The story of the first
The mural itself (a white “Drink
The story goes that a
Many years later, when Dean Cox was hired by the pharmacy in 1960, the wall proudly advertised
Eight years later, the daughter of one of the original Young brothers retired and asked Cox if he would like to buy the business. He agreed, and in 1970 also purchased the building from the great-granddaughter of the man who built it.
As Cox puts it, before his acquisition, “it was 76 years of one family paying rent to one other family.”
Cox says that The
Cox spent several years researching the sign and became interested in the idea of restoring it. In 1989, he contracted with Alison Free and Aggie Ferguson, two women who had a passion for restoring old
Over several weeks, Free and Ferguson painstakingly removed 25 layers of paint to finally uncover the original painting, then brought it back to vibrant life as accurately as possible.
Once the restored mural was unveiled and reported in newspapers across the country, Cox became immersed in the world of
Today, the pharmacy is owned and operated by Cox's brother-in-law, William Tatum, who has worked at the store since 1972, just two years before the arrival of Australia’s iconic
Tatum says the store now features a large variety of
Tatum says the attraction benefits not only the store, but the larger community as well. “It's wonderful because when people visit Cartersville to see the sign,” he said, “they also stop in at the other businesses downtown.”
For Cox's part, the historic mural is intrinsically tied to his long and happy career. Between the store and the sign, he takes pride in keeping two remarkable traditions alive.
“It's important to me personally because I was employed at the same business, doing the same job, in the same location, for 50 years,” Cox says. “And that doesn't happen too often.”
In fact, before he retired, Cox had customers whose parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents had also been his customers in previous decades.
Cox also says the continuing popularity of the
“It's wonderful,” he says, “because there's nothing like it in the whole world.”
This story was originally published on 22/04/2016