SMITH PHARMACY 2518 14TH STREET NW, WASHINGTON, D.C.
LARRY ROSEN , PROPRIETOR
APRIL 27,1959- APRIL 4, 1968: BEFORE THE DC 68 RIOT
As previously mentioned on my blog, I decided to leave District Wholesale Drug, where I had worked as a warehouse assistant, telephone and later street salesman, since around July 1950, to purchase my own drugstore. I settled on Smith’s Pharmacy, 2518 14th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. which I bought from Doc Morris Feinstein on April 27, 1959 I felt that operating this business offered a better opportunity than remaining with District Wholesale.
Because Smith’s Pharmacy, had low inventory and appeared to be in a run-down condition, the total purchase price was only about $10,000. My brother Phil, a pharmacist, who owned some drugstores, helped me with the purchase price; and because many ice cream companies at the time often lent money to stores selling ice cream if owners signed agreements to purchase all their ice cream from the lending firm, I was able to assume a chattel trust on the balance owed to the Borden Ice Cream Company by the seller for $5625.40, which reduced the selling price by that amount.
My former employer, District Wholesale Drug, sold me an opening order of enough drugstore products needed to operate successfully and agreed to let me pay off the total amount of inventory purchased, with monthly payments and NO interest
I signed a 10 year lease with my landlord, Victoria Apartment House Corporation, commencing on May 1, 1959. I was excited about becoming a drugstore proprietor.
With my wholesale drug experience, I was familiar with the selling prices of most patent medicines, health and beauty aids, and other merchandise normally sold in drugstores.
I hired “Doc” Martin Jones as my pharmacist. I had met “Doc” when I was a salesman for District Wholesale. He was happy to assist me, because he lived only a block away from the drugstore.
Here are some memories of Smith’s. Several details may seem insignificant to some of my blog readers, but they still linger in my mind and reflect what it was like to operate a neighborhood drugstore during the 60’s.,
SMITH PHARMACY SODA FOUNTAIN-LUNCHEONETTE
As a salesman, I had visited many drugstores and observed that just about every pharmacy operated during the 50’s had a soda fountain, selling mostly cold drinks, ice cream sodas, milkshakes, and sandwiches. Therefore, I was surprised when I first observed that Smith’s Pharmacy’s soda fountain menu also included such items as hamburgers, fried chicken, fish dinners, meat loaf platters, as well as such popular breakfast fare as bacon, sausage, and ham and egg platters. I was fortunate that my fountain manager Evelyn seemed to be very qualified at her job.
When one food supplier brought in a large slab of beef for the fountain, I realized that my knowledge on all aspects of operating a food business was quite limited.
Shortly after opening the drugstore, a salesman from Murray’s Steak ,which sold a wide variety of food products, approached me, explaining that it would be easier to control food purchases from his company, because it sold its products by a portion- controlled method. This meant that if I purchased a box of hamburgers, fish sandwiches, veal or hamburger steaks, I could easily determine my cost on each item, because all their products were frozen and could easily be counted. I decided to begin buying most of food supplies from Murray’s Steaks. Their driver called on me twice a week, bringing in all the frozen products needed. I remember that for those items, Murray’s did not handle by “portion control,”, such as eggs or chickens, I could procure from a firm called Feldman’s who would call us every day.
After certain adjustments, our soda fountain managed to record sales of about $100.00 a day—which in my opinion was a good volume, considering the retail prices of some food items at the time: coffee, ice cream cones, Coke or Pepsi, for example, sold for 10 cents; hamburgers, 15 cents; Smithburgers (double hamburger with cheese), 49 cents; milkshakes, 25 cents; most sandwiches, 25 cents; fried chicken, veal cutlet, meat loaf, hamburger, steak dinners with two vegetables, 69 cents ;and breakfast special — two eggs, one strip of bacon, toast, and coffee — 59 cents. Attempting to increase the sale of hamburgers, I ordered a window sign from the Folks and Miller Sign Company that read, “Hamburgers 15 cents, Smithburgers–double hamburger with cheese, 39 cents. I later raised the price of Smithburgers to 49 cents, and, as I look back, I believe it helped our sales.
WHERE’S THE STAMP MACHINE?
