Many still remember him bringing back the soda fountain

By SAM HATCHER         Funeral services were held last week for a community leader who, through his profession, was a very good friend to Wilson County for more than four decades.          Dr. Hardie Sorrels Jr. came to Lebanon in 1964. He acquired the historically renowned Shannon’s Drug Store on Lebanon’s Public Square and became a fixture in local health care almost immediately.

He also proved that he knew a thing or two about marketing and how to win the hearts of local customers when he reopened Shannon’s long popular soda fountain and brought back many memories to the days when the local drug store was crowded with young army recruits during maneuvers here in the 1940s and of course always with Cumberland University students.

Reopening Shannon’s soda fountain was like a nostalgic cultural reawakening for the community and needless to say it was a very popular move by Shannon’s new owner. Dr. Sorrels later purchased Medical Arts Pharmacy on College Street and operated that business until 2002.           When not filling prescriptions, answering questions about how to cure a lingering sore throat or dipping a scoop of ice cream at the soda fountain, Dr. Sorrels spent a great deal of his time working as a volunteer Boy Scout leader. During his tenure as Scoutmaster of Lebanon’s Troop 434, an astonishing 14 Scouts received Eagle Scout recognition, including his son, Dr. Hardie Sorrels, now a practicing Lebanon physician.          Dr. Sorrels died at age 77. He served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, graduated first in his class at the University of Tennessee School of Pharmacy, was an avid hunter and a master carpenter. And, if you asked his wife, Myra, or their two sons, Hardie and David, or daughter, Dixie, they would surely say he always put his family first.