Caption Contest! An Old Outhouse ... And Great Memories — Barton OR Deep Creek — Boring OR

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty

Hello, all!

It seems like it has been quite a long time
since we had a photo caption contest,
and I found a perfect candidate for one!

If YOU were the listing agent for this baby,
HOW would you write the text for the MLS?

Contest winners get a free banner designed
by me. If you don't really need a new
banner, I'll try to rustle up some points.

Please leave evidence of your marketing
as a comment. Contest will end
next Sunday; I will post the winner Monday,
April 5, in BananaTude and Whacked! groups.

Outhouse Privy Backhouse Barton, OR Deep Creek

Now I don't know whether to be proud
or ashamed about this, but the photo isn't
from a random Google search, I promise.

This outhouse (or privy or backhouse as often called
in the olden days of yore) used to be in my family.
In fact, I have actually, um, personally used it for its
intended purpose. (I know, I know — lucky me!)

When I was a kid, my mom bought a cabin on Deep Creek
in little ol' Barton, Oregon. Now mind you, we were as poor as dirt,
so this cabin was pretty, well, minimalist. I loved almost
everything about being here except the lack of indoor plumbing.

For a kid, this place was paradise! Our full-time house cost
us only $15,000 in the early 1970s, and the cabin was $6,000
in the mid-1970s, but I was so young I didn't know any
better. I thought we must be rich or something! =)

We went to the cabin on weekends, mostly. I used to spend
my days until dusk
wandering up and down the shores of Deep
Creek. Sometimes I fished for trout or steelhead. I
remember crafting homemade fishing poles from old tree branches;

once I made a makeshift boat out of a hollowed-out log and
used it to float out into an area too deep to fish from shore.

Those were glorious, innocent times. Being an only child, I spent a lot
of time alone, but I was rarely bored. I think fishing here reminded
me of the camping trips with my grandpa
we'd take when I spent summers
on the farm in Malin, OR. I would always think of him when I dropped
a line or baited a hook. These are memories I will always cherish.

But, no, I didn't have a digital camera when I was 12. So how
was I able to get a picture of the outhouse
now? Call it a God thing.

in early 2005, I was in Portland with my wife, Sherry. One of our
friends was getting married nearby. I hadn't been back there for years.
But our friends actually were settling in the same suburb where I
spent my childhood. In previous trips to the area I had managed
to avoid my old stomping grounds.
But being here brought on a
rush of memories. Much to my surprise, most of them were good ones.

My wife was in the wedding, so she had to spend a few hours in rehearsal.
That gave me some time to take a drive. One of the first places I
thought about was that old cabin on Deep Creek. I hadn't been there
since I was 13 or so, and I didn't have an address or map. But I had
my instincts.
Turned out, they were pretty good. I eventually found
the old road that led us to the cabin.

Now, as you can imagine, my drive got confusing sometimes. There
were so many changes to the landscape
in the past 30 years. Progress.
Moving forward. Which is great and all, but I was moving back in time
instead, and all those new subdivisions and strip malls were not helping
me in my trip down memory lane. But once I reached the outskirts of
that little town
of Barton, it was like stepping back in time.

Having gone that far, finding the old, dirt road was surprisingly easy. I pulled
over and looked down the long road for a few minutes. No repressed
memories bubbled to the surface; just a little longing. So, I put the rig
in gear and drove down the road. It was the longest 2 miles I can ever
remember driving.
When I reached the spot that felt like where the cabin
was supposed to be, I stopped. I looked around. The cabin was gone.

I felt a little sad. No, maybe it was more of a feeling of emptiness. Eventually
I drove back to the church, enjoyed a wonderful wedding of friends, and some
celebration afterward. When the happy couple drove away, I told Sherry about
my little excursion,
including the bumps along the way. I think she
could tell I was anxious to take her where I had been that day. I didn't
even have to ask. We got something to drink, got in the car, and headed out.

When we drove up to the spot where the old cabin used to be, I stopped. I
told my wife a little about all my old adventures on the creek,
and the fun
I had. There were a couple of little houses on nearby lots, and a newer
mobile home sitting where our cabin used to be. While we were looking
around, a guy came out of one of those nearby houses and said hello. I
suddenly had visions of a "Deliverance" moment
about to happen, but my
fears were eased in seconds. He was friendly. Maybe he thought we were lost.

Turns out, he saw me drive by earlier, and he had a suspicion I might be looking
for the cabin
that wasn't there anymore. Apparently it was demolished only a few
months before, by people who bought the lot, bought the mobile home, and
decided to make new memories of their own. Eventually I asked this gentleman
about the old outhouse.
I told him how much I hated it as a kid, but how I
remembered it fondly now. He cracked a smile, and told us to follow him.

