Day 309

Car of the Day:

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2007 – Present Maserati Gran Turismo

Character of the Day:

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Rhonda – The Skin Specialist

For all of the ladies that follow Coffee @ Birkdale, if you want your skin to look perfect just visit Rhonda at Potion. Rhonda is a true Starbucks patron who faithfully comes in each morning for her cup of coffee. Born and raised in NC she is a southern bell who used to be the lead singer in a country band called the Sound Express. She started out her career in banking where she made the natural transition into the mortgage industry. It was when she started working with the actual mortgage brokers that she realized she missed the one on one interaction with the customers and she decided it was time for a change. That’s when she received her Aesthetics  license and started working at Potion. Her love for the store, Birkdale, and the people is apparent once I learned she lived in south Charlotte and commutes each day to the village. As far as her hobbies go, anything to do with the outdoors. I was impressed when she told me she is an avid water skier (even knows how to slalom) and wake boarder.  “Anything pretty much goes except for camping. I have to have a shower and bathroom”. Her favorite thing about Birkdale… “I feel like I’m coming to my second home in Birkdale. It’s always nice to see so many friendly faces and there is such great energy that surrounds this community”.

Day 308

Car of the Day:

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2000 – 2003 BMW Z8

Character of the Day:

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MJ – Sees the economy as an opportunity!

MJ is a true entrepreneur who hasn’t filled out a W2 once in his life. He is originally from London, England and moved to Pilot Mountain, NC at the age of 15. It was quite the culture shock for him. “I moved from a city of 8 million people to a town of 1,400” he said. He attended Longwood University in Virginia where he received his Bachelor’s in European History with the idea of going into law if his intial passion did not work out, which was to enter into his family business of developing real estate. We both took similar paths starting our careers in real estate at Century 21. Where as I was able to dodge the bullet MJ wasn’t and he had to wear the famous C21 golden jacket. After gaining his experience he started working with his family developing hotels in Virginia and North Carolina. He developed 3 hotels in the greater Charlotte market and was also approved by Marriott international to develop and manage their branded hotels. Now his niche is developing and consulting new business and real estate opportunities. It’s easy to see why he is so successful managing his laid back casual attitude with his strong knowledge and expertise. His latest project consists of a resort in St. Lucia which is his first endeavor outside of the US. Not a bad place to test the international waters. For the past 15 years MJ has been living in the Lake Norman area and has seen Birkdale grow from the ground up and was the first to rent office space within the village. I’m sure he is one of the original patrons of our Starbucks. His favorite thing about Birkdale… “the friendly people and what is possible when vision meets opportunity. Where else can you create a new thriving main street/village when just 10 years ago cows were roaming where Victoria Secret is today”.

Day 307

Car of the Day:

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 2005 – Present Porsche 911 Turbo

Character of the Day:

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Chad – Diabolically Hilarious

Chad is a very interesting Character. The first hint I had is that Will (Day 139) introduced me to him. At first glance Chad might seem a little intimidating, sitting behind his laptop with a Bonergram (pentagram made from bones) sticker and his tattoos proudly displayed. Then the conversation started and I quickly learned there’s much more to Chad than one might think. He is a true Huntersvillian born and raised. If you know where Beatties-Ford and McCoy road intersect,his family owns the McCoy side. After attending North Meck high school he started managing and touring with bands, covering all of North America and other various parts of the world. I asked what’s the craziest thing he’s seen and with a short pause and a smile he replied “Katie Perry naked in the shower at 8am. She’s not that attractive”. I had to ask about the tattoos and the Pentagrams. “The tattoos just tell the stories of my life and as far as the Pentagrams go… I really don’t believe in anything, it’s just that the idea of hell provides for more of an interesting story”. This is where it gets even better, he has aspirations of getting his barber’s license and opening a salon with a hellish theme. To top it off he lives a straight edge life signified by his X tattoo in which he refrains from using tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. A true Character to say the least. His favorite thing about Birkdale… “working at Maddi’s Southern Bistro and the people watching”.

