The View From Your Recession

A reader writes:

I grew up in a small Georgia town, where my family has lived for generations. My father was the  friendly neighborhood pharmacist for over 30 years. Last year, unable to compete with the big-city SOLESpencerPlatt:Getty pharmacies, the independent store he owned for 21 of those years went out of business. One of the big chains gave him a decent offer to buy up his store, but he accepted a lower offer from a certain mid-size chain because, he said, they were “good Christian folks.”

But after less than a year working for the new owners, they laid him off, without any prior warning. They just sent him home in the middle of the day, like he was a delinquent kid.  My father has multiple sclerosis, so he often has to sit down and rest to relieve the pain. I'm positive that’s why they chose him over the other pharmacists to cut costs. He won’t show it, but he was humiliated.

How can you work so hard your whole life and actually move down the ladder of success? Twenty-one years of building your own business and nothing to show for it but a mound of debt.

The first thing I noticed on returning to Provincetown is that the Adams Pharmacy on Commercial Street, a Staple since 1875, disappeared over the winter.