Rooms with a View
With historic charm and modern touches, the Parkview gives retirees a taste of both worlds.
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We next moved on to visit Margaret Fogleman, who originally hails from Marion, Arkansas. She has a lovely, old-world-style apartment with cream carpeting, lemon chiffon-colored walls, and family antiques including a particularly interesting wooden “cottage clock” inherited from an aunt. She says her architect son-in-law and daughter had kindly decorated the spacious one-bedroom, two-bath apartment, and it was “turn-key” ready when she walked in.
Our last stop was to say hello to John Gray, who was literally in the process of moving from his East Memphis home into a one-bedroom apartment with the help of his daughter, Kathy Savini, who lives in New Jersey. Gray’s father founded John Gray & Son market at Madison and McLean, a beloved midtown grocery store from its opening in 1929 until its closing in 1997.
His father had himself lived in the Parkview and continued to work at the store until he died at the age of 97. Son John worked at the family enterprise, but was also a captain in the naval reserves, taught accounting, and sold real estate. In recollecting his family’s long history in Memphis, Gray also told us that his maternal grandfather, Thomas L. Risk, was born in Memphis in 1847. For her part, Kathy proudly wanted to add that John Gray & Son was ahead of its time in offering fabulous prepared food cooked by Robbie Brown including twice-baked potatoes, fried chicken, and assorted pies. I am guessing that many Memphians well remember these comestibles!
After our tour of the three apartments, we went downstairs to visit the Parkview’s famous Wedgwood dining room, named of course for the color of its walls and its corner collection of vintage English blue Wedgwood porcelain. Dining room manager Douglas Fondren guided us to the adjacent new conference/party room at the front of the hotel, which is light-filled and airy with a sophisticated, modern decor. Others of the staff who keep the historic place running are Cristy Browning, the business office manager, Beverly Mason, receptionist of 13 years standing, and Tim Martens, maintenance manager, who is helped out by Carlos Stevens.