Monday, August 14, 2017

Bathrooms, Outhouses, and Bodily Functions

My post about cookbooks last month was quite popular–considering that I don't cook!  It was the titles of the cookbooks that accounted for the popularity of the post.  My post this month is about bathrooms, outhouses, and bodily functions!  And, according to my friends and my family, I must be quite the expert on  bathrooms and bodily functions–considering the number of times I go.  As for outhouses, some men have pinups of scantily clad women hanging on their walls.  Me?  I have a picture of an outhouse!


I'm not the first bibliophile to collect books about bathrooms.  The Johnsonian, Herman W. "Fritz" Liebert (1911-1994), the first librarian of the Beinecke Library at Yale, collected books whose titles were associated with bathroom practices or bodily functions.  And he kept his books in the Leibert Lavatory Library at the Beinecke.    His pride and joy, and probably the cornerstone of  his collection, were two copies of Charles Lindbergh's book, We, placed next to each other....

I have one book from Liebert's Lavatory Library in my Bathrooms, Outhouses, and Bodily Functions Collection.  It is titled, With Those Who Wait....  And Liebert  pasted his bookplate on the front pastedown.

Besides collecting bookplates, my friend Lew Jaffe, the Bookplate Junkie, collects books about the history of bathrooms as well.  He has Liebert's Lavatory Library bookplate.  And he wrote about the bookplate and posted a list of his bathroom books  on his Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie blog post back in 2010:

I have three books about the history of bathrooms, including one which Lew has:   The Complete Loo: A Lavatorial Miscellany by Roger Kilroy, London:  Greenwich Editions, 1984.

Before there were WCs, lavatories, heads, outhouses, johns, jakes,  heads, privies, or whatever you want to call bathrooms, it was dangerous, as this ilustration from The Complete Loo shows, to walk the streets at night.

The Bathroom Companion  below contains translations of the most urgent query in the world.  And if you can't pronounce the translation, just resort to this universal language: cross your legs, put one hand inside your pants Napoleon-style, and point desperately anywhere with your other hand, all while displaying a look of anguish on your face.

And if the universal language doesn't work, just say, "I gotta pee!"

Baths and bathing appear to be the primary topics of discussion in Frank Muir's book in his "almost complete social history of the bathroom."

My friend George Spiero wrote about  public bathrooms when he was President of the Florida Bibliophile Society way back in 1998.  And he even quoted Aldous Huxley!

Those are coffee stains, by the way....

Some of the bathrooms George mentions in his diatribe are long gone.  And so is the Biltmore Hotel for that matter.  George is no longer a member of the Florida Bibliophile Society.  In fact, George no longer lives in Florida; he moved to South Carolina.  So I am "the last of the bookies."  That, however, is another story.

I have done some of my best reading in the john, and have lots of reading material close by.  My library is right next to the john.  And my books about bathrooms, outhouses, and bodily functions are stored in a bookcase in the hallway outside the bathroom.

I used to keep these two volumes in the bathroom.  But they're too heavy to hold comfortably while–you know what I mean.  And to tell you the truth, the print is too small.  But the books themselves contain a plethora of information about anything and everything.

Here's four more bathroom books on assorted topics, or, as the subtitle of The Giant Bathroom Reader says, "a compendium of useless knowledge, hilarious facts, and bizarre trivia."

By the looks of the hole punched through the book, this next book literally hung around in the john.  The poems themselves are what the title implies:  poems for the john and not about the john.

This next book isn't a bathroom book at all.  I just liked the title:  Leave the Toilet Seat Up.  And that's all that caught my eye.  Had I glanced twice I would have realized that the subtitle, Stop Allowing Women to Control You, meant that the book was a relationship book for men.  And it was not by Glenn Miller, the band leader, but by a Glenn Miller who was jilted by his girlfriend.   A little explanation about liking the title:   I'm only referring to leaving the toilet seat up in a public restroom, and definitely not in my home.  If men leave the seat up in a public restroom, maybe the next person using the toilet won't pee all over the seat.

Luv the Success Chart below!  If they had one for public restrooms, I would add with one item:



An expert on bathrooms and bodily functions I am!  But most of what I know about outhouses, I've learned from reading books, for I have visited very few outhouses (Port-a-Potties are another story).  One of the first books about outhouses that I read, and one of the last books my friend Don Brady published before he died in December 2006, was  a miniature edition of The Specialist by Charles Sale.

