Mr. Shalit's Drug Store

by Jack Keegan


The proprietor of the Pharmacy located on the corner of Brill Street and Fleming Avenue was Mr. Shalit. Over the years my Father and our family came to know him quite well. He was the only druggist in the area and all our prescriptions were filled there. The Doctor ordered whiskey for my Grandfather, a shot every evening at bedtime.

This was during prohibition, remember the Volstead Act was passed in the early twenties. Manufacturing or the consumption of alcoholic beverages was illegal, and it could only be obtained on Doctors orders. With prescription in hand, my Father went to Mr. Shalit's drugstore and purchased a quart of Rye Whiskey, "Old Overhalt " I believe.

The task of giving the whiskey to Grand Dad was delegated to my sister Marie. To half a glass of Ginger Ale, she added a shot of Rye, and stirred the mixture. It was then presented to our Grandfather. He said "Marie, I'd like to taste the whiskey ". From then on she put the soda in the glass first and floated the Rye on top. Grand dad was satisfied.

Over the years Mr. Shalit took good care of his customers. Sometime in the late thirties he sold his business on Brill Street and moved to Morristown, NJ, one of his sons became a pharmacist and operated the store in Morristown. To my knowledge the drug store is still in operation.

Little known to most people another one of Mr. Shalit's sons has become a real celebrity. He is Gene Shalit, a well known personality and has been a regular on the To-Day show on NBC. He is well known for his movie revues and his critical resumes of art objects. He has a great life doing many things, leading symphony orchestras and many other things.

Another Down Necker who has made a place in this world.


Email this memory to a friend.
Enter recipient's e-mail: