Your Bartells Story
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In 1932 I was working at the Queen High School Library in order to pay my expenses at the University of Washington. I think it was that year that the City of Seattle declared bankruptcy. They issued checks but you could not cash them at a bank. If I couldn’t cash this check how could I pay for my tuition next quarter? I was devastated. My mother decided to contact a friend of hers who might know someone who might help. Soon I had a call to go see the Manager at Bartells on 4th Ave. I gathered up my courage and asked for the Manager and I was very politly directed to his office. I found him very cordial. He not only cashed that check but told me to bring them all in as I got them. I DIDN’T HAVE TO QUIT SCHOOL! One time I asked him how he could do this, and he said it was an investment. He would have good interest when he cashed them. I hope he did. I graduated in 1933, cum laude.
During my working years I did not live in the Seattle area but when I retired I moved back. Now living in a Retirement Community in Des Moines, just out of Seattle, we go by bus to Bartells every week. They thoughtfully put out chairs for us to sit on as we wait for one another, they are always ready to help us find things, and their delivery service is outstanding.
Des Moines, WA
About 1943 when I started school at Daniel Bagley, my parents started to let me go to the Saturday matinee at the Aurora Theater, a few stores south of the Bartell Drug Store which was at about 79th and Aurora Ave. After the movie was over, our group of kids soon started to go to the Bartell soda fountain each week, where I enjoyed a freshly made cherry cola or a green river soda. I sometimes had a note from my parents which I gave to a Bartell employee for items they wanted. I was proud of that responsibility. Those Saturdays were the highlight of the week.
Since those happy years, I have moved to Magnolia, where I used that store very regularly, and then moved to Kirkland, where I still use the Kingsgate store very regularly. Sadly, the Aurora store and its soda fountain is not longer there. But, I still enjoy the people skills and help of the employees that I meet.
I came to Seattle in 1945, a 17 year old war bride with a husband somewhere out in the Pacific. Coming from a small town in Eastern Washington where our drugstores were very much a part of our social life and finding a Bartell Drugs store with a soda fountain in downtown Seattle near my first place of employment helped a lonesome war bride feel at home in a big city. During our college years we had our Bartells in the U Districts and the Wallingford District and the in Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland for our 55 years on the Eastside. Our special clerk, Sally in our Bridle Trails Bartells greets us like family. It’s a unique relationship we have with no other store.
I still remember the Bartells on the triangle at 4th and Pine. It had a fountain in it where you could get a great milkshake or malt. It was in the 1950’s before baby seats so I was not tall enough to reach the counter.
Today I get all my medications, some foods, toiletries and other things at Bartells. I bought my rechargeable shaver, and digital camera at Bartells. With all the appliances I have purchased at Bartells, I have never had to return anything. The quality of their products is very high. I always enjoy going to my Bartells to see what is on sale and I always purchase more then what I went shopping for.