By Glenda Price: CNJ columnist
When Bud showed up at Rip’s homestead for a visit a few (maybe 50) years ago he was impressed by Rip’s neatness.
The house had a kitchen and one other room. Houses in those days weren’t built with closets. People put their clothes in armoires or in dressers. Besides, homesteading cowboys didn’t have many clothes, anyway.
Bud turned his horse into the corral, found some feed for him and again was impressed. The saddle house and barn were sturdy and clean.
There was a major problem, though — no outhouse.
“You’re gonna run outta bushes afore long,” he said to Rip, who shrugged and allowed as to how if that was the worst problem in his life he’d for sure count his blessings.
Bud was insistent, though. A couple of days later Rip rode in at dinnertime just as Bud arrived with a wagon load of wood, nails and two shovels.
“We’re building an outhouse,” he announced when Rip asked what the heck was going on. “No use in you living like a coyote.”
“Go for it,” Rip said, getting back on his horse to leave.
“Did you notice I got TWO shovels?” Bud said. “First we gotta dig a hole.”
“How long did you say you was staying again?” Rip wanted to know, thinking maybe it could get put off until Bud left.
No such luck. “Till this gets done. It’s just gonna be a one-holer.” Rip figured Bud oughta win a prize for stubbornness.
They got it finished in four days, and Rip had to admit it was kinda nice, but he didn’t let on to Bud. They even carved a quarter-moon in the upper side wall.