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210628 June 28, 2021



Ouch, That Hurts!
Tommy Towery
LHS '64

        One of the first medicines I remember being used on me was for cuts. It was the famous old Iodine, which kids today have probably never hear of. The bottle of red stinging liquid had a glass rod applicator built into the cap which was used to apply the liquid to the cut. Sometimes the cure hurt worse than the injury. It also left a red stain on your skin which seemed to last for days. I am sure many folks avoided revealing they had incurred a cut just to keep their mothers from dragging out this dreaded bottle from the medicine cabinet. 

        I seem to remember that mercurochrome seemed to do the same job as iodine, but without the same level of stinging. I am not positive of that fact, because I have used neither iodine or mercurochrome for ages, and neither has a place in my current medicine cabinet.

        Taking advantage of people knowing how much it hurt to put iodine onto an open cut, Bactine boldy advertised itself as a no-sting optional solution to the stinging problem and boasted of the fact in its television commercials.  The song was hard to forget and invited the bass singers to join in on the tune.

        Another treatment which I remember as stinging as much as iodine was Absorbine Jr. I remember just how much I hated applying that stuff between my toes when I had athlete's foot. It was also used for Jock Itch and hurt even more when applied to that area of the male body.

        For many injuries, plain old rubbing alcohol was the go-to remedy used by many. Again, when applied to an open wound, the stinging was terrible.

         I always put hydrogen peroxide in the same category as alcohol, but thought it was used more often as a disinfectant than as a first aid treatment like alcohol. Many found the stuff was really developed as a hair treatment and I am sure more people used it as a teenager to become blond than to disinfect a wound.

        These are just a few more items found in my Fifties/Sixties medicine cabinet. Let me hear some of your comments about these or some additions you had in your own home back then.

First Aid Medicines for Cuts

        Memphis, TN -  Things are getting back to more normal. Last week I had an opportunity to be in a national health care transportation commercial, including an audition tape, an actual screen test, along with an interview. The role called for a short person over 70 years old and I fit that description. I made it down to the final selection but to make the part more versatile, I lost out in the end to a Hispanic old man. 


From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    Old Crow

Joel Weinbaum

LHS '64

    After moving to Knoxville to work for the TVA, Fall, ’71, We had company invited to where we were renting in that early time there. Went into a liquor store(no “Green Fronts" in Tennessee) not wanting to spend too much since I drank as little as possible. On the shelf was a bottle of Old Crow and next to it was a bottle of Echo Springs, a penny difference. Went to the clerk asking the difference between the two, he blinked saying “you're from Alabama.” I said how did you know. Only folks from Alabama asked about Echo Springs.

    During George Wallace’s reign did the brand name spirits disappear from the Green Fronts to be replaced by smaller distillers. Brand name distillers wouldn’t give kickbacks. His son headed the ABC board for Alabama liquor sales and they were looking for money. So, names like Copper Kettle and Echo Springs from distillers in Kentucky dotted the shelves in Alabama. Only two I remember.

Subject:    Drugs
Susan Simms
LHS ’65

    Regarding “drugs” . . . “Back in the day” my mother would “send me” to the drugstore in Five Points to get TERPIN HYDRATE with CODEINE . . .this would be for her or my grandmother not me.  At that time . . . I could just go to the pharmacist and ask for it . . . or it could have been that she would call up, order it and then I’d just go pick it up.  Also Coco-Cola syrup was something I remember being used to sooth the tummy. 



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