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210607 June 7, 2021


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Feel Better Fast
Tommy Towery
LHS '64

    The other day as I was taking my handful of pills I take each morning I started thinking about how dependent I am on pharmaceuticals today, and how different my life was when I was growing up. I will not elaborate on how many pills I routinely take these days (or the cost of them) but will state they are more than one and less than ten different types. 

    Thinking back, I do not remember ever taking a pill prescribed by a doctor when I was young. When I think back about the medicine cabinets in the homes in which I lived while growing up, they were filled with many different types of medicines, but all of them were over the counter drugs and not one prescribed by doctors.

    When doing my research on this subject, I find I can really break up the drugs in the cabinets of long ago into two categories. There was medicine for aches and pains, and there was another group which I shall call first aid treatments. This week I am going to try to limit my reflections to the some members of the group which I think were really “drugs” but sometimes it is hard to draw a line between the two.

    I will open this topic with some reflections on some drugs we used to relieve pain – most notably headaches.

    I suppose the number one drug I remember was aspirin. I think we all took aspirin back then. The internet says, “Aspirin is one of the most widely used medications globally, with an estimated 44,000 tons (50 to 120 billion pills) consumed each year. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines.” I don’t remember my family buying bottles of aspirin, but we always seemed to have some of the small tins around. Remember how much trouble some people had opening the little tins? A bonus of that was that after all the aspirins were gone I got to keep the tins. I am sure I am not alone when I used to put my quarter for lunch money in the tin to take to school. Just as today when our medicines come in bottles, back then several brands of aspirin all came in similar tins. Bayer first comes to mind and they are credited with the origin of the name aspirin. Next I think St. Joseph was the second best known. Could anyone ever tell the difference in any of the brands?

    I remember one not labeled as aspirin which was Anacin, and I never knew the difference. The internet says “Anacin is the trade name of several analgesics manufactured by Prestige Brands. Its product contains aspirin and caffeine.”

    Sue reminded me there was another “pain” reliever developed for females called Midol. According to Wikipedia “Midol is a brand of over-the-counter analgesic drugs marketed for menstrual cramping and other effects related to premenstrual syndrome and menstruation. Various sub brands are formulated using different active ingredients. Midol is distributed by Bayer. Midol was originally sold in 1911 as a headache and toothache remedy that was considered safer because it did not use the narcotics typically used at the time. It was then promoted as a cure for hiccups claiming it controlled spasms, and finally as a remedy for menstrual cramps and bloating.” No matter how healing it was, males would never be caught dead taking a Midol on purpose.

    Though a lot of people relied on them, I could never tolerate headache powders. There were several brands back then and some still exist. I remember BC Powder. “The name was created from the initials of the pair’s surnames. It contains 845 mg of aspirin and 65 mg of caffeine. BC readily promotes the fact that, due to its powder form, it dissolves faster than pain-relief tablets, and thus gets to work faster.” Similar products were Goody’s, and Stanback. The idea of opening up one of those little paper envelopes and pouring the white powder down my throat did not appeal to me at all. I understand the concept of powders not having to dissolve like a pill does makes send in theory, but I could not even stand letting an aspirin dissolve in my mouth.

    The use of aspirin has continued in my life. Today, I still take a low dose (what we used to call a child’s) aspirin each day as part of a heart regiment.

    Next week we will continue to look at some of the things which ended up in our medicine cabinet when we were growing up. As I have started doing, please feel free to comment on this week’s topic using the form below. Please try to keep your comments to aspirin-type products, since we will be covering other things later.

Aspirin and Other Headache Drugs

        Memphis, TN - For the first time in a long time I had a problem with getting this issue put together. The problem is I had collected too much data and had a hard time trying to figure out how to present it in a somewhat understandable method. I hope you will join me for the next couple of weeks as we continue to recall the things we had in our medicine cabinets back when we were growing up, and the contrast of those days to today. Please feel free to send me an email detailing anything you want to add to the subject. Thanks.

Classmate Mystery Solved

    Two weeks ago I had two classmates report seeing  an obit on Berryhill Funeral Home webpage for a Dianne Ralston Cotten, (September 22, 1949 - May 20, 2021) but there is not enough information in the obituary to determine if this is the Dianne Ralston who was a member of the LHS Class of '65. Well, it was not our classmate. Unfortunately we had already reported the loss of her back in 2015. 

Linda Dianne Ralston Lashbrook
 LHS '65
June 15, 1947 - Sept. 28, 2015 

        Mrs. Linda Dianne Lashbrook, 68, of Trussville passed away on September 28, 2015 in Trussville. She was preceded in death by her son, Roy Lashbrook, Jr., her parents Marion L and Ada Baskin Ralston, and by her brother, Marion Ralston, Jr. She is survived by her husband Roy Lashbrook, and her daughters, Stephanie Carroll (Susan) and Joy Lashbrook. The family received friends Thursday, October 1, 2015 at Usrey Funeral Home, Pell City. Condolences may be offered online at www.usrey 


From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    Covid

Linda Weldon

LHS '65

Hi Tommy,

I read your weekly emails faithfully and am always amazed at the things you remember.  So far I don’t have any issues with memory, at least not acute issues, but I have a hard time remembering many of the things you talk about. Thank you so very much for taking the time for the weekly emails.  They are fun to read and I look forward to them each week.  Thanks very much!

Are you aware of any of our LHS bunch that have mentioned having COVID?  Any deaths that you know of in our LHS family?  Our age group is high risk for this illness and with so many of us with age related chromic illnesses, I suspect we have lost some of our group.  I don’t want to get into politics of this virus - that’s a whole different ballgame.  I just wondered if you had any news related to our group and this virus.

Thanks for your time in considering this question.

Subject:    Your Work
Jim King
LHS '67

Great job. Great words. Thank you and thank you for your service.

Subject:    Mailing List
Dennis Overcash
LHS '66

Please add me to the mailing list. Not sure how I even found it but it came up on a search.  I was only there 1 year (Senior year).

Subject:    Taps
Skip Cook
LHS '64

    Good to hear that someone else tears up every time Taps is played.



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