by Linda Heistman
As a product of the pre-internet generation, I’d be the first to admit that I think reliable research should come from a variety of resources.
Yes, the internet is one research tool. But, there are many others, including books, journals and editorials, as well as interviewing people in the know.
Personally, I would much rather trust a high stack of overdue books from the library, than the not-so-trustworthy internet.
But, in a pinch for time or when the library is not open and curiosity gets to me, I do use the search engine on my computer to try to find out information on various subjects. I try to stick to sites that have seemed to prove to me to be fairly trustworthy, and www.wikipedia.com usually comes through for me.
Although even then I find myself searching other sites to verify the information.
I often hear interesting stories from the participants of the Senior Health, Activity and Recreation Program (SHARP) during one of our Wednesday programs.
By Wednesday evening, I find myself looking something up to see if I can get more information about what’s been said.
One example was when some of the seniors were talking about how as children, they used outhouses because they had no indoor toilet.
Now most of us who hike, hunt and/or camp know what an outhouse is and have used them when necessary.
But most of us would probably cringe at the thought of having to use them regularly, especially in the winter!
With no offense meant to my senior friends, it seemed to me that outhouses should have been out of date before WWII. I mean, according to Wikipedia.com, the car was invented in the mid to late 1800’s, with the Model T coming into existence in 1907 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car).
Of course, the average person did not own a car until much later. But my point is that improving transportation was apparently more important than, well, where one did one’s business.
I was surprised to find that the indoor toilet; although a lot of inventions were patented for this, it did not become very common in the U.S. until the early 1930’s and this convenience did not reach some areas until after WWII.
Although it seems odd to me to actually know people who used outhouses as their bathrooms, I say this cautiously, because I realize there are probably children out there who would find it hard to believe that I know what it is like to live without the internet and cell phones. And I even remember learning to type on a typewriter and, as a child, living in a time before microwave ovens!
While working in a nursing home, I often took free time to talk to the residents. On one occasion, some of them told me of a Halloween “tradition” where youngsters would knock over outhouses for fun. Some of our SHARP participants also verified these stories. Although they adamantly state that they were not involved in this practical joke, they say they may have had siblings and/or peers who were.
SHARP is a free program offered to all independent senior citizens from Woodgate to Raquette Lake. We meet at Niccolls Memorial Church in Old Forge from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday. Lunch during our regular
Wednesday sessions is provided by the Community Health & Wellness Fund (formerly the Town of Webb Health Center Fund.)
For more information, call or text (315) 225-7553, or email email@example.com. Check our Facebook page anytime for updates. Search: SHARP