The recently installed penny candy counter in Lytle Pharmacy brings back memories of the candy stores of my girlhood.
Merkel’s hobby shop was across the street from my middle school in Independence, Ohio. It was the place where, on a dare, I attempted to pocket a Hershey’s bar. I lost my nerve. I liked Merkel’s and the friendly owner who always welcomed the children who flocked inside after school. The guilt would have eaten away at me.
Lytle Pharmacy is on the main floor of the Rochester Opera House. The basement of the building is rumored to have been a speakeasy during the prohibition; plays, operas, dances and boxing matches were held on the second floor. The main floor has been a pharmacy since it was built in 1890.
The current pharmacist and owner, Robert A. Lytle (“Bob”), is one of those guys who remembers your name. During the 2003 northeast blackout that shut down commerce, Bob personally called everyone who was waiting for a prescription to be filled to say, “Knock on the back door. We’ll work out payment later.” My husband was one of those people. Indeed, he found Bob sitting on the step inside the door, waiting, with a box of filled scripts. I can’t see that happening at Rite Aid or CVS, can you?
I rarely have to wait more than five minutes to get my prescription filled at Lytle’s. I’m usually still poking around the store when they tell me my prescription is ready. They have unique greeting cards and the most unusual gifts and home decor items. Where else could one find an oddly endearing, paper mâché birdhouse shaped like a fish? I don’t know, but I got it, and it hangs in my kitchen.
Bob Lytle also happens to be a published author of young adult books. His first two books were included in the Great Lakes Booksellers Association’s “Top Ten Children’s Books of the Year.”
So if you happen to be in Rochester, check out Lytle’s Pharmacy and their penny candies. And Bob’s books, too.
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of In the Context of Love, contemporary adult fiction about love, lust, and family secrets.
Angelica Schirrick had always suspected there was something deeply disturbing about her family, but the truth was more than she bargained for.
“Linda K. Sienkiewicz’s powerful and richly detailed debut novel is at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey.” ~ Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award Finalist, American Salvage, and critically acclaimed Once Upon a River, and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters