Washington State Magazine

Winter 2013-14 cover

Winter 2013

In This Issue...


Glenn Terrell, WSU President 1967-1985: Recollections :: WSU’s seventh president led with both head and heart. by Sue Hinz ’70

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Gallery: Images from the presidency of Glenn Terrell from 1967-1985 }

The Pear :: The pear and the apple are quite different fruits, both in how they are eaten and in how they are grown. And where in Washington they are grown makes all the difference in how pear farmers think of their product. by Tim Steury

Second Acts :: Retired librarian Bunny Levine moved to LA to follow her dream of being in the movies. She and others have found that redefining retirement can lead to greater health and happiness. by Hannelore Sudermann

The Beguiling Science of Bodies in Motion :: Through biomechanics, WSU’s experts smooth a runner’s stride, deepen our understanding of whiplash, study the impact of sports balls on bodies, and seek to build better bones. by Eric Sorensen


:: Tiny seed, big prospects

:: Watching the sea

:: Gabriel Fielding

:: A poor showing in children’s books

:: Ask Mr. Christmas Tree

:: Of mice, men, and wheat

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Story: Children’s picture books that show poverty }


:: First Words: The Community of the Oyster

:: Posts

:: Sports: Cougar encampments

:: Short subject: History develops, art stands still

:: In Season: Beans

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Video: Willapa Bay Oysters }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Recipe: Grandma Smith’s Rockwell Baked Beans }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Story: And 1,083 Lines of Lupine The WSU Plant Introduction Station }


:: Dan Rottler ’92—Atop towers of power

:: Helen Szablya ’76—Living in interesting times

:: David Cox ’71—Generations Rx

:: Alumni News: Catching up with WSUAA President Ken Locati ’85

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Gallery: Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility Photos by Robert Hubner}

Cover: Photoillustration by Diana Whaley—photo courtesy WSU Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections.

Don Cox ’46, Matt Cox ’05 D. Pharm., and David Cox ’71 have operated the South Bend Pharmacy for 55 years. <em>Video frame courtesy South Bend Pharmacy</em>

Don Cox ’46, Matt Cox ’05 D. Pharm., and David Cox ’71 have operated the South Bend Pharmacy for 55 years. Video frame courtesy South Bend Pharmacy

David Cox ’71—Generations Rx

by | © Washington State University

David Cox’s life seems equally divided between his South Bend pharmacy and hunting. And family encompasses both.

Cox is the second generation of a three-generation dynasty of pharmacists in South Bend, the county seat of Pacific County, just upstream on the Willapa River from Willapa Bay.

Don Cox ’46 graduated from Washington State University twice, first in chemistry before joining the Army during World War II, then in pharmacy in 1946. He began his career in Long Beach, then started the South Bend Pharmacy in 1958. The business is difficult to miss. Just off of U.S. 101, it is painted a tasteful gray with crimson trim. The bathroom, for those slow to understand the allegiance, is distinctively WSU-themed.

Upon graduation, Dave bought out his dad.

“I have been there for 43 years,” he says as we visit on his enclosed porch overlooking Willapa Bay, “and we’ve been open 43 Christmas days. We’re open Sunday twelve to one.

“Matt will work today,” he says, this being Sunday. Matt (’05 Doctor of Pharm.) is the third generation. His wife Kinnarone is a tech with the pharmacy.

While there today, Matt will fill 40 to 50 prescriptions. 

“Customer service is everything,” says Dave.

Whether that customer service will help the independent pharmacy survive remains to be seen.

“It’s all up to the government,” says David. “We’re operating on a 3 to 4 percent profit margin right now. The only way you can make anything is on volume.”

Even so, he dismisses the notion of chain stores as competition.

“People will drive to Aberdeen to Walmart maybe twice. They’ll sell you a four dollar prescription. Twice. The third time it will be $30.

“You’ll pay me $15.50. That’s my minimum charge, because it cost me $12.50 to fill. Our overall price is way cheaper.”

He then observes that his real advantage over bigger stores is South Bend has only four doctors. “That’s only four doctors to deal with their handwriting.”

The pharmacist in a town of 1,700 has a unique perspective. 

With Matt on board, David has more time to hunt. Although he’s proud of the trophies he brought back from South Africa and elsewhere, his “big passion is bird hunting.” It’s as much about the time in nature as the hunt.

He recalls an experience several years ago, when the bay was covered by Spartina, an invasive cordgrass. 

One of the worst spots was right below the house.

“Taylor [a son currently at WSU] and I went down on opening day.”

They settled on a hummock, hidden by the Spartina.

“I said, ‘don’t shoot. Just sit here.’ There were probably 20,000 ducks, all sides of us.”

Then he had Taylor fire one shot.

They didn’t shoot a single duck. But the effect of 20,000 ducks taking off all at once was spectacular.

“There’s a sight you’ll never see again,” he told his son.

Categories: Alumni, Pharmacy | Tags: Pharmacists

Comments are temporarily unavailable while we perform some maintenance to reduce spam messages. If you have comments about this article, please send them to us by email: wsm@wsu.edu