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Laramie Russell Street Roadside Toilet Returns For Second Movement

Less than a month from finally hauling off an old, discarded toilet that had been at the side of a busy Laramie street for at least two years, city Code Enforcement Officer Brian Forster said the commode returned over the weekend for a second movement.

GJ
Greg Johnson

May 22, 20233 min read

Less than a month after the original Laramie Russell Street roadside toilet was removed by the city May 6, someone replaced it over the weekend.
Less than a month after the original Laramie Russell Street roadside toilet was removed by the city May 6, someone replaced it over the weekend. (Photo Courtesy Brian Forster)

Well, crap.

That, in a nutshell, represents how Brian Forster reacted when he saw Monday morning that the semi-historic Laramie Russell Street roadside toilet had returned.

“I removed another toilet (monument) from that property today,” said Forster, the city’s code enforcement officer, in an email to Cowboy State Daily. “Is it just me, or does it seem to be a pattern developing?”

Forster removed the original Russell Street roadside toilet, which had become a quasi-historical landmark sitting majestically in the public right of way near the alley on the south side of Russell Street between 7th and 8th streets May 6.

The discarded toilet and tank had been sitting there in full view of motorists along one of Laramie’s busiest east-west corridors for at least two years.

Forster said that although someone would plant flowers in it during the summertime, it was obviously just an old discarded toilet and not meant to be public art or a purposeful decoration of any kind.

After Cowboy State Daily called to ask about Laramie’s No. 2 landmark, Forster said he was moved to remove it.

“That’s all fine for public art and all, but there’s no landscaping around it or nothing like that to set it off as art,” he told Cowboy State Daily on May 6. “So, I took care of it today.”

This photo of an old toilet discarded in the public right of way along Russell Avenue in Laramie was taken in May 2022. By that time it had been there for more than a year. It was picked up by the city May 6.
This photo of an old toilet discarded in the public right of way along Russell Avenue in Laramie was taken in May 2022. By that time it had been there for more than a year. It was picked up by the city May 6. (Greg Johnson, Cowboy State Daily)

Round No. 2

Seems the importance of the roadside toilet was underestimated, because Forster said it was back Monday morning.

“I went out there and saw someone had put another toilet there where the first one had been,” Forster said. “I had a good laugh out of that.”

While Forster said he was “bowled over” that someone would go to the trouble to replace the original Laramie Russell Street roadside toilet, he got rid of that one as well.

“Let’s see what happens now,” he said, wondering aloud if this will become a pattern. “When I showed up, the garbage men were doing their rounds in the alley there and joked, ‘Hey, you’re taking away another national monument.’”

Flush With Porcelain

Because the toilet was left in the same spot and in the same manner as the first — two pieces with the tank sitting next to the bowl instead of on it — Forster said he’s confident it was put there as either a joke or homage to the original.

“It was just sitting there in the same spot, and it was definitely used,” he said. “This one was probably in a house for 40-some years and had he permanent stains from the water and stuff.”

He also said Cowboy State Daily's first story immortalizing the original toilet likely had something to do with someone replacing it.

"I'll bet you the city manager's paycheck that this was somebody who read your story," he said.

If this keeps up, the city will be flush with used toilets before too long.

GJ

Greg Johnson

Managing Editor

Veteran Wyoming journalist Greg Johnson is managing editor for Cowboy State Daily.