The book itself is about how Lem Putt, a specialist in sanitary engineering, built outhouses.  First published in England in 1930, more than two million copies of The Specialist have been sold.  If the name, Don Brady,  sounds familiar to you, he was "one of the bookies" as well.  I wrote about him and his books in a 2013 blog post, From Whence They Came:  Don Brady and His Miniature Books,  and again in a series of three issues of The Microbibliophile.   Rebecca Rego Barry wrote about his "mother books" in 2015 in her book, Rare Books Uncovered, the paperback edition of which is due out in March.

I have a book of photos and poems about outhouses, Muddled Meanderings in an Outhouse, Number 2 by Bob Ross.  The first number proved so popular that readers sent in enough photos and poems for a second number in 1974.  Here's one about an outhouse in Texas:

If you want to know how to build an outhouse, Sterling Publishing Co. came out with a book in 1980 titled  Privy:  The Classic Outhouse Book.  

This book contains building plans for outhouses that you could purchase from $12. 95 to $18.95.  Moreover, one of its pages contained the Rules of the Privy:

The next book is titled My Folks.  Back to the Basics: A Treasury of Outhouse Stories.  It was published by the Capper Press of Topeka, Kansas in 1994.

The first story in the book is a keeper:

We used to go toodling around thrift stores and antique stores with our friends Tom and Eve almost every Friday.  And I passed this next book up twice at an antique store.  I finally bought it the third time I had it in my hands.  But it's not really a book about outhouses.

The complete title is Fishhooks, Apples, and Outhouses:  Memories  of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.  The author, Jack Plano, was Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Western Michigan University.  He wrote or edited over thirty books in the political science field before he decided to write his memoirs in 1991.  This book is the first of three books he wrote about himself.   And it covers his childhood growing up in a small town in Wisconsin.  The only mention of outhouses is in a chapter titled, "Law and Order," with its own subtitle of "Fishhooks, Apples, and Outhouses." The chapter covers the lack of a crime rate in his home town of Merrill, Wisconsin; news of the John Dillinger shootout in Little Bohemia,  just 70 miles north of Merrill; the reports about the Lindbergh kidnapping; stomping grapes for making moonshine; stealing fishhooks from Woolworth's Five and Dime, and when he worked there ten years later, being told to watch for little kids stealing fishhooks; "cobbing apples" from a neighbor's tree ; and finally, tipping over outhouses on Halloween.


When it comes to bodily functions, everyone knows what Number One and Number Two mean.  But if you want to increase your potty vocabulary, I recommend Jonathon Green's book:

The Big Book of Bodily Functions

My friends Tom and Eve gave me  a copy of The Big Book of Bodily Functions for Christmas in 2009.  And considering my love of words and my frequent use of bathrooms, this book is most appropriate.

This next book wasn't in my library too long; I was afraid that one of my grandchildren might find it. So I gave it to a friend who collects books about nature.  As for the book's contents,  I'll leave that to your imagination.

Tipped into  Always Look After Number Two! were two postcard-sized illustrations, one of which I won't display because the illustrations are too graphic.  The other illustration, depicted below, tries to make fun of a rather painful and embarrassing disorder.

Now when it comes to farts, that's a different story!  We treat that topic with humor!

Ben Franklin wrote about farts in a mock letter to the Royal Academy of Brussels in 1781.  The letter, really an essay, was sent by Franklin to Richard Price, a Welsh philosopher, and is known by several titles:  A Letter to the Royal Academy of Farting, Fart Proudly,  and A Letter by Dr. Franklin to the Royal Academy of Brussels.   The last title is the one that is on the title page of the edition published in New York in 1929 "At the Sign of THE BLUE-BEHINDED APE.  But the title on the spine reads, "Benj. Franklin on Perfume."  Franklin suggested that the Royal Academy of Brussels discover a drug to make farts smell like perfume.

The New York City rare book dealer, Philip C. Duschnes (1897-1970), sold this copy of the book for $20.

Ben Franklin wasn't the first person of note to write about farts. In his book, Who Cut the Cheese? A Cultural History of the Fart, the Fartologist, Jim Dawson, cites a line written by Aristophanes in his 405 B. C. play, Frogs:
Xanthius: "If nobody will take away my pack, I'll let a fart and blow it off my back."

