Monday, May 20, 2019

Man Moves Mountains & Homes ~ Athens GA Coldwell Banker Upchurch Realty Agent Scott Nichols Celebrates 27 Years of Real Estate Success

Growing up on Georgia’s Golden Isles is a rare privilege. Scenic beauty, rich history and a relaxed lifestyle make an idyllic environment for a kid. St Simons Island is particularly special, with vast salt marshes, broad beaches and a famous lighthouse.

The English and Scottish forces’ victory at the 1742 Battle of Bloody Marsh prevented the 10 year young colony of Georgia from falling under Spanish control. St Simons has enjoyed a proud heritage ever since.

Among St Simons residents enjoying the idyllic environment and proud heritage was Scott Nichols, who resided there from birth through high school. He only departed with a combination of thrill and regret to attend the University of Georgia.

Nichols quickly took to his new Athens “Classic City” home. A drummer in the UGA Redcoat Band, social chairman for his dorm and scholarship chairman for the prestigious Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, the psychology major thrived throughout his 4 years of higher education.

And another thing happened. Nichols fell in love with his second idyllic environment. Upon college graduation he decided to plant roots in Athens. He soon learned many others had the same desire, and he proved to be skilled at helping them fulfill that ambition. For the first 10 years of his career Nichols sold only Athens area land to residents and investors, anyone wanting to buy, build or hold.

Next, Nichols expanded his sphere by joining a real estate agency, where he could market not only land, but also homes and commercial properties. After moving to the respected Coldwell Banker Upchurch Realty, he continued to offer unparalleled expertise and service. Nichols now handles virtually every kind of real estate transaction within a 30 mile radius of his beloved Classic City. Two exceptions - he has never sold a cemetery plot or time-share, nor does he expect to.

With the growing business he brought his wife, Charmayne, on to assist. He now chuckles that “assist” is hardly the proper term. Nichols credits her with maintaining the efficient back office. He can no longer fathom how he managed without Charmayne in his professional life. Not all marriages can endure such togetherness around the clock, but The Nichols Team would not trade the pleasure of their shared work or family experience for … absolutely anything. 

So many great things have fallen into place over the decades of Scott Nichols’s professional career. He is thrilled to imagine and discover great things in the decades ahead. 

To learn more about the business and pleasure of real estate in and around the Classic City area call Scott Nichols on his direct line at 706-202-2232. He welcomes almost every question. Please just don’t ask him for a cemetery plot or time-share.


Scott Nichols, Realtor
Coldwell Banker Upchurch Realty
2405 West Broad Street
Athens GA 30606

Scott Nichols at Coldwell Banker Upchurch Realty handles residential, commercial and land sales in the markets of Athens, Bishop, Bogart, Comer, Colbert, Crawford, Hull, Jefferson, Watkinsville, Winder & Winterville. He is a 20 year member of the Athens Area Association of Realtors.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Barely Off the Beaten Path ~ Cumming's Smokey Q on Lake Lanier Serves Up Flavor Heaven

Anyone who remembers the late great syndicated Atlanta columnist Lewis Grizzard knows he was the Will Rodgers of 20th century Georgia. He waxed humorously & poetically on a myriad of subjects, none more profound than Lewis Grizzard on BBQ.

Those comments barely scratch the surface on Grizzard's BBQ Rule Book. Here we shall recap the rules plus toss in what minimal additional wisdom of our own we can muster.

1. BBQ a/k/a barbecue is a noun. It is not a verb. You do not barbecue anything.
2. You grill beef, pork, chicken, burgers & hot dogs. You do not barbecue those things.
3. To say you barbecue anything would make barbecue a verb. Barbecue is not a verb.
4. Anyone who claims to barbecue anything is either a Yankee or a Yankee rube transplant.
5. You eat BBQ, which properly makes that a noun in this sentence.
6. BBQ is made from pork or chicken.
7. The BBQ Rule Book says BBQ is not made from beef. This debate rages on to the west.
8. Yankee snobs think BBQ is not fine cuisine. BBQ joints do not welcome Yankee snobs.
9. Many BBQ gurus were trained at the CIA. Others were trained at the CIA. Some at both.
10. BBQ gurus in Rule 9 prove snobs in Rule 8 to be idiots. Rule 8 idiots then disappear.

On the Lake Lanier shore in Cumming Georgia at the legendary Bald Ridge Marina is a BBQ establishment Lewis Grizzard would love. And patrons of Smokey Q would love Lewis.

Founded in 2016, Smokey Q replaced very respectable sandwich shops that had occupied the space for years. The problem was few go to a sandwich shop by either car or boat to hang out. Every other Lanier marina had festive destination dining spots & watering holes. With the arrival of Smokey Q Bald Ridge has not only a festive destination spot, it has one like no other on Lake Lanier.

Smokey Q's founder, owner, manager, chef & waitstaff Rudy Connor was born in Louisiana & raised in Alabama. He graduated from the University of Alabama but is not obnoxious about it. This is good for a business owner who wishes to do well in Georgia. And do well Rudy does.

