Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Drug Store musings

A Drug Store is still a Drug Store,Right? Does this one look like one you had in your home town? Looks just like the one we had and it was called Urton's Rexall Drug. We had another Drug Store in town called Sturgis Drug and it was owned by our next door neighbor. We never went there but I don't know why. Urtons was our drug store. Being a budding young photographer, I purchased my first 35mm camera at Urton's and they developed all of my photographs there. Before I bought my camera I was in to developing Black and Whites and then to enlarging and everything was bought at Urtons including my enlarger. From the Pharmacists I got excellent advice about how to develop film and printing pictures. It was all part of his job I guess. At this time I also had my basement chemistry set up and running and so my buddy Steve and I were always in the store soliciting information and advice, such as making explosives. The ingredients for gunpowder are charcoal, sulfur and saltpeter and we bought it all from our friendly Rexall Drug store as well as buying glass wear and other chemicals. Prophylactics were kept on shelves next to where the druggists worked and it was where I would always stand when I came in to visit. The prophylactic corner. I spent hours there.

Urtons was always on my Christmas shopping tour as it was a great source for everyone. After my wife and I were married, I purchased hair car items for her at Rexall as Christmas presents. 1st year I purchased a plastic box that had a cord you plugged in and it heated up the hair curlers inside. Next I purchased a portable hair dryer, just like a professional one, and I remembered it looked like a space helmet. I also bought a ton of Auqua Velva and Old Spice for my Dad and Brothers. It was a great store. I can still, in my mind, wander up and down the aisles. Rexall in the U.S. disappeared around 1977 but still remains strong in Canada.

Today, Dale and I went to a grand opening for a new CVS drug store in town. We had an existing CVS that was OK but someone decided we needed a fancy smancy CVS so we got a new one. Back in the pharmacy area, I stood watching the three pharmacists hastily filling orders still trying to figure out the new system and I noticed that there was no where that I would be able to go to visit with one of them for a couple of hours. The only area that was available was at the counter that had a huge "CONSULTATIONS" sign over it. There wasn't even an area that had prophylactics on the shelves where I could stand but those are kept up front now days any way. Everything changes. They sell food in these "new" Drug Stores, just like a grocery store. They publish the good deals in a flyer for the Sunday papers. I watch it a little bit, and did you know you can buy Jello for about 30 cents a box when it is on sale? Not bad. They also sell clothing and have specials alot, on T shirts. They all compete very strongly with their photo departments and it makes picture takin pretty cheap for all of us and I do appreciate it. I have been transferring some of my slides from the 60's over to regular prints so I can scan them and put them in this blog for all the world to see. Our Drug Store is Walgreens and the last time I went in with some slides, the kid behind the counter said "give me 5 minutes" and when I came back, he handed me my prints. Super!!

All of the aisles were well lit and airy but I felt like I was on camera. There was one of those up where you came into the store. You know, one with a screen right beside it so you can see the top of your head as you come in. That is probably there as a customer courtesy so you can check your hair to see if it is wind blown or something. I don't have much hair but what I do have tends to blow easily and stands straight up in the air. People are always running their hand through their hair and looking at my hair as if they want me to do the same. I usually comply and then we all laugh nervously and say something stupid about my hair. I appreciate those cameras and monitors. They did have nice furniture, in the pharmacy area, so I could sit down and wait if I chose. I chose to leave as suddenly the entire thing didn't sound or look right. May be I am just getting old. I miss the orange and blue and the old Drug Stores. May be I'll go over to The Home Depot and whine a bit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading your article! Yes, miss the old stores too!