Yesteryear’s Memories: A nickel for your wart

January 3, 2022

My grandmother was a wonderful lady. She was born in the last few years of the 1800s (yes, I said 1800s) and remembered so much. Wars, diseases, births, deaths and how people used to do things. She was around during WWI (when my dad was a toddler) and when the Titanic sank. She remembered when Charlie Birger was hanged in Benton, Illinois in 1928 and the Hindenberg disaster nine years later. Those facts didn’t really mean a lot to me when I was an adolescent; they were just bits of information from the past. What got me was an occurrence involving my oldest brother.

He had a wart on his thumb. He was complaining about it; he had tried tinctures and salves but it just wouldn’t go away. My grandmother took a look and simply said, “I’ll give you a nickle for it.”

I didn’t know what to think about that. If it was a joke, it wasn’t really funny. He grinned and said, “okay.”

I guess he thought she was just joking, too.

At any rate, next thing we knew she was holding a nickle to the wart. She held it there for just a minute or so, and told him to go bury it in the backyard. He laughed, I laughed, but he did as she said.

I saw my brother about a week later. I asked him if he still had the wart. He told me yeah, he had it, and it had been there for several years and didn’t expect it to disappear any time soon. We laughed and promptly forgot about it. About a month later, we were talking and he said his van had a peculiar noise coming from the engine. I joked to him that I’d buy the noise for a nickle. That’s when it happened. He looked at his thumb and it was clean as a new born baby. Nothing. Not a scar, not a discoloration, not a trace. Maybe it’s just like a placebo. Believe in a cure, and the cure happens. The only thing is, neither one of us believed it.

I have an appointment with my tax man in a few weeks, and I have new deductions that may save me about twenty five cents. I have five family members who needed medical procedures, and I paid for them.

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