haiku for the book “the provident planner” by roger rasbach

That seventies book
When shag carpet was the king
And toilets were low

A pal recommended that I read this book published in 1976 by a Texas mid-century modern maven. His houses are known for being extremely energy efficient and are sought after in San Antonio and Houston. The book? A bit of “meh” (with touches of Frank Lloyd Wright arrogance). By the end of the book, I wanted to slap Mr. Rasbach for starting so many of his sentences with the I’m-looking-down-my-nose-at-you phrases of “The Provident Planner would…” or “The Provident Planner should…” or “The Provident Planner will always…”. Perhaps it’s a product of its time, but it irritated the holy providence out of me.

Nonetheless, Rasbach preaches what amounts to modern green building. Place your house considering solar, use local materials, build for generations instead of a few years, build a livable home. His thoughts on the livable home were of most interest to me, such as: Place your light switches at doorknob height (the height most switches are at these days is dictated by when light switches used to be dangerous and people wanted to keep them away from the children), put your bathroom counter at 36 inches and your kitchen counter at 37 inches, the toe space beneath kitchen cabinets should be 6 inches, base cabinets should be 36 inches deep, and toilet seats should be higher (More leverage! More leverage!).

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