.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Neighborhood pharmacy to close

-A A +A
By Roger Snodgrass

After 39 years of service to the community, the owner of Anderson Pharmacy plans to close the business by about March 15.George Anderson, whom many consider a lifesaver and an institution in town, said he made the decision because of his wife Joann’s illness. The couple has been married for 51 years, Anderson said.“It doesn’t seem like any time at all,” he said Tuesday, taking a reluctant break from filling orders.The sign went up last week in the window of the pharmacy, located across from the high school.“My wife is not doing well and I need to be home to take care of her,” Anderson said.Unlike a number of other retail closings in town, Anderson Pharmacy is not shutting down because of lack of business or financial uncertainty.“I have a good business,” he said.He owns the building and plans to lease out the space, perhaps to another pharmacist.“I haven’t looked yet to see if I could get a pharmacist in,” he said.Anderson was the staff pharmacist at the Los Alamos Medical Center from 1963-1969, before he saw the opportunity to take over Draggon Drug, a pharmacy that was already established and had been in business since 1949, he said.Anderson’s mother, Bella Anderson, who was a registered pharmacist, moved from Iowa to help get the business going. Anderson remarked on how unusual it was for a woman to have graduated in pharmacology at the time.Generations of Los Alamos residents have grown up and gone to school across the street from the neighborhood drug store. A number of students, including the Andersons’ son Chris, worked at the store while attending Los Alamos High School.Chris was an Eagle Scout, attended New Mexico State University and went on to get a master’s degree in computer science at Brigham Young University, his father said.The Andersons’ younger son Mark is a key grip in the movie industry and has been working on the Wildfire series produced for ABC Family in New Mexico. He’s also a snowboarder and whitewater rafter, as well as a certified Emergency Medical Technician. His father said, “He’s top of the rock.”Residents recall two key characteristics of Anderson and the pharmacy: his delivery service and his willingness to make special compound drugs under a doctor’s prescription“I used to have a free delivery service and used to go to White Rock,” George Anderson recalled. With rising gas prices, some service continues, but not on a regular basis, he said. He still takes orders to Aspen Ridge, Oppenheimer Place and other clients with special needs.Among special elixirs was “Butt Salve,” a prescription drug for diaper rash and “Magic Mouthwash,” a prescribed concoction for sore throat.