by Mary-Bestor Grant for Birmingham Botanical Gardens
What does a successful family doctor do after 30 years healing patients? If that doctor is Rene Germann, he digs into The Gardens’ volunteer program.
Born in Maysville, KY, and raised in Birmingham, Rene is a family man. He lives with wife, Mary, and daughter, Erin (his other daughter, Pat, no longer lives at home). When not working up a sweat in the Kaul Wildflower Garden or at the Plant Sales, this Master Gardener raises his adrenaline riding his new Wildfire motor scooter. Rene stopped by our office one Friday afternoon to answer a few questions from the infamous Proust Questionnaire:
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? A house boat. Like Noah and the Ark.
2. What is your greatest fear? Injury. Period.
3. What is the historical figure that you most identify with? Joan of Arc because she was a great fighter.
4. Who is the living person you most admire? My father, Deacon Al Germann, who was a great farmer and teacher. Rene spends Sunday afternoons with his 92 year-old father playing cards.
5. What is your greatest extravagance? Eating ice cream at night. I do not have a favorite because it is too difficult to choose just one.
6. What is your greatest achievement? Completing my M.D. at UAB.
7. What is your most treasured possession? My family.
8. Where would you most like to live? High in the mountains.
9. What do you most value in a friend? Honesty.
10. Who are your heroes in real life? Gene Stallings because he made a big impression on my daughter and he had a son with down syndrome. He is a hero for working the way he does (for the special needs community) and for what he did in football and as a father.
11. What is your motto? Do your best and try to be on time. Rene then noted with a smile, “but I never make it on time”.
The Gardens thanks Rene for his spirit of service. Learn more about how to join Rene as a volunteer by contacting The Gardens’ volunteer coordinator at 205.414.3962.