On the second day of operating Smith’s Pharmacy, I encountered an unexpected problem: A customer asked me where our vending stamp machine was—I knew that I had noticed a stamp machine in the back of the store. I checked, and although it is hard to believe, there was now an empty space where I knew I had seen the stamp machine. Obviously, someone had stolen it. .We ordered another stamp machine and this time had it chained down. Unfortunately, I hadn’t been aware that the stolen stamp machine belonged to another individual, who provided the store with a small commission on stamps sold at a slightly bit higher price than that of the post office price at that time.
NOT FOUND AT SMITH PHARMACY DURING THE 60’s
Looking back, I recall that many items and personnel we see in our present drug stores were not visible at Smith’s during the 60’s. Such items included — computer cash registers, computer for inventory control, cell phones, women pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, large inventories of groceries offered for sale, prophylactics displayed together with other everyday merchandise, in-store photo finishing, credit cards recording most sales, prescription payment mostly paid through insurance, and on-duty nurses in CVS chain pharmacies, known as minute clinics, which assist customers with minor health issues. 7
A fact unknown to lots of Americans is that after checking with many pharmacists, I was told that today their total profit on a prescription filled through insurance is very small–about $3.00 to $5.00 on a brand-name drug and somewhat higher on a generic filled prescription. Obviously modern pharmacies today have to fill many prescriptions to cover their expenses.
ASKING DOC FOR HELP
Customers experiencing stomachaches, headaches, sore throats, coughing, sneezing, and fatigue, often consulted with “Doc” Jones for a remedy instead of going to a doctor. An old remedy for indigestion was a bit of pure coke syrup, Robitussin AC or terpin hydrate with codeine. For severe colds, Robitussin and terpin hydrate with codeine were classified as “exempt narcotics,” which required customers to sign an “exempt narcotic” book. Once, when there was an unusual amount of requests for exempt narcotic cough syrups, “Doc” Jones, believing that some customers were interested in “getting high” from the codeine, rather than in curing a cough, stated he would limit purchase of that substance to one bottle per week per customer. I recall that two employees of a popular D.C. drug store were apprehended by the police and arrested for selling gallons of Robitussin AC without obtaining proper signatures, as well as selling unusual quantities of this cough syrup.
SMITH PHARMACY’S REGULARS
After operating Smith’s Pharmacy, for about six months, I realized that many of our customers were visiting our drugstore regularly, enabling me to remember many of their names, and places of employment.
On the corner of 14th and Clifton Street and our side of the street was a firm called “Carver Memorial.” That company sold cemetery stones and provided funeral parlor service—when they moved, a foreign auto parts business, became the new occupant. Further down the street, Chambers Funeral Home operated on the corner of 14th and Chapin Street. These funeral parlor employees were always dressed neatly in dark blue suits. Across the street was an insurance agency whose employees visited us daily for our breakfast specials. These agents sold a type of insurance, known as “industrial,” which featured small weekly premiums of 25 to 50 cents a week. This insurance was sold primarily to low-paid residents who wanted coverage for unexpected funeral expenses. Most of the industrial insurance agents carried large black insurance folders.
Many of our nearby residents, addressed by such nicknames as “Jitterbug,” “Gerald the Hawk,” Chuck Jolley, Big Sam Evans, Charlie the barber, and Joe Lewis lived in apartment and rooming houses.
Here are a few situations I remember involving the preceding acquaintances:
One day Jitterbug rushed into the store exclaiming, “Doc, I’ve been shot; here, hold this for me!!(handing me a roll of cash). After a while, however, upon discovering he had been shot at, but not wounded, Jitterbug thanked me for protecting his money.
Big Sam Evans would regularly purchase dozens of inexpensive earrings from me which he resold to friends. I worked on a small profit margin, which increased my cash flow and helped Sam who was very friendly.
I had a few problems with “Gerald the Hawk.” One day our wholesale drug delivery man brought in two or three boxes of supplies, placing them in the rear of the store. Later when I checked the incoming products, I discovered a shortage of photo film and other items. I then asked the fountain employees if they had seen anyone touching the incoming merchandise. One young lady responded, “I’m sure I saw ‘Gerald the Hawk’ pick up one box and rush out.”
I ran out of the store, and located Gerald about a block away, telling him of this observation and asking him to return the box. As expected, he denied the charge.
I never saw Gerald again at Smith’s. However, after I left the pharmacy, I purchased a newsstand in downtown D.C. A familiar looking person, dressed as a mailman, walked into the newsstand. I looked more closely, and sure enough, it was Gerald the Hawk. He said, “Hi Doc, how about a cold drink?” I responded, “Gerald how about that order you took from the drugstore?” “What order?” he replied.
