Bug Spray in the 1960s


We heard on the radio that this year is going to be a BAD YEAR for ticks here in Connecticut.  Let me change that...  It appears that if you're a tick in Connecticut, you're going to have a lot of family with you.  Oh, wait...  I wonder if ticks have had a bad Covid year and are now getting back together with friends and family.  But I digress.

Our backyard ends where the woods start.  I've seen deer not only in the woods but having a party on my lawn after dark.  OK - it wasn't exactly a party - but they were hangin' around, and up to no good. 

I have friends who have Lyme Disease (heck we created it here in Connecticut) and I have NO INTEREST in acquiring that disease since I just survived the past year.  We also have a very cute, furry little dog that ticks love to grab a ride on her long fur and then come into the house.  No Bueno.....

After checking the anti-bug arsenal in the garage - I came up short on finding tick-killing chemicals.  SO...  Off to Lowes I went to obtain said chemicals.  And that's when it hit me.  Oh My Goodness....  Bug Spray in the 1960s.  I don't remember having an aerosol can back then.  We used fly swatters, slippers, and fly paper (look it up) but no branded chemicals just to wipe out creepy crawlies.

What I DO REMEMBER is one of the most terrifying things from my childhood.  OK - this is probably only number #32 of the most terrifying things - but you need to hear about it anyway.

Every year in late spring or early summer, the town would send out a HUGE TRUCK.  One guy would be driving it while another sat in a swivel seat attached to a huge fan.  The man in the back was like a gunner on an anti-aircraft gun turret aboard a naval ship.  From his seat, he could move the giant fan side to side and up and down.  Coming out of said fan was a cloud of chemicals.  

The truck moved at about 5 miles per hour, time enough for the chemicals to be spread onto every leaf of every tree within range along the "main street" of Goshen.  

I remember running inside the house yelling to my grandmother with the same zeal as if Martians had invaded.  Gramma Fraher's response as she smoked her cigarette while peeling potatoes at the kitchen table was:  "They're just spraying the trees...."  Nonchalant.  No need to worry.  Heck, it was probably only DDT... Five minutes after the truck passed I was right back out in the front yard playing.  I remember that it smelled kind of weird, but...  Gramma said it was fine.  Heck...  It was fine! 

Once I got used to this event on an annual basis, I couldn't wait to see that big truck.  Dang, it was cool how that guy could control that big thing.  Oh, how I wanted to be that guy someday.  

Oh and that reminds me of the other vehicle I wanted to pilot someday:  one of those big fan boats that they used to zip through the Everglades.  Oh yeah...  That would be really cool...

So how about you?  What's the scariest thing from your childhood that the adults all ignored?  Now that I've helped you uncover that one, enjoy your time with your therapist...