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Jack Kamen, was born in 1913 above his father's harness shop in a Yiddish-speaking section of Brooklyn.

In Harnessmaker's Son, Jack weaves his secret for health, happiness, and longevity into dozens of humorous, heartwarming, true stories of life in the early 1900s. 

What's the secret? It's his attitude, and it's contagious!



The Enchanted Outhouse,

a story about the importance of fun...even if it may get you into a little trouble.


The Enchanted Outhouse


We had indoor plumbing at the hotel, but an outhouse remained from the old farm days. Sometimes guests would use it...if they dared.

You never knew what kinds of bugs you'd find in an outhouse. There were always flies. And where there are flies, there are usually spiders. One of the most common places to get a black widow bite was on the buttocks while using an outhouse.

At the back of the outhouse, about halfway between the ground and the seat was a cleanout door. The pit rarely needed cleaning though. I made sure of that.

Whenever I saw someone entering the outhouse, I went around to the back of it. On the way, I yanked up a long stalk of grass.  The fuzzier its head, the better.

 I silently opened the cleanout door in about the time it took my victim's buttocks to move into position.  Then I touched the grass to the ass, with a little wiggle.

 I didn't even have to look in.  I heard when I got a bull's eye. I learned several new words that way. Sometimes there'd be a scream, but there was always a lot of banging and scuffling up there.

 At about this time, I'd usually feel like taking a short jog, or maybe a walk in the woods.  No one ever mentioned the enchanted outhouse, but very few people used it.  And no one used it twice.

 It's seventy-five years later now, and I'm telling this story for the first time.  I understand a confession doesn't count unless you're truly sorry and reformed.

Maybe we shouldn't call this story a confession.


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