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WPA-"The Outhouse"

Story ID:5799
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA USA
Year:1940
Person:Chelsea Kansas Kid
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WPA-"The Outhouse"




WPA
Many years ago
In 1935
Some barely able
To survive

Franklin Delano Roosevelt
With his New Deal
Started the Works Progress Administration
The unemployment he tried to heal.

The WPA hired many men
With a shovel ready project
To build buildings for the farmers
They were hired to erect.

This one is from the Manka farm
Built in 1936, you see
Starting to fall to decay
When I took this picture in 1993

After sixty years of weathering
Lilac bushes are now dead
The edifice is atilting
But still rears its ugly head.

This monumental building
Was about thirty yards from the front door
In a snow storm, or a driving rain
Created problems galore

To wait for the storm
To abate
Some times
You just couldn’t hesitate.

Donning overshoes, raincoat or overcoat
With a nail on the outhouse door
You raced against the weather
Toward the outhouse you tore

Undressing was
Another chore
Taking off the overcoat
Sometimes fell on the floor.

Below zero weather
The frost covered the throne
Trying not to melt the frost
Sometimes couldn’t be done.

Toilet paper
You must be kidding me
Sears roebuck catalog
Was our paper you see.

I look back at the outhouse
And wonder how I survived
But along with millions of others
Who are still alive

Can appreciate
And are here to say
But for
FDR and the WPA

We would have been left to
Those spider, wasp, fly ridden sheds
Those ram shackle buildings
And be living in dread

Of taking care of business
In comfort, I say
Thank you FDR
For your WPA.

Monte L. Manka 10-09-09