The State of Georgia wants to use my photo for official business?

Georgia citizenship, good citizen, goodwill,
I was surprised to get a proclamation declaring me as an Outstanding Georgia Citizen and a Goodwill Ambassador

At first I thought they were calling about my state income tax…

Recently, I received a call asking if the Georgia Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, could use one of my photos for a public service campaign. The photo was one I took back in 2010 in downtown Lawrenceville, Georgia. I was able to catch both the American and Georgia flags on the flagpole on the Old Historic Courthouse Square as the wind was making them flap. “In God We Trust” showed up plainly on the shot.

I’m very honored that Mr. Kemp thought enough of my photo to use it on banners that will be displayed at official state functions around Georgia. His staff even made up some cards to hand out if anyone was interested in the photo or contacting me. All of them were a pleasure to deal with and I trust that their project will be a fruitful endeavor.

John

american flag, georgia flag, postcard, appreciation, p.r., public relations
The Georgia Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, and his staff made a nice card to hand out telling about my photo taken in Gwinnett County.
American and Georgia flags flapping in the breeze
American and Georgia flags flapping in the breeze
My photo was on display at the Georgia National Fair in Perry (on the right side).
My photo was on display at the Georgia National Fair in Perry (on the right side).

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“Boys, guess what I drove home.”

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Two Beauties

“Boys, guess what I drove home.”

My Dad worked for car dealers while I was growing up in Statesboro, Georgia. He began at a Toyota dealership, then transferred to another marquee, Chevrolet.  Subsequent moves to the local Ford and Dodge dealers whet my appetite for automobiles.  Dad would often leave with the family car in the morning and show up for supper with another ride that was a “steal of a deal” or, in other words, the used car manager knew nobody else would buy it.

AMC Pacer, AMC Gremlin, & two big arse Pontiac Woodies

We ended up with a an AMC Pacer, an AMC Gremlin, and two Pontiac Station Wagons with big V-8 engines that some college professor traded in…Dad couldn’t resist the faux wood glued to the side slabs of the tanks and came home with both of them.  Those cars set him back about $150…yes, for…two…automobiles.  We parked them end-to-end in the back yard in Edgewood Acres.  Subsequently, Mr. Hubert Clark, our next door neighbor built a wooden fence for “privacy”…and to keep me and my brother out of his pool and from chasing his pretty daughter, Rosemary.

Keg Parties next door in Edgewood Acres 

Mr. Bob Worthington, our other neighbor, took the eyesores in stride. He just invited Father Lucree and some of the (From The Land of Black Socks and Sandals) Catholic Brigade in Edgewood Acres for a keg party and 27 successive renditions of “Michael Row the Boat Ashore” on Saturday night after Mass.  Of course, I think Mr. Bob enjoyed sticking it to Dad knowing that the soft acoustic guitar and those out-of-tune harmonies floating in through the screened-in windows were keeping the owner of Edgewood’s biggest fleet of used automobiles from enjoying a good night’s sleep.  After all, my Baptist preacher Dad had to be ready to throw some brimstone in the fire on Sunday morning.  And, after a bad night’s sleep, he had no problem throwing more wood on that smoldering pile.

“..take a ride, ride, ride, ride on Heavy Metal…(and fiberglass)”

One of our neighbors, Mr. Kenny Stone, was a newly minted lawyer from the University of Georgia.  As a reward for passing the bar, he got married and bought a Corvette…a ’78 or ’79.  He’s a friendly guy and babied that black beauty.  Like every one of my first kisses with a neighborhood honey, I plainly remember that I only managed to snag a ride in that C3 once…the first time I had ever graced the seat of a ‘Vette.  Sweet; it smelled good…had red leather and, man, were we low to the ground!  I didn’t mind being bitten by the Mako Shark-inspired design and I’ve wanted a 1980-1982 ever since.

 “Volare'” and…the F-U-R-Y

and the Plymouth “Hell Hath No” Fury for style.  One time, Dad “accidentally” backed the Fury into my Mama’s car twice…within ten seconds apart.  He didn’t drink at all and I can only guess that he was going to test-drive another Chrysler laden with “Rich Corinthian Leather” aka Pitted Vinyl with Vaseline smeared on it.  Enjoy the Plymouth Fury commercial with Arthur Godfrey and then relive the olfactory paradise that drove women wild in the Cordoba.  Just deliver those sweet nothings to your lady with that smooth Ricardo Montalban’ accent and…steamy windows here we come!

