Well, once he took his find home, he looked at it, and decided he needed to refinish it. In the basement, he removed the finish with a blow torch. That neither he nor the house caught fire is perhaps a miracle.
Anyway, he then repainted the toilet seat, which he offered to his five daughters, all of whom refused it.
So, the toilet seat, unused and unloved, just stayed in the basement.
About a year or so later, my Aunt Karen, who was a Girl Scout, was about to go camping with her troop.
Now, understand, no one is my family is particularly outdoorsy. I think my mom sums it up best when she says, "Why would I go camping? I can eat, shit, and clean up at home, where I have electricity, running water, and climate control."**
Aunt Karen had been camping with the Girl Scouts before and had seen the outhouses that everyone had to use: inside were just boards with holes in them. She was not looking forward to this.***
Then, she remembered the orphan toilet seat in the basement, so she packed it in with her stuff.
She was easily the most popular girl at the camp that weekend: everyone asked to borrow the toilet seat.
Aunt Karen was a girl scout for another few years: she always remembered to bring the toilet seat with her.
*Some family members say that it was left behind when someone redecorated, others say he fished it out of the garbage somewhere. Either way, I'm pretty sure copious amounts of alcohol were involved in the decision making process.
**The last time I went camping, my then-boyfriend (who convinced me to go -- you do stupid things when the sex is good) woke me up to see the sunrise. I looked at him and said, "I've seen plenty of sunrises, I'd rather sleep."
***This attitude about outhouses is a multi-generational thing in my family. When my nephew was a boy scout, he went camping with them, saw the facilities and just refused to use them (for doing #2, anyway). When he came home, he went straight to the bathroom.