As previously alluded to, Mondays kinda suck – particularly after the awesomely warm and sunny weekend here in Northeast Ohio.
But, hey, it’s that much closer to next weekend.
So, as I worked on today’s post, I got to thinking how drugstores used to be pretty local – not the corporate monoliths they are today.
We had several in my neighborhood growing up – DeHart’s, McKenney’s, Josie’s…the best, though, was Gerb’s.
Yep – ‘Gerbs’. I always wondered what it stood for…’Gerbert’? ‘Gerban’? I dunno…it’s early.
Anyway, Gerb (at least I think that was the squinty-eyed guy’s name behind the counter) would stoicly stand guard over his kingdom. He had a soda fountain, which even in the paleolithic early 70’s was fairly rare – a relic of a bygone era.
He sold all the usual fountain drinks, as well as ‘phosphates’, which to an 11 year old raised on Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, and Coke, had an almost quaint, Victorian taste. The place had all the requisite medical stuff too, as well as that ultra-clean, heavily air-conditioned, antiseptic scent, which is still pretty prevalent today in most drugstores.
What really set his place apart, though, was a damn fine comic book rack. Gerb didn’t mess around – he had all the good stuff, from Archie to Harvey Comics, to the obligatory Marvel and DC. He even had Famous Monsters over in the mag section, which also included Photoplay, McCall’s, Good Housekeeping and all the other Mom-related pubs. I seem to recall men’s mags somewhere, but wasn’t about to get busted checking for them. He also had a nice selection of trading cards, from Topps Baseball to Batman and all points in between.
The best thing was after you got your comic book fix…after you scored some baseball cards and a tall Pepsi…there was an Isaly’s conveniently located right next door, for all your ice-cream needs.
So, a visit to the drugstore in those days, at least for a kid, was an epic journey into many of life’s little pleasures.
Let’s see Walgreen’s top that.