Remembering J. D. Harper of Crestview Pharmacy

J. D. Harper, 77, owner of Crestview Pharmacy since 1964, passed away May 11, 2012. His sons Jerry and David continued managing this original Crestview Shopping Center business, which opened in the early 1950s, until February 28, 2017.

In April 2004, historian and Brentwood neighbor John Leffler and I talked with Mr. Harper in one of the booths at the pharmacy (once part of a popular soda fountain there). In the interview, Mr. Harper shares history of his life in Austin and of other people and places in our area.

He worked as a pharmacist for 52 years, 48 of them at Crestview Pharmacy. And, he always was a good neighbor to our community.

As one of the owners of Crestview Shopping Center, Mr. Harper gave his approval to Jean Graham’s mosaic Wall of Welcome project, installed on the center’s private property, and he spoke at the wall dedication in 2008. (The pharmacy’s tile on the wall is at right.) Mr. Harper also was committed to sustaining the longtime shopping center, established in 1952 in the Crestview neighborhood, including the pharmacy and all the other businesses there. (More about them in next week’s blog, “Stopping by Crestview Shopping Center.”)

In 2008, Mr. Harper gave Rob and me permission to show our film A Community Mosaic inside the pharmacy during the Violet Crown Festival, held that October at the shopping center. His only request was that we not set up too early, since a group of longtime neighbors met there every Saturday morning, and he didn’t want them to be disturbed. The men got together “to tell tall tales and ponder world problems over coffee,” according to Mr. Harper’s obituary. (We can only imagine the great stories they shared!) For several years, the pharmacy also helped sell copies of our film.

Next week on Voices of the Violet Crown, we’ll feature more about the people and businesses of Crestview Shopping Center.

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