Friday, August 11, 2006

Monster House

Arkansas Outhouse Built in 1947
Rosie, Arkansas on Highway 14
(Photo from J. Searing)

This Arkansas outhouse stands just outside the small town of Rosie, which lies southeast of Batesville, an old White River town located where the Ozarks meet the flatlands. My maternal grandmother grew up partly in the White River Hills, the hollows where some of our Cherokee ancestors had found isolation and security, but mostly in the small, remote town of Zion, about 25 miles into the Ozarks from Batesville and not far from Melbourne. For a visual tour of the general area, see the Exploring Izard County blog.

But don't be fooled by the quaint photo above or the lovely scenes on the Exploring Izard County blog. The Ozark outhouse was truly a monster house.

Within its darkness awaits a gaping hole emanating the odor of evil and threatening to swallow your most vulnerable parts, but that's hardly the worst of it. No, the worst arrives when your eyes have adjusted just enough for you to glance up and dimly perceive, nestled against the ceiling over your head, watching you ... closely, intently, viciously, wasps.

Sometimes the heavy dull-red kind that you'd watched circling the sanctuary air during those hot Sunday preachings, other times the more agile black-and-yellow striped kind that could fly like hot darts at your eyes ... from nests as big as a large frying pan.

And all you could do in self-defense was remain gravely still ... like some poor dead mensch sitting.

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At 3:07 AM, Blogger Al-Ozarka said...

" glance up and dimly perceive, nestled against the ceiling over your head, watching you ... closely, intently, viciously, wasps."

Wow! Just the other day my daughter and I went to an old church nearby and took some shots of it...and...its outhouse!

As God is my witness, as I snapped my last shot--my daughter squealed!

She was stung twice by yellow-jackets. I got it once, myself, while coming to her rescue!

Amazing post!

Thanks for stopping by the Exploring Izard County site. I'm humbled at your link.


D.Daddio Al-Ozarka

At 4:20 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

D.Daddio Al-Ozarka, thanks for stopping by. I wondered if you might notice my link to your photos.

I really enjoyed the pictures, especially those of the Sylamore Hills. I used to ride my bicycle the 25 miles from Salem to Melbourne just so I could ride up into the Sylamore Hills for the scenery.

And that was in the summertime, with its oppressive 100+ heat and 90+ humidity! I was young, crazy, and a little bit stupid, but at least I got to see the beauty up close.

Seeing your photos brought back the memories. I hadn't seen all of the places, but I'd been to a lot of backwoods areas from hiking on my own, getting around on my bicycle, and working out of Salem as a chainman for Jim Scott's surveying team when I was 19.

Again, thanks for dropping by ... and keep posting on your photo blog.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 1:01 AM, Blogger Al-Ozarka said...

Cheers, Jeffery!

You'll be glad to know that we have lots of bikers riding the hills nowadays. We're even attracting a few events from time to time.

A lot of folks enjoy the sceney along the highways and I'm proud enough of the Ozarks to share some of the more intimate places within it.

Don't be a stranger!


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