I rarely consume visible sugar anymore, unless it is hidden in sauces and foods.

It’s amazing how some things never change like milk for example. I still believe it comes from a cow. How about one day there are no more cows. What then?

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