Frank Hardy Made My Photographs Two

Bokas Pharmacy in Gulf Breeze …Update

with 9 comments

Bokas Jordan 5_SFW_FHP_23 June 11

I do not remember this pharmacy as Bokas Pharmacy, I remembered it as Bokas-Jordan Pharmacy.  It was also located in a different part of Gulf Breeze than where this one was located.  Maybe someone like Billy Tarbuck who was raised in Gulf Breeze will see this post and can fill us in on some of the details.  This photo was made sometime in the 1950’s, I believe, but I am not sure of the date at all … for all I know it could have been in the early 1960’s.  Thanks for looking .. Frank

UPDATE:  Mrs. Rose Geeker Thames contacted me and said that this photo was taken in April of 1956.  The Bokas Pharmacy above was located in the Benson Building that was located on Hwy 98 at the red light in Gulf Breeze.  I believe the intersection is Hwy 98 and Shoreline Drive and it was the only red light in Gulf Breeze for at least 20 years, if I remember correctly.  I do not know how long the pharmacy was located at this location, since I was born in 1953 and I do not really remember much about Gulf Breeze until the middle to late 1960’s.  Mrs. Thames also mentioned that Vic Bokas was her brother, which I did not know either.  I appreciate all of the comments that readers make to help me put the correct information with the photos … Frank

Written by Frank Hardy

July 30, 2013 at 6:01 pm

9 Responses

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  1. I was raised around the corner from Billy and next door to the Bokas family and if memory serves me correctly the building this was taken in front of was called the Benson Building, named after Mr. Benson who owned it (and ran a hardware store there I believe). And yes the hamburgers at the fountain in the back of Bokas Jordan Pharmacy were the BEST!!! Thanks for the memories!!

    Karen Box Rusling
    Baton Rouge, La


    Karen Rusling

    August 11, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    • Thanks for the comment, Karen … I never knew that they had a fountain. In fact, the only thing that I can remember about Gulf Breeze when I was growing up was passing through on the way to the beach. Growing up in Cordova Park, Gulf Breeze was just a blur from the back seat window on the way to somewhere. I never really experienced Gulf Breeze until I started driving in 1969 and I had some friends there that I went to high school with. I got to know Billy much later, probably the early 1980’s. He has been very helpful adding facts to these photos that pertain to Gulf Breeze or the beach. Thanks again for looking and commenting and please check back … Frank


      Frank Hardy

      August 12, 2013 at 9:55 am

      • Frank,
        I am not sure if you are interested but I have a box of old photo’s mostly either the late 40’s or early 50’s. There are a couple from Pensacola Beach. My parents moved to Pensacola in the early to mid 40’s, and lived in town where they built their own cabin cruiser in the garage only to learn after it was finished they couldn’t get it out and instead of taking it apart decided it was easier to remove part of the roof of the garage to get it out!! Later they built a house on Pensacola Beach around 1947 or 1948 I think. I have photo’s of it too. It is no longer standing (thanks to Hurricane Opal I think) but it was at the corner of 13th Ave and Via DeLuna, at that time that was as far as Via DeLuna went toward Navarre and the road just ended. Often late at night people who didn’t know their way around (or had one too many) would just keep going and drive off the road and out onto the sand where of course they got stuck-my Dad owned a Jeep and made a whopping $20 to pull them back out. My parents built our house in Gulf Breeze in 1958 and at the time the beach bridge was wooden and very narrow, I vaguely remember crossing it while my Mom was praying the entire time because it was so frightening to cross. I have a few older photo’s of Pensacola somewhere too like the old Armour Meat Packing business (my Dad was the manager there) somewhere off Alcaniz I think. I would be happy to scan a few and email them to you if you wish just let me know at I remember when the Tarbucks moved to Gulf Breeze they bought the house Mike Vilain’s family owned (the Vilain’s ran a plant nursery somewhere in Pensacola) I also remember when I was small in the late 50’s they would have a huge parade downtown on Palafox St. during Fiesta of Five Flags and all the “crew of Deluna” would have elaborate floats and throw candy. It was held the day after the night of the “DeLuna Landing” on Pensacola Beach a recreation of his original landing which sort of kicked off the festivities of the Fiesta of Five Flags. I remember looking out of a window on the 3rd floor of the Brent Building and watching as ticker tape and confetti were being thrown at the parade floats. I may be wrong but didn’t they used to have some event in the 50’s at Bayou Texar during the summer like Labor Day with skiers (the Bonifay Family I think) and even fireworks after dark?? Let me know if you want any photo’s (I think I have either stills or maybe even old super 8 movies of the pagents at the old Casino held by the Pensacola Beach Women’s Club somewhere too.) My Mom was one of the presidents of the Pensacola Beach Woman’s Club and my Dad was the first fire chief of the Pensacola Beach Volunteer Fire Dept I think. Shout out to Billy Tarbuck too for holding the fort down in “the Breeze”!!



        Karen Rusling

        September 1, 2013 at 11:32 pm

      • Thanks for the comment, Karen … I will send you an email later about your photos. Thanks for looking and please check back … Frank


        Frank Hardy

        September 4, 2013 at 8:36 am

      • That was the drug store in my neighborhood (I grew up in Gulf Breeze age 8-17) but I remember it as Bokas-Jordan .. I remember buying cosmetics there.. my dad took a photo of me inside the store when I was maybe 15… there was a Christo’s 5-10 cent store at the end of the strip plaza… there was an older strip mall across the street where there was a Tasty-Freeze and a ladies Dress Shop… etc .. I seem to recall there was only one traffic light on the whole Island of Gulf Breeze..


        Katherine R. Weinmann

        March 14, 2017 at 8:23 pm

  2. Hi Frank.

    Yes, that’s George Bokas, our neighbor still today on North Sunset, and his brother Vic, in front of his first Pharmacy in the Benson Complex, 1957. Max Jordan came to work for Bokas in 1959. In 1960, U.S. 98 was being widened, and Carl Hoffman was developing the new Hoffman Center across U.S. 98. Bokas and Jordan then formed a partnership and moved into their new Bokas-Jordan Pharmacy which we all grew to know and love, especially the Fountain Lunch Counter in the rear. Bokas-Jordan became a household word in Gulf Breeze.


    Billy Tarbuck

    July 31, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    • Thanks Billy … Keeping on commenting … Frank


      Frank Hardy

      August 2, 2013 at 10:34 am

      • Billy Tarbuck’s description is right on. I grew up in Gulf Breeze in the 50’s and 60’s. The pharmacy in the photo was on the left side (north) of the Benson Bldg. It was at the NE corner of Fairpoint Dr. and 98. That’s where the first traffic light was. The hardware store was in the center. My first job was at Tastee Freez on the south end of the Benson Bldg. I was paid 65 cents and hour and all I could eat. Big mistake. I could eat a lot and never gain a pound! I bought my first boat with that money.
        Behind the Benson Bldg (attached and part of, I think) was the post office and the original location of St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church where my Mother was organist.


        John Ellis

        April 4, 2015 at 5:32 pm

      • Thanks … Frank


        Frank Hardy

        April 5, 2015 at 9:53 am

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