Day 306

Car of the Day:

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2003 – Present Hummer H2

Character of the Day:

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Mike – Knows H2O

At first I didn’t think that Mike would be a good Character. He was intently working on his laptop and I was a little hesitant to interrupt. I was able to strike up a conversation and sure enough he turned out to be a great Character. He was born in Maryland and raised in Charlotte where he attended Independece high school which at the time was the largest school in the state. After high school he majored in Economics and minored in Marketing at Western Carolina. With an easy going personality it didn’t surprise me he was TKE. “If there wasn’t 3 inches of beer on the ground it wasn’t a party” he said with a smile. After college he received his certification in water & waste water treatment, effectively being able to run any water treatment plant. After a few years managing he decided to transition into sales which has been his forte. He currently works for PP&S Services which produces high end pumps that can release a specified amount of liquids precisely. His favorite thing about Birkdale… “The sight seeing and atmosphere”.

Day 305

Car of the Day:

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2003 – 2008 Mercedes SL550

Character of the Day:

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Travis – The Drummer

I’ve seen Travis a couple of times hanging out with Gil (Day 68). It made sense when I learned he was the drummer for Fleur.de.Vie the same band that Gil sings in. Recently I had the privilege of hearing them play at Starbucks. This was the first time that Lewis (Day 46), the manager, let a band play in Starbucks. It was a good call on his part, the store was packed. Travis was born in Durham, NC but has lived in the Charlotte area for almost 19 years. He attended First Assembly Christian where his music career went into full swing. At the age of 9 he wanted to start playing the drums. His Dad made a deal with him that if he could make it through 6 months of lessons he would buy him his first drum set. He made it and has been playing ever since. He’s seen some interesting things over the past few years including some crazy bar incidents in Nashville during his days playing in country music. It was when he joined Fleur.de.Vie things started to take off. I had to ask about his style, “when I saw everyone else with the same look it was time for a change. Now I just keep my eyes open at thrift shops.” As far as his hobbies go, you can catch him playing soccer on the weekends at Bailey Rd Park and also teaching drum lessons. Travis lives up to the Character status and I look forward to hearing him play in the future. His favorite thing about Birkdale…”Starbucks!”

Day 304

Car of the Day:

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2003 – Present Aston Martin DB9

Character of the Day:

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Clarence – The Playboy

My interview with Clarence was cut short. The reason this is so unfortunate is the first half of his story was so interesting I wish I could have caught the second half. I’m sure the opportunity will present itself soon. He was born and raised in New Jersey. “It’s like an abusive spouse… you keep coming back for more” he said sarcastically about his home state. He received his AA then transferred to Rutgers University in New Brunswick and managed to spend the next 7 years partying in his college town. During this time he bar tended while enlisted in the US Army Reserve as a military police officer on the weekends. What amazed me most about Clarence is his age… he’s 37! I honestly would have pegged him to be in his late 20’s. He’s enthusiastic, upbeat, and friendly… the perfect combination for a Bartender. He’s traveled to South America, parts of Europe, and spent time in South Beach Miami. I also learned that he’s been riding bikes for the past 20years and only has had two incidents which could have been considered accidents. One those times involves being  hit by a drunk driver. I have a feeling I’m going to have to catch the second half of the story over a beer. His favorite thing about Birkdale… “the atmosphere”.

Day 303

Car of the Day:

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2006 – Present Mercedes S550

Character of the Day:

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Shannon – Hong Kong

Being married to David (Day 294) who spends a lot time in Starbucks it was only natural for me to run into Shannon. She was born in Springfield, Massachusetts and raised in Ft. Myers, Florida. Ft. Myers isn’t the place for most young singles to live. If you live there you are “old enough to bury or young enough to marry” as the saying goes. Shannon and David met in Tallahassee Fl. He sold her his old car and it was love ever since. She has two full time jobs raising her nine year old daughter and five year old son. She has had some adventures over the past years. Recently, her and David spent their anniversary in Hong Kong. “Women there do not wear tank tops… any skin below the collar bone causes a scene and the men blatantly stare” she whispered.  She also mentioned a three month stint her and David spent in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was there working for the government. “I was one of three people working in the building that wasn’t a Mormon” she said. She then continued to tell me how difficult it was to make friends. Finally she made it to North Carolina and hasn’t been happier. She enjoys the countryside and the slower pace that is prevalent in the area. As far as her hobbies go, she enjoys reading books by Laurell K Hamilton. Her favorite thing about Birkdale… “the people”.