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Sit and Think

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There isn't much left of the good old days when most of America lived on the farm. But what is left is usually prized by

its owner. Hy oldenberg owns a prized piece of Americana, several of them in fact..the most extensive collection that we know of anyway of outhouses in the country. And fine specimens all they are all in a row near his Huntington home.

“Oh I take a lot of ribbing,” says Hy Goldenberg, “but I enjoy it every bit of it, oh yea. Its really wonderful.”

What Goldenberg admires most about his collection is the history each of these little houses represents. The crapper held a lofty position among the possessions of the early American farm family.

“They took a newspaper,” he says, “they also had to take a lantern or candles or something like that and then they would sit and think or plan or plot or do whatever they wanted to.”

And how many great thoughts, grandiose plans and grand schemes were hatched in these humble houses. How much of who we are do we owe the American outhouse? Hy Goldenberg says he doesn't know. He remembers being pretty miserable at times when he was a kid

“Because the wind would roar through it when it was minus degrees or whatever or snow where you had to dig your way through or in the heat of day or night.” he explains.

Among the rarities in Goldenbergs collection, an ancient cement outhouse for railroad workers. And his prized privy, a government design built during the Depression to promote rural sanitation. It sports adequate ventilation, a spring loaded seat and ceramic pot. Designed and conceived by the Roosevelt administration wisecracking republicans called it the FDR or the Eleanor. Goldenberg says he has no interest in returning to those good old days when outhouses were widely used, times were too tough he says. He just wants to keep a few of them around to remind future generations of what it was like once upon a time. From Huntington, Indiana Eric Olson reporting for ABC news.

Eric Olson

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