M-F 9A-6P Sat 9A-2P


Call Now



3579 US-17 Bus Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

growing up in a drugstore



Melissa Cain Lee

I grew up in a drugstore. My dad, Wilson Cain, was a pharmacist. Together with my mom, they owned and operated Southside Pharmacy in Myrtle Beach.

Some of my earliest memories are of growing up in that drugstore. I spent hours wandering the aisles, pretending to shop. I’d grab my play pocketbook and a buggy (that’s what we call a shopping cart down south) and proceed to “buy” things for my pretend family. I’d even come up with the number of children I had and their names, then go up and down the aisles “shopping” for them. After “paying” for my items, I’d put everything back and start all over again!Wilson Cain South Southside Pharmacy

I can vividly recall that in the original Southside Pharmacy, there was a small cabinet in the school supply aisle with sliding doors. I was small enough to fit inside, and I’d pretend it was my house. I also remember a corner in the back that housed stacked baby formula boxes in a perfect “U” shape, which also served as my imaginary house.

I met one of my best friends in that little drugstore when I was around five. She would come in during the summer and buy a scoop of chocolate ice cream for a dime. She ate chocolate ice cream so often that my parents nicknamed her “Little Miss Chocolate,” and if they were alive today, that’s exactly what they would still call her. She was the maid of honor at mine and Willie’s wedding and is still one of my very best friends. (Hi Amy!)


Every morning, before heading to school, my dad would take my brother and me to the drugstore where Miss Mildred and Miss Clara would prepare breakfast for us. My favorite treat was when they used strawberry ice cream topping as jelly for my toast. While waiting for breakfast, I’d immerse myself in comic books from the magazine aisle—particularly “Richie Rich” and anything from the “Archie” series. As I grew older, I shifted my interest to “Tiger Beat” and “Seventeen” magazines.

During our breakfast, local men would gather, discussing how to solve the world’s problems. This tradition persisted even after Southside Pharmacy was gone, with my dad meeting these men daily over breakfast.

After breakfast our delivery driver, Raleigh Wall, would take my brother and me to school in my mom’s olive green, wood-paneled station wagon. By middle school, we requested to be dropped off discreetly on the side of the road to maintain our cool facade—middle school can be tough.

I spent time playing with paper dolls on my mom’s office steps while she handled bills and balanced books. Some of my birthdays were celebrated at the Soda Fountain, which served everything from hotdogs to daily lunch specials. My favorite was Chicken Bog Day on Tuesdays—made in a big silver pressure cooker with yellow rice, it remains one of my all-time favorite dishes.

When sick at school, I’d be picked up by Raleigh and brought to the store until my mom could take me home. The first 27 years of my life revolved around Southside Pharmacy, filled with countless memories and life lessons.

Growing up in that drugstore shaped who I am today. Each aisle and person who shopped there is etched in my memory. Willie’s family, although living in the Inlet and Surfside, would drive to Myrtle Beach for prescriptions—common practice back then.

Willie interned under my dad at Southside, marking the beginning of our relationship. Three decades later, we are grateful to continue the legacy at Lee’s Inlet Apothecary, caring for our community just like my dad did.

There’s something indescribably special about spending childhood in a drugstore. To those who chose Lee’s Inlet Apothecary over the years, you’re part of our family.

Though Southside Pharmacy is now just a memory, my parents and many colleagues have passed, their legacy lives on in my heart. Watching Willie work reminds me of my dad. Folding Salty Goat T-Shirts brings back memories of my younger self at Southside. As our children grow up at The Apothecary, I’m reminded of my parents’ legacy and the blessed life we lead. Thank you for twenty years!

-Melissa Cain Lee