Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Porter's Salve: An Epilogue

Recent events have compelled me to write an epilogue to the
Porter’s Salve story
. What follows is
heresy. My husband spoke to his parents
on Sunday evening. As usual, he asked
about his Grandpa. My father-in-law
(known as Papa Dale on this blog) relayed a story to him that begged for a blog

My husband’s Grandpa has the innate ability to fix and sell
anything. He can find a lawnmower or a
snow blower at a yard sale or on the side of the road, fix it up and sell it to
someone for a couple hundred dollars. It really is a shame that he did not go into some type of sales
professionally. I’m pretty sure he
would have been a very rich man. Grandpa is over 80 and retired now so he divides his time between
gardening, fixing up his mowers and helping other people with their
lawnmowers. Last week, he found himself
working on a friend’s mower. He was
seated in the garage with the mower on its side, working on the motor. You know where this is going, don’t
you? He turned on the mower to check if
it was working and managed to sever (or nearly sever—my husband wasn’t clear on
this—I’m assuming the latter) three of his fingers. Never one to trust someone in the medical profession, my
Grandpa-In-Law went home and did what any rational human being raised in Kentucky
would do. He doused his wounds in
Porter’s Salve. Yep, that’s right,
folks. My sarcastic comment about my
husband’s family using Porter’s Salve to extract a bullet to the chest wasn’t
that far from the truth.

I’m sad to report that the Porter Salve did not, as was the
hope, successfully reattach his fingers. Grandpa-In-Law was forced to visit the doctor yesterday for some
licensed medical care. We haven’t
received a full report yet but maybe Papa Dale will fill us in. We’re hoping for a speedy recovery for
Grandpa and full use of all ten fingers.

Lesson for the day: Drawin’ salve works wonders for splinters but should not be used to
reattach appendages.


  1. maybe Porter Salve would work as birth control? Forget the penny!
    Actually, Chris just suggested it could be used to hold the penny in place. . . .

  2. In the interest of scientific research, I recently tried to put a little drawin' salve on a zit. I thought that it might just "draw it out" and I would wake up in the morning blemish-free. My salve is actually not the Porter's brand and it looks and smells just like tar. As you can imagine, I was quite attractive with my tar-covered zit. Although not 100% successful, I think the research deserves another chance...next time I'm going to try Porter's, the "real thing".

  3. Aunt Becky-
    Porter Salve, in my opinion, has the exact same scent as the nursing homes that I visited in my youth to serenade the residents with Christmas carols. For that reason, I'd say it would be a pretty effective birth control method.
    Um, I'm choosing not to comment on Uncle Chris's recommendation.

  4. Jacquelyn-
    Your drawin' salve is different than Porter's in many ways: Porter Salve is a white paste that smells like a 1980's nursing home. I guess drawin' salves have a regional flavor much like Bar-b-que.
    Porter Salve on a zit, eh? You should contact a Dermatologist resident and see if they are willing to explore that further. It might make for some groundbreaking research.

  5. Just imagine if my Porter's Salve on a zit hypothesis pans out. I'll be a millionaire!!

  6. Jacquelyn - - You must be using Prid Drawing Salve (in the orange can?)
    That is a point of contention between the Hales and myself. I used Prid before marrying into the family ten years ago, but they are all loyal to the Porter Salve.
    (I still have my tin of Prid - and we just agree to disagree.)

  7. Hi Julianne,
    Had to comment, as I just used Jacqueline's version of "Porter's salve" yesterday on my hysterical daughter's left middle finger. I am pretty sure it is just plain ole black tar, someone managed to condense into a little white tube...anyway,it worked! Just minutes after the splinter found it's way into Anna's finger, we headed to Walgreen's on the recommendation of Jacqueline to find some drawin' salve. Anna, still hysterically crying, was walking through the aisles holding her left "bird" finger up in the air. I tryed to tell her some people find this gesture offensive, but it didn't matter. We left with some drawin' salve, and a pack of care bear band aids...about 5 hours later that pesky little splinter was out of Anna's bird finger and on the band aid!! That was the best 3 dollars and 39 cents I have ever spent! Thanks for the useful info re: drawin' salve...it saved me from several days worth of crying and empty promises of getting it out painlessly with a sharp object!!
    Julie Davidson

  8. O.K., Aunt Mary says "If you don't quit publishing out family secrets, someone will rip off the story for the family history book you have threatened to write." that said, Daddy was a workin' in his own 'tached garage, soos' all he had ta do wus ta waddle into da hous, and grab dat can o salve, and a clean rag, the clean rag is impotent ya no, den, he rapped er up and the healin' begun. Well, he did all dis on a wednsday mornin', and I gets a call from my cuzin' (in Tennessee), on a Friday evenin', an he wants ta know ifin I had talked to my Daddy lately, after I found out what had happened, I called daddy, an tol him ta get to the docter, and get himsef a lock-jaw shot, so he went right up there, on Monday, an got a shot, not from the docter, frum the nurse at de countie health departenment, dis realie made him mad, cause he had to pay $33 cash money fer de shot!!! De fingers is a growin' back on real good, an fer all them non believers out der, there ain't no substatutin fer Porter's Salve!!!! And, that's all I've got to say about that.

  9. Julie-
    So glad to hear the drawin' salve worked for you! I love that your daughter flipped off the staff at Walgreens.

  10. Papa Dale-
    Our family secrets are what keep this blog going. They're a neverending fountain of humorous anticdotes.

  11. WOw, so glad Papa Dale is healing up ok. Ouch! Those lawn mowers can be dangerous at times. I know Dusty was really lucky last year when something blew on it and popped out. Thank goodness the kids weren't near him. Be careful Papa Dale- I don't even know you, but I feel I know you from the site. :)