New office retains a bit of John’s

Mark Priegnitz is happy to keep some of the woodwork that was so noticeable as part of the former John’s Drug interior.

By Per Peterson

Mark Priegnitz can still remember John Schleppenbach going the extra mile to help him when one of his children got sick upon his arrival in Tracy in 1999. Priegnitz didn’t know Schleppenbach at the time and knew little about Tracy, but he quickly realized he was in a good place, with good people.

“John meant a lot to a lot of people in this town, and was one of our first contacts when we moved here,” Priegnitz said. “We were talking to one of our friends on the phone, saying our child was sick and we didn’t know what was open. He said, ‘Just give John a call and he’ll come down and get the stuff and bring it over to you.’ I remember thinking, ‘No, that’s not the way it works.’ Where I was from, you went to the drug store when it was open — you waited until the next day if you had to.”

Indeed, there is a sentimental side to the State Farm move. The relocation not only means the former John’s Rx Drug will be filled, which will lead to more traffic in the downtown area, Priegnitz has also taken steps to preserve some of the unmistakable charm inside the building.

“This was John’s Drug, this was where everyone went, and it’s nice to, if you will, revive it,” Priegnitz said. “I give credit to Mark (Seager) for his work in getting it, and what we’re doing — it’s nice to bring this building back. It was such a focal point in the community, and hopefully it will be a focal point again and be another thing that draws people downtown. That’s nice to be a part of.”

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.