A 1967 Mercury Cougar and a 1967 Ford Mustang…ones that got away

I still have an affinity for vehicles and yeah, we had a bunch of four doors that fit all of us since we were a very close family. The ‘Vette’s were a totally impractical choice for our ride but we did have a pretty burgundy ’67 Ford Mustang and a metallic green ’67 Mercury Cougar whose only blemish was a front seat that had a few small cracks.  A little old lady really did have own the Merc and it was gorgeous to be twenty years old.  Dad still regrets selling both of these.  They were fun to drive and had nice lines and we loved cruising around in them.  It’s funny but I can remember how that Cougar seemed almost new inside and out.  I think I’m gonna be sick.

Here’s a commercial for the ’67 Cougar…Motor Trend’s Car of the Year. It’s got the big cat (a cougar, I guess) that growls. I always liked those ads.

And for those of you who bothered to read this far, here’s a commercial for a Mercury Cougar with Farrah Fawcett Majors:

Zaxby’s – let me know if you find a better chicken joint.

Every few months, I make the short trek to Thomson, Georgia, from Gwinnett County to meet my folks and leave one of my children for a visit to my childhood home in God’s Country, Bulloch County. We usually meet at the Zaxby’s since everybody likes the food.

When I meet my folks in Thomson, we always share a meal at the Zaxby's right next to I-20.
When I meet my folks in Thomson, we always share a meal at the Zaxby’s right next to I-20.

This past Saturday, the day was beautiful and sunny. I took my daughter to meet Mama and Dad at the appointed Zaxby’s. When we got there at noon, fifteen or twenty people were already in line…none of them were my parents.  It hadn’t been that long since I’d seen them and I think I would have recognized them.  We waited about three more minutes and they pulled up in the parking lot. By the time that we got in line, only 3 or 4 people were ahead of us. The line was really moving quickly.

Mama and my daughter wanted the House Zalads with fried chicken, Dad got the #1 Chicken Finger Plate, and I got the Grilled Sandwich Sandwich Meal.  I always get Sweet Tea and dilute it with some Unsweet just in case somebody dropped the sugar bowl in the tea pitcher (hello, Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s!)  Note to self:  buy a Zaxby’s Ice Machine…oh man, that ice is perfect!

I can’t remember anything.

Anyway, we got our order from Christian, the friendly blond behind the counter.  Her manager was helping out.  She was very nice as well.  We didn’t talk to anybody else although I did make four trips back to the counter for the food…then ketchup that I forgot…then a Diet Coke for Dad…then a water bottle that didn’t make it on the tray.  I know one brunette that I kept walking by must have thought I was hitting on her…or either she recognized me from the “Don’t Take Checks From This Man” photo on the counter next to the cash register.

Zaxby's Tea and ICE...the ICE from Zaxby's has it's own Facebook Page!
Zaxby’s Tea and ICE…the ICE from Zaxby’s has it’s own Facebook Page!

Everybody gobbled up their food.  My sandwich was good with the perfect amount of Zax Sauce on it.  The fries were spot on…not too greasy.  Dad acted surprised that he ate all five of his chicken fingers but I don’t know who he thought he was fooling.  Mama and my lil’ girl must have enjoyed there Zalads since they didn’t leave hardly a crumb.

I checked the Men’s bathroom; it was clean and tidy.  The music was pleasant..some eighties hits.

The Final Verdict is In

This Zaxby’s I’ll give a 9.3 on a 10 scale.  The only thing that might could be improved was the room temperature.  It was too cool for some patrons who had thrown on coats…in August.

Zaxby's on Urbanspoon

John Robert Conley Atlanta restaurants

7 Beautiful Lots on Quiet Lake Lanier Deep Water

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Own this view on Lake Lanier Deepwater

These 7 lots are beautiful and on a quiet road near the easy access that the newly expanded Georgia Highway 53 affords. At one point these were priced at $400k apiece.  Now they are $171,429 per lot and are each about an acre. One person or entity can buy more than one lot.  All lots are raw with no man-made objects.

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Shade in the heat, sun in the winter – a hardwood canopy you’ll have
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All this privacy and still get a sunset too?

Don’t let this rare opportunity pass you by.  A large, thriving lake this close to all of the benefits of the metro Atlanta area (world class hospitals, the Southeast finest shopping, pro sports, a major airport, etc.) while still being able to enjoy the small towns and charm of the North Georgia mountains a short drive away is not easy to find.

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A river doesn’t run through it…a brook does though.

Picture yourself enjoying a cup of coffee looking out on the lake or having friends and family over for a party in the backyard.  There is something about the lapping of the water, the breeze that is a little cooler than normal, and the attraction that fun on the water holds for all of us that makes lake living so enticing.  Most likely, your new home will be the spot where your loved ones want to congregate for the holidays.

