November 19, 2010

North Village Green drugstore job was a growth opportunity

Tom and Kathy Armstrong Urban

click on photo to enlarge

By Tom Urban
Class of 1960

The owners of the North Village Green drugstore in Levittown were Al Averbach and Milt Schulman. They were brothers-in-law. My brothers Norm, Jim and Dale and I all worked for them in age sequence. Al and Milt were generous and benevolent employers who treated our family with kindness and opportunity.

To this day, every time Kathy or I crack open a hard boiled egg, we think of counterman Artie Hertz, father of Division Avenue High School class of 1961 alum Sandy. Artie would make the egg salad which, in the process, would smell up the store. he would say "if it came out of your a _ _ it would smell too." He was a funny character and a single dad who taught me numerous Yiddish curse words. He would say something to me and I would run to Marv Bellows (the pharmacist) and he would translate. What a hoot!

Officer Chuck Kelly's brother Bill worked with me and my brother Norm at the Levittown post office. Chuck, who patrolled the North Village Green area, was a great beat cop as were two others I got to know well.
Since I worked at the NVG Drug lunch counter all through high school, I had an opportunity to bridge the Rock-Jock gap by serving all the local characters as well as the families who lived nearby and frequented the store (too many to name here). I got to hear all the gossip and the job served me well as a growth opportunity. So many memories revolve around my experiences at North Village Green Drugs.


For more memories about the North Village Green, check out our November 1, 2010 post by Ken Taylor....... Do you remember "The Natives", denizens of the North Village Green?


Anonymous said...

From Lou Zinser: i to worked at the drugstore just after dale or actually with dale. artie was a piece of lunch break i would always order a tuna sandwich.artie would bust my chops until i gave him the finger(that was not like me) he then would laugh an make the dam sandwich. loved driving that old drug store car to del. drugs. also my dad coached the boots and saddels baseball team in the summer and pete cybriwsky was on our team and pete was pitching great (no surprise) working on a no hitter and winning 1-0 two outs last inning and i think bill stanley made an error leaving a man on first. pete was blowing people away with fastball and curves. nobody could get close to a heat. two strikes two outs the catcher calls for a changeup bang a homerun. dad went crazy asked pete what the hell pitch was that and pete says just figure i would try the pitch for the first time. thank god i was the little bat boy at the time. pete would always hang with dad since my dad pitched professional ball and pete was drafted to the minors where my dad had played.

Jim Urban said...

In music class one day, during the "fountain pen phase," I was attempting to complete a long-range spattering of (I believe) Bob Bonacci. I had to sort of "wind up" to get power behind my shot. Unbeknown to me, my teacher was standing right behind me. When I pulled my arm back, the pen let loose a line of ink directly into the face of my teacher and down the front of her blouse.

Jim Urban said...

Tom is right on target. We worked our butts off in that drugstore, but it was a great job to have. Al and Milt were great guys. In addition to working the fountain and the front register, they hired me and my brothers to paint their homes (inside and out), shovel their snow, etc.

A few little known facts:

Al's son, David, got brain cancer and died when he was but 12 or 13. He was Al's pride and joy. Al's personality changed completely, from arrogant and aggressive to humble and meek.

The Deli next door was owned by Joe Sheinbaum and Abe ___. Both had concentration camp tattoos on their arms.

Marv, the assistant pharmacist, was the laziest SOB working at the store.

Artie Hertz turned out to be the finest man working there. Honest, religious, generous to a fault, and totally honorable. The Natives got to know Artie well as they aged.

Re: Lou's comments. Corky Cybriwsky was my best friend as a youngster. I lived at his house. I knew Pete well. However, I never could figure out where Pete learned to pitch. His techniques were near perfect. Windup, pick-off moves, follow through, etc. Perhaps Lou has provided an answer.

Anonymous said...

My Dad - Bob Binninger was one of Pete's Pony League coaches....

Wendy Max Dunford '68 said...

My best friend, Carol Forseth, and I used to go to the drugstore for buttered kaiser rolls and Cokes. We were scared to death of Artie, as he always seemed so gruff, but we kept going back. I remember Milton very well. My parents had bought a little female Schnauzer, and Milt had a male. My parents arranged with Milt for the dogs to "get together" with the hopes of producing puppies, the sale of which would help pay for my brother's college tuition. Milt was a lovely man. Also remember well Joe's Deli. My brother would put me in front of him on his bike every Sunday morning and we'd ride up Schoolhouse Road to get rolls and bagels for breakfast. I think he had a man working for him at that time named John, but my memory isn't too clear on that. My brother Steve graduated DAHS in '62. I graduated in '68.