Silber’s Drug store on Carl Street
Had been in the Silber family
As long as anyone could remember.
On the second floor above the pharmacy
Was the dentist, Doctor Takao, (where
I went by myself when I was only 5 years old!)
And Doctor Ball, a general practitioner
Who delivered my sister and brothers and I,
And would make house calls
If you had the flu.
The drug store was about two blocks
Down from the end of the street car line
And perhaps three blocks
From my grandmother’s house;
It was fairly close to ‘St Leo’s
And a place to stop into
After mass on Sundays.
We went to the drug store for everything
Magazines, cherry phosphates
And a chocolate malted (twenty five cents each)
And an assortment of penny candy.
Mr Silber was the pharmacist
And filled prescriptions and
Gave free advice,
While Mrs. Silber
Ran the cash register and
Watched like a hawk
Every child who came in
Or went out of the drug store,
With its tinkling bell above the door
That announced their arrival.
Most memorable to me
Was the time I accompanied
My uncle to Silber’s to pick up
A prescription for my mother.
While Uncle Cal talked to Mr. Silber,
I enviously looked over the paperback
Books on the shelves
And spotted one titled
“THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK”—It was
Twenty five cents. Needless to say,
I didn’t have twenty five cents
But my uncle saw me looking
(perhaps drooling) over the paperback
Book and he bought it for me.
A whole new world opened to me
With that one book
And to this day I have collected
Everything written about Anne Frank.
I read the Diary until the pages fell out
Of the paperback book and I never
Forgot my uncle’s act of kindness
Towards a 9 year old girl.
Silber’s was the place to go
On a hot summer night
For an ice cream cone
Or when I got a little older
To buy trashy magazines
Like True Confession and True Love.
The neighborhood where I grew up
Has changed drastically since those
Days in the 1940s and 1950s and
Now only the boarded up buildings
Remain on Carl Street.
I don’t know what became of Silber’s—
Perhaps they started another drug store
Sandra Lee Smith
Originally posted April 2009
Sandy’s note: The purchase of the
Diary of Anne Frank is a true story
Right down to my Uncle Cal going to
Pick up a prescription for my mother.
Carl Street is a down-and-out neighborhood
Now but it was a great place to be
Growing up when I was a little girl.