Germantown Magazine Fall Winter 2020

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Germantown 9 WELCOME


Rhonda Ginsburg Larry Kuzniewski Karla Merritt-Gates Katie Norrid CREATIVE DIRECTOR PRODUCTION

Lori Philley


Stephanie Painter EDITORIAL DIRECTORS Candice Baxter Janie Day ADVERTISING SALES Stacey Ewell Janie Day Jessica Comas Lori Coulter SENIOR ADMINISTRATOR/

Candice Baxter PRODUCTION Kari Wanzer





Stacey Ewell & Jessica Comas










Kari Wanzer Kayla Sanders CHAIRMAN OF THE



Lori Coulter


Germantown Magazine is published three times a year by Customedia LLC, in conjuction with the City of Germantown and the Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce.


For advertising information or to learn more about the Chamber, email or call (901) 755-1200


The Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce 2195 South Germantown Road, Germantown, TN 38138 (901) 755-1200 The City of Germantown 1930 South Germantown Road, Germantown, TN 38138 (901) 757-7200


Customedia partners with member organizations to create content for their communities. For more information, go to or contact Additional copies available at the Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce and at Germantown City Hall.

Feel Welcomed.

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Reproduction in whole or in part of any of the materials contain herein without the written permission of Customedia LLC is prohibited. All Rights Reserved 2020.

Visitors Are Always Welcome 8723 Poplar Pike, Germantown Sunday Worship: 8 and 10:30a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday Bible Classes: 9:15 a.m. | Wednesday Bible Classes: 7 p.m.


Helping People Through Life.






Photography by Alex Ginsburg Photographics


As your Mayor and Chamber President/CEO, we always look forward to bringing you a new issue of the Germantown Magazine. As we write this letter, our community is continuing to adjust to life amid the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. A distant five months ago, leaders and health officials at the federal, local and state level were bracing for what was yet to come. We have all had to make important sacrifices, but it is imperative that we not lose hope and not let up during this pivotal time. This battle is far from over and it is evident that the virus will be with us for the foreseeable future, at least until there is a vaccine or treatment identified for this disease. We must continue to look out for one another and take ownership by practicing proper health measures. Beginning in July, local health

officials required use of facial covering while in public settings throughout Shelby County, including the City of Germantown. Wearing a mask or facial covering is a simple and effective way to protect yourself and others from spreading COVID-19. Studies show that masks, when worn correctly over the mouth and nose, reduce the spread of respiratory droplets, thereby slowing the spread of the virus to others. We are heading in the right direction, but we must also continue to be diligent in washing our hands and practicing social distancing. Even in the midst of such a challenging time, your City and Chamber continue to provide services at the highest level. Do your part by continuing to shop local whenever possible. We will get through this as long as we continue to fight together Germantown!

Mike Palazzolo Mayor of Germantown

Janie Day President/CEO Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce

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What I’ve Learned Doing Business in Germantown James Cheney, Co-Owner, Cheney Media Productions We are a video production company, but really it’s my wife Danielle and I. Sometimes we hire help, but mostly it’s just us. We make video content for nonprofits, businesses, corporate and live events. Our bread and butter is mini-documentary storytelling. We call them video business cards. Video is the number one way the world consumes content and information. I love telling stories. Everyone has an origin story, and telling that story can help businesses and organizations deepen their connection with customers and the community. My wife grew up in Germantown. When we were looking to buy a house, we looked all over. Germantown is where we wanted to be. It’s just a great place, very safe, the schools are fantastic. I don’t think it can be beat. COVID has thrown everyone a curveball. Being in business for yourself is a challenge in and of itself. We’ve debated back and forth on being an employee versus doing this. But this is where my heart is. In light of everything going on in the world, the fact that we’re still in business is a pretty big accomplishment.

I’m proud of having repeat customers. Our clients come back again and again. It means we’re doing good work, providing great value and they want more of it. If they keep coming back, we must be doing something right. With three kids, ages 4, 2, and 2 months, we don’t really have much spare time. The past few years with young children, I’ve really focused on family. Right now, we’re spending a lot of time in the pool. Bad things are going to happen. You’re going to get hurt. There are going to be tragedies. The impact on everyone is very real. As those things have happened over the years, I’ve learned to embrace it and get stronger because of it. Our joke is to “stay in your lane.” I’m good at creative storytelling and production. Danielle is amazing at project management and communicating with clients. She’s good at all the things I’m not. We wouldn’t be in business without her. I’m always trying to find the nugget inside the interviews that have the most emotional impact. Starting a business can be pretty scary. Go into it with your eyes wide open. It’s not going to be perfect, because you can always course correct along the way. Just start. Don’t be afraid to fail. Everyone fails. That’s just part of it.

