Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Linds provides an essential service

To the editor:

Re: “Fate uncertain for longtime Langley drugstore” (SWR, Nov. 22, 2008):

My father was a pharmacist. During the late 1940s and

‘50s he owned a small “mom and pop” store on Webster Avenue in the Bronx, N.Y.

Actually, it was so small, it was just “Pop” working there alone

10 or 12 hours a day, six days a week. That was a different time. He had no Wal-Mart or CVS or DrugStore.com to compete with... just the other guy like him three blocks down and two streets over.

My father may never have been a financial success but, in his own way, he was an important part of his small community amid the big city. He and his local competition had a “code of professional service.” They would always arrange their evening hours, their rare days off — and their even rarer vacations — so that one or the other was open and available to the people who depended on them. Whether to compound prescription medications from scratch, to dispense advice or to create ice cream confections, he was there.

As I said, that was a different place and a different time.

Like my Dad, I’ve never been a great success at retail. Perhaps because I saw his proud but very difficult job, I chose a different career. But I can understand the struggles of the small business owners in Langley and around South Whidbey. It is isn’t easy even in the best of times. But then I think about that “code of professional service” he told me about.

Linds Langley pharmacy is a very important part of our community. It may not compound many medications from scratch, and there is no soda fountain, but it dispenses a vital service upon which many of us depend.

As they ponder a relocation to Freeland, I urge the Linds to consider their unique role as the only local pharmacist to a small community. There is no other pharmacy three blocks down and two streets over, not even two miles. Linds Langley pharmacy is a reassuring presence, providing an essential service in a time when we are existentially in need of reassurance. Surely someone can discover a business plan by which the pharmacy can remain while other sections of the flagship store are transformed to more profitable uses. If so, I’m certain that the Linds will rediscover a loyal clientele in Langley.

Hal Seligson


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