50 Years Ago – Thrift Town Pharmacy

It’s rare that marriages, or friendships, or businesses can last fifty years or more. This has been a wonderful year for me as I am hitting all three. Let me explain.

In 1959 (60 years ago) I went to work in downtown Kentwood for Ottis Simmons at Simmons’ Department Store. It was several months after that that he learned I was only 14 years old, but he overlooked that and continued my employment until I graduated from high school, and then I came back a couple of years later part-time.

Right down the street from Simmons was a dry cleaners, owned by Mrs. Dulcie Glasgow which she operated with the help of her son. He was a tall good-looking older man (to me), who sat on the stool and received the laundry and handed it out with a smile.  He was a KHS football hero, and all the girls liked him, but it didn’t matter.  He was taken. One of those Amite girls had come up and stolen the heart of our Kentwood hunk, so I had to settle on friendship.

Bud and I visited daily during lunch hours and breaks and every chance I got, especially during the summers. He was my “love-life advisor.” I was just beginning to date, and he was worldly wise at five years older than me.  We were probably just about the only teens working downtown at the time, and believe me, Kentwood really used to have a big retail business with lots of great stores.

He went off to pharmacy school, I got married, had a baby and life went on. Then I moved to Amite in 1969, and there it was: Thrift Town Pharmacy Grand Opening September 2, 1969. E.R. Glasgow (not yet called a Sr. Glasgow) was the new pharmacist in town and our friendship continued, as he and Carroll became an important part of my life. No longer did we discuss love-life, but quite frequently I called late at night to discuss a boy choking, or itching or limping, and oh, there was once a dog bite.

Carroll became one of my very best friends as we went thru OFA games, civic projects, markets, beauty pageants, fashion shows, wedding showers, wardrobe planning, and all the events that made up living in Amite together. Her Christmas and birthday gifts over the years make up the entire décor of my living room and kitchen.  I know clothes; she knows homes.  She and Bud attended Billy’s wedding in Alabama and Laura Lea’s wedding in Italy. Life has been wonderful being friends with the Glasgow’s.

So today it was quite an honor to hand-make the first chamber golden ribbon and be on hand for the cutting of the 50th anniversary ribbon of Thrift Town Pharmacy in Amite. The “drug store” (my generation will always call it that), is now owned by Ray (the Jr.) and wife, Piper, but Bud seldom misses a day at work.  He and Carroll were proudly in the line-up today as Mayor Buddy Bel cut the ribbon, along with Chamber President Jessica Young for the big event.

I left a little teary-eyed as I remember watching Thrift Town grow from the first location at Mike’s, to the shopping center, to the “swimming pool,” (many may not remember what used to be there). Anyway, 50 years seems like yesterday and Bud still seems like that young man sharing Rose Bowl fries at lunch. How blessed we all are!


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