Little is known about Rudy's culinary training. He may or may not have trained at either CIA. No claim is made here one way or the other. Rudy did not authorize the use of these logos.

Rudy may or may not have resided for 10 years in Switzerland. Switzerland is known globally for secrecy, fine cuisine & the extreme scarcity of superior BBQ. This makes for a mysterious 10 years. It may or may not make for a great cover story. Best not to ask too many questions.

Some claim Smokey Q has a remote & mysterious location one can only access via passage thru a manned security gate. One must answer questions by uniformed security officers to be admitted. This bears an uncanny resemblance to the Swiss border.

In truth getting to Smokey Q is far less complicated & intimidating than a Swiss border crossing. If you can find the Cumming Costco you are almost there. Drive toward the lake. When you get to the security gate toot the horn twice, close your left eye & whisper the top secret password "Smokey Q". Security will then let you in without signing anything free of charge. Not very complicated at all.

Getting to Smokey Q by boat is even less complicated. Sail or motor to Bald Ridge. Tie up at dock. Go to Smokey Q. Even less security interrogation & red tape. It's all because you are going to see Rudy at Smokey Q. There may be some mischief but there will be no trouble.

However you arrive at Smokey Q even a Yankee snob can figure it out.

Upon arrival you will know you have arrived. Smokey Q World Headquarters is conspicuous by the abundance of available parking & absence of valet parking attendants.

This is when all the fun starts if all the fun has not started already. You are about to eat.

But not so fast. Chill. Before you eat we must tell you how Rudy will help you chill. Smokey Q now offers Game Day Specials that include $3 beers, 50 cent wings & hours later than Rudy claims to stay open anywhere we can find. In other words he'll stay open pretty much as long as people are eating & watching games & enjoying themselves. Within reason.

Lewis Grizzard would have no qualms with the Smokey Q menu & what is missing from it. Rudy & Smokey Q abide by Rule 6 & Rule 7. Beef is also known by foreigners as brisket. Brisket is known as pointe de poitrine to very very foreign people like the French. Who cares what the French call anything? They are usually even bigger snobs than most Yankees.

Beef & brisket can be considered BBQ only by metrosexual urban cowboys in alien faraway western lands such as Texas & Oklahoma. To Lewis's certain dismay this outlandish variety of BBQ has even found its way onto menus elsewhere in Cumming & to the north in bucolic Dawsonville. We might say nice things about such menus if the menu owners pay us. But they have not offered that yet so we will not say nice things.

Now back to what Smokey Q does serve up that no other place anywhere does serve up. Killer BBQ pork & chicken, smokey wings, a Philly cheesesteak & smoked chicken Philly, pork ribs, pork & chicken tacos, potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans and mac & cheese. All are Rudy's private recipe, made fresh & made by Rudy. Smokey Q's Special Red & Carolina Mustard sauces are Rudy's private recipe, made fresh & made by Rudy.

We would show you photos of the food if we had them which we don't. We ate the food. We would blow the amazing aromas of Smokey Q at you if we could which we can't. Plus the photos & aromas would only drive you nuts that you are wherever you are & not at Smokey Q. So instead we show you the menu to fill space & confirm what we said in the paragraph above the menu. Some things you gotta wait for & experience in person for yourself.

Another thing Smokey Q serves up that no other place anywhere serves up is the Smokey Q vibe. We can fill more space & write more words by showing you & talking about the vibe.

Smokey Q walls are covered with music, cinema & history memorabilia from Rudy's private collection. The collection is eclectic. Eclectic may or may not be a French word but it sure is not American. Words like eclectic give Smokey Q the vibe no one else can claim.

Rudy insists this poster is more about quartet music than about the "other talent" for which the Clermont Lounge is known. Sure Rudy. We believe you.

Some artwork is about talent we know but in some language other than American. Like maybe French. That might be spoken in secret & mysterious foreign places like Switzerland. Things may or may not be starting to add up.

Oh yeah. Big screen TVs. And the large outdoor patio. The eclectic indoor dining room has many big screen TV's. So does the large outdoor patio. Both will soon get more big screen TVs. And the outdoor patio will soon be heated & semi enclosed so it won't be quite as outdoors. But it will stay heated. In other words everything that is now already real good is about to get even real better. Everything.

As if we haven't told you enough about what Smokey Q serves up that nobody else does. There is still more. Another thing Smokey Q serves up that no other place anywhere serves up is the Smokey Q perfect customer reviews. Actually customers serve those up. Smokey Q does not serve reviews.

Here we gotta get real serious. Almost. Name one other business that has been open for over a year that has not one less than perfect review. You can't do it.

Better than a perfect score can not be achieved without brown nosing the teacher for extra credit bonus points or bribing the scorekeeper. Kinda like the University of Alabama. Rudy refuses to brown nose or bribe anyone without some guarantee he can not get caught.

Smokey Q has nothing but 5 Star maxed out reviews. But they have only 22 of them as of this second. Smokey Q deserves more 5 Star reviews.

Rudy has too much integrity to ask specifically for 5 Star reviews. But he says he would simply like more candid reviews. And he will to his part to make sure every customer has a 5 Star experience. We on the other hand have very little integrity.

