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BECK: Happy to call Newton my home
Taylor Beck
Taylor Beck

Tuesday afternoon, my wife and I walked out of the McMichael and Gray attorneys’ office in Conyers with four things — three of which we didn’t expect.

The first was a new set of keys to our new home located in Newton County, just off Rocky Plains Road. Since moving here in June 2020, we hoped to be in our new home a few months ago, but you know, thanks, COVID-19.

We couldn’t have been more grateful to work with one of the best realtors around in Tami Moody of Coldwell Banker. She literally made the entire process feel like a breeze, though some days, through no fault of her own, it likened more to a tropical storm. We were not only thankful her excellent real estate skills, but we were also humbled by her friendship that I hope will last a lifetime.

So, in one hand was a set of keys. Bagged up in the other hand, I held — you guessed it — a loaf of banana nut bread, a box of chocolates, an umbrella and a Bible.

Oh, you didn’t guess that? Well, I wouldn’t have either.

The unexpected, symbolic gifts were from our builder, Floyd Lance of Castle Home Builder in Newton County. The kind gentleman told us the gifts were a play on the thoughtful George Bailey in the film, “It’s A Wonderful Life.” (Truth be told, I’ve never seen the film but certainly plan to now.)

“Mr. Bailey gave Mr. Martini a closing gift when he moved him into his new home,” Lance told us. “We aren’t able to help you move you into your new home, but we give you this bread to say, ‘May you always have food on your table.’ We give you chocolates so that life will always be sweet in your new home; the Bible so that the Lord and Spirit of God may always reign in your new home; and an umbrella to remind you we’ll always have you covered.” 

Mr. Lance’s kindness was a direct reflection of the warm reception that my family and I have received since moving to Newton County, and it’s why we look forward to calling this place home for a very long time.

Taylor Beck is editor and publisher of The Covington News. He may be reached at