I don’t recall if I gave him a drink—I did say to myself, “Gerald the Hawk returns.”
Then there was Chuck, a regular neighborhood customer. One day, he created a problem with the soda fountain employees. He began to light matches and throw them at the girls, prompting me to yell at him and warning that I would have to call the police if he didn’t stop.
He made a few remarks than stopped… A short time later, Chuck approached me and requested that I put a few silver dollars he had accumulated, in the cash register –ignoring the previous match problems.
SMITH PHARMACY EMPLOYEES
I was fortunate to have a group of well qualified employees, beginning with Doc Jones. Doc adhered to all pharmacy regulations like occasionally initialing bottles of higher quality alcohol or making sure that customers signed a poison book if purchasing iodine or other potentially lethal products.
Because our pharmacy did not fill many prescriptions, Doc Jones would occasionally help me when we had a large group of kids purchasing candy which we kept in a locked case. A young man once requested a certain candy bar: When Doc gave him one he didn’t want, the customer pointing to another selection saying, “I didn’t want that candy, Pop.”
Doc got excited, yelling to the young man, “Who are you calling ‘Pop?’ I’m the pharmacist here. I graduated from Shaw University”!! The kid laughed and exited the store.
When I mentioned to Doc, that I didn’t believe the young man meant any harm, he replied “You don’t understand, Mr. Rosen; that young man would not have called a white man ‘Pop”!!. Doc felt he did not receive the proper respect from the young candy customer and added that the customer might have been afraid to call an elderly white man “Pop.”
On another occasion, a neighborhood group near the store distributed circulars about local news, mentioning that Martin L. Jones was now the pharmacist working for Smith’s Pharmacy. I noticed Doc Jones reading the circular, and then cursing — unusual behavior for him.
“That damn n—-r!” Doc shouted. “What’s the matter Doc,” I asked. He replied that editor didn’t mention that he was Doc Martin L. Jones.
Raymond Flowers, my second soda fountain manager, lived next door to Smith’s. He did a great job of managing the fountain, and often, when one of the fountain young lady employees would phone me that she couldn’t come to work , “because my baby sitter didn’t show up,” (most popular reason for not coming to work — few neighborhood daycare centers around), Raymond would come to work, replacing the absent assistant,. Raymond eventually found a janitorial position in the Montgomery County school system and worked himself up to school maintenance supervisor. When the DC riot began (to be mentioned later), Raymond rushed into the drugstore to save and take out some of my important personal documents.
Most of the soda fountain employees performed their duties well. On one occasion, though, I was informed by the fountain manager on a Wednesday or Thursday, that we were just about out of ham. Quite certain that we had not sold a huge quantity of ham, I checked all incoming orders, having purchased the usual single roll of that meat about a day or two ago. I told the fountain manager that when we ran out of ham, we should simply inform the customers we have only bacon or sausage (until I could discover the reason for the disappearance). The weekly fountain volume did not change very much.
About a week later, I stopped one male employee who was taking out the garbage, checked under the container, and sure enough, saw that there were food items lying on the bottom of the container.
I immediately fired this employee and resumed purchasing our usual one-ham-a-week.
Don Silver, a young man about age 15, joined our work force, and in time could perform most duties required, from delivering orders, displaying merchandise, assisting at the soda fountain, as well as recording on a “short” book, inventory that needed replacing, going to the bank etc. I recall that he did a great job. Approximately 40 years later, I ran into Don, who had pursued a business course in college, earning an undergraduate degree in Business/Economics from Maryland University and a Masters in that field from American University. He’d become involved in psychiatric services. Today, he is the Corporate Director of Behavioral Health Services at one of Maryland’s leading hospitals.
Another young man, Norman Levine, worked all over the store, later developing a successful career in selling janitorial supplies to large office buildings. On one occasion, a customer approached him, asking for three “raincoats.” Norman, who had been straightening out the stockroom, recalled seeing some regular raincoats and returned with three full-length raincoats. The customer laughed, and said that wasn’t the type of raincoat he needed. I went to one of our many drawers located behind the front counter and handed the customer a package of three prophylactics, often referred to as raincoats or protection. Today these products are displayed out in the self service sections of most drugstores. In the ‘60s, the most popular brand of this product sold a package of three for 60 cents. The same amount would now sell for about three-to-five dollars.
MOST POPULAR CUSTOMER
Without a doubt, our highest spending soda fountain-luncheonette customer was the owner of a nearby business that placed an approximate $10.00 food delivery order every day for her employees.
