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Boy Loses Thumb

I ran across this article in a rural newspaper published on this day in 1930: Harry Hansen … had the misfortune to lose the thumb of his right hand Wednesday afternoon when his hand was caught in a corn sheller. Mr. Hansen was helping with corn shelling … when the accident occurred.

The article really disturbed me because Harold is doing this exact same thing—shelling corn—over the winter months. I had no idea Continue reading

Prescription Required

Not too long ago, I joked about putting a little whiskey in my tea to help fight a cold I was battling. Truth is, people have been using alcohol as medicine since the Middle Ages (a drop of gin was believed to ward off the plague, a glug of wine could defend the body from corruption, and a sip of absinthe would rid the body of roundworms), even though there is scientific evidence that not only does it not help, it is often detrimental. What you may not realize, however, is what this interesting bit of trivia has to do with Prohibition… or Rose. Continue reading

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Snow Cream

This diary¹ entry intrigued me:

1929 Thursday January 10

Nice day. Roads were drifted full again. LAS met here today. Not very large crowd but not so bad for the roads. Took in over $5. Snow started to blow about 4:30 and had another blizzard all night again. The wind blew just terrible. Francis, Ruth, and Oscar were here and spent the eve. We made ice cream and played cards. Jack Nolte died this noon. Mama is better.

The new year really wreaked havoc on the midwest in 1929. The diary entries for the first two weeks of the year consistently Continue reading

Medicinal Magic

I’ve been fighting a sore throat, usually the first sign that I’m coming down with a cold. Which got me wondering about Rose and what she would do in my circumstances.

Enter Vicks.

My grandfather—the original Harold—thought Vicks VaporRub could cure anything.

And why not? When it was first marketed just after the turn of the century, when Grandpa Harold was a young boy, it was sold as “Vicks Magic Croup Salve.”

Now, who can argue with magic??? Continue reading