all the strange, weird and confusing bits of history, none quite
compare with rain dancers, water witchers and grandmas. Each could
perform miracles if the sign was right, a fresh peach tree twig
was used or the malady could be cured with Castor Oil or Black Draught
Rain dancers were famous for appearing only during rainy season,
with thunder clouds gathering on the horizon and high humidity.
Written guarantees for service often used the words sprinkle, shower,
mist and trace. The terms of head-rise, flood and downpour never
appeared in ink.
art of water witching, or finding water beneath the ground, is just
as mysterious. I firmly believe the power exists in certain people.
In fact, I have the power myself and have proved it several times
to my satisfaction. I cannot explain how it works but it does. Does
that make sense?
A story handed down from a dry area in New Mexico told of a ranch
that literally had no water beneath its surface. Owner after owner
had to sell out because he had no water for his stock.
A famous water witcher guaranteed his work was secured and after
several days finally drove a stake, saying this is the only sign
of water I have found. They paid his fee and hired a driller who
finally hit granite at 300 feet with only a damp streak of water
sand that did not produce. The water witcher refunded the fee with
the reason, "I had a twig malfunction."
matter what medical condition you might have or where on your body
it occurred, Grandma could cure it. First check the moon sign, pray
a bit, then get ready for the cure. For plain old injuries outside
the body like cuts, step on a nail; big splinter, barbed wire slice,
ingrown toenail or mashed fingers, soak it twice a day in coal oil.
This worked usually for one simple reason: no living cell, germ
or infection could live and grow immersed under the oil.
I once split my big toe open with a post-hole digger and soaked
my left foot in coal oil twice a day nearly all summer. Now after
70 years of time passed, when I trim my left foot toenails, I can
smell the faint odor of coal oil.
If your malady was located inside the body, the solution was Castor
Oil. This horrid taste was often disguised in orange juice or home
canned fruit juices that accomplished nothing but turn the victims
against that juice forever. This remedy was always successful as
the patient pretended to get well to prevent another dose.
Grandmas were great proponents of preventative medicine. Old timers
believed long cold winters caused suet and barnacles to build up
in one's intestines, rust in the urinary tracts, cobwebs in the
brain and sand in the joints. Never fear! Hadacol and Black Draught
Tonic were the answer. A series of daily doses would cleanse and
release the buildups without pain or misery.
No doubt all these medical facts are true because Grandma said it
© Delbert Trew
"It's All Trew" June
14, 2011 column