by Maggie Van Ostrand
Greg Thompson, soft-spoken resident of Frazier Park, could easily have been the model for a Norman Rockwell painting of a small-town pharmacist. In fact, he is a small-town pharmacist.
Greg has been a pleasant necessity in Frazier Park and environs since June of 1998, when he bought Frazier Park Pharmacy from Bob and Barbara Frye. He had intended to work part-time, then retire. Fat chance. He works longer hours now than he did before, due to the ever-increasing mountain population.
Women in the area, who know that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, might wish to get busy making tempting casseroles to attract the still-single Greg. Line forms to the right, ladies.
After graduating from University of Missouri-Kansas City Pharmacy School in 1972, Greg originally moved to the Bay Area. "I got really tired of the winters back there in Kansas City after I walked through three of them. Snow, cold, wind. They had tornado alerts, too, where you had to go down in the basement. I had enough."
Devoting the majority of his time, advice, and expertise to clients, Greg has not had a vacation since relocating to Frazier Park. "No time for vacation," says the selfless pharmacist. "Haven't been anywhere in years. Not since two weeks in Australia long ago. Beautiful place. Ate smoked alligator in Kakadu, up by Darwin. Brought some back with me, too."
Kakadu Park, Australia's ancient wilderness, is famous for its monster crocs, creatures once so feared and reviled that some have called them dragons. Even today, the mystery of these river saurians holds an apprehensive fascination for all who enter their realm, reported PBS.
Until such time as Greg can find a substitute pharmacist to work two or three consecutive weeks allowing him to return to Australia or maybe visit New Zealand, he will have to order smoked alligator online through the internet company, GourmetSleuth.com, which specializes in exotic meats.
He does, however, manage to visit Las Vegas, maybe once or twice a year when a substitute pharmacist comes up from Bakersfield to help out one Saturday a month. But usually, he just stays home.
Because he's unable to give them the time and attention he feels they deserve, Greg does not have a pet. Not even a guppy. Instead, he happily putters in his garden whenever he can. He also enjoys the sport of deep sea fishing and sometimes combines his catch of the day with another hobby, cooking. His favorite meal? Homemade shrimp scampi.
If you're ever on one of the Mt. Pinos trails, you might come across Greg, hiking. In addition, he likes to cycle, "the kind you peddle," he clarifies, "not the kind that's got an engine."
He dearly loves his work, from filling prescriptions to arriving early, sweeping the floors and rearranging items on the shelves. He has even been known to make emergency roof repairs after a winter snow. It doesn't hurt that he once worked in his father's construction business.
He lovingly refers to his mother as "a great lady." Marriage did not curb her independence; she taught school while raising five kids. Today, Greg's siblings are scattered all over the country, though they manage to get together every now and then.
"What do I think of Frazier Park? The sky's nice and blue, the air's good, it's a nice area," says Greg, "and folks are really pleasant."
Greg Thompson says he won't retire, not even after working for 32 years, "as long as I still like coming to work."
We hope he likes it for a long time to come.Reprinted by permisson of Maggie Van Ostrand
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