Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A "Trip" down memory lane.

I've had a few people ask me where I got the Alcohol Prescription. It’s simple, I found the photo on the internet. So, I don’t have both sides. I found the photo while doing a little minor research about prohibition. I was amazed, as you will be, about how popular hard drugs were back before prohibition.

All of the photo's that you see, and everything in italics, is from something published on the internet, and shamelessly put here.

You could buy cocaine, heroin, and opium from your friendly corner druggist. The prescriptions were no harder to get than the modern day marijuana prescription, commonly called a "215 card".

"Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup was an indispensable aid to mothers and child-care workers. Containing one grain (65 mg) of morphine per fluid ounce, it effectively quieted restless infants and small children. It probably also helped mothers relax after a hard day's work. The company used various media to promote their product, including recipe books, calendars, and trade cards such as the one shown here from 1887 (A calendar is on the reverse side.)."

Can you even imagine giving an infant morphine. That must have slowed mental development a tad bit. “Let’s see, shall I learn something new? Or take nap? And the winner is!!! Nap time… zonk”. Although having helped raise a baby, I can understand how a mother could be tempted to take it herself.

"Benzedrine (racemic amphetamine) inhalers were available over-the-counter until the early 1950s. Some airlines even gave them out to passengers to minimize discomfort when the plane was landing and taking off. The Smith, Kline, and French advertisement proudly proclaims that over 10 million Benzedrine inhalers had been shipped by 1938, only 7 years after the product's introduction. This may have even outpaced McDonald's hamburger sales during their early expansion (Remember the "over x million hamburgers sold" signs on the golden arches?)."

They used to dispense this stuff for uncomfortable airplane flights. One little sniff and you didn’t even need a plane, you could just fly there yourself. It was called Racemic Amphatimine, Race-Amp for short. Talk about taking a “Side-Trip”.

"Cocaine-containing throat lozenges, "indispensable for singers, teachers, and orators." In addition to quieting a sore throat, these lozenges undoubtedly provided the "pick-me-up" to keep these professionals performing at their peak. This box of lozenges is from a Belgium pharmacy (c. 1900). Local pharmacies often bought their drugs in bulk and packaged them for consumers under their own labels."

Cocaine was thought of as being so harmless, and beneficial, that you didn’t even need a prescription. It was so popular that it was available in cough syrup, sore throat aides, toothache drops, even the favorite “soft-drink” of the time, CocaCola, contained cocaine. Wow, no wonder they are called “The Good Old Days, The Roaring Twenties” and so on.

Now we need to talk about today’s favorite drugs, just so that you out there won’t beat me to it. Cannabis is a very popular modern drug and is not FEDRALLY legal. Whether or not it should be, I don’t know, you tell me. Alcohol is still popular and legal, Nicotine, in it’s various forms of delivery is legal, and then there is my favorite drug, caffeine!

Sadly, the most harmful effect of many drugs is the thought that when you are addicted to one, that you are only harming yourself. The spiraling down into the abyss of uselessness and despair is felt just as deeply by those that love the addicted person, and the feeling of frustration that the loved ones feel is pain beyond description. The loved ones not only bear the burden of watching your life diminish, but having to know that they can do nothing to help you. And, sadly in most cases those that love you the most, are taken on that downward spiral with you, because they love you enough to not want to abandon you.

I really don’t know if ALL drugs should be legal, or NONE, I’ve never been really good at knowing things like that.


Anonymous said...

I remember when the Watkins man came through Garberville, he had spices and some wonderful cough syrup. The cough syrup as I remember, really worked good and my mom told me later in life that it had codeine in it. Maybe it was something else but it worked.
That was before '53 so I guess all good things come to an end.
Now days Wild Turkey with a little honey and lemon helps.


Ernie Branscomb said...

Hi Jim, Maybe I got to serious for some folks.

I remember that Watkins man, he also had root beer extract that you could make mildly alcoholic root beer from. I thought that was awfully good stuff myself.

It’s sad but true about getting too dependant on anything. I sometimes wonder if I drink to much, but they tell me that one beer a night is supposed to be good for me. I’m going to take that and run with it. It’s funny how we can put down other peoples problems but readily accept our own.

But, I have seen folks who’s addictions were out of control and ruining their lives, and the people around them. It’s sad but true, and we are all touched by it. I know of no family that hasn’t be touched be alcoholism or drug addiction.

Speaking of hot car addicts, how many miles have you put on your ‘Vette? Were do you live now, and how far do you drive to work?