Interview conducted by Candice Baxter | Photography by Alex Ginsburg Photographics Germantown Magazine



Spirit true service


By Stephanie Painter Photography by Larry Kuzniewski

“ There is a service spirit that healthcare workers bring to the table every day.” - Linda Rosenblatt, R.N. and clinical director of the COVID unit


In March, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, and life as we knew it was radically altered. Healthcare workers at Methodist LeBonheur Germantown treated their first COVID patient later that month. As the virus infected more Mid-South residents, frontline workers prepared to fight a new and formidable virus. Promoting patient survival requires herculean effort and sacrifice. “The dedication of our staff and what they do on a day-in and day-out basis is remarkable,” says Dr. Paul Deaton, medical director of the hospital’s intensive care unit. “The nursing staff, doctors, respiratory therapists and critical care pharmacists work as a team and look out for one another.” Germantown Magazine



These professionals may care for neighbors and fellow church members during their shifts. “There is a service spirit that healthcare workers bring to the table every day,” agreed Linda Rosenblatt, an RN and clinical director of the COVID unit. “I’m proud of our teams across the system who are committed to what they do. These are special people in a special place.” The hospital’s dedicated ICU for COVID patients “has a 16-bed unit that stays pretty full, but we can flex more ICU beds as we need to,” says Deaton. “The steps that our community leaders have taken have helped to not overwhelm our capacity. We started seeing really sick folks coming to ICU in May and June. Fortunately, most people who get COVID don’t end up in ICU.” Patients requiring ICU care are completely dependent on the medical team, and families require support as well. “This is a difficult time with families and patients not having access to each other as they did in the pre-COVID world,” says Rosenblatt. The staff provides education and emotional support to grieving families. Frontline workers may pray with patients and arrange precious, intimate phone calls that allow loved ones to say goodbye. Pressure and stress take an emotional toll. “The sheer volume of really sick patients takes a lot of time with long hours that are tiring and stressful,” says infectious disease specialist Dr. Michael Threlkeld. “But we feel like we’re making a difference. Each week, we learn something new and are better able to care for patients. That keeps us going.”

get her to 34 weeks and give the baby time to mature. In order to get her oxygen level up, we turned her from her stomach to her back on a schedule.” The staff performed an emergency caesarean 32 weeks into the patient’s pregnancy. Her baby spent two weeks in neo-natal ICU while she was weaned off the ventilator. After spending 70 days in the hospital, the woman went to rehab for several weeks and is happy to be home with her infant.

“ Each week, we learn something new and are better able to care for patients. That keeps us going.”


Deaton was celebrating his 60th birthday at the time. When nurses asked how he wanted to mark the occasion, he suggested setting up a fund to benefit the mother and her son. With donations from nursing staff and administration, $6,600 was raised. Through difficult shifts, morale is sustained by “appreciation from the community, from staff leaders, and support from each other and within our own teams,” says Rosenblatt. In the fight against COVID-19, community members play a part by wearing masks and practicing social distancing. “Let’s push through this until we bring the numbers down,” she urges. Undeterred by risks to their own health, these heroic health care workers return to work every day. After working with patients for almost six months, Deaton tested positive for COVID. “It was almost inevitable,” he says. Later, he returned to his mission, helping patients in the countdown to safer days.

When frontline workers need - Dr. Michael Threlkeld, encouragement, they look to infectious disease specialist cases that defy the odds. TwenAccording to Threlkeld, ty-six weeks into her pregnanprogress is substantial comcy, a woman who tested posipared to historical trends. tive for COVID was admitted to “We’ve taken a virus that ICU. Before going on a ventilawe knew nothing about, tor, she sent texts to her family, sequenced it and have vaccine candidates in clinical trials vowing to fight and survive. “She was a very sick lady, and we within six months. That is extraordinary and unprecedented.” ■ had two lives to take care of,” recalls Deaton. “The goal was to


