Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday: 9 am to 6 pm
Saturday: 9 am to noon
Closed Sundays and holidays

Please follow & like us!
Follow by Email
RSS Feed
Subscribe by email
Get new posts by email:

Archive for the ‘Our Lives Beyond the Drugstore’ Category

Remembering 9/11.

This coming Sunday will mark the 10-year anniversary of the tragedy of 9/11. Like many historic moments, I can remember exactly where I was when I learned about the first plane hitting the World Trade Center. I was still at home, but Joe had just arrived at work at the old pharmacy downtown in Lovejoy Plaza. I was listening to the radio and heard announcers talking about a seeming accident in which a plane had crashed into one of the Towers. I went downstairs and turned on the television.

I was watching the news and the live coverage when the second plane flew into the second tower and suddenly it was no longer an accident. I tried to call the pharmacy then to see if Joe knew what was happening, and, in one of the scariest moments of my life, found that all the circuits were busy and, something I did every day without much thought–making a phone call–was impossible. I remember wondering if the whole country was under attack. Would planes come flying in over rural Plain City dropping bombs? Frantically, I just wanted to get to the store so I could be with Joe and other people I cared about.

That day was a haze of horror. Our good friend and delivery driver, Paul Carpenter, was still alive and I remember how upset he was watching the events unfold. Joe had me bring a small television up to the pharmacy so the staff could keep track of what was happening.

One of the things that I remember that makes me proud is how the whole country rallied together and suddenly patriotism was cool. Joe has always been big on flying the flag and paying homage to our country. It was nice to see others doing the same. I remember there was a frantic rush to find flag lapel pins and the few that we carried, and had never sold by the cash register, suddenly disappeared overnight. People began wearing red, white, and blue to honor those who were no longer with us.

That patriotism has faded over the years. I no longer see people with flag pins on their shirts and jackets.

But there are other ways to honor those who died and shine light into the depths of a very dark day.

I recently learned about a web site called “I Will” that asks people to do good deeds in order to remember those who perished ten years ago during this horrible act of hostility and hatred. The web site is set up to make something positive come from something grotesquely negative. You can post a tribute, volunteer, and support a cause to bring about acts of love and kindness from the ashes of 9/11. The site asks you to pledge to “perform simple acts of compassion, such as performing good deeds, helping someone in need, volunteering, or supporting a charity of personal choice.” Then you sign up and tell what you plan to do.

I can think of no better way to honor those who died than to do something good in their memory.

To read more about this and post your own tribute, visit, 911day.org

Visit the 911day Facebook page HERE.

In addition to the country’s simple acts of kindness, a much grander tribute is being planned on the site where the Towers stood. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum will be dedicated on 9/11/11 and will open to the public the following day on 9/12. To see photos of what the Memorial will look like, visit the 9/11 Memorial web site HERE.  The Memorial is going to have two square reflecting pools built in the footprints of The Twin Towers. Around the base of the pools will be carved the names of the nearly 3,000 people who died that day.

Additionally, visit the National September 11 Memorial and Museum Facebook page.

As with so many tragedies, the way to honor those who died is to find ways to never forget and to make the world a better place in their memory.

Walter Grover Shows Off His Signed Ralph Stanley Banjo Shirt. Have You Had Any Brushes with Celebrities?

Walter Grover was in the pharmacy recently sporting his signed Ralph Stanley banjo shirt.

For those of you, like me, who don’t know too much about bluegrass music or Dr. Ralph Stanley and his Clinch Mountain Boys, you can visit their web site HERE.

If you’ve ever met a famous person or had your photo taken with a “star,” we’d like to hear your stories.

Send me an email (pcqueen@columbus.rr.com) with a photo and your star struck story and I might share your tale on the blog (but it has to be good–and no photos of yourself with Joe when he was “Elvis.” That does not count). 

Joe’s pharmacist friend, Ed, recently met James Carville at the Amerisource Bergen conference we attended in Las Vegas. Joe also got to meet the New Orleans democrat, but didn’t have his photo taken with him.

If we come across any other photos of the drugstore staff with famous folks, we’ll post those in upcoming blogs.

