This article is an opinion.

I never met anyone who said an unkind word about the late Norman Spear.

Norman was blessed with a servant’s heart, and he made Albertville, Marshall County and Sand Mountain a better place to live and work because of his Godly influence and his generosity.

Norman owned and operated Albertville Discount Pharmacy for 30 years prior to his death in October 2018. During the last decade, he groomed my friend and pharmacist Brett Hulgan to take over and help maintain ADP’s role as your hometown pharmacy.

In late March, Brett gave me an opportunity to learn about the pharmacy business through a part-time job at ADP. I wrapped up my time there this week with a new appreciation of pharmacists, pharmacy techs and pharmacy cashiers.

A key to the success of any business is hiring qualified folks who are the right fit for the working environment. Everyone at Albertville Discount Pharmacy seems to be a perfect fit for their role. The staff welcomed this old sports editor with open arms and forgave my missteps as I tried to catch on in my role as a cashier.

Amy Honea and Jeremy Osborn are Brett’s fellow pharmacists. I think I’ve known Amy since her high school days at Douglas, and I covered Jeremy’s career as a Boaz Pirate football and baseball player. Jeremy was a key contributor to the 2007 Pirate baseball team that reached the semifinals of the Class 4A state playoffs.

Pharmacy techs Dana Presley, Marie Foy and Jamie McKee have worked for ADP since the 1990s. Jamie’s main job during the school year is serving as librarian at Albertville Intermediate School on Evans Campus.

Your hometown pharmacy’s other techs are Christie Tucker, Logan Wilborn, Daisy Matus and Karina Jijon. Daisy and Karina are fluent in Spanish, and they’re vital to ADP’s ability to provide excellent service to their Hispanic customers.

Stephanie Golden, Shyla Walls and Hunter Lambert are terrific cashiers and keep the front of the store running smoothly while assisting the pharmacists and techs behind the counter.

I want to give a special shout-out to Shyla, who received a transfer scholarship to Jacksonville State from Snead State. She plans to major in elementary education.

Brett’s father, Gene, was my pharmacist at Crossville Discount Drugs while I was growing up. Brett’s mother, Peggy, was one of my favorite teachers, and she’s continued to encourage and support me through the years.

I’m thankful for my friendship with Brett, and I won’t forget his kindness during my time of need.  

Shannon J. Allen is sports editor for The Reporter. He can be reached at

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