Monday, January 7, 2013


On my trip to my old neighborhood of Cleveland Heights a few weeks ago, I went by a familiar place that brought back memories of sodas and comic books. A popular place where kids would go after school, like a social gathering of sorts.

A drug store is no more, now it is a Bakery and Cafe.

I lived three or four blocks from Rukasin Drug Store, owned and operated by Eli Rukasin, Pharmacist. Everyone in the area knew Eli, he was always at work behind the counter of the store, and a community-minded business owner.

I remember riding my bicycle those few blocks for a popcicle or to pick up something for my mother. It had the old fashioned soda fountain with stools for seating and tall round straw holders on the counter. It was a friendly place for people to gather for a soda, ice cream or things medicinal.

As I searched online for any listings of the Rukasin Drug Store, I found another blogger had written about his memory of being there. Allen's Board is written by a guy who grew up in my old neighborhood and we went to the same middle school and high school, but he graduated seven years after I did. He now lives in Cincinnati. After reading his article about the drug store, I contacted him through his blog and we have since exchanged a few emails to briefly get acquainted. (See Allen's Board blog HERE to read his article.)

He wrote that, while on a trip to Cleveland Heights recently, he visited the Warrensville Cemetery where he saw the gravesite of Eli Rukasin (he died in 1989), who we both knew from the old drug store. It was so nice to read his blog and know that someone else had fond memories of a time gone by.


Anonymous said...

Hi Gale
I'm Eli's son Scott. It's cool to read how Eli was a big part of peoples lives and that they still remember him.
Scott (Rukasin) Tatum

Joyce said...

Knew Rukasins very well. Lived on Roanoke Rd.

Anonymous said...

He had the biggest selection of candy in the neighborhood. All of it was beind the glass and you would have to ask the worker for what you wanted. They would be behind a small opening where the register was. Most of the high school kids that worked there gave us "little" kids attitude, but Mr Rukasin was always nice.

Cheryl Stratton said...

My name is Cheryl (Morin) Stratton. I live in Indiana. I have so many fond memories of Eli Rukasin. I remember the last time I saw him. It was in 1970. We were on vacation and went back to the old neighborhood. I had a son who had ostomy drains. I used special meds to stick the bags to his tummy. I ran out of the meds and went to Eli for help. Sure enough, he filled my order. When I was little, my mom would go to him for paragoric to ease my tummy aches. I spent a lot of time at Ruki's. He was a special man and a good friend. I'll never forget him,