Nannie Maude Reynolds shares memories and thoughts about Winston County’s past.
Do you remember the Saturday night bath? We bathed once a week in the winter time. It was in a tin wash tub behind the wood burning stove in the kitchen. In the summer we drew a tub of water after lunch and let it set in the sun all afternoon and took a bath there after the sun went down. Everybody took a bath in the same water. We did wash our feet at night before going to bed. The pan was passed around the room as we sat in a circle before the wood burning fireplace. I have seen water splashed on the floor freeze before morning there in front of the fire. I have searched my memory trying to think of a family in our community who had a bathroom or running water and cannot think of a single one. We had to carry water sometimes when we lived at a place where there was no well, hence the need to save water. Toilet soap and deodorant were unheard of.
We had a pan of water and a bucket with a dipper to drink from. Sometimes it would sit on the front or back porch and sometimes in the kitchen. At Papa’s house it was on the front porch. Everyone drank from the same dipper. There were a few families who had gourd dippers.
Our teeth were sadly neglected. I remember once our county health nurse, Mrs. Mabel Estes, came to Liberty school and taught us how to brush our teeth. She gave each child a toothbrush and a small box of Arm and Hammer baking soda. We were instructed as to how to brush and allowed to brush there at school before carrying our new treasures home with us. We lined up by grade and brushed and then we went outside and spit out our foaming baking soda.
Head lice were a common thing when we were in school. If anyone in the school had lice, we had to go home and tell our Momma and she would wash our hair with turpentine. We got out on the back porch and washed and she poured turpentine over it and then rinsed it out. All the bedclothes had to be changed and washed before we went to bed to prevent re-infesting our selves.
Mrs. Estes also gave us our injections for the diseases that plague the children at that time. She set up a station down at the church and each teacher had to march their grades down to the church to get our shots. We stood in line while she stuck a needle in children ahead of us. We got more and more nervous as the line got shorter. She had a Bunsen burner on which she had a pan of boiling water. After each shot, she removed the needle and put it into the boiling water and replaced it with one she had already used. We got shots for Typhoid fever, Diphtheria and Whooping Cough. I guess these shots must have been sufficient because these diseases are rarely heard of today.
People lived and died much the same then as they do today. Some things haven’t changed at all: Love and Laughter, tears and grief, pain and suffering. However, the medical field has made great strides in the care of the physical side of the human body. Sometimes it seems that we have completely neglected the spiritual side. Our Souls need good, regular care just as our physical side does. We need good cleansing, proper nourishment and preventive medicine for our spiritual side to insure the growth, development and usefulness God intended.
More next week,
Editor’s note: Nannie Maude Reynolds is an author and Winston Countian. She has written four books including Home For Christmas. To purchase one of her books contact 662-724-4631.