Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1950’s Band-Aid Sheer Strips and Knee Op Progress

Submitted by Allee Willis January 19th, 2011
Certifikitsch Winner

I’m happy to report that I’m making a swift recovery from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in my left knee yesterday. I still have all the festive bandages on that were my medical souvenirs, but within a week or so all will be removed and I can scale back to the dainty little strips that normally cover cuts and scrapes.

Back in the 1950’s when this Band-Aid box cranked off the assembly line, it was important to be stylish at all times, even when dressing gushing wounds. This box made going to get a bandage in the bathroom a very cheerful and almost glamorous journey.

Even the packaging of the individual bandages made it look like having a cut was some reason to celebrate. If only that artwork were on the bandages themselves…

Band-Aid boxes were great back in the day, made out of that pristine white metal that always made you feel like a starched white nurses uniform was hanging in the room. Not the thin, ratty cardboard wrappers that surround such products these days, the old stock was meant to aesthetically comfort anyone who had the need or bleed to dip inside, happy families made even happier that a Band-Aid was currently in use amongst them.

Made, of course, by Johnson & Johnson, Band-Aids have always ultimately won my heart. I still experiment with other brands as one of the most thrilling things in the world to me is standing in the medicine aisle of a big drug emporium and trying to find sizes and shapes I don’t have so that I’m prepared for any foreign object or circumstance that may befall a body part. But when I need a sure-fire hit it’s always J&J.

At present, the bandages on my knee are substantially larger than any contained in this box of sheer strips:

The good news is that I have excellent nurses on hand to swap out the ice packs over my bandages every half hour: Nurse Charles Phoenix, who came bearing a hand brace wrist corsage for my sprained wrist (yes, two injuries!)…

… 24 hour nurse Prudence Fenton

… and nurse Niblet who’s about to nibble my wrist corsage:

And excellent news is I’m told that in just a few days I’ll be back (gently) hopping around and all I’ll need are a few tiny Band-Aid sheer strips!

16 Responses to “Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1950’s Band-Aid Sheer Strips and Knee Op Progress”

  1. Karen

    Oh Allee it looks painful. I am so sorry you have to go thru that. It is good to know you have such good friends to nurse you back to health. To a speedy recovery!

    And as always, another great blog and how appropriate, Band-Aids! Soon enough you will slap one of those little sheer strips on and dance the night away doing The Hustle.

  2. k2dtw

    Great post… I LOVE reading… “Swift recovery”…
    LOL…Your nursing staff is stunning!!.. I love the vintage band-aid box… I am dying over your beautiful wrist corsage…
    So happy you are home, happy and on your way!!!…

  3. Allee Willis

    Thank you all! As you can imagine, all the well wishes make the recovery much more pleasant. Feeling okay today. Not a lot of pain but I need to start putting weight on the foot in a few hours so it should be interesting…

  4. MyFunCloset

    Allee, wishing you a speedy recovery. Even on pain killers you came up with a great post. If you’ll be on crutches, I’m sure Bubbles will paint them up in her signature style filled with color & personality.

  5. BRBill

    By all means, speedy recovery. Get up on that leg and work/walk it out. That’s usually the first thing done after surgery, whether you want to be up or not, you’ll be dragged outta bed and onto your feet for a wobbly walk down the hall. I notice what looks to be one of those wonderfully tight TED hose on your left leg, very stylish and they help prevent embolisms too. Good luck!

  6. Douglas Wood

    Leave it to you to be coming up with kitsch to share while you’re recuperating. I have a feeling in another 40 years or so you’ll be dictating kitsch postings from your death bed. Hope you have a speedy recovery!

  7. windupkitty

    Oh, your poor little wrapped up leg!!! :( It’s a good thing you have the best nursing staff ever known to man or beast! I think CHarles Phoenix needs to just aim his smile at your knee and it will just laser it better instantly!

    The pic of Prudence Fenton is by far my favorite and has me in tears over here!!! It truly looks like the patient, during a procedure, has briefly woken up from anesthesia that has accidently worn off (only to be put under immediately by the dr standing by) and discovered that perhaps things unrelated to the procedure are going on in the room…..It’s the scarf that kills me! It’s like the Dr had a friend in town who thought it would be awesome to get a pic of the procedure!! :D

    I love how Niblet is admiring the beautiful corsage, but with ears laid back, is clearly not happy that Mommy is suffering…..

    • Allee Willis

      Speaking of doctors doing things other than that that they should be concentrating on, soonafter I moved to LA in 1976 I was waiting for Teri Garr to pick me up and take me to one of my first Hollywood parties. I was, appropriately enough, slicing cheese and the knife slipped and cut the palm of my left hand. Teri arrived right after it happened and whisked me off to the emergency room. I was awake but drowsy while they stitched me up and couldn’t believe that the nurses and doctors were passing around a Chinese menu and ordering food!

      We left the hospital and proceeded to the party, which was thrown by Ed Begley, Jr. in the tiny courtyard of the apartment he was living in on Western Ave. My hand and wrist were completely bandaged up and I was practically hallucinating from the anesthetic. I was also nauseas so Teri hoisted me up into a low tree branch and I literally hung there for the next couple hours. At one point, Mary Kay Place, who I was insane about on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, came up to me and said, “That’s all right, dear. It will all be better soon” as the big bandages made it look like I had tried to slit my wrists.

      • windupkitty

        Wow. You really need to write a billion page memoir….seriously. What an insanely fantastic story!!! AND you tell it so well….Jeez, what a gift you have for writing and story telling!!!! The only thing I don’t like is the you getting hurt part, but wow, the hanging in the tree just made me choke on my tea! That’s hilarious, but you poor thing! Ha! I just picked up Mary Hartman,Mary Hartman at the library this week! I figured it was time to rewatch it!…BUt wow, Teri Garr (goddess), Ed Begley Jr, and Mary Kay Place…wow…

        And oh yeah, the drs ordering food…doesn’t surprise me at all…I’ve been at the mercy of plenty of people who should never, ever touch anyone, much less make decisions about their lives…I can’t tell you the conversations I’ve heard while I’ve been “under” because there isn’t enough room here! The freaky thing is how much I DO remember from them! ONe of the ones that freaked me out the most was when a bunch of docs were talking about how great a schwarzenegger movie was…there I was, immobilized, unable to speak and sure that I was doomed…..

        Of course, i worked on an ambulance for years and I too am guilty of sneaking bites of a day old, cold burrito while monitoring an unconscious patient…when you haven’t eaten in 15 hours, nor slept in 47, ya do what ya gotta do sometimes!