As mentioned, $10.00 for an assortment of lunch platters, sandwiches, and drinks during the 60’s was a large unit sale. Our delivery personnel often mentioned receiving large tips and looked forward to these deliveries.
The proprietor of this business was a middle-aged woman, who, in my opinion, possessed a professional appearance that could have been mistaken for that of an attorney or business executive,
Folks acquainted with the nature of her “profession” often referred to her, as a “madam,” operating “the oldest business in the world” – a prostitution service ,with rotating attractive associates, some of whom occasionally visited our pharmacy to purchase assorted drug store items.
When H____N, CEO of this neighborhood profession, regularly requested that I take her daily food order, I recall that about every two weeks, I had an accompanying request that my delivery individual stop at Norman’s liquor store on my block to pick up a fifth of Smirnoff 80 proof vodka, which, one of her regular clients apparently enjoyed before or during his “business conference.”
Here’s a monkey story: A long-time woman acquaintance, asked if I would buy her a pet monkey:
I recall purchasing a small squirrel money for about $15.00.from a Southeast D.C .pet shop. Unfortunately, after a few days, the monkey bit the lady and she returned this pet to me. When I tried to get a refund at the pet shop, I was informed that pursuant to D.C. health regulations, that store could not accept returns on any purchased pet. .
“What could, I do with this monkey?” I wondered. Fortunately, when one of the employee associates of the above mentioned business came into the drug store to make a purchase, I asked her if she was interested in buying a monkey at a very reasonable price. She agreed. Shortly thereafter, I delivered the monkey to her residence and my problem was solved. No other business was transacted…
“DEAD” AND MODERN GREETING CARDS
Our greeting card department consisted of only one approximate four-foot card fixture that displayed numbered sample greeting cards. If for example, a customer was searching for a wife’s birthday card of a particular number he was told that the requested card could be located in the fixtures bottom drawers, containing the same number. Often some customers would yank out the display cards when they couldn’t locate their cards in the drawers.
One day a customer approached me and said he could not locate a “Dead” card. “Dead”card? I asked. “I’m not sure what you are looking for.”
“My Uncle Joe died yesterday,” he stated, “and I want to send a “dead” card to my aunt. Then I understood hat he wanted a sympathy card, which I helped him select.
Some four years after I purchased Smith’s Pharmacy, a representative of the American Greetings Card Corporation approached me, saying that if I agreed to purchase all my greeting cards from his firm, his company would supply me with about four to six modern greeting card display fixtures in which all the inventory could be displayed, ready for purchase, without numbering.
I ordered the cabinets, which the sales representative said would arrive with no delivery charge. We rearranged some of our displays, providing room for the incoming cabinets to be placed in the middle of the store, between the soda fountain and the back displays.
About two weeks later, a freight delivery person came into the drugstore to deliver the awaited greeting card cabinets. “Thanks,” I exclaimed. Bring in the cabinets”.
“Okay,” he replied. But there is a delivery charge of _____,”
“There’s a mistake,” I said. “Your representative told me there would be no delivery charge.”
“No mistake,” said the freight man. “We deliver to your entrance for free. Inside delivery requires an extra fee.”
“No Way,” I said. “Leave the cabinets on the street!!” I’d mistakenly thought that the delivery man would change his mind. Instead, he left the cabinets on the sidewalk. I then contacted the American Greetings representative, who, with several assistants, came down to the store and moved the cabinets into Smith’s Pharmacy. The greeting card business was just becoming popular and provided me with a popular seller.
Every once in a while, freight delivery men attempted to charge me extra for an inside delivery, when that delivery, in fact, was supposed to be included in the original agreement.
D.C. FOOD INSPECTORS
Periodically, we received inspections of our food operation by the D.C. Health Department. I remember that the inspectors used to conduct strict inspections and once wore uniforms resembling those worn by ancient railroad conductors. There’d been specific uniform dress codes for all food handlers required by the D.C. health department: all male food handlers had to wear clean white coats, pants and a cap. Women had to wear full length white uniforms and hairnets.
I agree with those codes. In fact, I had a letter in a senior paper published, stating that the codes during should be required by all food handlers today. Even in so-called better eating establishments, I sometimes see food servers with dirty jackets or dresses, or with disheveled hair, all of which could easily be a source of bacterial infection to customers.