Again, for a brief moment, I heard banjos and said a little prayer. But curiosity
gave us a strong desire
to see behind the curtain, and my wife always seems
unfazed by my shenanigans. We made it to his back yard, and there is was!
The old outhouse looked exactly the same! I gasped, and immediately
thought of my mom. She would have loved to see it.

Turns out this old guy, recently retired and loving his life of seclusion — and perhaps
even the opportunity to share old memories with a stranger — always had a
soft spot for the old toilet
in a tree stump. So he asked his neighbors
if he could drag it over to his place before they tore down the old cabin.

The neighbors were not at home at the moment, so Sherry and I didn't get to meet
them. But we made a new friend that day, got a new picture of an old memory,
and a precious, unplanned moment like we never imagined.

There have been roughly 1,867 days since that one. A lot has changed since
then. Some great times (including the birth of our daughter, Isabella), and
some sad times (the closing of my homebuilding business). But there have been
very few days in my life that I remember so well — or so fondly.

Comments (12)

Chris Wechner
CW Health Inc - Waterford, MI

I don't have an entry, but I think you recaptured your childhood and adult-time recaptured memories really well, Aaron.

I could see where you'd have fun rediscovering this.  It's not a bad picture, either.

Mar 27, 2010 05:32 AM
Melanie Hedrick
Elite Texas Properties, the best homes from McKinney to Dallas! - McKinney, TX

Charming fixer-upper in relaxed and tranquil setting.  Seller willing to offer carpet allowance. 

Mar 27, 2010 05:44 AM
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Aaron & Sharon's privyless adventure!


Original State of the Art, Green Construction techniques!

Mar 27, 2010 05:44 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Aaron this is a great story and contest!  I love it!!

Hmmmm!  This is way to fun to pass up this opportunity!

Charming, tucked away mountain cabin just waiting for the romantic in you to come out and play! Just enough room for you and your beloved to bask in the glow of the full moon, enjoy a candlelight dinner AND..... to listen to the crickets singing love songs.  Are you longing to 'get-a-way' from the hustle and bussel of the city?  Take advantage of this perfectly priced love shack - before it's snatched away from you!  For your personal tour call Aaron 512-845-4204.

Featured in BananaTude!


Mar 27, 2010 10:08 AM
Aaron Vaughn, REALTOR© 830-358-0455
eXp Realty - Canyon Lake, TX
My knowledge is your power | eXp Realty

Thank you, Anna!

Wow ... nice job on the text, too.

What's funny about this is all I was going to do was do a simple caption contest. Then I decided I better explain where I got the photo, so nobody thought I stole it.

Then I just kept going. It was kind of weird, and very cathartic.

(I've tweaked it again, too)


Mar 27, 2010 12:26 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Hey - I'll go back and read it again, tomorrow. Time to relax and enjoy the evening.  Again....great story!  I might write another one....I love writing stuff for MLS. Bring it on baby!

Mar 27, 2010 02:02 PM
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK


Thanks for the email... It's wonderful to go back and find things that were there in our childhoods.  I like doing that also.. Great style of writing.  You must do some more of this type of writing~~!

Mar 27, 2010 03:17 PM
Aaron Vaughn, REALTOR© 830-358-0455
eXp Realty - Canyon Lake, TX
My knowledge is your power | eXp Realty

Thanks, Judi!

Glad you stopped by. I don't even know if I could do it again. It just kind of wrote itself. Kinda took the juice out of my photo contest ... =)

Mar 27, 2010 04:45 PM
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

Good Morning Kyle Aaron...

I'll have to have my coffee and wrap my head around how the hell I would market that puppie. Good Lord :)

And I love the story. Endearing :)

TLW...Burp...I mean Roar :)

Mar 27, 2010 10:05 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

"Aloha from . . . Barton!

You can smell the come-hither energy of this this tropical starter home, oozing with Survivor-esque character!

Really it does.

All green improvements ensure your carbon footprint will be little more than a tippy-toe.

Only natural materials used in this sturdy, earthy piece of Oregon.

Did we also mention that this is a historic property and you can qualify for stimulus money to buy it outright with NO terms whatsoever!

Hurry, this won't last. No, we're serious. It may be gone today, in fact . . ."

Aright Banannie. This is what happens when you summon me. Ciao Bella . . . :)

Mar 28, 2010 08:34 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Lol that's pretty good Candy!!  What cha think Aaron :)

Mar 28, 2010 10:21 AM
Aaron Vaughn, REALTOR© 830-358-0455
eXp Realty - Canyon Lake, TX
My knowledge is your power | eXp Realty

Candice -- that was AWESOME!

I am not worthy ...

Mar 28, 2010 10:25 AM