SHADYSIDE - Rod Fithen wanted to buy a house in Shadyside when he started his business there 38 years ago, but he said he couldn't find one for sale at that time.
"At that time in the 1970s, everyone in this town had good jobs.
"There were no houses for sale - and not even really any for rent," said Fithen, owner/operator of Shadyside Pharmacy on Central Avenue.
Rod Fithen, owner/operator of Shadyside Pharmacy, said perseverance is the key to his 38 years of business.
Photo by Casey Junkins
So, for the past 38 years, Fithen has trekked down Ohio 7 from his home in Rayland to operate the Shadyside store.
"I like the people - always have. I have seen a lot of people come and go," Fithen said.
"It is something you get used to."
Fithen said it is nice to do business in a community like Shadyside, one with a hometown feel for those walking along the Central Avenue sidewalks. However, he is not sure how much longer this can last.
"It is getting harder and harder and harder to stay in business," Fithen said. "I have been working hard for 38 years, but it just seems to get more difficult."
Fithen said large retail outlets such as Wal-Mart have not hurt his business as much as mail-order prescriptions have.
"It is just one of those things. The government does not do anything for small businesses. All they care about is helping huge corporations make more money," Fithen said.
Despite the obstacles, Fithen said he will persevere as long as he can so that Shadyside can still have its hometown pharmacy.
"We do the best we can," he said. "It is just a sign of the changing times, I guess."