By Kyle Quick
May 4 2012
--Times have changed since Richard Pratt began working as a Pharmacist in 1964. There were no drive thru pharmacies or machines that filled scripts for you. Simply put, you had to wait.
Today it is the complete opposite, everyone’s in a hurry, somewhere to go, something to do, or there are those in a hurry to go nowhere.
I will be the first to admit, I should slow down at times and not always be in a rush. However, I will say, I never pass up a good conversation, particularly with my elders; why not talk with someone who has lived over 83 years, they know more about life than anyone.
Yesterday morning Mr. Pratt was sitting outside of Save-A-Lot handing out poppies for the American Legion. Mr. Pratt and I spoke for maybe five minutes and a conversation I will never forget. Those five minutes didn’t cause me to be late for something or prevent me from getting things done. Instead, it was the best five minutes of my day.
Mr. Pratt began talking about the two years he had served in the Army after enlisting in 1952. His father owned Pratts Pharmacy at the time and after returning from the service Mr. Pratt and his father formed a partnership around 1954.
Mr. Pratt and his father worked side by side for 14 years before his father passed away in 1968. He continued serving the community and keeping a locally owned pharmacy that remains in business today.
Our conversation was put on hold when Bill Quick, my grandfather, began reminiscing about Bob Hockemeyer’s Ice Cream Shoppe and the best raspberry malts in the world.
Then Bill began telling a story about “Mr. Tom”, Bob’s father. Bill said that he walked up to Mr. Tom one day, stuck his foot out and said shoot it off. Bill did not realize Tom had a blank shell in his gun; needless to say when he pulled the trigger, Bill probably went to the bathroom in his pants. Bill said ever since then, Tom called me “gun shy Willy”.
Back to my conversation with Mr. Pratt, after his father passed away in 1968, he continued running Pratts Pharmacy for another 25 years, before selling Pharmacy in 1996 to Craig William, who remains the owner of Pratts Healthmart Pharmacy.
Mr. Pratt filled prescriptions for over 40 years. I was not able to find a date when his father had actually opened the pharmacy; I know it has been at least 60 years that the name “Pratts” has been known as New Haven’s pharmacy.
The next time you cross paths with someone you know take a minute, say hello, and ask how they are doing. You never know, you may learn about things you never knew.
I never knew my grandpa had been called “gun shy Willy”. I probably would have never known that.