It’s really good that you are reading this stuff. It’s not all bad stuff, some of it is even interesting. I’ll probably be posting more about Grampa Bill. The fun stuff is yet to come.

I had moose for dinner tonight, how about you?

Kym said...

I can't remember the exact details but cannabis was commonly used historically. George Washington grew it and Queen Victoria smoked it for "female problems."

Ideologically, I'm for legalizing all drugs but meth really tests my position. If any 'thing" can be labeled evil, it gets my vote.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Some people can never accept the responsibility of what they are doing. It comes back to that puzzle of whether addiction is an illness or a character problem.

Any Doctor will tell you that they don’t worry about giving drugs to some people because of their strong desire to not become addicted, others crave the drugs and become readily addicted.

Addicts will all tell you that it is an illness, non-addicts usually feel that it is a character problem. Which ever it is, we have very little influence to change someone else’s lives..

Robin Shelley said...

Not sure what made me think of this... (; ... but is Brian still at Green's?

Ernie Branscomb said...

Nope, the only drug store in Garberville is at Ray's Sentry. Brian Retired.

Robin Shelley said...

Dang! Is he still around? I used to talk to him on the phone once in awhile but never had the pleasure of meeting him in person. If you ever see Brian tell him "Robin from Laytonville" said hello.

Knew John Hall, though! Remember him? (Just so you don't think I'm one of those "doctor/pharmacy-shopper/ addicts", I'm an RX tech who worked at Laytonville Pharmacy for 12 years & Howard Hospital in Willits for 2 1/2 years.) Worked with John. Had a lot of fun!

Sorry your town lost Green's.

puzzled said...

What can fill the black hole of emptiness and meaninglessness in our culture that causes addiction?

Our mistake is that we always look outside of ourselves --reaching out to the next answer, the next political candidate, the next lover, the next fix. There is very little solitude. Even when we are alone our lives are crowded by so many influences, so much knowledge, so many memories of so many experiences, so much anxiety and conflict that our mind becomes duller and duller, more and more insensitive, functioning in a monotonous routine. In a half conscious daze we reach out for the next sugary donut. And we call that life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Until one day...

Like you said, in one way or another the tragic side of addiction touches all of our lives.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Yes Brian lives on the hill above town, I can contact him if you need to.
“Long John” Hall died a few years ago. He was a great person. He was my ‘cross the creek neighbor in Benbow.

You brought up another difference that I have noticed in people. When I am alone in a spot of great beauty like I often find in my surroundings, because we live in an area of great beauty and we have all the seasonal changes. My first thought is that I’m alone, and I have a great need to share my beautiful bounty with others. My wife on the other hand is completely content to be left alone. She likes to share my moments wonder, but she doesn’t need share. I’ve noticed the same things in other people. Like how would anyone live a life of isolation, I would go crazy. Yet, I have known people that live back in the hills by themselves and could care less if they ever see another human being. To me that’s strange.

puzzled said...

I feel more isolated on a busy intersection in downtown SF than I do on a mountaintop.

Meaning is direction. Addiction is a misdirected attempt to fix the meaninglessness of our lives.

EkoVox said...

You know....I'm a little tired of you SoHum folks domineering the conversation here at Ernie's Place.

It used to be a nice little place when the EastHum's and NoHum's would come down and gather here.
A right friendly place. Now, it's turned into a real greasy spoon.

You wait until we turn the gabbing around to talk about the Shoe Lady, Old Milwuakee Jim and Fats Baldy in the Brown Truck. (real K/T characters) You won't like it one little bit....no sir.

Hell, I may even go and start my own blog.......oh, wait.....oops.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Hi Ekovox, I was just up chocolate shopping on your blogsite. Good to see you back down here in sohum country!

If anybody wants to check out some interesting stuff, click on the little line over there to your left, the one that says “299 Opine, Ekovox” under the heading of “Links To Other Blogsites”. Check out the archives he has some good stuff back there.

Robin, I like your new avitar, what made you think of using a Robin?

Anonymous said...

The way the wind was blowing today, one of those 1900 pick-me-up throat lozenges sounds pretty good to me right now.

Robin Shelley said...

I'm just clever that way...
By the way, better not tell Ekovox where Jimmy the Sissy & I are at... might do him in!

Robin Shelley said...

And, for heaven's sake, don't tell him you're related to one of us!

Ernie Branscomb said...

