Womack’s Drug Store

The building in this photo is where I got my real reading start. In the early 1970’s, it was our town’s nicest drug store. Grandma would send me the 6 blocks to Womack’s to pick up her prescriptions, cigarettes, butter rum Lifesavers, and Vicks vapo-rub. Which I would charge to her account.

Knowing I had no money, Mr. And Mrs. Womack would let me sit at the soda counter with a gratis cherry coke and read all the comic books from the metal, spinning rack. So long as I didn’t lick my finger to turn the pages, so long as the flimsy pages still looked brand new. When I moved on to the Harlequin Romances at age 11, they didn’t mind one bit.

I became a fast reader in that store.

Did you have someone in your young life — outside your family, maybe — who helped you along your reading path?


8 thoughts on “Womack’s Drug Store

  1. MacDougal Street Baby

    I wish I had been encouraged to read as a child. Mom was too busy trying to make a living and I was too busy watching the television outside my window. If only, I really coulda been a contender.

  2. Lyra

    I thank God I was raised before helicopter parenting, and that my parents never looked twice at what I was reading. They had this unbelievable pride that I was “a reader”, and paid no attention when my Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume’s turned into Danielle Steele and Stephen King. I distinctly recall first reading King somewhere around 7th grade and thinking “You can write this stuff??”. I was always on edge that they’d figure out what I was up to.

  3. Downith

    My mother pushed books on her willing children. We went to the library LOTS. When my parents split up and money was tight, she still found it so we could buy books from Scholastic. All four of us are still big readers.

  4. lisahgolden

    My mother encouraged me to be a reader by being one herself. I read a lot of the things she had whether she knew it or not. And when I hopped on my bike and announced I was going to the library, she never once offered the fear that I might be molested or kidnapped. I’m like Lyra – glad I was a kid before parents were expected to micromanage every minute of a kid’s life.

  5. amyg

    from what i remember of the things you’ve said about your memoir, womack’s seems to be a good fit for cover art, maybe?

    either way, the dr. pepper sign is delightful. almost as good as the story of you sitting at the counter reading away. love it.

    like lisa’s mom, my mom made me a reader by being one herself. and like downith, we nearly lived at the library when it was just the two of us (before she remarried and my siblings came along).

    we had a bookcase in the basement that was filled with books she let me read even though i was too young (lady chatterly’s lover, philip roth sets, FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC). and then, once when snooping through her nightstand drawer, i found anais nin. i remember how it changed the way i thought about books and my mom.

  6. erikamarks

    Teri, I love this picture and love this remembrance. For me, it was Mr. McGee in sixth grade. He organized a group of us and helped us through the Lord of the Rings trilogy–I’ll never forget that or his enthusiasm in moving us forward, checking in with us on our progress.

    (As a side note, I’m befuddled as to why I’m not getting updates on your new posts! I’m subscribed but clearly not checking an all-important box…hmm…I’m looking in to this for answers. In the meantime, I’m catching up.)

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