Interview by Andrew Pouncey, October 20, 2020
It can be heard at Germantown City Hall – “Call Starry!” “See Starry!” After October 30, 2021, Starry will be retired and no one will be able to find Starry. Starry Stigger has worked for the City of Germantown for 38 years.
Starry was born in Rossville, TN on May 1, 1958. He attended first, second and third grade at Stinson Public Schools, a segregated school in Rossville. He attended Moscow Elementary until the 8th grade. While at Moscow, Starry enjoyed playing basketball.
Starry completed his education at Fayette-Ware High School (North Campus) in Somerville graduating in 1978. In high school, he took courses in auto mechanics as well as body and fender work. He played leftfield for the Rossville Tigers, and when he wasn’t participating in sports, he was either rabbit hunting or helping on the farm to raise hogs, chickens, horses, and cattle.
Starry’s Parents, Brothers, and Sisters
Starry’s father, E.F. Stigger, worked for Foreman Construction for 27 years and Coleman Construction for 20 years. His mother Nettie worked for Troxel Manufacturing in Moscow. He was the third child of three brothers and four sisters. Starry married and has six (6) children.
After high school, Starry’s first job was working at Shoney’s at White Station Road (’74-’76). His second job was working for Piperton Brothers in Collierville where he made tractor plows for International Harvester between 1976 and 1981.
Starry began his employment on September 15, 1982, for the Germantown Parks & Recreation Department. The City Administrator was Jim Holgerson, the Mayor was Boyd Arthur, Jr., and the population was approximately 22,000 citizens. The Parks Director at that time was Lynn Thomas, the Parks Supervisor was David Jones and Starry reported to Supervisor Bobby Carter. Lynn was followed by Harvey Faust, and Starry would later report to Jim Kendall who was over Building Maintenance. Harvey awarded Starry Employee of the Month, and Employee of the Year in 1986, 1989, and 1991. Next, he reported directly to Bob Hailey. Pam Beasley would follow Harvey Faust in Parks and Recreation. Later, when General Services, Finance, and Court were bundled together, Reynold became General Services Director and both he and Starry worked under Kristen Geiger.
When Starry began the Depot was being remodeled, the grounds crew for the Parks & Recreation Department met in Neshoba School, and Public Works was in a building in the Water Tower compound off Poplar Pike. Fleet Maintenance was at the rear of the Germantown Charity Horseshow stalls.
Starry has such a well-rounded knowledge of the municipality because his hand has played a part in the care of practically all city-owned facilities. On his first day of work, he was assigned to cleaning stalls for the Germantown Charity Horse Show. He soon became responsible for prepping ballfields at Riverdale, the Germantown Soccerplex, Germantown Station, Municipal Park, and the second phase of Cameron-Brown. They even cared for soccer fields at the north end of Allenby and on Effingham off Hacks-Cross Road, which is non-existent today. There currently are 17 buildings and 18 parks requiring maintenance.
Starry has worked special events and has supervised employees with two weekly shifts from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 11:20 p.m., and 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
He has assisted Melba Fristic, Coordinator of the Germantown Festival, for over 30 years, and remembers when it was located in “The Woods” on Poplar at Germantown Road (last Festival there was 1982), extending south on Germantown Road to Poplar Pike. He would see that speakers worked, vendor spaces are marked, and trash was collected. All these duties require a person with skill in customer relations – one of Starry’s finest attributes. During the 1994 ‘Ice Storm’ he helped transport citizens to the Athletic Club.
Starry said that times have changed, and he misses the older people more. They conversed more than the younger people today, and a few of his favorite co-workers included Henry Branch, Richard Tuggle, George Roger, Delores Mitchell, Francis Sparkman, Betty Ginkinger, and Joyce LeCroix.
In all these years he rose from Maintenance Worker to Senior Maintenance Worker and finally to Supervisor of Facilities Service. To summarize his accomplishments, awards, and involvement over these 38 years, one wonders how they will replace him. Starry’s smile, his helpful attitude, and dedication to his job, fellow employees, and the city will provide memories for those who were lucky enough to have worked alongside him.
So if you need Starry, you better hurry, because Starry’s retiring this Friday, October 30th, 2021!