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Filling the prescription for a satisfying life

A picturesque window behind her, Mary Murphy sits in her reading chair, a stack of library books and magazines within convenient reach. Mary grew up in this house. Her father, owner of T.C. Murphy Lumber Company, built the house in the 1920s after he and Marys mother were married. Her parents met unexpectedly. Marys father had been shot accidentally during a hunting trip in Newcomb and was bedridden for months, cared for by a nurse who came up from Glens Falls. During their time together, they fell in love, and after he recovered, they tied the knot, and before long, Mary was born, and she eventually became the eldest of five children. Mary went to grade school in a little one-room school house right across the street which is still visible out her window. There werent a lot of children around, but Mary enjoyed her childhood living amongst all the lakes and beauty of the Adirondacks. It was the Second World War, and gasoline was being rationed and could only be used for work or emergencies, so Mary didnt go many places. She remembers being escorted to her junior prom on a fuel truck that one of her neighbors drove. Mary graduated high school in 1944. After college at St. Marys, she decided she wanted to be a pharmacist and attended Albany College of Pharmacy. Everyone told her she was nuts but she graduated and became one of just two women pharmacists in the North Country at that time. Most people didnt have a problem with a woman pharmacist, but every now and then, a man would come in, walk right by Mary in her white coat, and ask the high school boys who stocked the shelves for their advice about poison ivy or banged-up knees. They expected the man to be the pharmacist, Mary said. Mary worked 13 years at Langes pharmacy in Lake George and 31 more at Jansers drug store in Chestertown. She excelled in her career and stayed very busy, working nights and weekends. The pharmacy was her social life, and she enjoyed her public persona there. Throughout this time, Mary also became very involved with the Town of Chester Public Library. She was the treasurer for about 10 years and volunteered in many other capacities until just a couple years ago, when it became increasingly difficult for her to get around. That was my main pleasure, Mary told me. All my involvement in the library. Marys not a typical older lady, said Sharon Berg, who works at the Town of Chester Public Library, and often drives Mary to where she needs to go. I took her to a potluck last year, and when we walked in, somebody asked if she wanted a drink and when he came back, he handed her a half-full glass of wine and Mary said, He doesnt know me, and I said, What do you normally drink, Mary, and she said, Black Velvet. These days, Mary is retired and enjoys exploring new worlds through her reading and by spending time admiring the beauty of the Adirondacks. Mary Murphy has built her entire life around the community and continues to be a role model for the younger generations.

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