all the strange, weird and confusing bits of history, none quite compare with
rain dancers, water witchers and grandmas. Each could perform miracles if the
sign was right, a fresh peach tree twig was used or the malady could be cured
with Castor Oil or Black Draught Tonic.
dancers were famous for appearing only during rainy season, with thunder clouds
gathering on the horizon and high humidity.
Written guarantees for service
often used the words sprinkle, shower, mist and trace. The terms of head-rise,
flood and downpour never appeared in ink.
art of water witching, or finding water beneath the ground, is just as mysterious.
I firmly believe the power exists in certain people.
In fact, I have the
power myself and have proved it several times to my satisfaction. I cannot explain
how it works but it does. Does that make sense?
A story handed down from
a dry area in New Mexico told of a ranch that literally had no water beneath its
surface. Owner after owner had to sell out because he had no water for his stock.
famous water witcher guaranteed his work was secured and after several days finally
drove a stake, saying this is the only sign of water I have found. They paid his
fee and hired a driller who finally hit granite at 300 feet with only a damp streak
of water sand that did not produce. The water witcher refunded the fee with the
reason, "I had a twig malfunction."
matter what medical condition you might have or where on your body it occurred,
Grandma could cure it. First check the moon sign, pray a bit, then get ready for
the cure. For plain old injuries outside the body like cuts, step on a nail; big
splinter, barbed wire slice, ingrown toenail or mashed fingers, soak it twice
a day in coal oil. This worked usually for one simple reason: no living cell,
germ or infection could live and grow immersed under the oil.
I once split
my big toe open with a post-hole digger and soaked my left foot in coal oil twice
a day nearly all summer. Now after 70 years of time passed, when I trim my left
foot toenails, I can smell the faint odor of coal oil.
If your malady
was located inside the body, the solution was Castor Oil. This horrid taste was
often disguised in orange juice or home canned fruit juices that accomplished
nothing but turn the victims against that juice forever. This remedy was always
successful as the patient pretended to get well to prevent another dose.
Grandmas were great proponents of preventative medicine. Old timers believed long
cold winters caused suet and barnacles to build up in one's intestines, rust in
the urinary tracts, cobwebs in the brain and sand in the joints. Never fear! Hadacol
and Black Draught Tonic were the answer. A series of daily doses would cleanse
and release the buildups without pain or misery.
No doubt all these medical
facts are true because Grandma said it was.
Trew - "It's All Trew" June
14, 2011 column