Wednesday, January 30, 2008

That's not what we meant by tackling the drug problem!

Back in November, the eponymous Paul Davis Pharmacy closed after 49 years in business at the same corner, directly at the end of our block. It was a symbolic departure: an olde world pharmacy trying to survive new-world urban machinations. It was tough not to see the old corner pharmacy as an anachronism, but a welcome one.
Paul continued to work under this sign until the day they closed, when all the existing prescriptions--and Paul along with them--transferred to the new CVS about a quarter-mile away.

The CVS doesn't have a whole wall of old make-up on a circa-1972 Maybelline backboard, though. It doesn't have a handful of Dr. Scholl's inserts hanging on a Danish-modern display, specifically designed for this purpose. And it doesn't have the faded greeting cards and calendars, the dusty jars of face cream, or the AM radio headphones that long-time employee Gert found in basement storage about a month before they closed. Of course it has Paul, but he won't be able to chit-chat like he used to, ruminating over an upstart alderman candidate's chances to beat the machine incumbent . . . or whether it's mannerly to put out old chairs and milk crates to reserve parking spots dug out from winter snow.

But wait! Is that a whiff of optimism on the air? Holy dig-me-out-of-despair, Batman. Turns out a friend who's an attorney (one of the good guys, who represents whistle-blowers and other underdogs) decided to buy the space. He's gutting it as we speak, making sure the old shelving units get properly salvaged and finding good homes for the display pieces. Repurposing.

To our house came a heavy oak store counter, with a deep drawer for supplies and cavity for storage underneath. The entire top rotates! At the moment this goliath is in the basement, doubling as an art storage cabinet and a surface for folding laundry. Mundane jobs for such a weighty artifact. But it's going to use and that seems fitting.

The pharmacist on the corner will soon become the barrister on the corner. We're mercifully saved from another check-cashing center or cell-phone provider. And though we'll have to look elsewhere for antacids and lip balm, at least we won't need to travel far for that living will we've been meaning to get down on paper.

1 comment:

Stove said...

Potentially interesting fact: I used to work in a small family owned pharmacy in high school with all the same kind of trimmings. The place is surprisingly still standing.