My dad was a man of integrity and he was fair. If he owed you money, you knew you were going to be paid. When he had us all down in the summers to work ~ we built a house the summer of ’74 ~ he kept a book with our hourly wages. Rob got $2.00 an hour, I got $1.75, Mike got $1.50, and Greg was $1.25 an hour. I am not sure what Steve was paid. Marilyn probably was too young to work, although who knows, maybe she was getting $1.00 an hour for something too.
We would work an 8-hour day, and Karen would bring fantastic lunches for our hour break. On the weekend, we ate hard shell crabs and went sailing on the Chesapeake Bay.
One thing about my dad, he gave me a sense that I could do most anything.
“Get on up on that ladder and stain that 2nd floor board Marje,” and up I would go.
One of my jobs was mixing up the mortar and laying out the bricks for my dad. I tried to add as many daddy long leg spiders to that mortar as I could find; better in the mixer than crawling on me.
If I fell down on the bricks, got a bug bite, chapped lips, sunburn, scraped knee… no matter what it was, my dad had one remedy.
No matter what ailed you, that is what he had to offer.
You got poison ivy all over your face, yeah, throw a little Porter’s Salve on that and you will be fine.
Burned yourself playing with matches? “Karen, where’s the Porter’s Salve? Give it to Marje.”
Mike cut himself again, blood running down his leg? No problem. Porter’s Salve to the rescue.
Any unexpected weird pain? Stomachache, itchy rash, weird appearing welts? You know what to do.
Those cracked hands of yours from working out in the cold weather, my dad had the solution.
It looks like they are still selling it too. http://www.porterssalve.com/ The website says they never had any formal advertising plan. It was sold door-to-door and sales were generated “mostly by word of mouth, from satisfied customers telling others of Porter’s Salve’s soothing, healing properties.”
My dad, most certainly, was one of those folks. I cannot think of any other product that won him over quite so faithfully as Porter’s Salve.