Say hey to John Little! John is a life-long resident of Woodstock and the father of two teenage daughters. The youngest is Reagan Katherine and the oldest is Savannah Grace. They are his ultimate “why.” As someone who is launching his own credit repair business, who is the CEO of Your Hometown Car Guy LLC, and who works as a Jeep and Ram certified expert at Shottenkirk CDJR in Canton, it’s obvious that his main focus is helping people.
You’ll often see John frequenting one of the downtown Woodstock establishments as he is one of the biggest fans and ambassadors of the Downtown Woodstock area. He says he’s been blessed to form friendships with most of the local business owners, so he gives them “plugs” whenever possible. He shows even more care for his community by volunteering at Woodstock City Church as a small group leader for 6th-grade boys. On top of that, John loves the local music scene and is involved in trying to promote local events and artists! A self-professed soccer dad, John is a local sports “homer” who loves UGA football, the Braves, Falcons, and Atlanta United soccer. As you can tell, he’s a big community guy!
Q: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
A: With everything that I do—car sales, credit repair, and life insurance—my goal is to help people, and I’ve found a way to help people and still make money. You know the old cliché, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” It’s a spin-off of that because I just like helping people. I want to see people improve themselves. I’ve been on a roller-coaster during my life. You know what I mean? I’ve had the highs and the lows. The highs are way more fun, but when you’re in the lows, you grow. Also, there are people who have helped me, who have given me a hand to pull you me up if you will, so I kind of try to pay it forward.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Woodstock, and what do you love there?
A: Oh, gosh! There are too many to have a favorite. I could tell you my favorite entrée at several different restaurants though:
- Reel has the best Shrimp and Grits
- Rootstock and Vine, it would be the Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
- Pure has the Crab Fritters
- Maple Street Biscuit Company, it’s the Firebird
- Salt has the Louisiana Egg Rolls.
- Freight’s Sunday Brunch Buffet is a fat boy’s dream.
I don’t have a favorite restaurant, but I do have a favorite meal at each of them!
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Woodstock?
A: I moved to Woodstock as a one-year-old. My mom and dad bought a house up here and they still live in it. I’m forty-four years old now, so apart from a “cup of coffee” when I moved to Chattanooga for about a year-and-a-half, I’ve lived here my whole life.
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Woodstock? Who would you like to see nominated as a Face of Woodstock?
A: I’ve nominated Don Bell because he’s the guy that I joke about “wanting to be when I grow up.” He’s just a super cool individual, and his wife is always right there with him. Them as a couple—they’re just fascinating to get to know. The guy’s got a ton of life experience and advice, and he’ll freely give advice to you.
I met him because he’s a volunteer at Woodstock City and so am I. He’s on the meet-and-greet staff! When you walk in the door, he’ll be one of the first people you see that says, “Hey, welcome to church!” He’s just that friendly guy, that face you see.
I would probably say that he’s the most fascinating, but there are a ton of people. For example, Spencer Nix, from Reformation Brewery, I’ve known since high school. Having known him as long as I have, and to see what he’s done is fascinating to me, but he would be like, “I’m just a normal Joe.” He’s super humble. I just love people. They fascinate me in general.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
A: I have a short bucket list. I don’t have a ton of stuff, although I add to it here and there. That “out-west” vacation that people take where you basically go for like 2-4 weeks and you hit the Grand Canyon, maybe go to Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam, up to the Sequoia National Park in California, and then to Mount Rushmore… That whole trip would be probably my ultimate go-to. Outside of the US, Thailand is on the list.
Q: What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
A: They’re one and the same: Top Gun. We were in Meridian, Mississippi, and my dad was a Vietnam veteran and a pastor. One of his pastor buddies was having a roast, so they had us come out. While we were out, we went to the theater and saw Top Gun. So that was it! That was the first time I remember going to a theater. To this day, Top Gun is still my favorite movie.
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: This is the one question that I’ve thought about the most. I would probably tell them to look around them (to the person to their left and to their right, to the person behind and in front of them) and realize that no two people are alike. You’re all different and you’re all SUPPOSED to be different, but you’re all still supposed to love each other.
That’s from the Bible. The greatest commandment is to “love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind,” and the second commandment is equal to the first: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” That, to me, is what it’s all about, and I’m not the best at it. I have days where I’m good at it and days where I’m not, but that’s the target, the goal, the end result that needs to happen for us to have a normal world again. Because this world is crazy, and I think that if we’d love each other more we wouldn’t have as much craziness.
