An important and oft-forgotten part of Georgia history can now be found in a small, easy-to-read book published by former Milledgeville residents Mary and Dean Long, now of Lawrenceville.

The Longs are selling the 10th and improved edition of their bathroom best-seller, “Old Georgia Privies.”

The $10 book makes a perfect gift for those who remember the beaten path to relief and for those who do not, the tome keeps alive the simple and elegant grace of backyard architecture. The author poetically identifies the location of the necessaries in each of the photographs in the book. Photographs are also accompanied by quotations from such literary luminaries as William Shakespeare, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman. A long narrative poem about the privy is also included in its entirety.

Principal “priviologist” Mary Long is a retired public school teacher who admits that she has passed the promised three score and 10 years. Dean Long retired from the U.S. Treasury Department and he is permitted to act as Mary’s financial adviser and to pay any outstanding debts concurred in connection with the publication of the book. Both are graduates of the University of Georgia and Dean is alleged to have paid his tuition by chopping unsightly kudzu from the main campus area of the university.

The Longs lived in Milledgeville for 10 years. “We bought a house from Dr. Hong and we planned to name it the Hong-Long House, but neighbors objected,” said the Longs. It was while living in this home that they started the first edition of “Old Georgia Privies” in 1984.

The Longs are available for talks to community groups, primarily church and employee organizations. Honorariums are used to fund a scholarship program and the privies have helped many students make ends meet during their college years.

The authors recall the days when mail order catalogs meant relief from corn cobs and a three-seater was indicative of prosperity. They remember those Roosevelt Bungalows with a certain amount of nostalgic relief that they have been replaced by indoor plumbing.

For more information, call (770) 962-6345.

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