ATL. HIGHLANDS – He started out as a high school student stocking shelves, sweeping the floor and in general, doing after he could around the drug store. And now, 44 years later, the quiet, unassuming, but terrifically talented and careful pharmacist Scott Eagelton is retiring from his position at Bayshore Pharmacy.
The Middletown native, who now lives in Lincroft, has many reasons to look back on the past four decades with a lot of pride, happiness, and many good memories.
It was while he was a student at Middletown High School after attending Fairview Middle School that Scott started working part-time at the Atlantic Highlands pharmacy. Seems Scott was dating a girl who was the daughter of an official at the bank where Joe McDonald, then Dick Stryker’s partner at Bayshore, worked and knew of a part time job for an ambitious teen, doing odd jobs. Scott never married the girl, but proudly says he did even better.
It was at Bayshore Pharmacy where he met Carolyn, who also was a Bayshore employee, and the couple eventually married. Carolyn also still works at Bayshore, but with Scott’s retirement, she isn’t far behind.
Scott earned his degree in pharmacy from the University of South Carolina, and completed internships and externships before becoming a registered pharmacist. In 1992, he bought former Mayor Richard Stryker’s share of the pharmacy and now owns it with Stryker’s son, Rich.
The years have been wonderful, Scott says enthusiastically, full of great memories, amusing and entertaining incidents and the best part, the many times he has played a role in saving someone’s life.
With the pharmacy on call with the police department 24-7, it was not unusual to have to get to the pharmacy in the middle of the night to provide a medication for a resident who forgot to pick up a much needed prescription, or some other emergency. He never minded those trips, he said, since he felt so good about playing a role in saving a life or easing severe pain, or simply being able to give information and comfort.
Within the business, he admits he did sometimes act as the mediator between partners who were sometimes a bit volatile with each other and he was caught in the middle. But he was good at putting out fires, he laughed.
And there have been dozens of really hilarious incidents, he chuckled. There was the time a woman came in in need of immediate help. She proceeded to pull up her blouse and bra, exposing her breast to the astonished pharmacist to show him where she had a rash and how severe it was. Nonplussed but calm and efficient, Scott calmly reached for a good salve and handed it to her. No, he laughs, he did not apply it for her.
Then there was the time a teenager working in the store told a customer the pharmacy did not sell wood or furniture when he asked her for a stool softener. Scott got the right medication for him in nothing flat.
There were strange times as well, when Scott participated with police arresting people for prescription forgery or other problems. Or the time he had to leave his own Thanksgiving dinner to get insulin to a customer who needed it. Or the many children who were ill at various times and needed antibiotics. “You get to see it all,” he recalls.
With his workdays behind him, Scott and Caroyn are looking forward to lots of travel time, certainly visit the national parks in the western part of the country, definitely back to the Mexican Riviera they both love, most likely to Europe by air, and many long weekend trips.
Forevermore, Scott Eagelton will carry with him the satisfaction he has for his role in taking care of families, his gratitude for his friends, so many of them made when customers kept coming back, as well as neighbors and of course the entire staff at Bayshore over the years. He’s appreciative and grateful for Dick, Rich, and Joe McDonald, for every thing he’s learned and experienced, and most importantly, for what he has been able to do for others.
“I’m just so grateful for all of them,” he said humbly, “I can never forget any of it.”