Archived Story

The good old days

Published 10:40am Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ring ring, “Hello, oh hello, it’s Tommy Burgess my boss, what’s happening? What?

“Medco is in trouble huh and business is not so good? You want me to come in and whip the drugstore back into shape? Sure I’d be happy to come back to work and make that happen. Sure, $8.25 an hour sounds good, man I’ll be right there….”

I popped up out of bed, excited and ready to head downtown and get to work at the store. I already have ideas on what I want on the front endcaps. I also think a big Pepsi display needs to be set up close to the check-out counters….

Whoa! Shake it off dude, I’m looking around and realize it was only a dream, and it is not 1983. I guess I must really miss working at Medco, which was at the corner of Third Avenue and Main St. in downtown Franklin. I have these Medco dreams at least once a month, sometimes lasting all night. I even wake up sometimes mentally exhausted because I can’t seem to get the cash registers money right. And it has got to be right, dang it!

Chill out! Okay, so what is it I miss so badly? Well, let’s see, I miss being able to set up a table loaded with potted meat with a hand made sign that boldly states 3/$1. And of course I have the table strategically placed so that people will have to practically run into it to get into the store and the potted meat is at arm’s length from where the customer will have to check out. Got to get’em coming in and goin’ out.

I also miss seeing that table empty at the end of the day with not a single potted meat can in sight. I miss helping people. If at all possible when Mrs. Smith asked where the Tylenol caplets, size 100, with the easy open arthritis cap are, I take her to it and put it in her hand. That’s called CUSTOMER SERVICE and it’s also a guaranteed sale and a guaranteed return customer. You’ll be hard pressed to find that nowadays.

We also opened at 9 a.m., did not close for lunch and closed up at 6 p.m. Not like some now that struggle to run a business downtown open at 10 a.m., close for lunch and lock the door at 5 p.m. And they wonder why they struggle. Yeah, I know, some of you don’t like to hear that, too bad, it’s my column and it’s the truth, and I didn’t say everybody. And I can’t tell you how many times I unlocked the door at 5 minutes after 6 p.m. to let somebody in who was running late and needed to pick up their prescription. I miss the camaraderie with the other merchant’s downtown. You had Mr. Kingrey at Parkers Drug, Bev Carson at the Virginian Drug Store and Harry Mewborn at Tarts Pharmacy. I miss seeing Mr. Branch the shoe man waddle into work every morning and the Allens from the appliance store every afternoon. I miss when a candy bar was 30 cents and a can of juice was 6 ounces. Nowadays, corporate rip off America is doing just that, ripping you off right under your unassuming nose. That can of juice is now 5.5 ounces. I have even seen some beer that is now 11.2, not 12 ounces. I opened a package of Keebler cookies the other day, and they were the size of a half dollar, not the 3 inch chocolate cookie anymore.

Okay yeah, I know things change and it’s easy for us to say we miss the good old days, even though really I’m lots better off now than I was then. I guess everybody’s “Good Old Days” is as varied as the individuals that remember them. Whatever,

I’m rambling again and my reminiscent story is over. And anyway I need to get dressed now and get to the drug store, I got a load of Vienna Sausages coming in today and I got to get that table filled before the lunch crowd shows up!

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