Dentist bids adieu to Park Avenue
Emotions of excitement and sadness were mixed in Dr. Richard Hall’s office on his last day in his Park Avenue location. After 18 years, the general practice dentist is being relocated because of redevelopment.
About 20 patients arrived at an impromptu get-together Friday, lending their support and praising the good doctor as they snacked on a tray of hors d’oeuvres and drank champagne.
Of his approximately 1,000 clients, most have been with him from the beginning.
Father John J. Grace is one of those patients. As Dr. Hall’s first client, he also became the last in the Park Avenue building.
“I think it’s wonderful that he’s moving,” Father Grace said. “Redevelopment has to move ahead for the future of this community. He has been my dentist for 18 years and I still have most of my teeth in my mouth,” he joked.
Most people fear the dentist, but Dr. Hall is an exception. Smiles were big as his patients praised how wonderful he is.
“When you find a doctor who is this good, you want to recommend him,” said Teri Boldt, a patient for 18 years. “Not only is he a great dentist but he makes it so much fun.”
Indeed Hall doesn’t fit the image of the stern dentist in a white coat. Although he does dress in professional attire while working, on his last day he looked relaxed and happy in a pair of shorts and golfing shirt.
“I love to have fun,” he said. “You don’t find a sterile atmosphere here.”
For the most part, Hall favors redevelopment. He will be temporarily moving to 3447 Lake Tahoe Blvd., in the Bijou shopping center. In June the office will move to its permanent location in the same center next to the El Dorado Savings Bank.
“I’m for redevelopment, but it could have gone much smoother,” Hall said. “Relocating has been somewhat difficult because there wasn’t enough lead time, but my patients have been very supportive. I can’t help but not miss this building, but it will be exciting to move.”
All five of his staff will be transferring to the new location as well. Most have been with him for many years.
“He’s a wonderful dentist to work for,” said Lora Lewis, hygienist. “We have a friendly, family atmosphere and everyone gets along great with each other and our patients.”
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