The multiple fountain sales prompted me to hire an exterminator for the purpose of spraying and protecting our premises from small creatures. One afternoon, after the exterminator sprayed all sections of our soda fountain and left, a health inspector came in to examine the premises. When he directed his large flashlight to the salad bar, he apparently awoke a small roach moving at a rapid pace. The inspector scowled at me as I exclaimed, “The exterminator was just here and ___” . Before I could finish the sentence, he yelled, “You are supposed to kill them, not scatter them.”
MONEY ORDER THEFT
Because many of my customers did not have checking accounts, they paid their bills with money orders which we sold. One day, a lady requested three money orders for various amounts. I prepared the orders and asked for the amount of money to cover those orders – plus required fees. She gave me the money, and I placed the money orders on the counter for her to pick up. Suddenly, a hand pounced on the money orders, snatching them .The thief was so fast that I had no opportunity to see him. In his haste, he dropped his hat. . . The customer wanted her money back, but I explained that I wasn’t responsible for the theft.
I reported the theft, giving the police the money order numbers, but to my knowledge, the thief was never apprehended –although I was told that the money orders had been cashed at some business.
PRICING BREAD PURCHASES
To me, every half penny counted in business transactions. I recall that a
popular wholesale bakery firm delivered bread and rolls to our drug store every morning for consumption at the soda fountain. In the 60’s, the wholesale cost of a loaf of sandwich bread was around 28 ½ cents. Often we would order five loaves of bread, bringing the total cost — 5 x 28 and 1/2 cent s– to $1.42 ½ . We were charged $1.43.
One day, I told the driver I didn’t think it was fair for him to always take advantage of the half-penny difference. He broke into a rage, dashing to our nearest pay phone to call his sales manager. Upon advice of his superior administrator, he agreed to alternate the half penny difference in bread and roll transactions. It was the business principal involved.
MAYONAISE OR SALAD DRESSING
As I previously mentioned, I wasn’t knowledgeable on every aspect of the food business. So when a salesman brought in one gallon each of mayonnaise, mustard and relish, weekly, for our sandwich dressings, I was satisfied. However, after purchasing these dressings from the same salesman for about two or three years, he said, one day, “I’m out of mayonnaise, today, but I can give you a gallon of salad dressing, which is less expensive and is used in most food establishments in this neighborhood.” When I asked the salesman, why he hadn’t given me this option when I began purchasing mayonnaise, he didn’t answer. So, I said, “Goodbye, don’t come in here anymore.”
I don’t recall if I then switched from mayonnaise to salad dressing for our sandwiches.
PAY TELEPHONE MEMORIES
Because there were no cell phones at the time, and because many neighborhood residents lived in rooming houses without phone access, our enclosed pay phones had many visitors. We received a small commission on the phone sales and eventually requested and had two more pay phones installed.
The pay phones presented occasional problems, though. For example, one evening, a gentleman was still using a pay phone around 10:00 P.M., our regular closing time. I politely informed him that we were preparing to close the drugstore, but he completely ignored me. I patiently waited for about 10 minutes and then told him, again that we were closing. I heard him mention to whomever he was speaking, that he’d been asked to stop the conversation. Nonetheless he was continuing to talk.
Fortunately, a police officer was walking by the drug store, and I informed him of my problem. He entered the store and repeated my closing time, suggesting to the speaker, that he could transfer his call to a next door candy store that had a pay phone and had longer store hours than I did. Again the phone customer did not respond, mentioning, again, to whomever he was speaking, “Now the police want me to leave.” He didn’t budge.
Without hesitation, the police officer grabbed the stubborn phone lover and pushed him out of the store. That night, Smith’s Pharmacy closed later than usual.
On another day, I was surprised to see a yellow liquid leaking from the bottom of one of my pay phones. I could not imagine that someone had mistaken our enclosed phone booth for a restroom, but that, apparently, is what happened. The phone booth was now empty, but I had to place a sign on the closing door that said, “Phone Temporarily Out of Order.
On one July 4th celebration, I heard an explosion in one of the phone booths. Yes, someone was celebrating the holiday in one of our enclosed facilities. I called a friend and reported that someone was possibly attempting to blow up our enclosed phone booth.
CALL ME ANY TIME
Although some people considered my neighborhood “rough,”, I never experienced a hold-up in my nine years of operation
Unfortunately, our large glass store front had occasionally broken, which resulted in the cancellation of our glass insurance.(This “pre-existing condition” of our store’s front window, reminds me of so called “pre-existing conditions” that prompt some health insurance providers not to cover certain individuals.)
