Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Missing the Fountain at the Rexall Drug

As a young High School student I worked at Ashton's Department Store.  I took my breaks on the corner at the Uintah Rexall Drug.  Oh how I wish I could still stop in there for a bit to eat.  Marion Swain operated the fountain and fixed the finest food.  If I stopped by for a morning break I almost always had a sweet roll and a glass of milk.  This was not just any sweet roll.  They were made in Ashton's bakery by Twila and Dolly and were wonderful.  Marion took those and made them out of this world!  She'd take the bonnet off a nice sticky stack of them, select the biggest one for me and toss it on the grill.  Then with a Wooster paint brush she'd slather it with melted butter and let it warm and get crispy and caramelized around the edges.  She'd place it on a plate with a fork and serve it with tall glass of whole milk.  I'd probably weight 400 pounds if she were still there serving up that delicacy.

For lunch I always had her salad plate.  A dinner plate loaded with equal portions of cottage cheese, tuna-macaroni salad, the best* potato salad in the world, and green salad with a few cello-wrapped saltines.  Oh my goodness was it good stuff.  This evening I finished off a batch of tuna macaroni salad with some cottage cheese and wished I had the rest to round out my meal.  It was homemade, wholesome and just plain good food.  I had it every lunch there for two years.

My afternoon break was just as consistent.  I had a root-beer float with scooped, real ice-cream.  You can't make a good root-beer float with soft ice-cream.  It just doesn't melt right, nor seem as creamy and delicious.

Marion was like a grandmother to me.  I ate at her table more often than I did at home.  I loved to visit with her.  While she cooked or did the dishes.  She had dish pan hands, her hair tied up in a net and a resolute determination to do her job well.  I always sat there by myself, usually during off hours when the crowds weren't there.  People came and went I'm sure but all I remember was Marion.  That is until one fateful day.

I was in this very marching band.  It had a little more class in those days.  The Drum Major is my good friend Keith.  You can see both Ashton's and the Uintah Rexall Drug in this photo.  Also Bobbie's Dress Shop where Sweetie worked.
I had quit Ashton's and was working as a surveyor.  One day I happened to be in town in the early afternoon and, for old time's sake, stopped in to see Marion.  The place was hopping and the only stool was right next to a pretty girl I was remotely acquainted with.  We had a good visit over our meals.  I have no idea what she had, but of course I had the salad plate.  Marion gave me a wink of approval as I sat beside someone she obviously approved of.  As we parted I paid for the young lady's meal, which she graciously accepted as she has thousands of times since.  She became my sweetheart, my wife and the love of my life.  And *her mother's potato salad is even better than Marion Swain's.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gee, I thought I played a role in getting the two of you together. It would have been early September, 1972. I was recently home from a mission and drove to your parents' house with Cheya for a visit. It seems you were soon to leave for a hitch in the Navy?? - Right?? Anyway, while I was visiting with your folks, you and Cheya ended up in the corner in deep conversation. I left for school a few days later, and as they say - the rest is history.
As to drug store memories. Mine were down the street at Vernal Drug in those years as I had an interest in their fountain staff. Those were the days.

Alan White

Candleman said...

Actually, the incident in the Drug Store preceded you visit to our house. But your visit certainly facilitated the beginnings of a life long friendship. I remember feeling guilty that I was focusing on your date that night. Sorry. NOT!!

Booklogged said...

Alan, I remember going to Candleman's house with you but I don't remember talking with him at all. Too funny!

I think that top picture is Vernal Drug, isn't it?

Candleman said...

No, its in a photo set at the Uintah County Library. It is definitely Uintah Rexall.

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