Germantown Magazine




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Golden years IN

By Candice Baxter Germantown 20Photography byMagazine Larry Kuzniewski


Activities and amenities top the list of reasons to retire in Germantown


hoosing a place to retire can be quite a journey. Many people look for a safe place with mild weather close enough to visit with family. Only a short drive for children and grandchildren who live in nearby towns or Memphis proper, Germantown is clean and well maintained with low crime rates and quick emergency response times. The drinking water is some of the best in the country. Convenient to quality retail and healthcare specialists, the area is uniquely situated near all the opportunities of a metropolitan city, yet neatly tucked into pockets of natural beauty. The blend offers a general feeling of ease. With deep equestrian roots, the pasture land and beautiful barns throughout town offer a changing landscape over the four seasons. Outdoor paved walking trails connect each of the city parks while the Wolf River Greenway meanders along the banks of flowing water and through the quiet woods. The natural scenery balances well with proximity to medical professionals along the Wolf River Medical Corridor, including top practitioners in neurology, cardiology, orthopedics and gastroenterology. Brenda Hoolihan, former dean at the University of Memphis, moved back from East Tennessee when her husband passed away last year. She has many friends in Germantown and a son in Olive Branch. “I wanted to be closer to family,” she says. “Where I was in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, it was gorgeous, a nice community but so isolated. It was over a thirty minute drive to go shopping or get to a specialist. I like how everything here is accessible.”

Brenda Hoolihan walks the Wolf River Greenway

Germantown Magazine


BUILDING COMMUNITY Though events and gatherings have been cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City works to provide plenty of opportunities specifically for retirees and working adult residents over 50. Natalie Ruffin is the Recreation Services Manager for the Parks and Recreation department and shares the most popular activities. “Trips are huge, line dancing, bridge and Let's Do Lunch. The new classes through Creative Aging were really taking off, and technology classes are steady.” The Village at Germantown takes a resident-driven approach to its lifetime home program. They offer amenities like a fully equipped woodworking shop, fivestar dining, spa treatments and a heated saltwater pool. Affiliated with Methodist Healthcare, the Village strives to be a seamless path to successful aging with on-site rehabilitation services, memory care and assisted living.

The Adventure Series includes multi-day motor coach trips to locations like Myrtle Beach and New York. The Let’s Do Lunch series offers local culinary experiences where seniors, boomers and allies come together in friendship to discover fascinating foods. Weekly classes at the Pickering Center, 7771 Poplar Pike, range from games to musical instruments. Line Dance USA improves coordination, memory and energy level. Bridge games can be found from intermediate play to the ACBL Sanctioned Germantown Bridge Club. A technology coach leads instruction on smart watch functions and iPhone photography. New this year, a partnership with Creative Aging Memphis has provided workshops on pottery, dulcimer and acrylic painting.


Germantown Magazine

Ruffin says, “P&R partners with Germantown Senior Advisory Commission to produce the Senior Expo as well as an annual seminar that focuses on topics such as protecting yourself from the latest scams.” For now, bridge games are virtual, but there are four championship golf courses within a 15 mile radius. Other outdoor sports are open in the parks like disc golf, croquet and Pickleball. SENIOR LIVING OPTIONS Inside the city limits, four of the largest current and emerging choices for senior living offer a maintenance-free lifestyle, but each has its own unique qualities. Levels of care range from active adult to assisted living with options to accommodate independence.

Brookdale has two communities in Germantown. While the location at 7701 Poplar Avenue focuses primarily on assisted living, Brookdale at Dogwood Creek offers three levels of care: independent living, memory care and assisted living. Kelsey Gilliam, Sales Manager says, “Brookdale has been operating the longest, over 40 years of leadership in senior living. We have experience and support at the corporate level and can deliver those things locally.” They develop personalized care plans in nutrition, exercise and health for each resident to best remain independent. Germantown Plantation provides monthto-month rental apartments surrounded with amenities, activities and community under one roof. With Southern charm and local flare, the building is nestled among mature trees. Independent living apartments have outdoor balconies, while assisted living residents overlook the indoor atrium. Avenida Watermarq is a new construction residential development on Wolf River Boulevard focused on resort-inspired active adult living. The concept is an apartment rental community with no buy-in. “We are the place for people who sell their big homes, before they need

“ We are the place for people who sell their big homes, before they need independent living or any kind of care” -E llen Baker, Executive Director, Avenida Watermarq

independent living or any kind of care,” says Executive Director Ellen Baker. Their signature Five to Thrive Program creates social connections through holistic wellness. From outdoor yoga to financial planning, language study to happy hour, residents can stay as engaged as they like. The first scheduled move-in is mid-October. Brenda Hoolihan will soon be a resident at Avenida and says moving back to Germantown will feel more like home, close to where she raised her son and made lasting friendships. “People here are very nice and supportive. I’m looking forward to spending this time of my life here.” She appreciates the familiarity of the area and is excited to discover where this new path leads. ■

Germantown Magazine


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Mid South Internal Medicine 7550 Wolf River Blvd #102 901-767-5000

We’ll see you now.


