Found in Grandpa’s Closet


Grandpa had his personal closet in the bedroom/family room. It was between the fireplace and the front door, small and not very deep, with a wood button to keep it closed. He kept his personal things there: farm records, keepsakes, deed, and old love letters from grandma, his jacket and everyday hat.



This bottle was found on the top shelf, high up in a back corner. It evidently had been there, neglected, for a long time since what liquid that was left in it had mostly evaporated, leaving a small amount of thick dark residue.


Grandpa was a teetotaler, abstaining from all alcohol for its own sake; that was part of the church covenant. But of course, medications were not part of the total ban, and if a medicine, designated “FOR MAN OR BEAST”, and as useful “INTERNALLY” or “EXTERNALLY” just happened to have more alcohol than most whisky you get in the ABC store today, then that was of no direct concern to a person needing relief from a “spell of the miseries”.


I imagine that very little of the medication was actually ever used “EXTERNALLY” and that only in the must unusual circumstances was there a need to waste a drop easing the suffering of any “BEAST”.