I worked for District Wholesale Drug 52 0 Street, Washington, D.C.  from 1950 to 1959.

District Wholesale provided pharmaceuticals and health and beauty aids normally sold in Drug stores, to the hundreds of small independent pharmacies in the Washington, D.C. area,,during the 50’s and 60’s.

District Wholesale was a distributor of Eli Lilly pharmaceuticals  such as insulin and other drugs. .The small drug stores  who needed Eli Lilly pharmaceuticals could  not purchase these drugs direct from the manufacturer. The pharmacies could only obtain Lilly drugs from District Wholesale or Gilpin  Drug wholesalers

As time progressed the CVS Drugstore  Chain bought the Peoples  Drug store chain, and another Drug store chain, Rite aide,

purchased  the Drug Fair Pharmacy Chain.  Another corporation formed a new smaller drug chain Dart Drug.

As these Drug store chains grew, the smaller pharmacies could not compete, and began to close their doors.

Later on, District Wholesale merged with an out of town Drug Store wholesaler.

In time, District Wholesale closed and the Gilpin Wholesalers went bankrupt.

Large Super Markets also opened Pharmacies in their stores.

Many large pharmacies also opened grocery departments.

When the large 5 & 10  stores shut their doors, many small businesses followed suite.

Today as we all know, the AMAZON ON LINE CORPORATIO

















ReDistricted, a retelling of Smith’s Pharmacy by cartoonist Gordon Harris

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Cartoonist, Gordon Harris, recently portrayed the final moments of Smith’s Pharmacy, Larry Rosen’s 14th Street Northwest drugstore (1959 to 1968), in comic book form.  Please visit the link on Mr. Harris’ website here: www.redistrictedcomics.com/smiths-pharmacy








Tonight, November 6, 2016, my dear friend Judy, and I attended the annual Kristallnacht Memorial Service, held at Leisure World, a well-known senior center in Silver Spring, Maryland.For those folks who are not familiar with the above Memorial service, an incident known as “Kristallnacht,”,  in which Nazis in Germany, torched  synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes,schools and businesses,and killed close to 100 Jews. Some 30,000 JEWS were arrested and sent to Nazi concentration camps.Many speakers, some Holocaust survivors, historians, Rabbis, chanted prayers, and I, one of the former American soldiers, a member of a liberating Army unit, the 42d Infantry Rainbow Division, recognized as one of the divisions  that liberated  the Dachau concentration camp  on April 29, 1945 spoke on”We Remember  the  Six Million”  (Total Jews killed during the Holocaust) (recognized murdered amount by registered Historians)”. Fred Firnbacher, a Leisure World resident has been the Program Coordinator of this interesting service for many years.

Larry Rosen







Remembering my father and Warrant Officer Mr. Charles L. Brown Personnel Officer Chief 542d FA Batallion 42d INFANTRY RAINBOW DIVISION

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On September 4, 2016 I went to the B’nai  Israel Synagogue on Montrose Avenue to recite Kaddish (Hebrew

Prayer for my Dad’s Yahrzeit (Memorial date for my father who passed away on August 19, 1944).

On that date I remember receiving a Red Cross telegram when stationed in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma during my

Army career,that read “Come Home At Once-Father seriously Ill”.Ft Sill is a permanent Artillery headquarters.

I applied and received a furlough and proceeded to a nearly railroad station. I purchased my train fare to

Washington,D.C. where my Dad had died.

While waiting for my train to arrive, I decided to phone my residence. Jean Gordon, my sister-in-law’s sister

answered the phone and informed me that my Dad had passed away–she inquired if I could rush home because the funeral was going to take place on August 20th.

I told Jean, that I would attempt to catch a plane because a train trip would last about three (3) days.

I phoned the nearest Airport and discovered that I had a problem,–a plane could get to D.C. but I did not

have enough cash for the flight.

