any history on the SHARKS?
Posted in the Dellwood Forum
#1 Dec 15, 2012
any history on the SHARKS?
#2 Dec 16, 2012
The sharks swim team in Hazelwood?
O Fallon, MO
#3 Dec 16, 2012
Are you talking about the Sharks who had the drug store on St Fran-Swaa,not St Fran-koise? Very interesting people. Understand they drove Eagan crazy,they didn't hit it off I'm told. Have a good friend who lived and worked in FloMo for about a hundred years I think. If anyone could tell you about the Shark,s it would be he. He gets on this page now and again,maybe he will grace us with some knowledge. Have a super sparkly day.
#4 Dec 16, 2012
Father was Ed Shark, three boys were Walter, Joseph and Francis.
Their original pharmacy was in the 700 block of St. Francois in Old Town, then they built new building on Washington St.
The boys are all still living.
#5 Dec 16, 2012
heard all of their property is being sold by the bank
#6 Dec 16, 2012
From Post January 2 2011
FLORISSANT Shark Professional Pharmacy lost its business license several years ago, but owner Fran Shark never stopped showing up for work.
He arrives before 9 a.m. most days and unlocks a door bearing a notice from the city of Florissant that reads, "Not Approved for Occupancy." His two dogs, DJ and Rose, who, judging by the shop's odor, have the run of the place, happily greet their master.
One recent morning, Shark carefully stepped through the dark interior looking for a light switch. He flipped it on to reveal a shop frozen in time.
Outdated medicines and merchandise, most of it dating to the 1970s and 1980s, much of it older than that, lined the shelves of the store at 88 Washington Street.
Dusty bottles of homeopathic cures such as cactus root, ginseng, zincum metallicum and carotene caps sat beside old clock radios, flash bulbs, faded packages of office supplies, clip-on bow ties, mid-century hypodermic needles and glass syringes.
A large bottle labeled "Placebo" sat beside an old blood pressure kit. "I filled a fair number of placebo prescriptions over the years," Shark said. "Doctors prescribed them for hypochondriacs who insisted they had medical problems when they really didn't. Believe it or not, they worked. The hypochondriacs would end up swearing by them."
Shark, 71, puffed on a cigarette and dragged a bad leg as he gave a tour of his establishment. "At one time, there was a demand for all the products you see here," he said. "There was a time when if you didn't find it in a hardware store, you came here."
WALGREENS 'KILLED ME'
Shark and his brother Joe, 79, built the two-story brick building in the late 1970s, intending it to serve as a combination clinic and pharmacy.
But only the pharmacy on the ground floor proved viable.
"We had it all set up for doctors to move their offices in here, but we never followed through with it," he said.
Shark said the pharmacy boomed until the 1990s, when the proliferation of drugstore chains put the squeeze on places like his.
He hammered that point home recently when a worker came to unclog a drain.
"What is this place, an old Walgreens?" the worker asked.
"Hell, no," Shark said. "Walgreens is what killed me."
Shark lit another cigarette, the smoke curling around his wire rim glasses.
"I know it seems like a contradiction, smoking inside a pharmacy. But I've been smoking for 50 years and at this point, my body needs nicotine to survive," he said.
He shared some of his homeopathic insight. "This much I can tell you. I am 150 percent sure that coffee will stop cancer. I know this because I have been drinking two pots a day for 40 years."
Shark's father, Frank Shark, had been a farmer in Illinois who moved his family to Florissant during the Great Depression. Frank Shark switched careers to law enforcement and from 1955 to 1958 served as the first police chief in Hazelwood when that city was still a village.
#7 Dec 16, 2012
Fran Shark's business limped along until the early 2000s.
Then came the citations from the city of Florissant for various code violations, including improper storage of chemicals and a leaking roof.
Finally, about four years ago, the city ordered the business closed.(Shark is fuzzy on the dates, and Florissant did not respond to an inquiry.)
The Shark brothers, however, never missed a beat. Joined by a third brother, Ed Shark, 82, a retired electrician at McDonnell Douglas Corp., the brothers reported to the store every day.
Over cigarettes and coffee, they would gab amongst themselves or with old customers who dropped by. Occasionally, they sold items in cheerful contempt of the city's occupancy ban.
Florissant City Councilman Tom Schneider was a longtime Shark customer before the store lost its license.
He recalled the place, and the brothers, in their heyday.
"Fran used to be a member of a barbershop quartet," Schneider said. "And the brothers were notaries, too, so when I was running for election, I'd always go in there to get my signatures notarized."
Now, Schneider said, the place strikes him as macabre.
"It's kind of spooky in there, isn't it? All that fascinating old stuff on the shelves, and Fran still behind the counter every day like nothing has changed. It's like that movie 'Sunset Boulevard,'" Schneider said, referring to the 1950 film about a faded Hollywood star who lives in a fantasy world.
'WHERE ELSE WOULD I GO?'
Recently, Ed and Joe Shark, who suffer from Alzheimer's, went into a nursing home. Now, Fran mans the old pharmacy alone.
"Where else would I go?" said Shark, who married late in life and has no children. "This place holds great memories for me. I come in here just to keep the world going."
He still holds his state pharmacist license. He occasionally fills in for vacationing pharmacists at a local nursing home.
But it's the not the same at Shark Professional Pharmacy without his brothers around, he said.
Shark is considering unloading the store's stock and closing it once and for all.
"What I need is a partner, someone with computer skills, and we can put all this conglomerate of junk on the Internet. I'll give him 25 percent of the profits."
In the meantime, customers are welcome to drop in and make an offer on an old telephone amplifier; antique apothecary kits, mortars and pestles, a gag garter belt ("Take it to a wedding," he suggested), roach traps, shoe polish, wheelchairs, blood pressure kits, greeting cards, porcelain curios, guitar strings and hundreds of other vintage items.
"It's all too good to throw away," he said. "But I'm not sure any of it's good enough to sell."
#8 Dec 16, 2012
That Shark bldg on Washington Street, would make for a very nice Florissant Museum. With some ingenuity and some partnering of groups, that couls be a multy destination local Museum. A little imagination and ingenuity can raise some money and Florissant could have a first class city Museum.
#9 Dec 16, 2012
It would take 10's of thousands of dollars to make it fit for occupancy.
#10 Jan 17, 2013
auction signs on all of their property.
#11 Mar 14, 2013
what to do with the pharmacy?
#12 Mar 14, 2013
Florissant should by, and make it a local prison.
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