New York Pharmacy Features Cat Mascot, Jack.

While Joe and I were at lunch one day during the NCPA (National Community Pharmacists Association) convention in Philadelphia, we happened to talk to a pharmacist who told us about a trip he had taken to the Finger Lakes region of New York. While scanning a local newspaper, he saw an ad for Water Street Pharmacy in Dundee, New York. The drugstore’s advertisement encouraged people to stop by and see Jack the cat.

This pharmacist, who was a cat lover, was intrigued by the idea of a pharmacy cat, so he did indeed stop by and meet the infamous Jack. Jack, he said, was very, very friendly and came out to greet him, rubbing up against his legs. He said the pharmacist and owner of Water Street Pharmacy, Tracey Knapp, told him that many of her older customers would not leave without seeing Jack when they picked up their prescriptions.

While I have heard of other businesses having both dog or cat mascots, I have never come across a pharmacy with one. Joe and I had discussed having a cat in Plain City Druggist, but we feared a wily feline might try to escape or customers would complain of allergies or cat fur in the aisles.

Happily, those are not concerns for Water Street Pharmacy and Jack. In fact, Jack has even received a “service recognition award” for providing the pharmacy customers with impeccable service. You can see a photo of Jack, Pharmacist Tracey Knapp, and read about Jack’s award HERE.

We may have to rethink our hesitations about a pharmacy feline.

While the cat in the photo with the stethoscope is not Jack at Water Street Pharmacy, Jack does appear, in the photo about his award, to be a large tabby cat, too. You can order copies of the cat and stethoscope get well card through Zazzle.

The Mutter Museum in Philadelphia is Filled with Anatomical Oddities.

My favorite pharmacy professor, Dr. Ralf Rahwan, taught a class on teratogenesis, carcinogenesis, and mutagenesis, which basically meant that we studied embryonic or birth defects, cancer, and gene mutations.

Dr. Rahwan told us that most of the people, who were featured in the circus sideshow acts from many years ago, were basically suffering from abnormalities that occurred in the womb. These people lacked the hormones that allowed them to grow. Alternately, they produced too much hormone and grew too large. Embryos did not split correctly, forming “Siamese twins.”

While Joe and I were in Philadelphia for the NCPA pharmacy convention, we visited a place that Dr. Rahwan would have loved to explore, the Mutter Museum, which is run by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

Inside the Mutter Museum, we saw the tallest human skeleton (at well over 7 feet) on display, a plaster cast of Siamese twins, books made from human skins, and skulls showing damage from Civil War battles. It was a place of many gruesome “treasures” preserved forever in test tubes and formaldehyde.

While there is a great deal of the shocking among the display cases, the museum seriously and studiously traces the history of medicine and physicians’ trials to learn how the human body works. The museum specimens also show the ravages taken on the body due to warfare and cancer. Additionally, the museum celebrates our triumphs over many diseases, such as smallpox and leprosy, which no longer kill or deform generations of people.

While the museum is of great interest from a medical standpoint (I can only wonder how we will look back on “modern medicine” in a few decades), it is not for the weak stomached. Joe, who never liked looking at cadavers in anatomy class, kindly excused himself after a short walk inside the rows of skulls and bones and long preserved body parts.

Sadly, many of the abnormalities featured in this museum of atrocities could be prevented or altered today in our hospitals and pharmacies with pre-natal vitamins, antibiotics, or through a visit to a good plastic surgeon. I can imagine Dr. Rahwan marching along the aisles lecturing us on things he showed us only in slides, his voice rising in excitement at the marvels he was teaching us.

Visit The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Facebook Page HERE.

And visit their YouTube site for original online series, including Grey Matter and No Bones About It: YouTube

Garrison Keillor, of “A Prairie Home Companion,” is a Gracious Host.

One of the things Joe and I had always wanted to do, and finally achieved this past week, was to visit St. Paul, Minnesota and The Fitzgerald Theater during a taping of the radio show A Prairie Home Companion, featuring Garrison Keillor. For those of you who have never heard the show, you can listen locally on 90.5, WCBE, on Saturdays at 6 pm and Sundays at 10 am. Joe and I have listened for many years to the Sunday morning broadcasts, often while we were eating breakfast at home or in the car on our way to breakfast.

