Vol. 3-Interview-Shane


Angela Varesano 6/26/72 Ted Shane

Garlic cloves sliced in half and strung on thread close to the neck were worn. Some were down to the belly. Kids used to go to school like this. It was used when somebody had a cold, croup, whooping cough, to cure it.

Onions baked and squeezed for their juice are used to colds. The juice is mixed with whiskey or schnapps. If a kid had a cold, they used onions that had been squeezed on the feet, wrapped the feet in a diaper, and put him to bed. Old Miss Smith, the nurse, used to believe in this. These were used during the flu in 1918.

For a strain or sore back they had a bloodstone. Put milk in a bowl and rub the milk with the stone. When it turned red, they used to drink it. They used one of those dessert dishes to stir the milk.

For a sprain or swelled ankle, they used bear grease that had been rendered in a deep pan. Put one tablespoon of tur pentine in four tablespoons of grease that has been heated as hot as can be stood. Mix it up and apply it to the ankle.

When boarders had some kind of scratch in their eyes, they used to get the milk of a nursing mother and squirt it on. You couldn’t put it a spoon and apply it because it had to go right on from the mother’s breast.

For a cold get three peeled cloves of garlic. Put it in a pan with a teaspoon of butter. Melt the butter and put in a glass of milk. Bring it to a boil. Take before going to bed. It will make you sweat.

Leaves of pig ears, four small ones washed off, can be used on a cut if it got infected. Bandage it on to draw the infection out and heal it.

Lots of powwowers used ashes from the stove rubbed into the leg for some kind of crippled leg. He remembers seeing this done while the powwowers mumbled some words. It was probably for rheumatism.

The “power”: Look for the seventh son of the seventh son, even the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter. If there was a girl or boy, respectively, it would break “the power.” There was one on Briscoe Street in Freeland, but he’s dead a good many years.

Mustard bath for colds: Put hot water, as much as can be stood, in a tub. Add a cup of dry mustard. Mix with hand. Soak the body. Go in bed because you’ll sweat like hell.

A long time ago many people kept geese. They used goose grease before they went to bed. It was put in a dish. Add turpentine (spirits of turpentine), about a teaspoon to a tablespoon of grease. Rub on the chest for a cold. It was also used as a hair dressing to keep hair down. Grease was washed off in the morning.

[Drawing of garlic cloves, sliced in half lengthwise and strung on thread to form a necklace.]


Angela Varesano 6/26/72 Ted Shane

Ground hog oil was used for asthma. You’d drink it. Skin a dead ground hog. Scrape off the fat between the shoulder blades and kidneys. Put in’ a saucepan and render lard. All the oil comes out of the fat. Put it in a jar.

For a heavy fever give a couple drops, two or three, of spirits of nider (niter) in a teaspoon of water. Grown-ups took more than two drops in a tablespoon. That kept the fever down. Some people used a few drops of moonshine in water, about a teaspoon, to bring the fever down.

When a child was teething, lots of people kept bees here (Frank Shane, Emory Nichol[?]s), and you took a tablespoon of fresh honey and put it in a china cup. Add one teaspoon of whiskey. When the child would start cring, you’d rub his gums with it. He would stop crying. When he started up again, you’d give it to him again.

Whiskey was used to bring a fever down. This was mostly home-brewed whiskey.


Denis Mercier 8/1/72 Teddy Shane

When a person who chewed tobacco got cut, all they had to do was put the plug of tobacco over the cut. It kept out infection and burned worse than hydrogen peroxide!

Contributions Message

judyak and Camille Westmont