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: Learning to play the guitar. That’s the number-one item. I own a guitar. I bought it from a friend of mine, Thomas Fountain, who’s a local musician. I’ve had it for two or three years? Never have blocked off the time to do it, but that’s number one on my list right now because I love music. The only instrument I play right now is the radio, but I do have an ear for good music.
Q: What is your favorite music, or which 3 bands would you like to see (past or present)?
A: I am a country music junkie. I grew up on it! Like even some of Dad’s old 45’s that I’d listen to as a kid I still enjoy. My favorite band? Well, I just went and saw Gary Allan last week. He’s probably my favorite. He released a CD back in 2005 after his wife killed herself. I went through a divorce in 2006, and the music on that CD kind of kept me from going insane. It kept me out of my own head, I guess, so that music (his music) was huge. I’ve always been a fan of Merle Haggard. In fact, one of the tattoos that I plan on getting is “Mama Tried” sort of as a tribute to “the Hag” and to my mom. Willie Nelson has always been fun too. I just like “old school” country. As far as new stuff goes, I’m a big fan of Luke Combs, right now. I think he’s doing something really cool and he’s kind of got that “old school” country vibe to him.
Q: What current/former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Woodstock?
A: There used to be a restaurant years and years ago, maybe in the ’70s or the ’80s? It was on the corner of 92 and Main Street. Right now, the Exxon station and the Car Corner dealership are there. My mom’s aunt (my great aunt) worked there. That’s how long we’ve been entrenched in Woodstock. That place was always a spot to go eat, and it was called “The Old Dixie Inn.” It kind of sat caddy-corner from the Burger Inn that’s still there today. I still stop in there for breakfast sometimes. Those two places bring back memories.
Q: Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch and why? Where in Woodstock would you have lunch?
A: As far as “alive and non-relatives” are concerned, I pretty much see all those people regularly. I would want to see my grandfather, Jay Jones, which doesn’t meet the “alive and non-relative” part, but he was my other father-figure. I was always at his house. My dad would go off to work, my mom would drop me off to go to work, and he kind of raised me, so-to-speak, during the day.
He was a farmer, had cattle, and lived a self-sustaining kind of lifestyle. They hardly ever went to the store for anything. They canned their own food and all that sort of stuff, you know? I still have a little of that ingrained in me: hunting, fishing. That was him. But just the words of wisdom you would get, and you didn’t even realize you were getting them until later down the road when you were like, “Oh yeah, my grandfather used to tell me that!”
I still have a rocking-chair that he made me when I was a kid. It’s on my front porch now, in Woodstock. Back then, we would sit on the porch and when cars would drive by, he’d wave.
With lunch, he was a simple dude, so we’d probably just go to Krystal’s or Capitan D’s. Captain D’s was his favorite. That’s probably where he would want to go, so we’d go there.
Q: What is it about Woodstock that makes it difficult to replicate elsewhere?
A: I think it’s vision. I think the leadership has had a vision for years and it’s all coming together. Where there’s no vision, the people perish. I think it’s an open-minded vision. We’re still expanding, we’re still growing, and there’s still room to make it a more friendly town.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
A: I would like to get my credit business to where it’s a full-time, viable business. I mean, I love selling cars and Jeeps and trucks, but I’d just like to be able to work from my house, from the beach, in the mountains, or wherever and have that business where I can still provide for my family, but live the type of life that I want to without any strings attached or restrictions. I’ll always be “your hometown car guy,” and will probably always be involved in the car business, maybe as a deal broker, or have my own lot one day, who knows, but the freedom that comes with being your own boss is what I’m after.
Q: What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: I trained in Martial Arts for a few years. I trained Muay Thai, not as a competitor, but more for the aspect of the culture (it’s the official sport of Thailand). I love the history of the sport, the history of Martial Arts. I got away from it for quite a while, but I just started getting back into it. You wouldn’t know it if you didn’t know me. My daughter just got interested in it as well, so I guess I passed that on to her. I would also like to train jiu-jitsu with my daughter.
Q: What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: Warm, inviting, and food.
Q: If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?
A: I would say Clint Eastwood as my dad. I think that’s kind of accurate.
Q: If you had a full-time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose? A Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?
A: I would choose my buddy, Johnny Dunn, who also lives in downtown Woodstock. He’s my trainer. He’s my Muay Thai pad-holder. He’s that guy! He’s a good cook and he’s part Thai, so he mixes the culture, the food, the history, the sport, and the martial arts. He’s also my friend and a trainer, so he can keep me get in shape. He’d be my guy!
John in Community
John is known around town as the “Woodstock Jeep Mayor.” Find him on Facebook, Instagram @WoodstockJeepMayor, and on Twitter at @JohnLittleJr. You can also connect with him on his website: yourhometowncarguy.com.