Drug stores or pharmacies
There is a big difference between a drug store and a pharmacy. I really don’t know when that difference came about but back in 1934 when I was in the first grade, we had a wonderful drug store on Main Street, and the druggist’s name was Mr. Foster. Mr. Foster sold the drug store to Audrey Purcell and his lovely wife, Edith, who owned and operated it from 1937 to 1946, when they sold it to John and Avis Kendall.
It was a convenient drug store across from our school, and had a great soda fountain. Mr. Purcell told Mr. Kendall to always “keep the prices at the soda fountain low so all the children in Lansing could come in for an ice cream soda or sundae.” When folks came in for a prescription they would go to the long counter on the right. There were booths in the back, and I remember coming in after basketball practice for a cherry sundae. There were cute little glass top tables with wrought iron chairs in the center with a large overhead fan. On one of these center tables, Mrs. Purcell had a typewriter set up where we could buy a driver’s license for 50 cents. Over the years many of our friends worked at the store.
On the right side of the entryway, was a large slot machine that took the nickels of the adult gentlemen. The candy machine was right in the center facing the door so we couldn’t miss seeing all the goodies. I remember especially the chocolate “Black Cow” suckers that were about 5 cents and would last the whole afternoon. On the left hand side of the door was a beer and soda pop case.
Now we go the Lansing Pharmacy and they have “pharmacists” instead of “druggists,” and they are always busy. While waiting for our prescriptions, we can look over the greeting cards, vitamins and supplements, candy or gifts, along with all the aids for handicapped individuals. You can even check your own blood pressure. They have a health consulting booth and a drive up window that is really handy, especially in bad weather.
One thing I miss about our old drug store is that there are no local students sitting on the concrete ledge across the front. This is where our kids rolled the newspapers before evening delivery or just a place to meet after school to visit and discuss the ballgames.