Dawson, himself, has provided one-line blurbs for reviewers of his book:

"The publisher has a real stinker on its hands!"

"Dawson has exhausted his subject!"

"The author should've kept this book on the back burner!"

"A pocket of methane within the bowels of the publishing industry!"

"Certainly one book I don't plan to bury my nose in!"

"Should keep the Literary Establishment fuming!"

"As a cheesy writer, Dawson doesn't quite cut it!"

"Breaks new ground but...!"

"Wait'll the public gets wind of this book!"

"A chronicle of life on the cutting-cheese edge!"

If illustrations about farts please you more than the written word, I recommend The Fart Book and its sequel, Fart Part II.

S.B.D. stands for Silent But Deadly!

I have one last book to display from my Bathrooms, Outhouses, and Bodily Functions Collection.  A friend who passed away last year gave it to me a few years ago.  He put the book in a white envelope and wrote a dire warning on one side of the envelope:

I read his note on the side of the envelope and promptly wrote a response underneath his note:

And here's the book that my friend Tom Harris gave me:


Friday, July 14, 2017

A Conglomeration of Cookbooks Collected by a Man Who Doesn't Cook

Gimme That Old Time Religious Cake!

This post is not about a Cookbook Collection per se; but rather about an accumulation of cookbooks which I gathered solely because the cookbooks appealed to me in one unique way or another.  It may have been the title of the cookbook or the title of a particular recipe that tickled my fancy.  In some cases, it may have been the recipe itself; but not from the perspective of a cook, because a cook I am not.


All the recipes in this book can be prepared in an hour or less.  The sensual titles of some of these recipes border on the risqué!

Fondue Me, Please 
Beef Fondue with Mushrooms-Madeira Sauce

Chicken Porno Bleu
Roquefort-Stuffed Breasts in Wine and Herb Sauce

Cop a Fillet
Snapper Fillets in Ginger Cream Sauce

Halibut My Place?
Halibut in Caper Cream Sauce

Menage á Trois
Sole stuffed with Scallops, Crab and Shrimp

It Had To Be Ewe
Medallions of Lamb in Rosemary-Brandy Sauce

Fettuccine Primavera

And then there's
Vealing Lusty?
Veal and Ham Rolls in Tomato-Basil Sauce

This next cookbook is dedicated to all who have contributed recipes to this book and to those who have had their culinary endeavors spoiled by a fire alarm summons and have remained cheerful!

Tampa, Fl. Police Dept 2010
This cookbook is dedicated to Tampa Police Officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab, who were killed in the line of duty. It is also dedicated to all of the women and men in this country who risk their lives on a daily basis without hesitation so that we, the citizens they serve, might have a better life.

This cookbook was created by the wives of the officers of DESRON 10,  a U.S. Navy Destroyer Unit in the 1970s.  The names of the destroyers are printed in the inner circle around the destroyer:  USS Coontz, McCloy, Talbot, Hart, Glover, King, and Sherman

From the FORWARD of this next cookbook:  Any resemblance between the recipes contained in PLANE COOKING and good eating and drinking is purely intentional....

Ardmore Army Air Field was a B-17 bomber training base during WWII.  It was closed on Oct 31, 1945; but was reactivated on Sep 1, 1953 during the Korean War and renamed Ardmore Air Force Base.  With C-119, C-123, and then C-130 aircraft,  the base's mission was to provide troop transport as part of the Tactical Air Command.   Ardmore Air Force Base was officially closed in January 1959.  The C-119 was one of the first aircraft I worked on after completing tech school in Radar Navigation Repair in  1967.  I worked on all three aircraft during my Air Force career.

Favorite Recipes from the Navy and Their Many Friends in Hawaii and Elsewhere c1950s

A military wife doesn't need a cookbook.  Her friends tell her about recipes from all corners of the world.  And she remembers them right down to the number of tablespoons required for each recipe.

Hawaii has a special place in my heart.  I was stationed at Hickam AFB, Hawaii from 1977 to 1982.  And we have been back on vacation about ten times.   My Hawaiian cookbooks have found a home in my wife's Hawaiiana Collection.

This cookbook was first published in 1964 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  The first few pages give the malihini (tourist) some information about Hawaii, the Melting Pot, and its customs.  Some of the recipes have a Hawaiian flavor to their titles: Kamehameha Punch, Pearl Harbor Punch, Mahimahi Chowder, Malihini Poi (Banana Bread Pudding), Paniola (Hawaiian Cowboy) Stew, and Haole Luau Pork Pie (Haole means white foreigner).

