In many ways we’re pretty old-school, Deb and I. Both of us grew up under the watchful eyes of The Greatest Generation, and we observed their preferences, practices and choices, eventually adopting some. That’ll pay dividends as we create our homestead on The Mountain.
When I opened my medicine cabinet this morning, I noticed very few latest-and-greatest goops or concoctions — I’m not an easy mark for marketers these days. I tilt more toward the familiar, the simple and the traditional, products my parents used faithfully. I like what works, of course, and I’m not inclined to give up on something that’s done the job since my childhood.
Some of this stuff was around when my grandparents were kids.
- Bag Balm: Created in 1899 to soften the chapped udders of dairy cows, Bag Balm is the ultimate old-school therapy for irritated or scraped human skin. I’ve known about it forever, having grown up in farm country myself. Made in Lyndonville, Vermont.
- Clubman Talc: Clubman’s distinctive fragrance reminds me of my weekly haircuts at Louie’s Barber Shop in Massillon. (Yes, I said weekly.) Later I learned that it was good at soothing razor burn, when that mattered to me. Made in England.
- Corn Huskers Lotion: My hands get so dry in the wintertime that they’re painful. I’ve never found anything that helps better than this simple glycerin-and-water potion. Remarkable stuff, made in USA.
- Dickinson’s Witch Hazel: How can something so naturally simple be so versatile? It’s an astringent, a cleanser, a treatment for scrapes and insect bites and more. After over 200 years, I’m pretty sure that Dickinson’s got it right. Made in Essex, Connecticut.
- Gold Bond Powder: If it chafes or itches, no matter the cause, Gold Bond is the cure. The lotion is good, too, but the original powder is amazing. Made in USA.
- Unguentine: By far the best first-aid salve ever invented, Unguentine should be in every cabinet and kit. And it draws — infection doesn’t stand a chance. Made in USA.
Honorable mention goes to Noxzema, Vaseline petroleum jelly and Vicks Vapo Rub. Unbranded items belong on this list, too — apple cider vinegar, Epsom salt, hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol, to name a few.
I do favor some modern preparations.
- Doc Spartan CRO (Combat-Ready Ointment): 100% natural first-aid ointment. Remarkable healing properties, packaged in a convenient, compact stick. Produced by a veteran-owned small business in Portsmouth, Ohio.
- Sombra Warm Therapy: Best topical I’ve found to relieve muscle and joint pain. (Sorry, Bengay.) Handy roll-on is the best. Smells like oranges. Made in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
- Biofreeze: Menthol topical potion for times when cool feels better than warm. Works great on my chronic neck pain, also packaged in a roll-on. Made in Akron, Ohio.
I’m not sure what possessed me to write about this today, but there it is. Click on any of the products’ names for more information.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.
(Today’s header image — Deb captured this morning’s sunrise over our campground.)