I was first introduced to Prolaire-B, a Stuart Pharmecutical drug that was on the market for dysmenorrhea (sp), for women with menstruation problems. I was introduced to it by a pharmacutical salesman who was in our Repetory Theater Group, "Town and Gown," run by a fella named Hatcher, in Birmingham, Alabama, who told me that all of the Interns in the local hospitals used it as a hangover drug, because it contained amphetamines, Belladona, and other "upper" type drugs for the various complaints of menstruating women. A cornicopia of "Good feelings" stuff.
A displaced New York City kid like me (64th st and first avenue, Manhattan), who was introduced to drugs in Harry's Pool Room, next to the Dumont Theater on, either 67th or 68th street, I don't remember which as I write this, where Buddy Lester and Jackie Gleason had their shows, in the form of opening Benzedrine Inhalers and taking out the accordian folded stips of cotton paper, tearing the strips off, and chewing them to get high on Benzedrine. They used the real stuff in those days before it became the Benzedrex Inhaler! Sips of beer took care of the dry mouth that chewing the strips brought about. We were fifteen and sixteen then, actually not even allowed to be in Harry's, but he looked the other way.
I used to wonder why I got so focused, and won a lot of pool games, while my buddies got wired, and made wild shots (I didn't know I was ADHD in those days), but I enjoyed winning.
Anyway I graduated to Dexedrine in the late forties when I met a guy fourteen years my senior, and a physician, specializing in Internal Medicine, who became my savior and mentor, and introduced me to the before mentioned Dexedrine. I never got hooked on it, but always used it when I painted or wrote, well, yeah, I guess I got hooked on it that way, I'm only kidding myself if I say I didn't, but shit, it was legitimate, free (no triple scrip then) and really focused me, but I had to drink at night to come down from it and sleep, rather pass out, drunken sleep is not sleep, so the next day always started with a dexie.
I was a singer/actor/disc jockey/writer/painter, in my that life, before I got my doctorate in psychology and became a Ph.D. psychotherapist, and there I was in Birmingham , Alabama, still a long way from a doctorate, lead actor in a theater company (got some great reviews from the locals, who's name I'll remember later, ah I remember, Emmett Weaver was one, and Lily May Caldwell was the name of the other one), disc jockey, first at WVOK, the fifty thousand watt Voice Of Dixie, as "Smilin" Johnny Davis, a station name, and then as myself, Dick Hoyt on WBRC, a Taft Family Broadcasting Station. I actually introduced myself as "Dick Hoyt, with an H and an O and a Y and a T, with music for me and thee!" Corny!! I spelled it our because no one understood HOYT, they would say "White", "Wyatt", until I learned to pronouce it with two syllables, as they do in the South with many names and things, so it became, "Dick Howitt! with an H...etc."
We were putting on a performance of "Anything Goes," and I was playing the lead, Billy, when this drug salesman ( who's name I can't remember)gave me the Prolaire-B. I was still drinking pretty heavily, so I tried it. It was GREAT! Much better than dexedrine, the Belladonna perked my eyes up brightly and the rest of the concoction made me feel wonderful. It was my new drug of choice for years until they took it off the market as dangerous, hey, but it was years before they did that, as is the case with most dangerous drugs.
My then girlfiend, later my second wife, Nancy Hardenberg knew nothing of any of this, at least I hope she didn't, else why marry such a train wreck of a guy unless she was a masochist Nancy wasn't in that show although we went on to star in several vehicles together, most notably as Will Parker and Ado Annie (yes, I danced a bit, too)in "Oklahoma."
I don't know what the point of this memoir was except to say I sure loved Prolaire-B when it was on the market, and wondered if anybody else did?
I'm clean and sober now and have been for the past forty years and that was due, in part, to my third and last wife, Phyllis, who was well worth being clean and sober for. I focus by meditating now!