I visited the local Red Cross,and was told that they did not lend money for plane trips-so- I rushed back

to my military headquarters and informed Mr. Charles L. Brown, my personnel Officer Chief of my financial

problem–Without any hesitation he lent me the necessary  funds and I was able to arrive home in time for

my father’s funeral.

Some time after my Army discharge on April 4, 1946, I attempted to locate and thank Mr. Brown again for

his important loan.

I contacted my Rainbow Division personnel young lady who had records of all discharged Rainbow Division


Because his name was such a popular one, to this date, I’m still checking-no luck!!




Reb Gedalia-Rabbi George Rosenthal

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Some time ago while attending services at the Ohev Sholom-the National Synagogue, at 16th and Jonquil

Street, N.W. D.C. I spoke to a lady, mentioning that I had grown up in  SW D.C.

She stated that she had a cousin, George Rosenthal who once lived there whose grandfather Rabbi Horwitz

was the first Rabbi of a SW synagogue, Congregation Talmud Torah on E Street S.W.

I responded that I remembered him, and hadn’t seen him since 1943 when I joined the US Army.

Ms Marda Brown, Mr. Rosenthal’s first cousin,gave me his phone number in West Hartford, Connecticut

and I contacted him.

I phoned him, and he remembered me and also many of the former SW residents-and I was surprised to

hear that he had become a Reformed Rabbi.

We exchanged many Emails and many memories dealing with experiences recalled after leaving SW.

About three months ago, when I hadn’t received any responses to a few emails, I phoned the Rabbi and

received a message that the phone was out of service.

I phoned the office of the Assisted Living facility where Reb Gedalia has resided and was told he had moved

out and left no forwarding address.

His cousin Marda also hadn’t heard from him.

I googled “Rabbis West Hartford, Connecticut, and received a message from another Rabbi in that state

informing me that he knew Rabbi Rosenthal, and had heard he had fallen and was in a nursing facility,and

fortunately gave me his contact phone number.

I phoned and reached the Rabbi,and like about 5 friends of mine, including myself, he mentioned that  he had

fallen .

I phoned him some time later, and received a message from his healthcare agent, that he wasn’t doing that well.

On March 21,2016 I received the news from Faith Helene,his healthcare agent that he had died on Sunday

March 20th 2016.

I sent a message of consolation to the funeral home.

The DC SW neighborhood where the Rabbi and I had lived, was completely redeveloped in the late 50’s

and at the present time the entire SW waterfront is undergoing a huge development that will feature condos,

and many retail establishments.

Many former SW residents whom I knew have passed away.


Increase of Mergers

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It is quite obvious that many that many media articles have disclosed the mergers and acquisitions of large corporations.

A merger or acquisition is a combination of two companies where one corporation is completely absorbed by another

corporation. The less important company loses its identity and becomes part of the Aimportant corporation which retains its identity. A merger extinguishes the merged corporation ,and the surviving corporation assumes all the rights, privileges

and liabilitities of the meed corporation.

Regulation is based on the concern that mergers inevitably eliminate competition between the merged firms.

This concern  is most acute when the participants are direct rivals because courts often presume that such arrangements aare more prone to restrict output and to increase prices.The government carefully; scrutinizes  proposed mergers. On the other hand since the 1980’s, the federal government has become less aggresssive in seeking the prevention of mergers.

Having worked for District “Wholesale Drug Corporation,in DC, during the 50’s, and having owned and operated a

neighborhood drug store during the 60’s,I have observed the CVS pharmaceutical corporation acquire the Peoples

Drug store corporation.Also the Rite Aid corp acquired the Drug Fair chain in the DC area and lately the huge

Walgren drug chain acquired the Rite Aide chain.

Recently the following mergers have occurred.

The huge Pfizer pharmaceutical chain merged with alergan group valued at more than 150 billion would create world’s largest drug maker.

Anthem health insurer is buying King Cigna in $54.2 billion deal.US let’s AT&T buy Direct TV for $49 billion dollars.