Now, I had to pay out-of-pocket for future glass breakages. The manager of District Glass had informed me that I could call him anytime to have the broken glass removed, boarded up and later replaced with new glass. This was expensive, even in the 1960s.
SMITH”S PHARMACY OPEN ON CHRISTMAS DAY
Our policy was to keep Smith’s Pharmacy open every Christmas day, give our employees a day off with pay, and have my family members operate the drugstore.
With many neighborhood shops closed, we usually had a busy day — many customers enjoying sandwiches and snacks at our soda fountain operated by my family. I recall customers purchasing Christmas cards, flashbulbs (now, obviously, discontinued), camera film, toys, costume jewelry, and various gifts.
I rewarded my kids for their assistance at Smith’s by allowing them to prepare any sandwiches they wanted—my daughter Sherry enjoyed a simple cheese sandwich with mayo, son Steve loved the “Smithburger,” and son Stan enjoyed most meals and then playing our pinball machine.
REMEMBERING MY WHOLESALERS
In addition to selling the items generally sold in most neighborhood and chain drugstores, we purchased and enjoyed good sales of costume jewelry, sunglasses, toys, wallets, key chains, umbrellas, ladies hose, combs, and novelties.
We purchased our pharmaceuticals, patent medicines, health and beauty aids, and other popular drug store merchandise from my old employer, District Wholesale Drugs, and also Washington Wholesale Drug Exchange, a co-operative.
Cigarettes, cigars, and smoking tobacco were purchased from Myers Tobacco, Capital and Washington Tobacco—It is difficult to believe that our average pack of cigarettes sold for about 25 cents a pack instead of around $5.00 today.
Most candy bars were purchased from the tobacco wholesalers—average price for a candy bar during the 60’s was a nickel, rather than the $1.00 or so, charged at drugstores today —A BUCK!! WOW! If retail prices continue to escalate, most buyers will have to use their credit cards for most of their purchases, which can cause numerous financial problems for these cashless purchasers.
* HERBIE (City Wholesale) –This salesman traveled often from his Baltimore, office to sell sunglasses, costume jewelry, and gifts to many DC area drugstores. He carried a large supply of these products and often allowed his customers to return unsold merchandise, (some of which they never ordered). He often carried well known perfumes, like “Channel” and “My Sin,” which many small retailers were not able to purchase. Herbie always appeared to be enthusiastic about his many different types of merchandise.
BERNSTEIN- Specialized in sale of umbrellas, wallets, and key chains.
LUX—Sold mostly inexpensive earrings and often replaced unsold jewelry.
LINK—Sold inexpensive wrist watches (which of course weren’t battery-operated in those days) and radios, many of them transistor radios.
SHUMAN—Sold seasonal greeting cards, offering customers the right to return unsold cards.
NO EQUAL Company –Sold ladies hosiery usually for $1.00 retail. That company developed into a big sale producer.
NORMAN COFFEE-sold health and beauty aids and ladies hosiery at
BOKER JEWELRY—Salesman from Baltimore, also sold radios, assorted costume jewelry etc,
DAN BRECHNER—sold imitation animals; the most popular item was a $1.00 panther from NEW YORK WAREHOUSE
STANDARD CIGAR AND TOBACCO—sold plastic cups, drinks etc. for soda fountain; also sold tobacco and cigarettes.
CAPSCO –sold D.C. Souvenirs and novelties
HANCE—sold generic cough syrups, patent medicines and cold tablets.
DAVE NORWITZ—sold generic prophylactics
CARROLL—sold wets and drys, like castor oil, Epsom Salt, Mercurochrome, etc
MILTON HECKER—Brought Juke box and Pin Ball Machine into drug store, as those items were found at many small businesses—Unfortunately, this gentleman was killed in a private plane crash.
As time progressed, the continual expansion of huge drug chains forced many small drug stores to close their doors. As the small pharmacies went out of business, many sales representatives lost their customers and had to seek employment elsewhere.
On April 4, 1968, I took one of my few evenings off and took my two sons, Steve and Stan, out to dinner to their favorite Italian restaurant. We stopped at Standard Drug Store to say hello to a pharmacist there from a small drug chain, and were greeted with the sad historical remark from Doc Lawrence, a friend. “Did you hear the news? Doctor Martin Luther King was killed tonight.”
MEMORIES TO BE CONTINUED!!!!
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