Silver’s Drug Shop
By Dan Shine
Over the years, Silver’s employed dozens and scores of West Haveners. According to Dave Silver, “Many of the part time positions were held by high school students who remained with us through their college years. Academics were a priority and we were flexible with our scheduling their needs. Many of them make a point of keeping in touch today. We tried to be role models and set a good example for them to follow.”
And there was an older group: Edward Silver called them “Silver’s Belles,” and together they had spent over three hundred years in service to Silver’s customers. They were:
Sophie Young, who worked in the pharmacy.
Yola Livi, who ran the lunch counter.
Dot Manning, who ran the cosmetics department.
Irene McGrail, the bookkeeper.
Olive Domingos, who ran the greeting card department and the front end.
Jessie Terrasi, who assisted Dot Manning in the cosmetics department.
According to surviving Silver’s Bells Olive Domingos and Jessie Terrasi, it felt like they were part of a close-knit family: the Silver family looked after the customers and the employees and treated them with respect. The employees went to the Silvers to discuss their personal problems and they also invited their bosses to family functions, sporting events and the like.
“And the parties,” says Olive Domingos, “We had so many parties! The Christmas parties were very wonderful. The Silvers brought in special foods, music and entertainment, and the parties lasted well into the night. It was marvelous. We looked forward to the Christmas parties every year.”
Says Jessie Terrasi, “We cried when the lunch counter closed, and we cried again when it was announced that the store would be closing. Those were special years that we all had together. I was happy to be part of it.