A couple weeks ago, East Ridge News Online reported that Kingwood Pharmacy, the iconic drug store founded by Tracy Parker in 1945, was not going anywhere.
The story was prompted by postings from people on Facebook that Kingwood was shuttering its doors at the end of June. This reporter went to Kingwood and was told by an employee in the office there that the beloved pharmacy _ the largest independent pharmacy in the area, by the way _ was not closing.
Understandably, the story which garnered more than 3,000 views was greeted with almost universal joy. Some people were skeptical. They seemed to know more about the inner workings of Kingwood business and intimated that there was something going on.
I went back to Kingwood last week and spoke with a friendly face stocking plastic flowers outside the office area. I told the man who I was and that I would like to speak with Joe Musick, the owner of the store. The man led me to believe that Mr. Musick was in his office, just a few yards away from where we were speaking. When an office worker stepped away from the counter I thought Mr. Musick would be following her.
No. I was told that Mr. Musick was not in.
I’ve been in the news business long enough to know that when people with information will not talk to you something is going on.
I’ve had three different sources _ employees or former employees _ relay information that Kingwood is indeed closing. Specifically, I’ve been told that the pharmacy inside Kinwood has been purchased by a prominent nationwide drug store. Sources said that officials with that drug store have instructed Kingwood officials to stay mum on the purchase.
So, there you go. Don’t be shocked if one day soon you go to Kingwood Pharmacy, a bedrock business that defines East Ridge as much as any merchant in the 95-year history of our city, and the doors will be locked.
What a wonderful way to say thank you, East Ridge, for allowing us to serve you for 70 years.
_ IF YOU WANT to continue to get your news from East Ridge News Online _ your only local news source _ you may have to actually go visit the website eastridgenewsonline.com, in the near future.
I know many of you access East Ridge News Online through the Facebook posts we share with various group pages. Recently, I received requests from several of these group sites not to post at all on them, or not to post certain types of stories.
I found this a little curious. “Why now,” I thought to myself. Only thing I can come up with is that it is election time in East Ridge and everybody knows that politics is a blood sport in our city.
People want to now control access to information. I, for one, don’t particularly care for that. Allow me to use a cliche, “It is what it is.”
So, if you want to inform yourself about candidates running for office you may have to actually type in www.eastridgenewsonline.com in the near future. It’s quite simple.
In addition, I would like to invite readers to share their opinions on East Ridge News Online. The “Opinion” section of this Website is for everyone. If you feel strongly about a topic feel free to email it to me ([email protected]) and I will post it under “Opinion.” I will not edit for content. The only thing I ask is to put your name at the end of what you’ve written. East Ridge News Online will not publish anonymous opinions or letters to the editor.
_ HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to everyone out there.
My father, Richard E. Cook Sr., passed away almost 10 years ago. I was fortunate to have him with me for 78 years. When I was boy, he was infallible. As a teen and young man, not so much. Now, as a 57-year old grandfather, I wish he were still here for me to ask how to handle the care and feeding of three rambunctious boys who think I’m a fool.
I miss you, Pops.
But, I was fortunate to have many father figures in my life. My own father’s circle of male friends in East Ridge was vast. Many of them were members of the American Legion Post 95. That was where I learned how to shoot billiards, play dominoes and see how you are supposed to behave while drinking cold Falstaff beer.
Most of those men _ many who fought in WWII _ have passed away. But I will never forget them.
Here’s to you on father’s day _ W.T. (Schoolboy) Roe, Gordon White, Mason Phillips, Virgil Christa, Charles Citty, Ed Ballard, Newt Houts, Jim Smith, Harvey Wade, Bill French, Glen Patterson.