Yum Yum, Castor Oil


Castor oil administration. The Blalock Mansion on 7th Street in Port Edwards was an orphanage in the tough years of the Great Depression, the mansion held as many as 30 kids. Boys and girls, each on a separate floor. It was in the interest of Wood County to keep them healthy, and what better way to do it than a daily dose of castor oil.

Nurse Constance gave a special hoot, a yippy tai aye, and the boys lined up.

“Stay on the line, stay on the line. Remember to keep the spoon clean, so after you take the castor oil, I’ll rub the spoon front and back on your sweater to get rid of the germs. If you drop the spoon, wipe it on your socks before giving it back to me. Stop giggling, you act like this is your first time.”

The group, nervous and excited, lined up but always had to look to see if anyone gagged or spit it out.

Jessie, Brad, Rick, Timmy, Dan, Jack, Wayne, Ralph, Amos, Luke, Mark, and Richie were all there. Karl was still sick, laying in the med room. Nurse Constance told the boys that Karl didn’t always swallow his medicine so that’s why he got sick.


2 Replies to “Yum Yum, Castor Oil”

  1. How did I not see this before? I love the picture and the write up!

    1. Thanks Cari, and it wasn’t something I set out to do. I saw the bag and wham, I thought of what memories it brought back. And this lady who had her phone number on her site encouraged people to contact her. I should have stated outright that any pictures I used came with her permission. Thanks for writing, Cari. Good week to you, and I’m hoping the temps get a little more seasonable.

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