Sidewalks are not just for walking. from “Suppressed I Rise”
….On my walks to the village, I got to know some of the villagers a little better. It didn’t take very long before they became friendlier and so I took the opportunity to stop and chat with them. Since I had many of their children in school we had a mutual interest but I still couldn’t get used to their immodest bathroom practices. Once while talking to a young man and his new bride, he felt the sudden urge to relieve himself. Not wanting to interrupt the conversation he simply turned his back on us and urinated directly onto the pavement, never skipping a word! I soon discovered that it wasn’t just here, but without very many public restrooms available, it was customary for people to do so in many parts of Europe during that time.
Many years later and after the war had ended, my second husband John, who was a minister’s son, related a story concerning his father’s visit to the Alsace. Most towns had unisex toilet facilities installed directly on the pavement of the sidewalk. They were constructed so as to only shield the lower torso of the person using it and necessitated the people using them to urinate directly onto the pavement. My father-in-law said that he had seen men actually tip their hats, as was the custom, to ladies as they passed by. At the time he was taking a medication for a common urinary infection that caused his urine to turn a deep shade of purple. Of course, when he needed to use this open type of public facility, it became quite evident and caused him dreadful embarrassment.
Photo Caption: Cleaning Street Urinals – It’s A Living! (Visit Captain Hank Bracker – Facebook Page)
Captain Hank Bracker, who served with the U.S. Military Intelligence Corps, is the author of the multi-award winning book, “The Exciting Story of Cuba” has now written “Suppressed I Rise.” This book is for anyone interested in a very personal human view, of the history of World War II. A mother’s attempt to protect and raise her two young daughters in hostile NAZI Germany challenges her sensibilities and resourcefulness. Both books will be at the NYC Book Exhibit this summer between May 31st & June 2nd at the Jacob Javits Center, but are presently available at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, BooksAMillion.com and many Independent Book Shops.