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October 09 , 2010

Bristol's Rexall Pharmacy


In 1961, we had a Rexall Pharmacy in our town. The aroma of the elixers and marble counter with four swivel chairs where teens congregated.

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The book rack where boys and girls flipped through the magazines of the early 1960's.

The soda fountain where Mrs. B. added more fizzy water than Coke syrup - the result - when I attempted to impress Marilyn Snell - was to have it propel through my nose spraying the contents of my mouth onto the counter and Marilyn's dress.

That was nearly 50 years ago. Mrs. Bristol drove one of the hottest cars of the era, a 1961 Corvair - a red four door. As kids we would read the magazinesand she would inevitabely ask us to leave unless we were going to purchase the book.

This many years later, I am now retired, and 65 years old and in a recent trip to photograph lower Vermont which borders western Massachusetts I found an old Rexall Drugh store in Guilford, Vermont. Complete with book rack and marble soda fountain. There was no Marilyn Snell or the 1961 Corvair, but the owner, an 80 plus year old woman. She reminded me of Mrs. Bristol - who at the time was only in her late thirties or possibly early forties - but to a fifteen year old kid she might as well have been a hundred!

I thought I had experienced the last of the aroma of the hand mixed medicines in the early 1960's when our Rexall Drug store closed, but visiting the store in Vermont brought back all the allure of the era. Although there was no longer any hand mixing of potions, my mind is forecer frozen in that time of a bygone era.

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