New Germantown building located at 7887 Wolf River Blvd. • Accel Performance and

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Germantown Campus Germantown Road Clinic 1400 S. Germantown Road Germantown, TN 38138

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Walk-in Hours Monday – Friday: 8:00a.m. – 4:00p.m.

Walk-in Hours Monday – Friday: 8:00a.m. – 4:00p.m.

After Hours Monday - Thursday: 4:00p.m. – 8:00p.m. Saturday: 8:00a.m. – 11:00a.m.

Telemedicine appointments available

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JENNIFER ARENDALE (901) 218-5781

LAURA CLARK (901) 483-2117

PATTY EVERITT (901) 487-7709

JASON GAIA (901) 338-6677

PAIGE HOLMES (901) 461-4297

NANCY HUDDLESTON (901) 484-9494

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Each office is independently owned and operated.

A FOR By Candice Baxter Photography by Alex Ginsburg Photographics

all Ages

The fastest growing sport in the country provides exercise and social distancing. The shade lifts around 8 a.m. on the freshly surfaced Pickleball courts at Cameron Brown Park. Six games take place at once, and players rotate through according to who wins. On the far corner court, three generations of women practice with a ten-year-old newcomer. An engaged couple who met playing Pickleball volleys against the Ambassador and his wife. A retired Navy officer who has 20 years experience is happy to see young people enjoying the sport.

Origins Pickleball got its start in 1965 in Bainbridge Island, Washington, by Congressman Joel Pritchard and his neighbors. They had a badminton court but no shuttlecock, so they lowered the net close to the ground. Think life-sized table tennis played with a wiffle ball, the game is more strategy than strength. The sport evolved over time with larger paddles and smaller weighted balls, specified rules and regulations. Over time, Pickleball has become the fastest growing sport in the nation. There are competitive leagues and national tournament circuits. What began as a family game and became popular with seniors has caught the interest of a younger crowd. Pickleball builds community while maintaining social distance. It is in the very nature of the rules. After the serve, each player squares off to guard her own box. To avoid a fault, players must stay out of the kitchen. The non-volley zone, called the “kitchen,� is the first seven feet from either side of the net. A typical game is played to 11 points, win by 2, and takes about 15 minutes. If a player wants to rotate in, she lays her paddle at the net and joins the next game.

Germantown Magazine


T U R N EQ U I T Y I N TO E N E R GY N OW L E AS I N G | 5 5 + AC T I V E L I V I N G


Discover a new way to live at Avenida Watermarq, a unique apartment community arriving in Germantown this fall that is curated to cultivate a one-of-a-kind lifestyle for 55+ active adults. From your expanded 40,000-square-foot living room to your Neshoba Lake backyard, redefined living has never arrived at a better time.

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Servicemaster by Cornerstone | 901-624-9200 Germantown Magazine 31

Find a local game at one of these locations. GERMANTOWN BAPTIST CHURCH 9450 Poplar Avenue Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9 to 11:30 a.m. $2 KINGSWAY CHRISTIAN CHURCH 7887 Poplar Avenue Saturday 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Optional donation GERMANTOWN UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 2323 West Street Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to noon $5 CAMERON BROWN PARK 8626 Farmington Boulevard Daily 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Free

Social Game Elly Berry and her daughter Erin Robbins have played Pickleball for years. Berry’s granddaughter learned to play around age six, and now stands even-shouldered with her mother. “I homeschooled, so we would go up to the church and play.” Robbins practices with a family friend who brought her daughter, Sadie Walker. The youngest on the court, she is ten and also plays tennis. “Pickleball is easy to understand for anyone who has played any racquet sport,” says Michael Morgan. He is an Ambassador for the USA Pickleball Association. Morgan first learned to play in Florida 18 years ago but really picked it up to keep active when he retired in 2004. He and his wife Alice promote the game around the Mid-south by offering instructional clinics to churches, homeschool groups and other organizations wanting to learn to play. He also helps coordinate the annual Senior Olympics Pickleball Tournament for Memphis. Morgan loves the social aspect of Pickleball. “Players rotate out, so you rarely play with the same one. Here you could play up to thirtytwo different people. Could be a beginner. Could be a competitive player. That’s how they get practice. It’s about interacting.”


