Rexall Drugs

Remembering Rexall

When I was growing up in the 60’s and 70’s almost every town big and small had at least one Rexall Drug Store. The bright orange and blue signs were hard to miss.

The small town where I spent most of my youth, Quincy, IL had 4 Rexall stores that I can remember. Three of them were known as Brown’s Rexall and the one in the big shopping center on the edge of town (that one day was made into and enclosed mall) was called Key Rexall.

Over the years we spent a lot of time at the Rexall refilling prescriptions, and buying the necessities like aspirin, shampoo and Rexall’s famous Hot Lemon Cold & Flu Remedy.

But my fondest Rexall memory, was the yearly visit from the Duncan Yo-Yo Demonstration Team. I rarely missed their visits to the Key Rexall, and still have a few of my Duncan Imperial and Butterfly yo-yo’s tucked away.

Sadly, due to a hostile corporate takeover most Rexall’s faded away in the mid 1980’s. And while many of the drugstores stayed open, they were no longer affiliated with Rexall, and it wasn’t quite the same.

These days as I travel throughout the south I’m amazed by the fact that you can still see a Rexall sign from time to time. Most of the drugstores are sadly long gone, but I’m thrilled that other people still share my fondness for those old Rexall signs.

Many of these signs lost their neon years ago, but I can tell that folks like me just aren’t ready to part with the memories of their hometown drugstore. I’ve compiled a short video to share some of the signs I’ve recently found in my travels across Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana. Some are still lit, but sadly most are just holding on…

The soundtrack for this trip down memory lane is: “Water Droplets on the River” Kevin MacLeod (

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Road Trip!

A few weeks ago on my podcast The Mason Minute I was reminiscing about one of my favorite childhood restaurants Shakey’s Pizza.

Growing up I used to love going to Shakey’s to watch them make the pizza (both tossing it and baking it), listen to the Dixieland and Ragtime band, and take home one of those fake straw hats to wear.  Plus, did I mention that the pizza was real good too?!  I think you could consider Shakey’s the 1960’s and 1970’s version of Chuck E. Cheese before there was such a thing.

But by the late 80’s and early 90’s the restaurant world had changed greatly and Shakey’s were closing throughout the U.S.  The last one I remembered seeing (and eating at) was in Bloomington, IL when I lived there in the early 90’s…. that was until a few weeks ago!!!
Pictures From Shakey's in Auburn, AL
Pictures from Shakey's in Auburn, AL
While I was doing some research about Shakey’s for my podcast, I noticed that their Wikipedia page indicated that there were still some Shakey’s open in America…. and that one of them was just a few hours away in Auburn, AL.  So I grabbed my wife and did what any red blooded pizza loving guy (without kids) would do.  I hopped in the car and took a road trip to Alabama.

And as you can tell from the pictures above, we had a great time; and best of all the pizza tasted just like I remember it did!  The modern Shakey’s did a  great job of displaying the brand’s history by using some of the old wall signs pictured above, and they also had display cases filled with mementos from years gone by.

I chatted with the store manager and he told me that this location had been open for a few years, and he didn’t know if there were plans to expand into more states.  Right now there are nearly 60 locations in the U.S., and roughly 50 of those are in California, so finding a Shakey’s near you could be rough.

I mentioned to him that I had eaten at Shakey’s many times throughout the years (and literally from coast to coast). When I mentioned that most of the American Shakey’s had disappeared for a decade or two, he was shocked. I guess some days it pays to be an old-timer!

I don’t know if we’ll get back Auburn anytime soon, but if you find yourself near one of their new locations make sure you stop in for lunch or dinner. You’ll be glad you did!

If you’re an old time Shakey’s Pizza lover like me, I’m sure you’ll love the picture we found from back in the day…

An Old Time Shakey's

Truth In Advertising

For a few years back in the late 1980’s, I lived in Huntsville, AL.  To say it was an interesting few years would be an understatement.  While Huntsville is home to the world famous Space and Rocket Center (Home of Space Camp), and at the time had the third highest number of PhD’s per capita, it was also a city where you could still see a George Wallace for President bumper sticker nearly 15 years after he had last run for the office.

Now this post isn’t actually about Huntsville, but a unique place close by.  The reason I reference Huntsville, is because one of the things that I remember about living there, was hearing stories from some of my co-workers about a gentleman’s club up the road that they used to spend “frequent” time visiting.  I’m not a big fan of gentleman’s clubs (or strip clubs if you prefer).  Sure, I’ve been to a couple over the years, but it was usually for a bachelor party, or I was dragged to one with a bunch of people.  I don’t personally, have any issues with them, they’re just not my thing.

But the one gentleman’s club that my Huntsville friends always had stories about truly had one of the most memorable names; the Boobie Bungalow! The Bungalow (as they called it in mixed company) wasn’t actually located in Huntsville, it was situated about 25 miles north of town on the Tennessee side of the Alabama/Tennessee border in what I think is technically Elkton, TN.

Exotic Dancing Show Girls

I hadn’t actually heard about, let alone thought about the Boobie Bungalow for years. But recently, my wife and I were heading south on Interstate 65 and lo and behold, off in the distance just off Exit 6 was the bright yellow and red sign. The Boobie Bungalow was still around! I had to stop and take a couple of pictures (outside of course).

I had seen the signs before, back in the days when I was making frequent trips from Huntsville to Nashville; never once being curious enough to stop. But this time I had to. I had to stop long enough to snap a couple of pictures of this southern entertainment legend.

Gentleman's Club Go-Go Girls

We were passing through about 4:30pm on a Saturday, and from the looks of things, they were probably getting ready to open at 5. Both the signs and the building itself, looked a little worn, and probably would benefit from a new coat of paint, but it made me chuckle to think that “the Bungalow” was still there after all these years. I asked the wife is she wanted to stop in for a drink, but she passed. I’m not surprised.

If you’re ever in the neighborhood and stop by, let me know how you enjoyed yourself. Or at least share the details you can. You can’t miss the Boobie Bunglaow. It’s the first building just past the giant chicken.

Oh, the giant chicken? That’s a story for next time!