Here are two cookbooks from Maui  published in1980 (left) and 1974 (right).  When it comes to Hawaiian food, one word comes to mind: Ono, which means delicious!

Here are two Danish cookbooks.  The one on the left was published in Ringe, Denmark in 1904.  And the one on the right was published in Seattle around 1941.

My wife is Danish.  And one of the first dishes she made after we got married was a traditional Danish dish called Frickadeller.  She served it with mashed potatoes, gravy and some sort of green vegetable that I can't remember.  Some people describe Frickadeller as a flat Danish meatball.  To me, it looked like a really small burger.  And that's what I thought it was.  But this newlywed was not about say a thing about his wife's cooking!  So I quietly got the ketchup and two pieces of bread.  Meanwhile, my wife was doing a slow burn....

Cabin Cookbook, Second edition, 1990

One of the recipes in this book is for Moosibou Cakes.  It can be made from either a moose or a caribou.
The person who submitted this recipe was rather particular about the thickness and diameter of Moosibou Cakes.  "They should be a cross between a burger and a meatball in size and shape."  This dish, too, is served with gravy....

The Old South's Original Mountain and Plantation Cook Book, 1980

I got the recipe for Southern Scripture Cake from this cookbook; however, you'll find different scriptural references and different ingredients for other southern scripture cakes on the web.  Feel free to decipher all the spiritual recipes using your bible.

This is by far my biggest and heaviest cookbook with recipes and pictorial views from all around our country.  The book itself, however, was not published in the United States; it was published in Australia in 1981.  And a sticker on the copyright page says, "printed in Singapore."

The next cookbook was printed and published a little closer to home.  Victorian Secrets was printed in Tennessee and published in Tampa.  The sub-title of the book is The South's Newest Collection of Exceptionally Fine Recipes Set Amidst Delightful Memories of Tampa's Gilded Past.  The book was a fundraiser in 1997 for the restoration of the Old Tampa Bay Hotel, now known as Plant Hall, which is located on the University of Tampa campus.  The Henry B. Plant Museum is part of Plant Hall.  On a personal note,  on March 5th, 2010, my wife and  I attended the exhibit opening of Mark Samuels Lasner's Facing the Late Victorians at the Henry B. Plant Museum.

The next cookbook was a fundraiser in 1981 by the morning crew of the Tampa Bay radio station WRBQ to help pay for the renovation of the Lowry Park Zoo.  I love the dedication:  "This book is warmly dedicated to our buddies, the animals, and to those humans who have helped to make their (and our) world a better place in which to live."

The WRBQ morning crew called themselves "The Q-Mornin' Zoo," and they had their own morning jingle:

The next cookbook, published circa 2005, was a fund raiser for the Homeless Emergency Project.  I'm a frequent book shopper at their thrift store on Betty Lane in Clearwater.  This is a charity well worth donating to.  Of the homeless in the Tampa Bay area, one in five are children.  That is a disgrace!

In 1998, the staff of the Credit Unions in the Tampa Bay area collected their recipes and published them  as a fund raiser for the Children's Miracle Network.

Belleair Garden Club circa 1991. Belleiar was the location of the recently demolished Belleview Biltmore Hotel, which was built by Henry B. Plant in 1897, and which is the primary setting in BonSue Brandvik's paranormal novel series, Spirits of Belleview Biltmore.

I find this cookbook unique because it's the only one I've seen that has an errata sheet!

The next two cookbooks are even more closer to home than the Belleair cookbook:  Spring Hill, Florida.  I was a rural carrier associate (mailman) in Spring Hill for seven years before I made regular and got my own route in Brooksville.  I subbed on many of the mail routes in Spring Hill and delivered the mail to many of the residents who submitted recipes for these two cookbooks.

The Clearwater Library in Florida was responsible for the next cookbook in 2004:

The cookbook celebrated the opening of Clearwater's new Main Library.
Below is the Recipe for a Great Library:

Here's a cookbook that was compiled as a money making project by the Friends of Hurst Public Library, Hurst Texas in 1983.  If you look closely at the front cover, you may recognize the names of a number of celebrities who were asked to submit their favorite recipes for this cookbook.

Here's a recipe form The Fonz!    Aaayyy!