When I crushed a disc in my back years ago, the Doctor gave me something that was aspirin mixed with codeine. I took one pill and went on the most bizarre trip down the rabbit hole that can ever be imagined. It was like an out of body experience where I was in a dream and trying to wake up. I knew that I was awake, but all of my thoughts were swirling around, and had this fear that I was not going to be able to take care of myself if I needed to, because I was somewhere else, or someone else. I spend about a day and a half that way and I would rather have suffered the pain than be that far out. When I called the Doctor he said; “Yeah, it has that effect, but some people like it”. You have to be kidding!

Robin Shelley said...

Trust me when I tell you, Ernie... some people LOVE it... & will do (or offer!) just about anything to get it. Not all addicts are on the street... anybody who has worked in pharmacy has some hair-raising stories to tell!

EkoVox said...

Much like my bad "trip" in the dentists chair when I was 16. Nitrous Oxide. Way too much for me. I swore the dentist had telephone poles inserted into my mouth, the window was pulsating and the dental assistant was a horse. And all I could do was sing the song "Slow Ride" by Foghat over and over in my head.

Nope, I've never dropped acid. After that experience in the dentist chair, I've had no desire
to "Turn On, Tune In and Drop Out"

Did I mention seeing the guy at 9AM in front of the Myers Flat store chugging down a whole big bottle of cough syrup like a bottle of Budweiser at a frat party.

Olive Oil and garlic are my drugs of choice.

Ernie Branscomb said...

No gas for me! I don't even like novacain when I go to the Dentist, I tell him to stop stalling and start drilling, and I'll let him know if I can't take it.

It doesn't hurt as bad when you tell yourself that your teeth are getting fixed. But of course since that flouride treatment I've had little dental work that needed to be done.

Anonymous said...

I have never had to use aspirin with codeine but, if I ever did and it made me feel like I was in a rabbit hole I have a sure cure.
That is what Wild Turkey Rye was made for. Golly sakes.


P.S. Ernie, are you related to Robin?

Anonymous said...

Hot car addicts?; I haven't checked the mileage but guess a couple thousand or so. I haven't counted the steps to work yet but it takes me 8 minutes to drive my truck. No sawdust on my car I tell ya.
There is a guy that lives down the road that told me he just sold a car I would love. A Jag and packing 750 horse power. He took it to Bonneville Salt Flats and got it up to 185 mph. He said that was fast enough for him. Those old A-4 pilots never change.


Ernie Branscomb said...

Yeah, and those A-4 pilots are getting older and older.

I asked Loren this morning if we could actually shoot the bus size satellite that is going to re-enter the atmosphere. He said; “Oh yeah!” He said they could do that before Reagan’s Star War project.

Those military guys seem to know what they are doing.

suzy blah blah said...

I once met thiss reaaly cute guy witha wild look in his eye withch is what i like at the mAteeel and he fired up a jouint and handed it to me adn i took a big toke and but it smelled weerd and i said this shit smells srtange what kinda bud is this ----skunk?? and he said oh it smells like that becouse its got some PCP in it and i said WHAT?!!!!!! and i handed it rite bakc to him bvut it was already to late and i statrted trippi adn fuck it was awful there ware snakes crawling trhu my vanes and then' suzy was a snake crawing on the ground and i crawled all the way from the Mateeel to the Posts office on my belly and my gurlfrind found me crawling toward MUrishes and she said suxy whaat the fuch areyou doing ? and but i thaought she was a vamopiere and i crawled under a car and wouldnt come out and she spent the rest of the mnight trying to get me to crowal out and but i --so like Earnie NEVER NEvER take any PCP!!! -the other sheit yuo mentioned like cocaine and anphetamene and codiene and caffein and morphene and methadrene and benzadrene and all thoes other means are mean poisons but PcP is sthe worst of all -- except datura --one time i took some datura just to see what it twsa like and i got so confused i didnt know show i was and i coukdnt tell if time was going forward s or bakcwaards and i still have f flashbacks whare it seems like time is ooo mmm ah like theat and stuff so Earnie also dont take no Datura its bad shit but ... one cold beer yum! an to think it used to be ellegal -sheeeit---

Ernie Branscomb said...

Suzy, cute guy's with a wild look in their eye can be the worst drug! A girl needs to be careful.

suzy blah blah said...

Earnie , i dont think yuo really need a apostrofy in the word guys LOL... but other wise speeking ---yr rreply is very very very wize...
u take care 2,

Ernie Branscomb said...

Jeeze, you think a guy could be forgiven one little typo....

suzy blah blah said...


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