For every customer who leaves a candid review Rudy may or may not give away a free trip to Switzerland. That is a place where he supposedly lived. Rudy did not necessarily approve this contest or announcement. Rudy did not really approve any of this.

Because of everything we have said you must go to Smokey Q & eat. And you must stay there a while. Or maybe in spite of what we said or how we said it. Either way you must go to Smokey Q. Rudy is way better at food & Smokey Q is a way better place to be than we are at talking about any of it.

Who knows? If you go to Smokey Q you may or may not see something like this next year.

Do not go here for more information about Smokey Q. That link will tell you they are closed when in fact they may be open. Rudy is a real good food guy but maybe a not so good internet guy. Other info there may or may not be true or accurate. Kinda like all the info here.

Rudy even plans to expand the Smokey Q menu. It is perfectly okay to ask Rudy what BBQ stuff he may add. But do not ask him what new stuff he may barbecue. Rudy wants his BBQ food to disappear. He does not want to have to make any Smokey Q customer disappear.

Lewis Grizzard approved this message until someone can prove otherwise.


Rudy Connor
Smokey Q at Bald Ridge Marina
1850 Bald Ridge Marina Road
Cumming GA 30041

Stoddard Media

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Holbrook ~ A Family of Active Adult Communities Whose Time Has Come

As baby boomers age, many have parted with oversized residences in favor of simpler abodes. In coming years still more will wish to rid themselves of ownership in any home. They will opt for freedom, comfort - and a passionate lifestyle.

Atlanta's Solomon Development Services and Speak Life Management are the first to meet this demand with creation of The Holbrook.

Holbrook communities are slated for Decatur, Acworth and Woodstock in Georgia, Greenville and Charleston, South Carolina and Nashville. The Holbrook Decatur is well underway, scheduled to open in Spring 2019. Other communities will follow in 2019 and 2020.

Each Holbrook will feature an unmatched combination of upscale amenities, lifestyle offerings and environmental health and wellness enhancements that inspire and enable residents to live life to maximum capacity.

The Holbrook sums it up as "attitude and outlook." Rooted in each community will be "a multitude of clubs, programs, activities and expeditions that tap passions from all walks."

Solomon Development has extensive experience in active adult living design and development. Its Dogwood Forest properties set the standard for enriched and inspired living environments.

The Holbrook will appeal to fully active adults with graduated levels of enhanced care offered on an as needed basis.

Facilities themselves will be constructed to hospital grade standards. Architecture will be distinctive to each, with Choate Construction as general contractor for all. Choate is the most reputable commercial and general builder in the southeast US. 

    Each Holbrook community will feature: 

    The list goes on.

    Each community will bear a unique and distinctive personality.

    The Holbrook stands apart from other active living communities.

    If you seek like-minded, energetic and exuberant neighbors to live, love and share with, The Holbook is indeed a family of communities whose time has come.


    The Holbrook

    Saturday, October 13, 2018

    Ode to the Business Card

    Early in my professional corporate events career I coveted my business cards. They reminded me every day who I was - or at least what I did for a living - in case I forgot.

    More important, my business card was the only medium by which people would have a way to reach me. Professionals kept card files in their briefcase and a Rolodex on their desk. Few had any electronic file, much less a contact management system.

    Fast forward to 2001 and my new real estate career in Northwest Florida. Yes, I was the new agent in town who knew only a handful of neighbors. But this was the laid back and relaxed Redneck Riviera. I soon discovered a business card was almost offensive.

    In 2001 Northwest Florida people did business via handshake and remembered you after meeting only once. A business card was for "city people" who Northwest Florida people preferred would stay away from Northwest Florida.

    By the time I left Northwest Florida in 2016 all that had changed. The real estate business card had somewhat come back into vogue, depending on if I was dealing with an old timer or new arrival. It was almost a source of anxiety whether or not to offer my card.

    Fast forward again to the present. With Stoddard Media I write public relations. With Stoddard Realty Network I introduce people to superior real estate agents. I attend weekly networking events for both. The business card is crucial for each enterprise. Oh my. Which card do I offer?

    (Ignore the grid and red lines. These are template screen shots.)


    Without getting too far into the weeds, as I have a tendency to do, I wish to make some key recommendations to fellow networking event attendees.
    • Carry business cards.
    • Clearly express what you do on those cards.
    • Make text on those cards legible without reading glasses.

    Those three basics will get you off to a good start. 

    I often meet people I want to contact later. If they carry no card I can not do that. If their card conveys some lofty obscure message I will likely forget what they do. If I do not have my readers, small dark text against a dark background render the card useless.

    Do not make it difficult for people to find you, particularly those who really want to find you. Make it easy even for old school fading vision people. Just make the dang card clear and easy. 

    Go here if you want to read lofty concepts on the business card. Then ignore those lofty concepts. Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett do not need a business card. You are likely not them. 

    If you are, hi guys, and thanks for reading. Please call me.

    Assuming your name is not Bezos, Gates or Buffet, read this again.