Friday, October 14, 2011

No One Home

Richard is a freelance journalist, husband, brother, son and father of four living in Memphis, Tennessee. In addition to interviewing and reporting, he writes short stories and has written two novels he is currently trying to sell.

Richard's work has been published in The Commercial Appeal, Memphis Daily News, ArtsMemphis, Memphis News, Memphis Magazine, Memphis Crossroads, River Times magazine, Memphis Parent, edibleMemphis, Chapter 16: Humanities Tennessee, Memphians (coffee table book, Nautilus Publishing) and Memphis Flyer, as well as being collected and scattered by the Associated Press, McClatchy News Service and Scripps Howard News Service.

He writes a bi-weekly humor column on parenting called "Because I Said So" and is the 2010 grand prize winner for fiction in Memphis Magazine.

For updated posts and clips from Richard, please visit Urf! or

Thank you.

Photo by Brandon Dill

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A week at home alone with 5 kids - the horror!

"Because I Said So" column for The Commercial Appeal

Aug. 5, 2010

I'm going to have to ask you all to listen closely as I type this in a whisper. This week's column comes to you from deep within my walk-in closet, just off the bathroom.

This is one of the toughest times of the year for our household -- the week before the Memphis City Schools resume for the year. My wife, Kristy, teaches English at Central High School, and teachers are required to report to work one week before the students arrive to prepare for the coming year.

At least, that's what Kristy has always told me. She leaves here early in the morning and returns in the late afternoons smelling vaguely of textbooks and happy hour.

So this is my week alone on the front lines. It's the time for me to set aside work and other activities to see to the well-being of the children. As an extra bonus, I'm watching a friend's 3-year-old son as well. That means there are five of them out there. I can hear them through the closed closet and bathroom doors and the locked bedroom door beyond.

Any family, no matter its makeup, is about working together and cooperating to get through the trying times, and the children have done just that. Like the group of stranded ruffians in "Lord of the Flies," they've banded together and claimed the kitchen, living room and my office as their own ... (read more)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Economic downturn stokes home-cleaning services

Feature story for The Memphis Daily News

Aug. 2, 2010

For many people, having someone else to sweep floors and mop bathrooms might be considered a luxury, and possibly the first item crossed off any budget when the economy spirals downward and times get tough.

Kip Uhlhorn, co-owner of 2 Chicks and a Broom, has a different take, however. “If you’re working a lot more, I guess your personal time becomes more precious.”

“People are working two jobs or more hours, so instead of me going home at lunchtime to let the dog out, could you add that to the time allotted,” Kip’s wife, Kelly, said people ask her. “Also, people don’t want to spend their time on weekends cleaning their house.”

The Uhlhorns purchased the eco-friendly home-cleaning business 2 Chicks and a Broom, where Kelly had worked in the past, from Candace Mills in September 2008. They have managed in nearly two years to grow their client base to about 2,000 clients and have expanded their reach further east.

“We tripled the client base,” Kip said. “Everything is pretty comfortable now, as far as the flow of new clients, but for a while there we were just too slammed for the amount of people we have.” ... (read more)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Love of running inspires unique tour company

Small Business Spotlight for The Memphis Daily News

July 26, 2010

John Lintner loves to run.

“I run about four to six miles a day, and nine to 10 miles on the weekends,” he said. “I’ve run four marathons.”

A certified personal trainer and head of sales for Breakaway Running’s bulk embroidery division, Lintner recently trained his wife, Crissy, for her first major race, the 13.1-mile Germantown Half Marathon.

“Whenever we weren’t fighting, it was fun,” John Lintner said.

The two newlyweds – married last September – have recently taken their love of running, the outdoors and a healthy lifestyle to a new level by starting Rockin’ Running Tours.

The idea is simple: take visitors to the city on a three- or six-mile tour of Downtown Memphis at their own pace, at street level, where they can take the time to see all there is to see.

There are several ways to see the sights of Downtown, including horse and carriage tours, a riverboat ride on the Mississippi River and Backbeat Tours, a music-themed tour company ... (read more)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A new trail, and a path forward

Feature story for the Summer 2010 Memphis Crossroads magazine

Long-awaited greenline links city neighborhoods with parks - exactly the type of asset employers say they need to make Memphis more attractive for workers.

Putting kids to work is its own reward

"Because I Said So" column for The Commercial Appeal

July 22, 2010

When my wife and I made the decision to have children, we considered cherubic smiles, a house full of love, the legacy of family and free labor. And it is only now, nearly 13 years later, that I am drawing up plans for daily chores for my four kids. It's long overdue, yet the mere thought of it makes all these years and the trials of parenthood worth it.

Free labor. It gives those of us with kids who are long past that cute, big-eyed stage of babyhood something to continue to appreciate. It's the baby-head smell of adolescent children.

The timing is not arbitrary; it's being synchronized with the beginning of school in a few weeks. My idea is to heap misery upon misery and to then pass the cause of so much upheaval on their schools. I can't carry this burden alone. With that in mind, I gathered my flock in close and proposed the idea of daily work, and the first question, the only question, really, was "How much do we get paid?"

I opened my mouth to answer, and the voice that came out, as though channeled from a different era, one of disco and gasoline rationing, was that of a woman a bit younger than I, speaking to her own 8-year-old son.

"You have a roof over your head," I heard my mother saying ... (read more)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Jurex's Rudolph unites nursing and legal professions

Memphis Standout story for The Memphis Daily News

July 16, 2010
Elizabeth Rudolph used her training as a nurse and an attorney to found Jurex, a Memphis-based company that trains nurses to be expert witnesses, review medical records in legal cases and become legal nurse consultants.

She developed the course in four formats: live, which is usually two full days of instruction, and by video, audio or an online e-course.

“What the course teaches is the legal and the marketing knowledge, and that’s combined with the nurse’s nursing knowledge,” Rudolph said. “The course comes with 15 accredited continuing education credits.” ... (read more)