A true gentleman, Gil DeLucia treated me like a son

To the Editor:

Gil DeLucia was a friend to all of us!

I would like to thank Alice Begley for the wonderful article that she wrote in last week’s Altamont Enterprise about the history of Gilbert DeLucia’s drugstore.  It truly brought back great memories about Gilbert’s store and the true gentleman that he was.

Today, with the big-box drugstores that we all have been forced to now use, the hometown mom-and-pop drugstores have just about all disappeared. 

I can remember having a prescription filled by Gilbert that my doctor prescribed for me back in the 1980s.  Gilbert said that my prescription seemed to him a bit high in grams for my age.  He contacted my doctor and discussed the issue with him and convinced my doctor to lower the dose per pill.  Gilbert then felt confident about making up my prescription.

Today, a doctor’s prescription is what it is and druggists never question the prescribed amount, whether it’s too high a dose or maybe not what you really need.

After that, I would go to see Gilbert rather than my doctor for minor issues.  He always treated me like his own son.

In Gilbert’s drugstore, not only could you buy most anything from skin-care products, to toys, to groceries, but he would also make you an ice-cream cone from the soda fountain.  Then, if you looked up at the ceiling, you could see nearly 100 plastic model airplanes and jets that Gil had glued together over many years.

Gil was a true gentleman, to always say hello to you and ask how you were feeling whenever he met you in town.  I, along with many who lived in Altamont and knew him, sure miss Gil today.

Progress is a wonderful word, but can often be bittersweet!  It was a great story to walk back in time again and I am so glad that I was able to actually live the time period.

Today, we destroy our past and think nothing of what we are taking away from our grandchildren’s future to enjoy what we all experienced from barns, homes, general stores, and hotels — it all gets dozed over to expand our conveniences.

We are all there to promote technology and education, but it seems we always leave out preserving our historic past.  That’s also part of our education.


If we don’t start placing town restrictions on demolition and start preserving our historic town buildings, in time, it will all disappear faster than we could ever imagine.

Joe Merli

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