In the days before handheld games, interactive cellphones, or multiple television stations we created our own good clean fun. Well, maybe not always good or clean, but definitely fun. The fact that we were easily amused helped.
An empty barn at Durkee Town provided a great space for barn dances and wedding receptions. Because of the informality, entire families got invited. My first wedding reception became a lot more entertaining when David and my cousin Corky came running.
“You’ve got to come see what we found,” they said in conspiratorial voices.
A few of my younger cousins and I followed the boys down from the hayloft-dance floor and through the empty stanchion area. Exiting the back of the barn, the boys presented their discovery–an outhouse with special attachments. A long poop chute extended from the dance floor bathroom above, to a waiting manure spreader below.Corky ran upstairs to demonstrate how the system worked. His cup of orange soda glided down the chute, dribbled off the end, and disappeared under a strategically placed cover on the spreader.
“Do it again,” we shouted.
Corky’s head appeared at an open window, and he called down, “I gotta get more soda. Be right back”
We patiently waited and plopped a few stones into the uncovered sections of the spreader.
“What’cha doin’, kids?”
We turned toward the barn. Uncle Mike L.’s silhouette filled the barn’s open doorway.
He silently appraised us. We stood still, looking at our feet. Slowly, he melted back into the darkened interior. The sound of muffled polka music beckoned us inside, but we declined.
Corky’s head popped out of a window to the right of the bathroom. He cupped his hands around his mouth to form a megaphone. “Someone’s inside. I’ll tell you who it is when they come out.”
We watched the chute expectantly.
Uncle Mike L. reappeared behind us. “Quit hanging around out here. Get back inside.”
“Maybe later, this is your mother’s favorite song.”
Szocher, a polka band playing in Fair Haven, Vermont, loved Mom. As a teenager, and later with Dad, each time she entered their dance hall, Szocher stopped in the middle of whatever song they were playing and began her favorite–Rain Polka.
The hopping of the polka, and lots of soda, made me want to pee. I peeked through the little window in the outhouse to make sure no observers lurked below.
Lesson learned: A wedding reception does not have to cost a fortune to be remembered, it just needs family, polka music, and a great outhouse.
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Now it’s your turn: What’s one of your wedding reception memories?
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