Here's a cookbook I picked up at a thrift store in Texas.  It was a present for those who attended the Steger Lumber Company Christmas Party in 1987, and came with a piece of ribbon pasted on the verso of the front cover.

And we're back in Florida again with a holiday cookbook from the Auxiliary of Mease Health Care on McMullen Booth Rd in Safety Harbor.

The next group meets monthly at restaurants all over the United States.  They can be identified by their red hats.  And they have a cookbook of their favorite party foods, cocktails and party games.

When I was a teenager, my kind of music was Rock & Roll.  So I had to have a Rock & Roll Cookbook in my collection!  This cookbook was published in 1993.

Let's see if you can match up the recipe titles with the names of the recording stars:

1.  So Good, So Good Creamed Corn
2.  All I Really Want To Do Is Make You Salad Nicoise
3.  26 Smiles (Santa Catalina Seashell Salad)
4.  Surf City Clam Chowder
5.  The Night Has A Thousand Eyeland Dressing
6.  Surf Man Vegetarian Stir Fry
7.  Slippery Shrimp Scampi Parmesan
8.  I Met Him On A Sundae
9.  Good Golly, It's Southern Homemade Brunswick Stew
10. Bye Bye Love Chili

a.  The Beach Boys
b.  Bobby Vee
c.  Bon Jovi
d.  Cher
e.  The Everly Brothers
f.  The Four Preps
g.  James Brown
h.  Jan and Dean
i.  Little Richard
j.  The Shirelles

The answers are at the end of this blog post.

World's Funniest Cookbook 2000

Here's a 1991 cookbook from the National Council of Negro Women:

In 1988 McDonald's printed 5000 copies of a cookbook  as a fund raiser for the Ronald McDonald Children's Charities.  And they printed 5000 more copies in 1990.

One of the first "fast food" restaurants was The Automat.  And I had the pleasure of eating in an Automat in New York City a number of times.

In the 1950s, Sardi's was the place for actors and playwrights to go, especially after an opening night performance.  The book itself is actually a cookbook containing the recipes of everything that was served at Sardi's in the 1950s.

The next item is not a cookbook.  And it is not a book about a restaurant either.  It is an association copy of a book that was formerly owned by the proprietor of a rather famous restaurant in New York.  And it comes with an autograph letter addressed to that proprietor.  I acquired the book and the autograph letter from Stephen Johnson, proprietor of Allington Antiquarian Books in May 2015.

 I'm going to tease you a bit with the portion of Stephen Johnson's listing that describes the restaurant.  See if you can identify the name of the restaurant from his description:
_____, a restaurant highly favored by persons of high status, film directors, actors, and many authors.  Frequent guests included Woody Allen, who sat at Table 8 and who also filmed a scene for "Manhattan" there, Jacqueline Kennedy (Table 10), William Styron (Table 4), Gay Talese, Truman Capote, Norman Mailer (who, after arguing with ____ one day, vowed never to return and wrote her an unflattering letter - ____ wrote "Boring" on the letter and sent it back to him, after which he resumed dining at the restaurant), George Plimpton (who had his wedding reception there), Mario Puzo, Frank Sinatra (who, at the restaurant, refused to shake Puzo's hand), Phil Spector (who there was punched in the nose by New York Post columnist Steve Dunleavy), Willie Morris, Joseph Heller, Frank Conroy, Dan Jenkins, and many others.  While by unspoken rule the diners paid no real attention to the celebrities, Mick Jagger's appearance silenced the room, and Willie Nelson, of course, kissed all of the women at the bar....

If you haven't guessed the name of the restaurant yet, Stone Barrington and Dino Bachetti, two characters in the Stuart Woods Stone Barrington series dined there quite a bit.  In fact, the closing of the restaurant made the front cover of the 2012 novel by Woods, Unnatural Acts.

Here is the association copy and the autograph letter:

And finally, here's an unidentified pamphlet on canning and Victory Gardens that is titled Waste Not Want Not. There is no information in the book about who published it or when; however,  all canning methods were tested by their "Home Economics Department."  I think it was published during WWII.  But I would appreciate any other information about the publication of this pamphlet.

Here are the correct answers to the Rock and Roll Cookbook quiz:
1: g  2: d  3: f  4: h  5: b  6: a  7: c  8: j  9: i  10: e

And that's all folks!  You can view all my cookbooks and related items on Library Thing.