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210621 June 21, 2021


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Before I get into the medicines I classify as being used for First Aid, I would like to touch on some of the others I still consider “drugs” or at least passed for drugs in my home. 

Alka-Seltzer is one I never took, but was still in our medicine cabinet. I always viewed Alka-Seltzer as a “big folks” drug and not made for kids. I rarely take it even today, and it has probably been two or three years since I did the “Pop-pop-fizz-fizz” thing. If I wanted that type of effect, Fizzies drink tablets were much more to my taste. I think it was the aspirin taste which I did not like, but I did not even know it contained aspirin back then.

        Even though I did not like Alka-Seltzer, I really enjoyed the music used in one of their more famous commercials:

No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In)

  The next thing I remember was Pepto-Bismol, which I hated. If I was not sick to my stomach when I took it, I was after I did. I hated the chalky taste of that vile liquid and honestly remember it making me throw up more often than it made me feel better.

        We sometimes remember odd things from our past. Murine was used for your eyes, but I remember it had a strange property back then which I do not believe it has today. If I remember correctly, back then Murine would glow under "black lights". If you put it in your eyes and got under a black light your eyes would glow like those in a horror movie. This was a fun thing to do at the Lyric Theater, because they had black lights in the place as a way of giving you a little light to see by but not killing your night vision in the process. 

I still think of Blistex as a drug and not a First Aid remedy. The white cream in the little tin tubes was applied to many cold sores when I was young. It had a sting when applied which told me it was working. Of less a degree, Chapstick (which might be better called a First Aid product) was used more often for chapped lips, but if you really had some lip problems, Blistex was the solution.

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Another drug which habituated in our medicine tablet was Ex-Lax. Unlike today’s version, our generation at least had chocolate tasting Ex-Lax. Perhaps it is best remembered by many for its use in “revenge” brownies where it was substituted for real chocolate to get back at someone for a misdoing, like stealing food in an office environment. I do remember taking it at some point in my life, but not very often.

A final drug which I only remember taking one time when I was young is Cod Liver Oil. Even the name disputed me back then and I don’t even like to think about where it actually comes from even today. The last time I actually took the stuff was in my early days in the Air Force when I was about to get some procedure done and was told to take it either before or afterwards. Somehow the pills do not bother me the way the oil did and for a long time I took fish oil pills on a daily basis.

Since I am making this week’s comments a little short, I want to remind you of one more thing that was in our medicine cabinet when I was growing up. It was a slot in the back of the cabinet in which you were supposed to dispose of your used safety razor blades. I never used it because I was barely shaving by the time I graduated and I never started out with a safety razor anyway. I took my first shave with a Norelco electric rotary shaver. But, many others found the slot in the back of the medicine cabinet a safe way to dispose of used double-sided razor blades. Few probably had little clues what actually happed to the blades once they were slid into the slot. Actually, they ended up in the wall of the house or fell through to the ground beneath.

Next week I plan to move on to some of the things we used for First Aid relief. If you have any more drug memories, please share them with us.


        Memphis, TN - Again, it is difficult the draw the line between some remedies and actual drugs. I hope next week we can get into some of the items we used for scratches, bites, and other acts of nature. Today (Monday, 21 June 2021) I join my other classmates in turning 75 years old. Who would have ever thought about that back when we were young. I still feel 16 at times, but I know I am lucky to still have my health. I am lucky in that I did some things earlier in my life that I can look back on and still remember what it was like to be young. Some memories are for a lifetime.

Medicine Memories from Last Week

Carolyn Burgess Featheringill , LHS '65, "I absolutely shuddered when you mentioned Creomulsion in your article!"

Lynn Vanpelt, LHS "66, "Gargled salt water for sore throat."

David Mullins, LHS "64, "Honey and lemon juice warmed. Nothing else, just had to tough it out. Fortunately I seldom had the problem but I did eat the Smith's cause I loved them."

Darla Steinberg , LHS '66, "Mom would give me an Alka Seltzer if I had a sore throat. For some reason I actually loved them as a kid. The original bubble water?"

Judy (Rubins) Allard, LHS '66, "We would gargle with salted warm water. I still do this soothing quick home remedy."

Gary Hatcher, LHS "66, "My mother also would create a version of rock and rye, but without the rock candy. As many others probably did, hers was made from whiskey, usually the cheapest, honey, and lemon. Given by the spoon full for a cough. I remember one time though that she came home very upset after buying some Old Crow. She had gotten upset with the man at the liquor store when she asked for the cheapest whiskey to make cough syrup. He handed her the pint of Old Crow and stated that was what everybody said when buying that cheap stuff. She said it didn't hit her what he meant until she got home."

Johnny Kilbourn, LHS '66, "Cod liver oil daily as a preventative, but I don't know what for."

Elbert Balch, LHS '66, "Gargle with warm salt water...still works. For Tonsillitis - the dreaded Dr. Dilworth and a penicillin shot in rear"

Beverly Parker Hillis, LHS '66, "Watkins products my granddaddy sold. I remember being rubbed down with it when I had pneumonia. Also when I coughed really bad at night they put sugar in a rag and soaked it in white lightning and made me suck on it."

Belinda (German) Talley, HHS '69, "Q-tip dipped into Mercurochrome (with Iodine) painted on my tonsils. Of course my tongue turned orange, but the Tonsillitis was healed. *Caster Oil was an amazing cure for pretending to be sick."


From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    The Traveller

Jim King

    You are great. You always have something interesting to write and say. Love it.



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