Marilyn Pryce Hoytt, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing for

Marilyn Pryce Hoytt 1960, Spelman College

Marilyn Pryce Hoytt 1960

this soda fountain story, has Coca-Cola roots that go way back, and all around the world. In our conversation, she shared the following Coca-Cola story with me:

"In the early 1960s, when I first went to Paris as a Merrill Scholar from Spelman College, a Blimpie's Restaurant opened. We Americans flocked there to have a Coke and a rather small hamburger. In the late '60s, at various embassy parties when I lived in Ethiopia, Coke was available. In the 1980s when I became

an instructor of French, I learned that the word "coca" had become a generic term due to the popularity of Coca-Cola. Today, it is rewarding to know that Coca-Cola, and especially my favorite, Coke Zero, is served around the world. When you are abroad and have a Coke, you're back home!

Soda fountains were a part of growing up in and on the campus of Tuskegee Institute . In the 1950s, as teenagers, we frequented Burroughs’ Drugstore (in the Chambliss Building--see photo below), Carter’s Store (on “The Block”) and the newest, most modern soda fountain was Allen’s Store. There we could sip a Coke and have a hot dog just like folks we saw on television.

Members of my family have a long history with soda fountains and Coca-Cola. Pryce’s Pharmacies have been in operation in Lake Charles, Louisiana and Los Angeles, California, since 1908. Although the Los Angeles pharmacies are now closed, one was operated by my grandfather, Dr. George S. Pryce, and the other by his son, Dr. George C. Pryce. My father, Edward L. Pryce, grew up working in the drugstore. At the tender age of 9, he stood on a crate to ring up Coca-Cola at the cash register.

The original pharmacy is still in existence in Lake Charles, and is owned and operated by my cousin, Dr. Frank Y. Pryce."

Chambliss Building, Tuskegee Institute

Please be sure to click over to read the great history of her family’s Pryce’s Pharmacy soda fountains, which opened in 1908 and served Coca-Cola to its customers in Lake Charles, Louisiana and Los Angeles, California.