Germantown Magazine

“It’s also inexpensive to start,” says Alice Morgan. “You don’t have to invest in a bunch of equipment. Just a paddle and some Pickleballs.” They travel with a net. “We can get up a game if we’re on the road.” Joy Cook has played in 65 tournaments. She met Charley Smith, a Reserve Police Officer, on the Pickleball court at Germantown Baptist Church three years ago. “And now we’re engaged,” says Cook. Smith recalls meeting his wife-to-be. “I thought she was cute, but she had a partner, and I thought they were together. When I found out they weren’t, I asked her out.” The couple plans to marry in two weeks. Ben Woodworth, the oldest on the courts at eighty-five years old, has been playing for two decades. “My wife played back in ninety-five at what is now the Germantown Athletic Club. I’ve played regularly since I retired twenty years ago.” He likes the game not only for the social aspect, but also for exercise and coordination. Outdoor Play As the morning sun warms the air and players rotate out, the Cameron Brown Park Pickleball courts begin to empty. It is the only designated outdoor space to play in the area. Sports Coordinator J.D. McMillian says, “This is just a great

Students engage in active instruction by agile teachers who meet individual needs— whether on campus or learning from home. St. George’s offers flexibility and support for parents as they consider what works best for their family. We welcome the opportunity to share our reopening plans with you. Visit to schedule an on campus or virtual tour today!

opportunity for the City to provide a place for the fast-growing sport to grow even more. We cannot be more excited about it.” The game has become so popular locally, Parks and Recreation is putting together a round-robin tournament with a limit of 20 teams. Beginner clinics are held Monday evenings and Saturday mornings, $15 for residents and include four weekly lessons. ■

More information can be found at

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0 2 Ă— Celebrating



YEARS in Germantown DECADES OF DOING BUSINESS AND MAKING OTHERS SMILE By Stephanie Painter Photography by Larry Kuzniewski

While their businesses and services are different, these four residents agree that Germantown is a special community for work and volunteerism. They have built thriving careers here, providing worldclass barbecue, a Rolex service center, lumber resources and orthodontic care. All have been in business here for 20-plus years and make unique contributions to the community. They’re known to many by first name, and relationships run deep. Germantown Lumber Company When Charles Speed bought Germantown Lumber Company in 1990, he purchased a piece of history. The business is one of the oldest in the city, first launched in a barn back in 1940. Like his business, Speed is 80 years old, and he has no plans to retire. Working six days each week, he looks forward to “seeing people come in and talking with them. I was destined to own this business. My granddaddy had a lumber yard in Memphis, and I learned building from him.” Speed moved to Germantown as a young adult, where his building projects included Corporate Center and Market Square. His business is the city’s only lumber yard. “We sell to builders, remodelers and homeowners,” he says. “We do mulch, railroad ties, fence material and drainage boxes.” Employees will make deliveries in Tennessee and Mississippi.

Speed is an avid historian who enjoys sharing stories about the community’s growth. He is a member of the Tennessee Genealogical Society and an ambassador – Germantown Lumber Company Owner Charles Speed to the Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce. L a st ye a r, h e s e r ve d as Grand Marshall in the local Christmas parade. When he participated in Leadership Germantown, he installed a fountain at the Pickering Center. He is now training his grandchildren to one day run the business. His oldest grandson helped out at the lumber yard so Speed could volunteer last summer at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational for the 60th year.

“I was destined to own this business.”

If you stop in, ask Speed to share some of the city’s history. He’s happy to relate a good tale.

Germantown Magazine





Contact Janie Day at and (901) 755-1200 to reserve your space! 38

Germantown Magazine

The census counts every generation. Every 10 years, the United States counts everyone who lives in the country, from newborn babies to the oldest among us. It is important for everyone to complete the 2020 Census so that communities like yours can be accurately funded and represented. Responding is important. The 2020 Census will influence community funding and congressional representation for the next decade. Information collected in the census will inform the allocation of more than $675 billion in federal funds for states and communities each year. That includes money for things like: Emergency Services Medicare Part B

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program

Senior Community Service Employment Program

Libraries and community centers Responding is easy. In early 2020, most households in the United States received a notice to complete the census. Respond now online, by phone, or by mail. Choose the option that is most comfortable for you. Large-print guides to the questionnaire are available upon request. Census takers will visit households that do not respond and can assist if you need help completing your form. Responding is safe. Your personal information is kept confidential by law. Your responses can only be used to produce statistics. They cannot be shared with law enforcement agencies or used against you by any government agency or court in any way.

For more information, visit:


Updated May 2020


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TRY ON GLASSES WITHOUT LEAVING HOME! Visit and click “Try On Our Eyewear”. Select the frames and upload a photo of yourself. It’s that easy! Save your favorites by clicking the ♥. You can even email them to us. Don’t see what you want? Call us. We carry many designers not listed.


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emphis-born Maurice White founded and led Earth Wind & Fire to 17 Grammy nominations, and on to become one of the world’s best-selling emphis-born bands of all time.


emphis-born Maurice White founded and led Earth Wind & Fire to 17 Grammy nominations, and on to become one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time.


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Maurice White founded and led Earth Wind & Fire to 17 Grammy nominations, and on to become one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time.

Inducted into multiple hall of

Inducted into multiple hall of

fames, White named the band after three of the four foundational elements associated with his astrologic sign: Earth, Wind (Air) and Fire. We believe trust is a

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nducted intoLimited multiple hall are ofthe exclusive foundational element inwith a permission from,their lives. We take that edition images property of, owned by and used here Pacific Eye & Ear™.

fames, White named the band relationship. Trust means you after three of the four view someone as reliable. You Limited edition images are the exclusive property of, owned by and used here with permission from, Pacific Eye & Ear™. foundational elements have confidence in them. At v1.0

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“ We sold engagement rings to people and are now selling engagement rings to their children.” - Bob Richards

Photo by Alex Ginsburg Photographics

Bob Richards Jewelers, Inc. For 21 years, Bob Richards Jewelers, Inc., has been selected Germantown’s Favorite Jeweler. Bob Richards Jewelers is a Rolex service center and the only store in the South with four certified Rolex watchmakers on staff. There are also two jewelers and four graduate gemologists working here. “We’ve been fortunate, and good customer service and hard work helped our growth,” says Richards. The jeweler originally had a store in Memphis and later relocated farther east. “When we polled our customers and asked where most wanted us to

move, they mentioned Germantown. Our clientele had moved to Germantown, Collierville and Cordova.” He finds the community a special place to develop relationships and enjoys helping customers celebrate the best occasions in their lives. Richards never forgets a name and says it’s rewarding to assist multi-generational customers. “We sold engagement rings to people and are now selling engagement rings to their children.” The Richards family stands out for strong customer service and enthusiasm for working together as a family. Wife Polly

buys jewelry at market, and son Anthony earned a CPA license to help with the financial side. Richards brothers Jerry and Ron repair jewelry, rounding out the team. Bob Richards reminisces about making bows for gift wrap while working in his father’s jewelry store in McNairy County, Tennessee. His father Robert "Rob" McKinley Richards lost both legs in a sawmill accident. Determined to find a livelihood, he went to school to learn to be a watchmaker. Forty years after his father graduated, Richards earned a watchmakers diploma from Gem City College and later attended Rolex school. At this third-generation business, passion for detail and aesthetics bring a family together. Orthodontist Dr. Lyle Muller

All the usual reasons to invest with Edward Jones. Plus one. Now investors in Germantown have one more reason to feel confident about their financial future. Contact Financial Advisor Tom Shelley and experience how Edward Jones makes sense of investing.

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Dr. Lyle Muller’s orthodontic practice opens to a sign that reads Smile with Lyle. His focus is on creating positive relationships. He provides orthodontic care to children, adolescents and adults, using his influence to encourage smiles and laughter. Easy banter helps him connect with youth and encourage good hygiene. “You only have to brush the ones you want to keep,” he jokes. “I make it fun and have talked a dozen kids into going to dental school.” Along with oral hygiene, he is concerned about children’s emotional health. “Everything in the world is pretty negative,” he says. “There’s no safe place anymore because of social media. I find something to compliment them on.”

