Occupation: A Real Estate agent.
Family: Married to Jennifer Talley, and they have four children: Josie Garcia, 28; Miranda Reagan, 25; Katie Gomez, 22; and Micah, 18. The Talley’s have four grandchildren with two more on the way.
Before David Talley was a bicyclist, Young Life volunteer, real estate agent and restaurant owner, he was first and foremost…a baseball player.
Born and raised in Blount County, he graduated Maryville High School and attended Maryville College and Palm Beach Atlantic College. “I played baseball at those two schools. I played first base. When you’re left handed, they always put you at first base.”
Talley went into the family business at 411 Restaurant. He excelled in the business and eventually bought the restaurant and two others, The Southern Skillet and The Morningside Inn.
The restaurant business also led to his involvement with Young Life.
“When I owned 411 Restaurant 23 years ago, I was working with youth and got a call from Tim Teague with Young Life. I had never heard of Young Life but I said, ‘Sign me up. I’m on board.’”
In 2000, Talley sold two of the restaurants and leased the other. Soon after, a friend advised him to consider going into real estate. “Tinker Richmond told me that if I worked in real estate, I could make a six-figure income, so I thought I’d give it a try. I’ve done well, not (six figures) every year, but I’ve done well.”
Talley says as he has gotten older, he’s become less attached to things and more attached to people and has spent a lot of time the last 10 or 15 years on mission trips. “I’m on the board of Samaritan Hands. I’ve been all over Latin America and Africa.”
Talley says that his friendships in business, the community and Young Life have changed him. “One way I’ve grown is I have begun to care more about what happens to others around me. As you get older you’re less concerned with materials possessions and making more money and you start to look around and think, ‘How can I make others lives better?’ I’ve learn that from this community. A lot of what I’ve learned in Maryville has helped me become who I am.”
Here is David Talley:
Who are you most like, your mother or your father and why?
“Hopefully, I’ve kind of got a good mix from both of them. My mom has a great business mind and is always helping other people out. My dad is a neat freak, and we both drive our families crazy organizing everything.”
What is your favorite quote from TV or movie?
“It is from ‘City Slickers.’ A guy has just asked Billy Crystal if he would cheat on his wife if a space ship landed and a beautiful woman walked out and nobody would ever know anything. The guy is confused when Crystal’s answer is ‘No.’ Crystal’s buddy asks, ‘Why, man? Nobody would ever know.’ Here is the quote: Crystal simply says, ‘I’d know.’”
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“I’ve had my share of these but most recently I performed the ceremony at my niece’s wedding. My niece was very helpful by reminding me, during the ceremony, that I had forgotten the part about the wedding rings. She says that she still loves me. I had to get ordained online. My niece wanted me to be the one to marry her. “
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
“Jennifer and I want to live in a Spanish speaking country for a year, preferably Costa Rica, to learn the language. I would like to ride my bicycle across the country. And I want to go watch some stages of the Tour de France.”
What is one word others use to describe you and why?
“I asked a couple of people in the office and two of them said, ‘charismatic.’ I looked it up in the dictionary, and I think it’s a nice way of saying, ‘You talk too much.’”
What is one thing you would you change about yourself?
“I would beat Matt Alexander, Harry McIntosh, Jeff Knippen, Steve Bright, Allen Williams, Tim Patterson, George ‘Rat’ Long, Eddie Sloan and all the other guys in my group bicycle ride to the top of Foothills Parkway.”
What is your passion?
“It has to be riding bicycles. I’ve been riding about five years. I had a total hip replacement in 2004, and Ken Bell was my orthroscopic surgeon. He said, ‘Get on a bicycle.’ He said, ‘That’s all the physical therapy you’ll need.’ That’s when the weight started coming off. I’m passionate about it because it’s so much fun. It’s kind of my support group. I’ve lost about 80 pounds in the last five years. That feels great.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“I think it was October of 1983. I came home from Palm Beach Atlantic College for my cousin’s wedding and my then girlfriend, now wife Jennifer, and I spent an afternoon in Cades Cove with the top down on my Jeep wearing matching argyle sweaters. We were together everyday that week. It was the week we knew that we were right for each other and would spend rest of our lives together.”
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“Christmas day 1976; I had just turned 16 a couple of weeks before. All the presents had been opened, the stockings had been emptied, and I was thinking, ‘Boy, the parental units were a little skimpy this year.’ Suddenly, my dad tossed my brother and I small boxes and said that he had almost forgotten these little presents - keys to a brand new 1977 Chevrolet Monte Carlo with bucket seats and T tops - not too skimpy after all.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“‘If you ever talk to me like that again, your father will beat the crap out of you.’ I didn’t listen, and I should have.”
Other than your parents, who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?
“There are a handful of people that I could name here, but I’ll have to say my high school football coach Don Story. He kicked my butt when it needed kicking and told us that we could be great if we were willing to work. I still see Don from time to time, and I believe now just as I believed then - he truly cares about me.”
What’s the worst job you have ever had?
“When I was about 12 years old my parents owned The 411 Restaurant. That was before the city of Maryville had annexed down the 411 corridor, and we operated on a septic system. About once every two years or so, the system would fail, and my brothers, my dad, and I would have to dig up the stopped up field lines by hand. Have you ever stood knee-deep in grease? Well, you get the picture.”
What is your theme song that best describes you?
“I want to ride my bicycle” by Queen.
What irritates you?
“I guess what irritates me the most is the fact that people are hungry, and I throw away food. People are cold, and I have a cabinet full of extra blankets. There is a lot of suffering in the world that I could do something about, and I don’t. I was in Mutare, Zimbabwe, a while back and a university student said this to me, “We see on television that you Americans have two, three even four cars in the driveway, closets full of food and more clothes than you could wear in a month. My family in DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) is starving. ‘Why don’t you share with us?’ I really didn’t have an answer for him and that irritates me.”
What’s one place in Blount County everyone should visit?
“Coming out of Cades Cove on Rich Mountain Road there is a little pullout overlooking the cove. That’s a pretty cool place.”
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself at 18?
“Enjoy everyday, kiddo. You’ll be 50 before you know it.”