10/28/11 - posted by jb
I suspect there was a "speak-easy" on almost every block of the Outside Lands hiding under the guise of your friendly neighborhood pharmacy. Seems Frank Grant should be telling this tale; however, having worked with many an old timer in my neophyte days as the sorcerer's apprentice, I was lead to believe that prohibition was the high point in local pharmacy profits. The pharmacist who taught me to play cribbage on those slow Wedensday afternoons owned 5 pharmacies in the Yreka area and made his fortune during the Volstead Act.

Flash the peace sign to a pre-hippie pharmacist in the Hashbury during the 1920's and you may well have gotten an 8oz bottle of 99-proof ethanol for $2.00, which was the secret signal and the going rate.

It is sad to see the demise of so many old neighborhood drug stores since their "back rooms" held history in every bottle and register. I interned in a store where a jug of Terpin Hydrate and Heroin sat on the shelf. As Kurt Vonnegut once wrote in Cat's Cradle..."the hand that stocks the drugstore rules the world."

Cheers and "peace,"

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