Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Corner drugstore

There may be a CVS or Walgreen's pharmacy on your corner. Or in your town.

But that is not the corner drugstore I refer to here.

I'm afraid the corner drugstore of my memory is just that: a memory. And something this present generation will know nothing about.

When I was growing up, there were drugstores on many street corners. All were individually owned, most often by the pharmacist himself.

Some drugstores recollected from my past include Lacher Drug on Grand and Fairview, Towey's on Snelling and Selby, and King Pharmacy on Cleveland and St. Clair. I tried to get a photo of one of them to post by calling the Grand Gazette and looking at the Minnesota Historical Society online database. No luck.

But all of those corner drugstores, and most others, had soda fountains. You could get a sandwich, an ice cream cone, a cup of coffee, a sweet roll or pie. You could put a quarter in the juke box to hear Elvis or Pat Boone, or the Everly Brothers. Connie Francis, Frankie Avalon, the Platters.

Best of all, for ten cents, you could get a cherry Coke. Or a lime Coke. Or a phosphate.

I wonder what would happen if I went to a restaurant today and ordered a cherry vanilla phosphate? I think I would get (after a bewildered look) an Italian soda for six dollars.

But you could also get a comic book from the revolving stand: Little Lotto, Archie and Jughead, Superman. Or the latest 'Teen magazine. Or hair curlers, and beauty supplies like Pond's cold cream or Jean Nate cologne. If it was a gift, they would happily gift wrap it for you. Free, of course.

Not to forget the main reason for their existence: drugs and prescription medicine. If you were ill, they simply delivered your medication to your home. No charge.

They knew you by name. They probably knew me by the length of time it took me to select a candy bar or gum: Milky Way or Three Musketeers? Teaberry or Clove?

Oh, what I would give for a corner drugstore back again. One with no aisles instead of one with twenty-five.

We have such a drugstore in Center City, the next town over, two miles away. It's called Gordy's. No soda fountain, but friendly pharmacists who know your name, advise you on your prescription, even deliver if you're ill.

Although Target or Wal Mart may sometimes be more convenient, my husband and I refuse to change. As long as Gordy's is around, we'll continue to go there.

After all, Gordy's allows us escape the fast pace of the CVS's and return to our past just a bit. And relive warm memories of bygone days.