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Margaux Singleton

Margaux Singleton sweeps the sidewalk outside her Enoteca Wine Shop in Calistoga on Friday, March 8. Her father taught her to sweep properly. 

Editor’s note: This is the first installment of a new weekly feature, Good Deed of the Week, in which The Weekly Calistogan will catch someone around town doing a good deed. Submissions can be emailed to

Enoteca Wine Shop owner Margaux Singleton regularly sweeps the sidewalk outside her shop on Lincoln Avenue. And it turns out there’s quite a story behind her efforts.

Singleton grew up in Wisconsin and was taught to sweep by her father, Arlye McDermid, a veterinarian. She started working with him when she was in the fifth grade.

“He always said ‘sweep with your eyes, don’t just go through the motions,’” Singleton said.

McDermid was also the veterinarian for renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

One day a limousine pulled up to his office in the small Wisconsin town of Appleton. The chauffeur opened the back door and out stepped Wright wearing a linen suit and donning a cane. They had driven two hours from Spring Green, where Wright lived.

“My father said ‘I’m sorry Mr. Wright I can’t be your vet. You have a reputation for not paying your bills and I’ve got a family to feed,’” Singleton said.

At that point the chauffeur stepped up and said he would always pay him in cash. And from that day forward McDermid was vet to Wright’s Rhodesian Ridgebacks.

Singleton takes pride in her sweeping, said her father would be proud, and added, “I’m going to be sweeping for a long time to come.”

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The Weekly Calistogan Editor