On January 26, the Summit Hill Association and the City of St. Paul gave the Good Neighbor Award to these three amazing community members. Congratulations!
Laurie McCann Crowell is owner of The Golden Fig on Grand Avenue, which opened in 2007 and continues to be the only grocery and home goods shop on the avenue selling exclusively American-made goods, featuring the full Golden Fig line as well as exceptional chocolates, cheeses, snacks, preserves, gift baskets and much more. She was nominated for the award because of her involvement with the neighborhood and her excellent example of a locally-owned business that grows and evolves with the neighborhood it serves.
Laurie apprenticed under some of the country's top fine foods creators. She attributes much of her gourmet appreciation to and continues to be inspired by Barefoot Contessa's Ina Garten, with whom she worked in East Hampton, NY. Voted one of the "Top 100 Minnesotans to Watch" by Mpls/St. Paul Magazine, she has developed and manufactured her line of specialty foods--available in specialty shops nationwide--in Minneapolis since 1996.
Laurie stays involved in the local food scene by selling at the St. Paul Farmer's Market where she has had a stall since 1997, as well as by appearing regularly on local television program "Twin Cities Live."
Phillip McGraw is on staff with St. Paul Parks and Recreation. He is located at the Linwood Recreation Center. Since 2017, he has been a consistent presence in the community, providing quality programming and leading conversations on how to improve the experience of rec center guests. Along with his team, he listened to the needs of the community. He enjoys kids and volunteers some of his time coaching. He believes that St. Paul is the most livable city in America.
Michael E. Murphy is a former English teacher at St. Olaf and Macalester colleges, and a retired partner from Faegre & Benson (now Faegre Baker Daniels). He grew up at 1069 Fairmount Avenue and attended grade school at St. Luke's (now St. Thomas More) and graduated in 1957 from Cretin High School (now Cretin-Derham Hall). Mike's latest collection of poems, "Songs of Crocus Hill," pays tribute to many Summit Hill memories too sweet to forget. He writes of ice skating out under the stars at "The Olympic Skating Rink" (the flooded-and-frozen courts of the St. Paul Tennis Club) and of a yo-yo salesman doing tricks with a Duncan on the wide stoop in front of Radisky's Linwood Sweetshop at Osceola and Oxford (now a duplex).
Mike also writes of his dad--Minnesota Supreme Court Justice William Patrick Murphy--stepping off the Grand Avenue streetcar, and of Carl Wolf, the German tailor, whose shop was at Grand and Oxford, across from Vince's Pure Oil (now All-American Auto Service). He was nominated to honor his love of language, and for the treasure of memories he has preserved through his poetry.