With Mom and Peter(R)
I met a former patient, Lee, who said my stories brought back many memories for her. “But, Dr. Ed, you forgot to mention Noxzema.”
She’s right. Now, I remember my story.
The summers at the beach were a joy and put us into a frenzy when we were about to go.
In the early years, we rented a house for a week…. Well, not a house per se but two rooms in a rooming house.
It had a central kitchen and bathroom, none of which mattered. We were at the beach.
In my enthusiasm, I rushed to the shore and threw away the key. That is to say, we stayed there all day.
Sunblock? Protection? Are you kidding? It was beach and swim, beach and swim.
I paid for it. That evening, I had the worst sunburn ever, especially on my legs which I spread to walk. I cried a lot. Going to bed was the worst.
I could barely put the sheet on me. Forget turning around. The pain and the heat were awful.
“You need Noxzema,” said Aunt Della as she ambled into my room.
She along with my uncle, grandparents and parents were sitting on the porch (they always did that in the summer) under the stars and heard my moaning.
“Sunburn cream. It takes the pain away.”
“I hate stuff like that on me.”
“Be quiet.” She tossed the sheets.
I turned to look. The stuff came in a blue bottle. She took gobs of it and slathered it all over my legs. It smelled like mint, ice and Vicks all rolled into one. It worked.
As I wrote this, I wondered how all this stuff about Noxzema started.
It was invented by Francis J. Townsend, a doctor, and it was referred to as “no-eczema”. Townsend prescribed it as a remedy to vacationers burned by the sun.
Townsend later gave the formula to Dr. George Bunting who introduced “Dr. Bunting’s Sunburn Remedy” as the first real alternative to the greasy creams.
The inspiration for the name Noxzema supposedly came from a satisfied customer who exclaimed, “You knocked my eczema.”
Interesting, if true.
It worked, and I fell asleep.