06 September 2007

Forest to Faucet

I swear, I'm not in any way an employee or contractor for the Portland Water Bureau. But Portland's water system is an endless source of fascination for me, as has become apparent here, here, here, and most recently here.
A couple days ago my favorite water bureau blog posted an awesome history of Portland's early water system. Running water in 1857?
Shit! I'm the first generation of my family to have been born into indoor plumbing. Growing up, Mom had a cistern for their water supply that a truck came and filled every so often, and Papaw E was a miser of amazing tightness. They dug an outhouse "across the branch" when they built their house in 1952, that they used, weather permitting, well into the 1950's, even though they had indoor plumbing.
Dad's folks had a fucking telephone a good five years before they put in a bathroom, in 1968. When Dad got drafted, the barracks bathroom was the first indoor plumbing he'd ever lived with. The outhouse at the old homeplace was still in service when we sold the house in the early 90's after Mamaw D died. Thanks to absolutely no zoning, (even now in the 21st century) in Martin County, we didn't have to fill it in. We could've called it the "guest bathroom."
Is this why I love Portland's beautifully simple water system so much?

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