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Night Air

A2C7D9EB-AA83-45DF-B425-CCE72984400D photo curtsy of Dale Rogerson.

Fredrick took a deep breath of fresh night air, it would be the last sweet air that he sampled this night. He tightened the string holding up his latest pair of trousers collected yesterday from the rag and bone man. Then picking up his shovel he followed Ned and the cart into the back alley. It was six months since he had emptied the cesspits in this part of town, but the stench was bad. Particularly at Evergreen House, where they did not deposit ash into the privy, since they had adopted the craze for electric lighting and gas fires.

A fine day at Mevagissey
A fine day at Mevagissey
This Post Has 32 Comments
  1. Poor man. My mother said they used to put lime, I think, in the home privies. Back in the 1950’s the state of Ohio in the U.S. used to build fancier privies at the state rest stops along the highways. I don’t know how they cleaned those multiple-seat ones. An interesting and well-written historical story, Michael. Your descriptions were great. ๐Ÿ™‚ — Suzanne

  2. Frederick had a bad job. What a man had to do to earn a living. Some still practice manual scavenging. Inventions like electric light and gas burner probably were bad for Frederick’s profession. You have highlighted the importance of sweet night air in Frederick’s life. A blessing we often ignore or forget.

  3. What an interesting story with so much loving detail. It makes me think… running water put men like Frederick out of a job (just like electricity and other inventions) — and today new technology makes other jobs obsolete. If we don’t change with the times, we’re left behind.

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