Day 202: Chic Sale

When Laetitia arrived at the Emerald Victorian at 7:00 a.m. there was an email from Mind’s Eye suggesting that she should go to Huron, South Dakota with her group and do the limerick of the day on Chic Sale. Huron was named for the Huron Indians. When the Indian Removal Act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson in 1830, remnants of the tribe were moved west, but mostly to Kansas and Oklahoma.

Hubert Humphrey, who later became a senator from Minnesota and vice president of the United States, made his home in Huron from 1933 to 1937. During these years he worked in the family drugstore as a pharmacist. Laetitia took her group to Humphrey Drug, Hubert’s father’s store, which is now a museum. Next they went to the Gladys Pyle House Museum, the former home of the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate, and to the Dakotaland Museum, which has a large collection of historic items from the region.

Huron is also the home town of Cheryl Jean Stoppelmoor, better known as Cheryl Ladd of the Charlie’s Angels television show (1976 to 1981), and several other famous folk, including Charles “Chic” Sale, although the latter is seldom mentioned in lists of Huron notables. Born in Huron in 1885, Chic Sale was a rather well-known actor in burlesque shows (and a few movies) in the early part of the twentieth century. He published The Specialist in 1929. It was a series of humorous anecdotes about a carpenter named Lem Putt, who specialized in outdoor privies. The book was very popular among rural folk. Since “chic” was not a common term used in bucolic speech, the book was often referred to as “Chick Sales.” So much did the book become part of rural folklore that “Chic Sale” was commonly used as a euphemism for outdoor toilet.

In The Specialist, actor “Chic” Sale
Entertained country folk with his tale
Of Lem, who built crappers,
In the age of the flappers
And made outhouse humor prevail.