The Stonebrook Letter
Vol. 24, No. 1
How’s Real Estate
December was my busiest month of 2019, with 4 homes closing just before Christmas. Likewise, Shelby County sales were busy, up 14% ahead of last December with 1,579 sales recorded. The average home sale price was up 9% over December last year. For the 2019 year, there were 18,735 sales in Shelby County, down 1% from 2018.
The Kemmons Wilson Story
Our son, Wade, just bought an east Memphis home built by Kemmons Wilson in 1953. It inspired me to read Kemmons’ biography, Half Luck and Half Brains, with Robert Kerr. It’s interesting to read local names, places and events that played a role, including:
• The first Holiday Inn at 4985 Summer Avenue opened in 1952. It was the first hotel room added in Memphis since 1929.
• Holiday Inn standardized lodging, like McDonald’s did hamburgers. It made it affordable to the masses wherever people went. Kids could stay free and count on a swimming pool and restaurant.
• Kemmons was born in Osceola, Arkansas, in 1913 (the same year as my dad and also Mary’s dad). His father died 9 months later and he and his mother, Doll, moved in with her mom at 336 N. Watkins.
• Kemmons threw 2 newspaper routes of 160 papers, getting up at 4 a.m. to throw the Commercial Appeal (I had a CA route, too, in 1968) and then he would throw his afternoon Scimitar route after school. He was forced to quit school at age 17 when his mother lost work with the Depression in 1930. He received an honorary diploma 50 years later when speaking to the 1981 graduating class at Central High School (where my mom went).
• Kemmons worked at the Memphian Theater in 1930. This would lead to his owning multiple movie theaters, including the Airways and Lamar Theaters. (I passed these often on my way to St. Paul Methodist Church in midtown when I was a boy.)
• In WWII, Kemmons piloted a C-47 in the Ferry Command (my dad was a radio operator in the Ferry Command).
• Kemmons and Wallace Johnson were major home builders in Memphis in the late 40’s and early 50’s and then became partners in Holiday Inn.
As I write this, I’ve only scratched the surface of this fascinating Memphian’s story. Check this book out at the Memphis Public Library
1011 W. Poplar, Suite 8
Resolutions: Seven Habits
With each new year, we visit new resolutions. It’s worthwhile to review timeless principles, like Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People:
1. Be proactive. If it is to be, it’s up to me.
2. Begin with the end in mind. Visualize what the end of the day, week or month will look like.
3. Put first things first. Focus on what matters most.
4. Think win-win. Think abundance, not scarcity.
5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Listen. Ask questions.
6. Synergize. Creative cooperation to multiply results.
7. Sharpen the saw. Take time to renew yourself. Balance physical, social, mental and spiritual needs.
What our Clients Say
“Terry was recommended by a family member when I took on the task to sell my in-laws’ house with 6 acres. He was easy to work with and great at choosing the right strategies in the selling process and providing insight in negotiations. Terry sold this unique property in a short time. Job well done! “
- Terry Day
Our son, Wade, has traveled to Oregon regularly for several years with his auditing assignments and he invited Mary and me to join him in November for a week’s visit. We flew to Portland, where we rented a car and drove west to Astoria, then south to Cannon Beach, famous for the Haystack Rock, then to Eugene, where Wade was working.
On Monday, while Wade worked, Mary and I headed 50 miles east to the scenic Siuslaw River, then north to the coastal town of Florence, where we toured the Old Town District. Mid-morning, we continued north along the scenic coastal highway, passing the Heceta Head Lighthouse and other famous sites to the fishing town of Newport. We explored their famous fishing docks, with all sorts of commercial fishing boats, some with long lines, some nets, some crab boxes, etc. This is Oregon’s number one fishing hub and Pacific Seafood is located right at the pier.
Tuesday, we toured Eugene and the University of Oregon campus before driving back to Portland with Wade to attend the Memphis Tigers vs. Oregon basketball game.
Wednesday morning, we drove back to Eugene. The Willamette River Valley of Oregon is famous for growing 80% of the nation’s cool season grass seed (our son, Will, sells grass seed for Lebanon Turf) and grapes with more than 500 wineries. We visited King Estate Winery, just south of Eugene, and took a tour of their production plant, one of the largest in Oregon, with over 1,000 acres. Their white tablecloth restaurant is famous, too, and we enjoyed Chinook salmon, home grown vegetables and fresh baked bread.
After Thursday morning Christmas shopping and a museum visit, we headed back to Portland. Friday Wade took the day off and drove us to Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood, and along the Columbia River Gorge to see the Bridge of the Gods, Multnomah Falls and other beautiful scenery!
The trip was a wonderful treat for Mary and me … to see where Wade has spent so much time, and visit such amazing places.
Columbia River Gorge
Newport commercial Fishing pier
Bridge of the Gods
Recipe: Potato, Cabbage and Sausage Soup
3 T. olive oil
Heat oil in medium pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sweat until softened but not colored, about 5 minutes. Add sausage and bay leaves and cook gently until sausage add color to onions, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes and sauce until beginning to soften on the outside, about 5 minutes. Add cabbage and season with the salt and pepper. Add the chicken or vegetable broth, which should cover vegetables, and increase heat to high. Once broth comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high and simmer until potatoes are fork-tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Taste, adding additional salt and pepper if desired.
Thought for the Month
“Mental attitude plays a far more important role in a person’s success or failure than mental capacity.” - Kemmons Wilson