Friday, June 26, 2009


In a world of latest-greatest goops and concoctions, the KintlaLake family tilts toward the familiar -- and I mean the stuff that my wife and I used when we were kids. (Hell, most of what I'm talking about was around when our grandparents were kids.)

Honestly, I don't know what's gotten into me this morning, but for some strange reason I feel compelled to offer KintlaLake's Top Five Old-School Preparations.

#5 Unguentine

By far the best first-aid salve ever invented, Unguentine should be in every medicine cabinet and kit. Maybe its best benefit is that it draws -- infection doesn't stand a chance. Made in USA.

#4b Clubman Talc
I'll admit that I use Clubman and include it on this list because its distinctive fragrance reminds me of weekly haircuts at Louie's Barber Shop when I was a kid. It's good at soothing razor burn, too. (Yes, I said weekly.) Made in England.

#4a Gold Bond Powder

If it chafes or itches, no matter the reason why, Gold Bond is the cure. Just ask a baby -- or if you can't get the baby to talk, ask a bicyclist. The lotion is good, too, but the original powder is amazing. Made in USA.

#3 Dickinson's Witch Hazel

How can something so naturally simple be so versatile? It's an astringent, a cleanser, a treatment for scrapes and insect bites and more. After 200 years, I'm pretty sure that Dickinson's got it right. Made in Essex, Connecticut.

#2 Corn Huskers Lotion
Especially in the wintertime, my hands get so dry they're painful. Anyone who works outside in cold weather knows exactly what I'm talking about.

I've never found anything that works as well as this simple, glycerin-and-water potion. Remarkable stuff, made in USA.

#1 Bag Balm
Created in 1899 to soften the chapped udders of dairy cows, Bag Balm is the ultimate old-school therapy for irritated or scraped human skin.

Yeah, so it smells a little funky, but don't mention that to rescuers (human and canine) who used it day after day while digging through the World Trade Center rubble after 9-11. It's not just good -- it's da balm. (Sorry.) Made in Lyndonville, Vermont.

Honorable mention
Epsom salt, Vaseline and Vick's VapoRub.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program -- which, if you've managed to read this far, is probably a re-air of a Paul Harvey radio show.