I'll Bet You're Wondering...
...Just how did
The Outhouses of America Tour
get started?

Flying and Outhouses?


In 1979, I went on vacation to snorkel and relax in sunny Florida. Little did I know that I would become directly involved with Hurricane David! Of course, when my Christmas letter came out, I had to draw a picture of me and the outhouse flying away in the winds of Hurricane David.
But what do flying and outhouses have in common and I'll bet you're wondering what in the world Flying and Outhouses have to do with me...
It all began with my Mother. Every year at Christmas time, she used to send out cards to all our relatives and inside was a "letter" containing the yearly historical, sometimes hysterical, facts about the Loose's. Well I grew up, went to college, moved to South Dakota and when the first Christmas rolled around, I thought to myself, Why Not!
And so, the time honored tradition in our family continues to this day. Every year choice friends and relatives receive not only a "letter" from my Mom, but a "letter" from my Sister's family and a "letter" from our family all relating historical and hysterical facts about the Loose's and Porterfield's (my Sister's family). If they had saved them each year, by now they should have quite a collection on their hands.
But Wait!
What does this have to do with Flying Outhouse's?
When I was a young boy, some friends of my parents went to Europe for vacation. They flew on one of the first commercial jetliners on BOAC. Remember that airline?
Well, my parents agreed to pick them up so we piled into our car and drove to Bishop Airport. There was an outdoor observation deck so we climbed the stairs and went out onto the roof. When I saw that jet come in to land I knew from that moment on that
A short time later, I managed to get on a field trip to the airport. We took a bus to the airport and an official from a major airline took us under his wings. I remember climbing the stairs to the plane's cabin. It was a DC3 and boy did it look huge to a young boy. The stewardess showed us the cabin and then took us one by one into the cockpit. My eyes must have become as large as saucers when the Captain showed me all the controls and then gave me a souvenir airline kit. It had everything a little boy could ever want in it. From that moment on, I knew someday I would fly.
As I grew up I had two opportunities to take a ride in two different small planes. The first ride was with some friends of ours who owned a small machine shop on their farm and the second was with an Uncle in his Mooney. That sealed my fate.
The rest is history. I learned to fly shortly after college and have been flying ever since.
But what does this have to do with Outhouses...? You'll find out after seeing the actual Outhouse that made me start the Outhouses of America Tour.
This is the outhouse with the racoon
The Famous Raccoon Outhouse!
Photo by M. Loose
Right Side of the Outhouse      Left side of the Outhouse showing the Regular Roof
The Outhouse That Started the Outhouses of America Tour
Photo's by J. Loose - July 1999
Right side of the Outhouse showing the Tin Roof      The traditional Outhouse Hornet's Nest!
The Outhouse That Started the Outhouses of America Tour
Photo's by J. Loose - July 1999
Another View of the World Famous Outhouse
The Outhouse That Started the Outhouses of America Tour
Photo by J. Loose - July 1999
These are photos I took during July 1999 when I revisited The Outhouse. It had been over 16 years since I had been there so I found it hard to believe it was still there. I so wanted to get inside and take some photographs of the original writings on the wall that my grandfather had written such as "Rained all day today" or "Corn looks great!" but I was unable to get the door open. I was afraid the new owners would catch me but no one appeared. Oh well, maybe next summer I'll get my chance.
At least I was able to preserve its history by taking these pictures.

This story is quite simple.
When I was younger, we used to go to a relative's farm and stay for the summer.
One day, I had to make a visit to the outhouse as that is what we used in those days. I was just about to take care of business when I felt like I was being watched...
...I was...
...by a raccoon up in the rafters!
You never saw anyone exit an outhouse as fast as I did that day!
So what do outhouses and flying have in common?
Absolutely NOTHING except for one thing...The final call...
Remember that Christmas letter I told you about?
A couple of years after I learned to fly, I flew to Florida to visit some old friends. While I was there, Hurricane David blew in. We had to prepare the house to help it withstand the hurricane and while we were bolting plywood to the windows, I came up with a brainstorm of an idea.
We had been snorkeling in the Florida Keys and somehow I envisioned an Outhouse flying through the air with me holding on wearing my snorkeling equipment. When I returned home, I drew some artwork at the top of a piece of paper. It was a picture of, yes, the " ;flying outhouse " ;. It was my way of making a pun out of the outhouse incident, Hurricane David and my learning how to fly.

I ended up using it at the top of my Christmas letter that year!
So Now You Know...
...The Rest of the Story. Now you'll get a chance to look at the plane I used to own: Howie!

Introducing Howie!

The Best Looking Cardinal Around...

Don't you wish you had one?

Photo courtesy of Cap'n Michael Sloan

This is the now famous Howie. He got his name from the colors which matched Howard Johnson's. He was born in 1973 and he entered into my life some time ago and life hasn't been the same since!
Howie has been flown by me to the Oshkosh, WI air show three times as well as Canada, the states of Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Cape Cod, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont and probably many others I can't think of right now. My partners have flown him up and down the East Coast including Kitty Hawk (where aviation got its start!) and the Bahamas. I have also flown him into Logan airport in Boston many times for Air Lifeline flights. Howie has indeed seen the world.
Sadly, I had to sell my interest in Howie in order to return back to the midwest. I'm sorry to say that Howie and Cap'n Mike not together any more. Due to the ever increasing cost of aviation fuel and maintenance, it became necessary to sell Howie. I was sorry to hear the news. Owning and flying Howie was the best ten years of my life. He literally became part of the family.
After returning to my roots in the midwest, I did manage to fly again by going into a partnership on a Mooney 201. What an airplane!!! It was capable of 201 MPH and that's how it got it's name, the Mooney 201. The plane was a high performance, single engine low wing with retractable landing gear. I put many wonderful hours in flying that Mooney. Unfortunately, the owner decided the cost of the annual maintenance and increasing fuel in addition to paying for the hanger just wasn't worth it any more so he sold the airplane. I am once again grounded but if you see someone looking up at the sky when an airplane flies over, that's me!
If you want to get an idea of how it sounds to be an instrument pilot getting clearances and flying into Oshkosh, the busiest airport in the nation for a week every August, go to my audio page and listen in as I get my clearnance.

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This Home Page was created on Thursday November 28, 1996