While visiting Roseburg for the birth of Adilyn, our granddaughter, and celebrating the opening of Pacific Northwest Painting, I was very fortunate when I unknowingly became the last customer at Harvard Avenue Drugs as Phil and Jo Kaser and their family closed their doors after 60 years in business. I have had the privilege of coming here for only 40 of those years.

I know there are many families who have been touched by this family who served Douglas County with kindness and dedication. We were barely 30 when we started my husband's medical practice and would talk to Phil regarding patient's prescriptions. I have fond memories of shopping for gifts with my daughter and my elderly mother. Walking through the store this last time, I could hear the love, the stories, and the well wishes from all who entered.

I witnessed the harmony of family as the adult children helped their parents close. I heard Phil talk about his parents moving their house from this Harvard site to across the street and down on the river. I heard how Phil fell in love with Jo at first sight while they were both attending OSU. I watched as Phil patted Jo's knee and told me "I'm allowed to do this .... we've been married for 67 years!" I was lucky enough to photograph the family's closing and hand them their last $1 bill given to me as change. Jo proudly smiled and said she framed their first earned $1 bill. Now they have their last.

I ended with a note saying "Thank you, from Roseburg." For I was only a very small fraction of all the people who have been touched and witnessed this love. Enjoy your retirement Phil, Jo, and family. You deserve it!

Ruthie Harpole

San Diego, California

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I, too, have been going for about 40 years - this is a sad day....

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