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Mysterious medicine and romantic song lyrics all things of the past

Bob Lind, Neighbors columnist

Are you old enough to remember putting Mercurochrome on cuts and bruises?

A few decades ago, just about every household in the country had a bottle of the stuff to dab on children's (and adults') hurts. But in 1998, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it was "not generally recognized as safe and effective" as an over-the-counter antiseptic and forbade its sale across state lines.

An article on the web says Mercurochrome "had been around for ages and hadn't hurt or killed a noticeable number of people." But, the website says, "Mercurochrome and other drugs containing mercury came up for scrutiny as part of a general review of over-the-counter antiseptics that began in 1978, and for good reason; mercury in large enough doses is a poison that harms the brain, the kidneys and developing fetuses."

And so, later on, Mercurochrome was gone.

But Neighbors suspects a lot of you applied it to your or your kids' owies. Right?

Romantic lyrics

And while we're reminiscing about the past, how about our old songs with gorgeous and romantic lyrics?

Songs with such heart-rending lyrics as "The flat foot floogie with a floy, floy," and "Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey."

You know, they just don't write songs like that anymore, right?

Wrong president

Now, Neighbors has to correct an error from a previous column.

Some time ago, this column quoted a publication which said that Gerald Ford was U.S. president in 1978.

Wrong. Jimmy Carter was president then.

Thanks to Mike Koesterman, Moorhead, for spotting the mistake.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 241-5487 or email