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McLeskey-Todd's 90th anniversary is testament to independence

Walls stay true to offering alternative cost medicines

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Tuesday, May 14, 2013

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Don Wall and Jed, his son, are celebrating the 90th anniversary of McLeskey-Todd Pharmacy Saturday. Don took ownership of the business last year and Jed is general manager at the store at 107 N. Main Street.

Julie McCombs

Don Wall and Jed, his son, are celebrating the 90th anniversary of McLeskey-Todd Pharmacy Saturday. Don took ownership of the business last year and Jed is general manager at the store at 107 N. Main Street.



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Don and Jed Wall share their love for the outdoors as avid hunters. Both have trophies of their adventures that have taken them across the U.S. and to Africa.

Julie McCombs

Don and Jed Wall share their love for the outdoors as avid hunters. Both have trophies of their adventures that have taken them across the U.S. and to Africa.



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Greer High grads are invited to visit McCleskey-Todd Pharmacy this week to pick up tickets to the hot dog cookout Saturday at the store's parking lot. The Walls are celebrating the pharmacy's 90th anniversary, in concert with Greer High Oldies, and customer appreciation from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Call 877-0753 for more information.

Jim Fair

Greer High grads are invited to visit McCleskey-Todd Pharmacy this week to pick up tickets to the hot dog cookout Saturday at the store's parking lot. The Walls are celebrating the pharmacy's 90th anniversary, in concert with Greer High Oldies, and customer appreciation from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Call 877-0753 for more information.



Enlarge photo

Don Wall is an avid hunter of mountain sheep, that takes him all over the world. The pins on the map mark the many places he has traveled to fish and hunt.

Julie McCombs

Don Wall is an avid hunter of mountain sheep, that takes him all over the world. The pins on the map mark the many places he has traveled to fish and hunt.



As Don Wall celebrates the 90th anniversary of the McLeskey-Todd Pharmacy he reflects on the near-extinction of the independently owned family drug stores. “A lot of people don’t grasp the meaning of it,” Wall said. “Being independent is a very rewarding aspect of what we do. It makes your heart feel good.”

Independent pharmacies have gone the way of community book stores – swallowed up by corporate America in chain grocery stores, big box superstores and branded drug stores that sell, among other things, food, hardware tools, clothing and cosmetics.

That makes Saturday’s celebration at McLeskey-Todd at 107 North Main Street all the more special for Wall and his son, Jed, who are partners in business. Wall owns two other drug stores – Professional Pharmacy at 408 Memorial Drive Ext. and 320 Memorial Drive.

It will be a party atmosphere Saturday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. with Wall serving a hot dog lunch, prepared by his classmate Jerry Bruce, for up to 2,000 graduates and their families that comprise the Greer High School Oldies. Wall asks former GHS grads to come to McLeskey-Todd this week for free vouchers to the hot dog lunch.

“I think the greatest privilege we have as a family has been the Greer community supporting us and that motivates us to run an honest business,” Wall said. “We feel we should give back to the community for their support.

“I hope a lot of people come down here on (Saturday). It’s a day for us to recognize the people and say thank you for supporting us all this time,” Wall said.

Wall, a Greer native is a graduate of Greer High School (class of ’61) and former Mayor, at a time when annexation was not popular but proved to be the cornerstone of the community’s growth, as a state, national and international business player.

Wall has lived a storied life in Greer, some events little known, except for political and business insiders. He describes his relationship with the late Verne Smith, who had enormous political clout in the state, as friendly, professional and at times conflicting. Being next-door neighbors meant Smith was steps away when negotiations were at a crucible for BMW Manufacturing Co. locating in Greer.

The Municipal Complex with its 12-acre park was in need of funds for a feasibility study preceding launching its construction phase. Wall, reportedly, contributed a substantial gift to move the study forward. At Wall’s request, a wall in the lobby where art is displayed is the only recognition of the family’s contribution.

Wall describes Greer as a community of underdogs, sandwiched between and shared demographics and resources with Greenville and Spartanburg counties. “One of the reasons we have been able to stay in business and are confident of our independent pharmacies, is we are the underdogs. And Greer is a town of underdogs. It’s a town of hard working people with strong family values,” Wall said.

“I think we have deep roots. Hopefully that means it’s strong and we will carry that into the future. Hopefully we’ll continue to figure out ways we can continue to do what we’ve been doing . . . taking care of our community.”

Wall said it’s not been easy to be a caretaker of generations of families that have come to trust him and his staff in providing medicines and pharmaceutical advice.

“Customer service and being independent make people think we are more experienced.  I know everyone who walks into our pharmacies and we can have them in and out within five minutes,” Wall said. “Once a customer comes to me, they generally stay.”

Wall is passionate promoting his independent pharmacies as a low cost alternative to prescription drugs.  Earlier this year city officials were pushing a free prescription plan to its employees and citizens offering low cost drugs to those without insurance and unqualified because of being on Medicaid and Medicare rolls. The city’s research consisted of five phone calls, hours before council’s meeting, to brand pharmacies comparing their drug costs with the free enrollment plan.  Neither Wall nor his staffs were called for their pricing.

That moved Wall to appear at a City Council meeting to remind officials of his business and its low-cost medicines. Publicly Wall was polite. Privately he was miffed. “You would have thought they would have done a little more research with their hometown businesses,” he said.

“I encourage anybody, with or without insurance, to check prices. And if they are

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