Page 44 - Pat's Tavern
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Pat’s Tavern by Thomas J. CraneThe Fate Of The Corner DrugstoreAs it was, the neighborhood changed and my family as well as all the other families slowly drifted away. I eventually found employment in a major university that was located not too far away. I would, on occasion, drive through the old neighborhood in order to reminisce about times past. It was on one of these occasions that I happened to pass the old drugstore and was surprised to see the lights on and someone moving about in a white jacket similar to what a pharmacist would wear. I decided to park my car at the curb and go in.As I did so, a young man stepped forward who I barely recognized. He had been the young assistant who once served the old pharmacist. I then said, “I remember you.” He said, “Yes, it’s me. I went off to pharmacy school and came back. I always had dreams of owning this store and I bought the old man out.” He went on to take me around and he showed me the old wooden cabinets that slid out for easy access to medications and the see through counter where he could look out upon the entrance. I said, “It’s like a step back in time.” He replied, “Yes, it is and I love it.” After giving him a brief farewell, I shook his hand and wished him well and left.A few months later I heard through the grapevine that a customer approached the door and finding it unlocked, he went in. Not receiving any response, he proceeded to the back room. There lying on the floor in a pool of blood was the young pharmacist . He had been shot several times. The police said that it was a robbery, but not content with taking the goods or the money, the perpetrator or perpetrators left him dead. And so it was as if a dark curtain fell over the street that I once knew. As I proceeded through life I found that the cycle would often be repeated. Does that mean that we cannot dream or wish or even go on? No, I say. It takes the strength of the human spirit and the belief in a Higher Power to go forth into the unknown no matter what and to build upon those who have gone before us. It is a part of the human conditioning.44

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