"There has always been a drug store..on that corner".....Unknown
Someone, maybe it was esteemed EditorDavid Stevens (CNJ), posted this photorecently on FB. It is the ever-present drugstore on Clovis' Main Street at Fourth Street,in some unnamed year..."Ever-present" meaning there was alwaysa drug store on that corner, as if it was theheart-beat of downtown, tho' the storesdid have several names, over time...Did it finally become...Cretney's?(Someone wrote recently that there is achurch there now, but I don't know aboutthat.)When we moved to Clovis that hot GreatDepression summer of 1938 to own andoperate the Magic Steam Laundry, thedrug store on that corner was THE FOXDRUG.
There were small signs over the entranceswith cool little black running FOXES...likesilhouettes almost.There was a large lunch room over inthe far right back corner with tables andmaybe waitresses., as well as a long sodafountain counter out in the store runningfrom west to east up to the front...On the far north side, toward Anthony'swas a fine news stand facing Main Street.They sold kids' comic books for 15 centseach.There was a pharmacy in back by therear exit onto Fourth.In our simple little pre-war city, KICARadio was a big thing! Grady Maplesand R.B. McAlister operated the station.It broadcast a men's quartet, singingSouthern Gospel each day at12:45-1:00 p.m. from Fox. There wasa piano up front by the slanted door atthe corner...and they rolled it onto thesidewalk and broadcast from right there.My uncle sang first tenor in that quartet.The Fox Drug was a handy place for littleClovis kids whose big entertainment waswalking through every store in town, butwith no money to buy anything.In through the news stand, up and downthe aisles and out the back door ontoFourth. That was the "drill."Robert Stebnins, CHS '51, remembers awomen's dress shop back behind FoxDrug, abutting the alley. He thinks it was"Doreen's."There WAS such a business there foryears, and I salute Robert for his memory...of the store's name. I didn't recall that.But sit down for this one. There was alsoonce a small barber shop back there...andIt was there either before Doreen's or atthe same time.I know, for that's where I got my first-everstore-boughten haircut. One Saturday nightDad took me in there. (Stores in those earlytimes stayed open until 9 or 10 on Saturdaynights.) For your info, I was age five.The name of the Barber Shop escapes mebut it was run by a short little man named Mr.Jenks. My barber was a tall rather handsomeman named Mr. Nolan.(In 1961 when we moved to Albuquerqueand I sought out a barber shop, I stoppedin at the Princess Jeanne Addition barbershop and in the subsequent conversationdiscovered the young man cutting my hairwas named Nolan. His father cut hair inClovis, once.)That was an interesting corner, Fourth andMain...there was a Woolworths on the SE,a Barry Hardware on the NE, May's Jewelrywas south of Fox Drug on the SW corner.On that grand and fateful Saturday afternoon,circa AUGUST 15, 1945, about 4 p.m. whenI wandered out of the beloved LYCEUMTHEATER into the bright and blindingsunshine, traffic was stopped on MainStreet.There was a KICA RADIO VAN parkedcatty-wompus under the stop light almostin front of Barry Hardware... the loud speakerwas announcing: "TODAY, THE JAPANESEHAVE SURRENDERED. WWII IS OVER."I stood there stunned.I thought and it's true: "Thank God, no morewars."My twelve-year-old heart was fed up with thatwar----We kids had gathered all kinds of oldrubber ties, scrap metal, paper,grease, glass and bought 10 centwar stamps...When we were rather small we hadwatched during hot summers,and heard the B24's asthey droned around town,training to head to Europe...some 55,000 nevercame home.At the laundry we did thousandsof bundles of clean uniformsfor the men at the ClovisAir Base...I met them all...Yes, that FOX DRUG STORE cornerdoes bring back memoriesof life as it happened decadesago...it was just as real aslife is today, and just asimportant to us, then...When I walk Main Street, ordrag it today, even if onlyin memory...I get a deepfeeling of reverencefor times, and friends...long-passed.---------------------MIL28 JUNE 17