Ahold NV and Delhaize group would create one of the biggest US supermarket chains.

Many media articles have quoted government officials state that small businesses have provided many jobs-I belive

that the increased growth of Amazon.Com that sells just about any products will force many small retailers out of business.

Amazon.Com doesn’t need to merge-recently it was announced that Amazon.Com will eliminate using the UPS delivering

their packages and acquire their own delivery vehicles.





Most folks have noticed price increase of eggs in Super Markets.

Recently, a friend and I noticed a similar type increase on the purchase of an egg omelette and some other egg specialties at a popular restaurant.

When I inquired about the small price increase of 63 cents on the invoice total, the cashier showed me a small

sign near the cash register that indicated “PRICE INCREASE ON some EGG SPECIALTIES  .63 -the cash register

receipt printed transaction .63 with a code number.

So what food item  price is going up next? Does anyone remember when the present cup of coffee now retailing close

to $3.00 sold for a DIME???



Price of Men’s Dress Shirts and Neckties at NORDSTROM’S

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Recently I had lost some weight and decided to purchase some new pants.

I had never bought clothing at Nordstrom’s located in the Montgomery Mall so I

visited their shop in this shopping center.

As a senior, I am quite aware that prices of all merchandise continues to go up,but how much should the price be for a pair of pants.?

I first asked the sales clerk if there were any sales on men’s pants, and received a negative reply.

We approached the pants department, and the clerk informed me that the pants were $90.00 a pair.

When I inquired if these pants were the least expensive for sale,-the clerk’s reply was yes.

I expected a price in the $40.00 to $50.00 range, but never expected the price quoted.

I then asked the clerk if I could see some men’s short sleeve dress shirts, and told that only long sleeve shirts were available.

I previously had some trouble with long sleeve shirts  but decided to go with the long sleeves=the clerk measured my arms and

then showed me the shirts–lowest price,$55.00.

I recalled that I hadn’t purchased any ties for a while, and also having been around for a few years, knew that the many ONE DOLLAR TIE STORES

had closed their doors many years ago, but was not ready for the $49.50 quoted price for what looked like a nice necktie.

I recall the I  was shocked when I recently purchased  an almond joy candy bar for $1.29 that used to be 5 or 10 cents, and also surprised, that

I had observed that at the present time, packs of cigarettes that I used to sell in a retail store for 25 cents, were being advertised for

$6.00 to$8.00 a pack,—perhaps it’s time to just forget about today’s high prices.

“I’ll take the shirt and tie I  told the clerk”, — The clerk put my shirt and tie in a bag, and said, you’ll still need $12.00 to complete the purchase.

I FORGOT to mention that I had recently received a NORDSTROM GIFT CARD from a family member which I gave to the clerk.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have mentioned that I intended to pay for my purchase with a gift card.







Magazines distribution history

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From approximately the 50’s through the 70’s, there was only one distributor of magazines,-the New York Times and Wall Street Journal

to all retail establishments that sold this product in drug stores, news stands, book stores etc.

When I owned and operated Smith Pharmacy, 2518 14th Street,N.W.,Washington,D.C. from 1959 to 1968, I purchased magazines from

a company called District News. We placed a standing order for selected magazines which were delivered twice a week with payment

due the second week from delivery date. Sometimes magazines not ordered were also delivered. When the Distributor was informed that

some magazines delivered were not order, the Distributor responded that any magazines not desired or not sold could be returned.

The only problem with this procedure was that all magazines received, included those not ordered had to be paid to District.

I recall that on one occasion, I did not receive my magazines, I phoned the distributor who stated, “You did not pay for the last order,

we sent you”, I responded that my youngest baby son, had just had a serious eye operation and I neglected to remit my payment, the

distributor said, -” the bill is due when rendered”.

In later years when I owned some Newstands and Gift shops, there were always problems when purchasing magazines,when District

News,the only magazine distributor in the DC area, delivered magazines not ordered.

The mark up on magazines was only 20% which was quite low, because often magazines were stolen.

The general population in the DC area, that personally subscribed to magazines from the magazine organizations received a bigger profit

on their purchases than the businesses that acquired their magazines from District News.

At this time, 2015, with the increase of news, articles etc ,shown on the internet,many magazines have gone out of business.

Lately, I’m retired and receive many offers from leading and popular magazine publishers that offer to mail their magazines at a very low

price-much lower than I paid as a merchant. No doubt the magazine distributors can still operate on their sales by selling advertising

to the many different large department stores, real estate firms etc.

Yes Things Change!!

Larry Rosen







AUGUST 30, 2015

BASED ON AN ARTICLE IN TODAY’S WASHINGTON POST,, AND OTHER NEWSPAPERS, MANY AMERICAN CITIES ARE EXPERIENCING AN ABUNDANCE OF SHOOTING RESULTING IN MANY DEATHS.TODAY SUNDAY, THE  POST LEAD SENTENCE READS “DESPITE A SHOW OF POLICE FORCE DESIGNED TO CURB A SURGE IN VIOLENCE, THE NATION’S CAPITAL REACHED A DISTURBING MILESTONE FRIDAY NIGHT WHEN A RASH OF GUNFIRE PUSHED THIS YEAR’S HOMICIDE COUNT TO 105-ALREADY EQUALING 2014’S TOTAL “One of  the first Post articles I read,on August  17, 2015,related how a young man, Mathew Shlonsky was struck by a bullet as he stepped out of cab near Seventh and S Street,N.W. The bullet that killed Mr. Shlonskky originated from two young men firing at each other, one of whom was apprehended by the Police Another article related how 24 year old  Derick Black, was shot in front of a bus, near Georgia Avenue and Lamont Street, N.W The Post article , on August 30, 2015 related that hundreds of police officers flooded D.C.’s streets in an “all hands on deck” strategy  meant to make this rattled city feel safer.One of the most horrible murders occurred on a busy metro train when Ken Sutherland,an American University graduate,was stabbed to death,with no other passengers attempting to rescue him.

Many years ago during the late 40’s,50’s and most days in the 60’s, my two brothers operated businesses close to 7th and S Street,N.W. and GeorgiaAvenue and Lamont Street, N.W. locations, experiencing no hold ups, and violence of any kind. From 1959 to April 4, 1968, I owned and operated a drug store-luncheonette on 2518 14th Street,N.W. also recalling no shooting or killing in thisD.C.neighborhood called   Columbia Heights.Again the August 30th Post reported that ,”On Twitter on Saturday, D.C. Council member Kenyan R. McDuffie called the “mayem” a crisis”.We need to treat this violence -particularly the homicides,like a “health epidemic”.City officials have offered explanations that the huge amount of illegal guns possessed by many individuals and the growing use of synthetic drugs,have triggered the escalation of violence.

As mentioned previously,I mentioned that my two brothers, and myself  who operated small retail businesses, in many years ago, never experienced

the multiple shooting and killing that is happening in the nation’s capital and other American cities in today’s times.

Getting back to my title, “Good and Bad Days”, I have to mention that Doctor Martin Luther King’s sudden assassination on April 4,1968, triggered’

the DC 68 RIOT,locally and also in many other American cities.

During the evening of April 4, 1968, my drug store, my brother Phil’s liquor store at 7th and S Street N.W., and my brother Sam’s 5 & 10

near Georgia and Lamont Street,N.W. HAD BAD DAYS, DESTROYED  destroyed during the riot-a riot that Doctor King would never have desired to take place.

On the evening of April 5,, 1968, the D.C. leaders summoned the National Guard to stop the looting and burning.

Perhaps if the present violence now taking place in our Nation’s Capital , the National Guard will AGAIN have to be called in to