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Archiver > ROOTS > 1998-10 > 97031

From: "Charles Thomas Sears" <>
Subject: Re: Coal and kerosene
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 01:10:32 -0700


For those of you who may be confused by all this, coal and kerosene are the
same thing. Originally called coal oil because it was first refined from
coal, it later was refined from petroleum and given the more scientific
name kerosene. Turpentine on the other hand came from pine trees. They
both tasted bad, but turpentine stings the worst when applied to sensitive
areas of the body, including rusty nail punctures. It was presumed to
prevent "lockjaw" (old-time name for tetanus), which was presumed to be
caused by rusty nails. Most of our generation have experienced the
turpentine foot-soak, as it was customary to go barefoot all summer, at
least. (If it was a good year, we got a new pair of shoes in the fall,
which had to last until we outgrew them. That usually occurred early in
the spring, in spite of having started out a size or two too large. So the
toes were cut out of the now too-short shoes, and worn that way until
school was out or the weather warmed up. In the latter case, we could
sometimes get away with going barefoot to school, the last few weeks. But
we knew that inevitably we would step on that rusty nail and out would come
the turpentine bottle.)
I'm glad to find a lot of other rooters are old enough to remember these
things. Our kids and grandkids have no idea what they missed. They'll
never have callouses on their feet so thick they could run all day up and
down a gravel road and never feel a thing.

GrGrampa Chuck

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