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The Old Carolina Drug

Updated on April 11, 2012

About the Author

This is a short remembrance written by my grandfather Michael D. Martin of Eden, NC. These stories pertain mostly to our family and his time serving in the Eden City Police Dept. Michael Martin was born Oct. 6th 1943 and passed away Oct. 1st 2010. They are transcribed as he wrote them to keep his writing style alive in the stories. Some are historical and some are just for the humor. If you find these stories enjoyable and would like to read more there is a link at the bottom to more of his stories.

The Old Carolina Drug

I am not too good at pinning down dates after all these years but this must have happened just after the consolidation of Leaksville, Spray and Draper in 1967.

There was a fine man named Hill McCollum who operated Carolina Drug Company at the intersection of Washington Street and Henry. Hill was about the best pharmacist in Eden and did a good business and had a soda fountain where light food and beverage was available. There was no A.B.C. store in Eden at that time but fellas could find a taste of "government Whiskey" in about any section of town.

I personally have never tried it, but it seems that Hill had a concoction called Ammonia and Coke that would clear up the worst hangover and let a fella go on to work.

On this particular morning, Hill was busy in the back when an old Leaksville regular came in and sat at the counter, it was clear that he felt terrible and he said," I feel horrible, give me an Ammonia and Coke, make it a strong one and make it quick." Well, this little girl was in her first hour of employment and wanted to do well.......but she hesitated, and said "you want what?" The poor soul repeated his order..."give me an ammonia and coke, make it strong and make it quick." so she reached under the counter and got the bottle of household cleaning ammonia and poured him a goodly shot, added crushed ice and coca cola syrup and set it on the counter. She had never been told the difference in medicinal ammonia and household cleaning ammonia. Our poor soul turned up the drink and drained it...then he hit the floor like a stone. Chief Marshall Clark and I were on Washington Street when we got a call of an apparent heart attack at Carolina Drug. We got there about the time the little girl was explaining to Hill about the man's strange order. Hill's face was white as the sheets at the Mar-Gre and we arranged for the fella to be taken to Morehead and I actually don't know if he died or not but I think the little girl quickly started a new job as a checkout girl for Blair Burke's store where she couldn't actually kill anyone.


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