A Prairie Home Companion follows the formula of old time radio shows (there was also a movie in 2006 about the show that featured Meryl Streep, Lindsay Lohan, and a variety of other celebrities). There are musical guests, skits, and stories, all introduced and participated in by the host, Garrison Keillor. Keillor sings, jokes, and in his soft voice weaves magical tales about his home of Lake Wobegon, where “all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average” (we found this quote embellished on a door mat a few years ago and gave it to a friend, who believed it perfectly described his family). Keillor has also penned many, many books about the famous, but non-existent Lake Wobegon.

With the opening of A Prairie Home Companion’s 2010 season, Keillor and his compadres at The Fitzgerald Theater offered a package deal for “out of towners.” The package, which also celebrated F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 114th birthday, featured a tour of many Fitzgerald sites (F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in Minnesota and spent many years prior to the publication of “This Side of Paradise” in St. Paul), tickets to a taping of the radio show, and brunch on Sunday morning with Garrison Keillor.

There were whispers that the brunch on Sunday morning was actually going to be at Garrison Keillor’s house.

“No,” I scoffed. “Why would he let two hundred and fifty strangers into his home?”

On our tour of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s childhood residences, our bus ventured among the lovely homes lining Summit Avenue. These giant, historical masterpieces are architectural jewels. With a bit of internet research, Joe and I discovered that Garrison Keillor also lives in this grand neighborhood.

Imagine our surprise when, on Sunday morning, our tour bus drove us back to Summit Avenue and parked in front of a gorgeous yellow and white Georgian style home–the home of Garrison Keillor. Keillor, in his traditional radio broadcast attire–a suit jacket and red sneakers–was in the driveway welcoming everyone and inviting them through the open wrought iron gates. There were tents set up on the lawn and I thought, at first, that we would be eating breakfast there on the grass in the early morning air. But, no. With a graciousness and hospitality I have never encountered before, Garrison Keillor opened his entire home up to those of us who had come for brunch. Nothing was off limits. People trooped through the kitchen, the dining room, and even (egads, the writer in me cried out), Keillor’s office and study–the shrine where he had written all those bestsellers.

Joe and I perched on the steps of the back patio, looking out over a gorgeous view of St. Paul, eating our brunch of vegetarian quiche, fruit, and scones, still in shock that we were in a famous author’s home. Later, I crept inside the house, thinking how I would feel if hundreds of adoring fans were swarming among my books and private spaces. I saw people taking pictures of Garrison Keillor’s family photos; some played his piano; others used the bathroom. I stayed inside for only a few moments, before escaping back outside. I felt I was intruding.

Unbeknownst to Joe, while loitering on the lawn, he spoke with Garrison’s son (someone later informed Joe who exactly he had been conversing with). Joe told the man how kind it was of Garrison Keillor to open his home to us. Joe asked if that was due to Minnesota hospitality–people in Minnesota are famous for being “nice.”

“No,” said Garrison’s son, Jason, “This is just a Garrison thing.”

For three hours, Garrison Keillor stood in his driveway and spoke to everyone who wanted his attention. He did not limit their time with him. He did not shoo them away if they rambled in their conversation. He signed books and posed for photos and remained patient and charming. He treated each person as if they were his greatest fan.

Joe and I did not get in line to have our photo taken with Garrison Keillor. I was a bit star struck, unsure what I would say. The closest we came was the photo you see at the beginning of this post–Joe by the gate with Garrison Keillor in the background.

I want to thank Garrison Keillor for opening his home to us and treating hundreds of fans as if we were family, returning to Lake Wobegon for a delightful reunion.

I will always fondly recall this visit to Minnesota (even though many of the people we encountered in Minnesota could not believe we had taken a vacation there). And since we were also celebrating F. Scott Fitzgerald, I must cite my favorite, though oft quoted, line from The Great Gatsby about remembering times long gone“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

I am sure my memories will carry me back often to these lovely September days wandering among the dwellings that housed Minnesota’s silver-tongued playboys.