For the past 25 years, he has received the Germantown News People’s Choice Awards for Favorite Dentist and Favorite Pediatric Dentist. “Orthodontics is a relationship, not a transaction. I like doing the work and do at least 75 percent of the work myself.” He has practiced locally for 30-plus years, and he and his wife raised their son here. After graduating from dental school at University of Tennessee College of Dentistry and completing a graduate residency at St. Louis University, Muller was advised to choose a place for his practice where he would enjoy residing. “I really took that to heart when I was trying to decide, and Germantown was my first choice. It was a community of about 3,500 people way out in the country, but I sensed something special there. Looking back now, I can see how blessed I was to have made that decision.”

The Commissary

Photo by Alex Ginsburg Photographics

He is engaged in the community and has served as president of the Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce and as president of the Germantown Arts Alliance, among many other roles in various organizations. “It’s all been amazing and fun,” Muller says. “I learned early on that giving and making things better for people is really satisfying.”

“ I learned early on that giving and making things better for people is really satisfying.” – Orthodontist Dr. Lyle Muller

Walker Taylor easily articulates the main advantage of working in Germantown. “I like doing business with friends,” says the owner of The Commissary. Taylor has a large circle of friends with an appetite for Memphis-style barbecue. This year has presented economic challenges, but in most years, the restaurant serves 100,000 customers at its Germantown location. In 2018, a second location was opened in Collierville.

Both Taylor and his local business grew as the city expanded. When he was a boy, he helped out at Germantown Commissary, a grocery store then owned by his father. Back in the seventies, his father sold barbecue to construction workers who were building houses in the city. Taylor was intrigued by the cooking process and spent time with the pit man to learn the trade. In 1981, he bought the store and recorded the recipes simmering in his head. The Commissary is known for Memphis-style barbecue, slow cooked and hickory smoked. The menu features ribs, pulled pork plates and sandwiches, a variety of sides and desserts including its popular banana pudding. Celebrities such as Faith Hill, Jimmy Buffett, and Jack Nicklaus have stopped in for a taste of the world-famous fixings. While his four daughters chose other career paths, Taylor nurtures ties with customers who are like family. “We cater weddings and graduations for kids we’ve seen grow up and know on a personal basis.” Last spring, he honored graduating seniors at Houston High School and Collierville High School with an order of barbecue nachos as they passed by in their cars receiving their caps and gowns. It was “just a way for us to say congratulations to these young people who have drastically had their graduations altered.” “It’s a challenging time now, but you learn and grow,” says Walker. “We’re not going anywhere.” ■

Photography by Larry Kuzniewski

Germantown Magazine



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THE NEA BIG READ GERMANTOWN An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. The City of Germantown is one of 84 nonprofit organizations to receive an NEA Big Read grant to host a community reading program over the course of this year. This is the City’s fifth NEA Big Read grant since 2015. The NEA Big Read in Germantown will focus on Circe by Madeline Miller. Free copies of the book will be available for pick up at Germantown Community Library beginning October 3. Read with us!

Book Club Resources

The NEA provides resources for book clubs and independent readers alike. A book review and synopsis, information about the author, discussion questions and a podcast are all available online at

The NEA Big Read for Young Readers

Each year, Germantown Community Library staff members choose companion titles so that readers of all ages can participate in the Big Read. This year’s companion titles include Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (ages 10 to 14) and Greek Myths by Marcia Williams (ages 5 to 9).

Pick up a free copy beginning October 3 at the Open the Book Celebration. Free while supplies last.

“The sun beat upon the horizon. It beat everywhere, upon my back and arms and face. I wore no shawl. I would not burn. I never did.” - from Circe


Germantown Magazine

Overview “Think a novel based on Greek mythology isn’t for you? Just wait” (People). Madeline Miller’s bestselling, critically acclaimed second novel Circe—about the goddess Circe—has been called “spellbinding” (O Magazine), “vivid, transporting” (Entertainment Weekly), “an epic page turner” (Christian Science Monitor), and “a romp, an airy delight, a novel to be gobbled greedily in a single sitting” (Guardian). Following her debut novel, The Song of Achilles, Miller takes on the world of gods, monsters, mortals and nymphs in this “bold and subversive retelling of the goddess’s story that manages to be both epic and intimate in its scope, recasting the most infamous female figure from The Odyssey as a hero in her own right” (New York Times). Miller “paints an uncompromising portrait of a super heroine who learns to wield divine power while coming to understand what it means to be mortal” (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review). The myths have been retold many times “and yet in Miller’s lush reimagining, the story feels harrowing and unexpected. The…fate that awaits Circe is at once divine and mortal, impossibly strange and yet entirely human” (Washington Post).

