Unsung Hero #258

Nearly 10 years ago — back in the pre-Unsung Hero days — I posted a story about Colonial Druggist and its wonderful owner, Russ Levine.

At that point, he and his ever-alert, always-helpful, constantly-go-the-extra-mile staff had been serving grateful customers for decades. They started in Colonial Green, then moved to the plaza near Fresh Market (and kept the name).

They’re still doing it. And Russ is still at the helm.

Alert “06880” reader John Karrel thinks it’s time to revisit Colonial Druggist — this time for an Unsung Hero award.

I couldn’t agree more.

Russ Levine, at his familiar spot. (Photo/John Karrel)

John writes:

“With the world ever more complex in 2022, there’s no let-up in Russell’s patience, the depth of his knowledge, his ceaseless good cheer and humor (not to mention his natty suspenders).

“Recently, I went in and asked if he could point me toward ear drops. ‘That depends,’ he said. After a dramatic pause: ‘Left ear or right ear?’”

“He and his superb staff seem to handle any kind of inquiry, whether face to face at the counter, or by phone (based on some conversations of which I hear one end).

“When I asked a long-time Westport friend her opinion of Colonial, she said, “‘The best pharmacy in the world.’”

No one who has walked in Colonial’s front door would disagree. So thank you, Russ and all your staff. You are true Unsung Heroes.

Here’s to many more years of helping whatever ails all of us. You never turn a deaf ear.

Left or right.

(Do you know an Unsung Hero? Email 06880blog@gmail.com.)

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16 responses to “Unsung Hero #258

  1. John Petterson

    Bravo on a well-done piece about one of Westport’s finest–Russ is a real gentleman. And kudos to Johnny K for the recommendation.

    John Petterson

  2. He has always been a hero to me and my family. Knowledgeable and kind and yes a sense of humor. We all go back to his Dorain Drug days on Main St. he and his staff are the best in town.

  3. Lawrence Zlatkin

    How nice to highlight Colonial and Russ. He and his team are superb at what they do. They epitomize what you would expect from a pharmacy, all with patience, knowledge and a smile. I would never go anywhere else (except if I had to go to Achorn’s which is a close second). And, they offer medical supplies too!

  4. Ellen Dale Naftalin

    I second the nomination. Russ whistles while he works. What a delightful man. And his staff are always so helpful. A place where everybody knows your name.

    • I’m glad someone mentioned his whistling! I appreciate that, too. I always try to figure out if it’s actual songs or just whistling “for fun.”

  5. Russ absolutely the best. Nothing is too small or to big for Russ’s help

  6. Patricia McMahon

    A superb human on so many levels.

  7. Sometimes waiting in line someone wanted to “speak to the pharmacist” and you would hear Russ deliver the most concise and accurate answer. Brilliant humorist 🇺🇸

  8. Susan Schmidt

    Russ and his fantastic, friendly staff have been taking care of our family for over 20 years. They truly represent the best of Westport!

  9. Anne Pfeiffer

    Unfortunately one would never know the variety of wonderful items inside Colonial Drugs by the windows. Russ needs to spend some time doing the windows to represent what is really inside.

  10. Cristina Negrin

    One of my first jobs in High School was at Colonial Druggist worked the counter with Cindy Gough at Colonial Green

  11. Stacie Curran

    Tremendous, applause for you Russ – This “HERO” shout-out is beyond deserving…time after time, you have stayed WAY over closing time to serve our family – multiple generations of appreciation – Russ, we dearly appreciate you.

  12. Russ is a Wonderful Man , who should be retiring or cutting his hours way back .. Sometimes I notice he’s getting short fused with his staff members ?? I shopped at his location for Numerous years , and its very well stocked etc .. However we took our business over to Achorns , due to a constantly Rude Womon who’s worked at the counter for years .. She also had Horrible phone manners , and sometimes forgot to process or refills after speaking with her … Rudeness toward customers is Not Good for Business .. If one wants Wonderful service with a Smile ,then go to Achorns

  13. Andrew Colabella

    Guy is a saint and always has everything you can never find, especially during supply chain shortages it’s there!

  14. Russ is an absolute gem of a gentleman. I can always count on him for his good professional judgement and to make me laugh. A few years ago, we had family visiting from out of town and when they arrived at our home they realized they had accidentally left a bag of important medications on a JFK curbside. I called Russ on a Saturday evening just before closing and he stayed open late so that they could come and pick up replacements. Hometown advantage..Russ we so appreciate you!!!!

  15. Larry+Weisman

    Also a pretty good fisherman.