Vicks VapoRub

©Growing Up in Bixby

By Don House

I think it was the Timex Company that used a motto something like, "Takes a licking' and keeps on tickin'," for their watches that were immersed in water or exposed to some other hazard. The Vicks people should have used the motto, When there's sleeting, it keeps on heatin'."

Icy weather reminds me of a ritual I experienced many winter nights in the dining room of the old house where I spent the first six years of my life. Our only heat was a wood stove in the dining room. On cold nights, the rest of the house became more than chilly. At bedtime, Mom would park me next to the old wood stove and strip me to the waist. She would slather a heavy layer of Vicks VaporRub over my chest and throat. Then she would take a flannel cloth that had been hanging next to the stove until it was just before blazing and wrap it around my upper body. Next came the flannel PJs which had been similarly warmed. I didn't feel the winter chill, again, until I arose the next morning!

Although Mom said I nearly died of whopping cough at the age of three months, I don't remember being sick during those years. My older siblings told me how luck I was. The medication when they were my age had been a poultice of foul-smelling herbs. Thank heaven for VapoRub . . . and central heat!

Reprinted from Bixby Historical Society Newsletter, September 2006
© 2006-2008 · Don House · Bixby OK · All Rights Reserved. Published at Bixby Historical Society Online with permission.
 
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