E-Edition

Anderson’s drugstore is a big part of me

Letters to the editor:

Anderson’s drugstore is a big part of me

 

10-3-2019

 

The drugstore seems to be part of me. It’s part of my history. It’s hard to see it close. The memories, however; well, they are etched in my heart. As family-owned businesses go there are a lot of them, but this one is special to me. It has been in my family for 109 years. I don’t own it. It’s more like the store owns a part of me.

It is where I learned what grit and grace look like. It is where I learned to work—despite a $10,000 over ring on the new cash register one summer when I was a teenager—and where I stole a piece of candy as a kid and feeling guilty I confessed my sins; only to be told I would have to earn the money by scrubbing the back stairs. A lesson that has stuck with me for a lifetime.

As kids, my cousins and I wanted tours of the basement—it was creepy then and still creepy now. We had spook alley’s and haunted houses, jumped—literally jumped—on the penny scale to see how much we weighed and then would run out front to get a drink of water from the fountain. We helped Grandma vacuum, dust shelves, price products and make flowers.

My mother’s funeral was the first funeral that she had made a casket piece for. In fact, it was her first big project after she graduated from floral school. At the time, I didn’t think anything of it. I was just a little girl and Grandma seemed so strong, but years later she told me that it was because I had asked her to help make a flower for my mom that she changed her perspective on funerals. If I could make a flower for my mother, she could too. After all, it is one last nice thing for that person. It is her way of saying goodbye. I remember that day vividly in my mind. I remember countless days at the store.

The smell of the building as you come inside, the little bell on the door that jingles, as if to say, welcome home, the display of warm nuts located strategically next to the cash register, and my Grandpa Phil in the pharmacy in his white lab coat—always with a big grin on his face–much the way my Uncle Jeff’s smile welcomes his customers now.

The stories of days gone by and the old soda fountain where people stopped by to have a contest to see who could blow their straw-wrapper and have it stick to the ceiling. And while I never saw the soda fountain during my lifetime, I tried to stick my straw wrappers to the ceiling and never even came close. And let’s not forget the small hole in the floor of the flower shop where the kids always put the flower-stems through, not knowing where they go.

I love the drugstore, but buildings don’t love you back. It’s what’s inside that counts. It’s the thousands of customers that have walked through the doors that have stood by my family’s side for decades. It’s the love of the community and the people inside. It’s family that brings us love. It’s family that brings us home.

Wishing my Grandma and Uncle the best that retirement has to bring. Thank you for all the years of memories and love.

 

Nicole Anderson