Please let me know if I can provide you with any more information or help with this property.  If you would like for me to meet you at the parcel, please contact me at your convenience at john@johnrobertconley.com or 678-386-4694.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Respectfully,

John

Click here for Loopnet information on the property.

Click here to be taken to get directions.

Maxie Price’s Service Department

graham-yellow-corvette-at-maxies
Dreaming

The last several times that I have been in my local Chevy dealer, Maxie Price, I have dealt with Steve Kelly in the Service Department. Steve always remembers my name and he is professional, friendly and he gets the work done with a good attitude. They have a comfortable lounge area too with two big televisions and some seriously bitter coffee if you get there early. Now if I can just save up for a ‘Vette ZR1. You can call him if you want at (678) 527-8058 or (770) 466-4444.

You can even walk around the lot and look at the ‘Vettes and somebody will ask to help you if you need it. The times that they asked me, there was no pressure just a little friendly banter.

Why am I writing this? Because it is unusual to find people that seem like they care if you are a satisfied customer. I think my brother-in-law Steve does. Just kidding, we aren’t related and I never saw him before I met him at Maxie’s.

This past Friday, Steve handled the emissons on my Chevy. Something was wrong with a fuse so they had to fix it but they didn’t charge anything for that. When I was leaving, I dropped my credit card, and drove off without it. I got down the road and realized I’d lost it. Before I could get home, Phil (one of the other service writers) had called to say he found the card and would hold it for me. We had a laugh about how they had just bought pizza for the whole dealership with it. But the laugh was on them since the credit limit is only $100.

Memories of Frank Hook at “The Rec. Department” in Statesboro

How many Mamas and Daddys have been through here on the way to the Rec Department? Photo courtesy of Hunter-Desportes.

Georgia Southern’s online magazine has a cool article about retiring Alumni Relations Director and Mr. GSU, Frank Hook.  It’s not often that I’m quoted for anything but when I was contacted last year seeking permission for using my comments regarding Frank helping out an old mutual friend, I was quick to say yes, of course.

I first met Frank when I began playing baseball and football at the Statesboro Recreation Department when I was about ten years of age.  I tried basketball for one year and, yes, I couldn’t jump…or shoot…or pass.  “Lucky Sevens” has not had a reunion since I graduated from that group in 1973.  Of course, the highlight of most of my buddies that year was to see who could put out a fire with his pee.  I lost.

Frank just had a way of relating to everybody.  He talked to us kids like we were somebody worthwhile and he was positive in his rapport…oh yeah, and he had killer legs.  Frank and his brother, Bob (a Rec Department Coach), were both muscular and had plenty of hair…not just on their heads but all over their legs and arms.  For a little kid, it was kinda intimidating.  What did these guys eat to grow hair like that?  Snooky’s buffett, Vandy’s barbeque or Brunswick stew? Maybe it was “Stacy’s Special” at Webb’s Nic Nac Grill.  I’ll have to ask.

Statesboro and Georgia Southern have been fortunate to have a man like Frank taking on the responsibilities that he has.  Mr. GSU has a lot more powerful, influential, and wealthier friends than me.

However, he took the time to respond to a request from someone who he hadn’t heard from in probably twenty years.  An old friend was in a bad spot and Frank’s one of the first people that I thought “he’ll help.”  And he did and he will continue to do so because that’s the kind of person he is.

American and Georgia Flags on the Historic Gwinnett County Courthouse Square

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Wild read about Fayette County developer, Thomas D. Reese

The saga of Fayette County developer, Thomas D. Reese, and Southern Community Bank is chronicled on the AJC site by Russell Grantham.  At one point, Reese was worth $57 million.  By his own estimate, he is worth less than $500,000 now.

One of his last projects was called McIntosh.  It was proposed to include around 3,000 homes on over 1,500 acres.  In April 2009,  an entity related to the Church of Latter-Day Saints or Mormons purchased the acreage.

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If you have excess (decommissioned) networking hardware equipment to sell, I have a serious buyer.

I’m seeking companies (no dealers, please) with excess inventories of Cisco, Juniper, Vanguard, Motorola, Foundry, Extreme, F5, Nortel, IBM, HP, and other major manufacturers of networking hardware equipment for a serious buyer, CiscoSpares, a subsidiary of CarisOne.

We are in the market for routers, switches, firewalls, IP telephony, interfaces, modules, memory, cables, and rack mount kits.  Please send an inventory list with any pertinents (serial numbers and photos of labels are cool) you have to john.conley@carisone.com or call me at 678-386-4694.

Thanks,

John Robert Conley

P.S. CiscoSpares has a blog that you can check out too. Fan us on Facebook if you like.

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