NEA Big Read Germantown Events Big Read Open the Book Celebration Saturday, October 3, 10 a.m. to noon Outdoors at Germantown Community Library, 1925 Exeter Road All ages are invited to celebrate the kickoff event for this year’s NEA Big Read. Learn to write your name in Greek, pick up a craft kit and visit with Farmer Jef Terry about the folklore of herbs and take home a plant to tend. Get your free book! Masks and social distancing required.

Circe New Myths Anthology for All Ages

Get creative and have your original work be part of a digital collection to be posted on social media. Write an original story or poem or create an original illustration featuring character(s) from Greek mythology or your own mythological character. Limit written submissions to 5,000 words or less. Submissions will be accepted throughout October. Drop off your work at Germantown Community Library or email it to gcl.reference@ Be sure to include your name, age and contact information.

Germantown READS Zoom Book Club Monday, October 5, 12:30 p.m. Join a friendly book discussion for adults, featuring the Big Read title, Circe, by Madeline Miller. To register, call (901) 757-7323 by 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 3. Participants will receive a Zoom link to join prior to the scheduled meeting.

Zoom Author Panel: Tennessee—The Perfect 36!

Tuesday, October 6, 6 p.m. What do Circe and Tennessee have in common? The story of Circe is about a woman’s journey to self-determination. Much like the journey of American suffragists. In 1920, after a decades-long campaign, the 19th Amendment was passed, and women could finally vote!

Join us in a lively discussion as three Tennessee authors share the pivotal role our Tennessee State Legislature—and the women of Tennessee—played. And this is no myth! To register, call (901) 757-7323 by 3 p.m. on Monday, October 5. Those registered will receive a Zoom link to join before the program begins. Panelists include: Tennessee Statesman Harry T. Burn written by Burn’s great grandnephew, Tyler L. Boyd. Upon receiving a letter from his mother, legislator Harry Burn cast the deciding vote to ratify the 19th Amendment. Activist, scholar and co-founder of the Tennessee Woman Suffrage Trail, Paula F. Casey will also join the panel and is responsible for the publication of The Perfect 36: Tennessee Delivers Woman Suffrage by the late Carol Lynn Yellin. Why Can’t Mother Vote? Joseph Hanover and the Unfinished Business of Democracy by Bill Haltom. Joseph Hannover was a Polish immigrant who moved to Memphis, became a Tennessee legislator and played a pivotal role in passage of the 19th Amendment.

Greek Myths Family Art Class Saturday, October 17, 11 a.m. The GROVE at Germantown Performing Arts Center, 1801 Exeter Road Need an escape? Ready for adventure? Gather your family and explore a world of goddesses, gods, monsters, nymphs and all things Greek mythology. In partnership with the City of Germantown’s Big Read program, Angi Cooper (mixed media and master teaching artist) will lead an outdoor art class for the whole family inspired by Circe, by Madeline Miller. Supplies are provided. A portion of the completed art project will be developed into a larger piece for display at Germantown Community Library. Registration is free but space is limited. Register online at beginning October 1. For more information, email Emily Hefley at Masks and social distancing required.

The Odyssey, A One Act Play

Check for performance date and time Bobby Lanier Farm Park, 2660 Cross Country Drive Kids ages 8 and up are invited to participate in Germantown Community Theatre’s one-act production of The Odyssey performed at Bobby Lanier Farm Park. Rehearsals will be held Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays after school beginning September 14. Participation fee is $50 and is due at time of registration. Contact to register. Space is limited to 12 performers. Bring your lawn chair to the performance. Masks and social distancing required.

Houston High to Welcome Madeline Miller

As part of Germantown’s Big Read festivities, Ms. Miller will hold virtual book discussions of Circe with Latin and Mythology students from Houston High School. Madeline Miller’s first novel, The Song of Achilles, was awarded the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction and was a New York Times bestseller. Her second novel, Circe, was an instant #1 New York Times bestseller. Before she was a novelist, Madeline Miller earned her BA and MA in Classics from Brown University, and she taught and tutored Latin, Greek and Shakespeare to high school students for more than fifteen years.

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

©2020 The City of Germantown. All rights reserved.

Germantown Magazine


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