I worked at the Drug Store in Junction City for three years when I was in high school. It was a great after school and weekend job and I recently found some pictures of the place online. Check them out:
I don’t know what year these were taken, but I’m guessing they were taken around the years I worked there which was 1973 to 1976.
The store was divided into two parts, this side was the drug store side and it’s where I worked waiting on customers and ringing them up in addition to being a delivery boy. We had hash pipes and rolling papers in the delivery car and we used to get really high while delivering drugs to households. Ah, the magical 70’s!
This is the back pharmacy area and we used to eat lunch back here on Saturdays. We used to order a lot from Monical’s pizza, I remember. I was always starving, due to the fact that I was pretty much stoned all the time back in those days.
This was the soda fountain side. They had fresh ice cream, milkshakes, candy and other sweet and sugary stuff for sale over here. Mr. Mac, the man who owned the store told all of us kids who worked there that we could eat all the ice cream and candy we wanted. It was smart of him to do this because after the first week of stuffing your face full of sugar and feeling sick, you never wanted any of that shit ever again!
Mr. Mac was a pretty gruff old man and he wasn’t always the easiest guy to work for or to be around. I’m not sure of his age back then, but he looked pretty old to me. I’m guessing he was in his 70’s. He was a thin and kind of a grey, gaunt guy who rarely cracked a smile. He always looked a little on the sickly side to me. A lot of people said he had a soft and kind side underneath his rough and grouchy exterior, but I never saw it.
He called me a bastard a lot, which cracks me up now! In his defense, I would always get nervous around him and I’d drop stuff and fuck shit up around him and he would come all unglued and start screaming bloody murder at me. Deep down I knew he didn’t really mean a lot of the angry stuff he said to me, so I learned to let it slide off my back most of the time.
Mr. Mac had trouble breathing sometimes, I think he had emphysema, but I’m not totally sure. Everything’s a blur back from those days, because I was so stoned all the time.
One day I had to pick Mr. Mac up at the barber shop in the delivery car. I went through the standard drill of hiding the hash pipes, pot and rolling papers and went to go get him. It was the summertime and it was raining out and very humid and Mr. Mac would have trouble breathing in these conditions.
Anyway I pulled up at the barber shop (I was probably really high at the time) and he ran to the car in the rain, but the door wouldn’t open. He was screaming and huffing and puffing and after both of us wrestled with the door for a few minutes, I realized it was locked. Oops! I unlocked it and he fell in and immediately started wheezing and he could hardly breath.
“Are you okay, Mr. Mac?” I nervously asked him as he desperately wheezed and huffed for air.
After a minute he was just barely able to to choke out the following words, while pointing his somewhat crooked, skinny index finger at my face: “Drive, you bastard!”
As we drove back to the Drug Store he glared angrily at me the whole time while wheezing, huffing, puffing and making some weird and sickening noises trying to get air into his lungs. I felt like I was going to throw up. We got to the store, I dropped him off up front and then I parked the car in the lot. I remember sitting in the car and dreading going in. But I got out of he car, took the long walk and he was standing at the end of the front wooden counter as I entered the store.
I tried to sneak past him, but as I tried to pass him he grabbed my shirt collar and kept wheezing and was glaring at me in a very angry manner. He really had a tight grip on my shirt and I couldn’t get away and he wasn’t letting go. After about two very long minutes he finally spoke.
“You’re trying to kill me, aren’t you, you bastard?” He angrily wheezed out.
“I swear I’m not,” I answered back, trying to stifle laughter at this surreal and strange moment in time. I really think he thought I was trying to kill him and it was one of those kooky moments in life where you either laugh or cry. I usually choose to laugh in these moments.
He finally let go of my shirt and I ran back into the pharmacy area where Jan the pharmacist was working. Jan looked out for me back in those days and she just shook her head at me and we both started laughing. In spite of Mr. Mac, or maybe because of him, it was a pretty fun and interesting place to work. Especially if you were a somewhat nervous and curious teenager and really, really high all the time.
Smith Drug Store bought the place in the late ‘70’s or maybe it was even early ‘80’s and shut down the soda fountain side of the store. A store called The Framin’ Place moved in to that space. Let’s go see what’s happening over there these days. Sadly, there’s no hash pipes in the MBIP Mobile, those days are long gone!
Off we go into the wild blue yonder. It's still freezing out here...have I mentioned that I fucking hate winer?
There it is, Junction City, I sure miss the train that used to be in front of this place.
There's the Junction City Water Tower, that's been there as long as I can remember. Of course I can't remember last night, so that's not saying a lot.
The Drug Store space is now a boutique called, "Random." I tried to shoot it from the same angle that the online photo was taken...
I think I got pretty close to this.
Let's go in and see what the place looks like these days.
Wow, it looks totally different in here. It's been over three decades since I've been in here and it feels kind of strange. I think the hard wood floor may be the same.
This is Bob, who owns the store with his wife, Kathy. Bob said he remembered the old Drug Store that used to be here.
Here's a shot from the other end of the store. As you can see, they have a large selection of women's clothes in here.
There's also purses and belts in here.
Ha, I like the "Bite Me" pillow!
This Blondie shirt is cool.
What's funny is that next door that used to be the ice cream parlor is now a frozen yogurt place. I thought about stopping in there...
But then I remembered that we were minutes away from a place that sells the real shit...
Emack & Bolio's! Who needs fro-yo when Peoria's best ice cream can be had here?
Looking good in here as always...
And talk about fast and friendly service! In less than 19 seconds, co-owner Jim is serving me up a tasty ice cream cone. I think Tim, the other co-owner was sleeping in the bathroom. Maybe we'll see him next time.
I got the cookie dough...delicious!
Hey...what's that back there?
Ice Cream Pizza! We'll have to make a stop back in here for The MBIP Year Of Pizza Tour!