Recalling good memories as Parker Drug closes

Published 8:53 am Friday, July 23, 2010

To the Editor:

My grandfather, George Parker, left the farm in western Southampton County where he was born the 10th of 10 children.

He hopped the train and got off in Franklin, where he wandered into Knight’s Drug Store and offered to clean the store daily for a place to sleep.

Mr. Knight agreed, later sent him (in alternate years) to pharmacy school in Richmond and eventually sold him the store, which he renamed Parker Drug Co.

He ran it for many decades, sending two children to college during the Depression and providing me with a place to live when my father deserted my mother and me.

He opened for an hour every Sunday after church to fill prescriptions for anyone who needed them. I used to sit with him then and watch the way people respected him, and the open and cheerful way he treated all his customers.

When I was older, I worked some Saturdays at the soda fountain, making sundaes and concocting the lemon-flavored cokes and BC’s with soda water that the ladies, who’d been shopping, seemed to need.

Now Parker’s is closing (“End of an era, Parker Drug, Franklin icon since 1887, to close July 27,” July 16), probably for good. I’ve learned, along with most of you, that everything changes whether we wish it to or not.

This is why we have been gifted with good memories and with the power to ignore the rest.

Kenneth Bradford