Marietta Stories | Crazy cool stories from the community builders of Marietta, Georgia

What makes the town of Marietta, Georgia so welcoming, friendly and the center of Southern hospitality? Listen each week as veteran podcaster Bill Nowicki dives deep to tell the heartwarming, sad and funny stories from the people that make up the fabric of this historic city.
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Marietta Stories | Crazy cool stories from the community builders of Marietta, Georgia




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Apr 19, 2018

In their first year, the East Cobb Hit Squad won 14 games. This spring league team of 8-10 year olds made a name for itself and plan on doing the same thing this spring. 


Kvalito owner Shahid Hussain hosts a fundraising event for the team and everybody shows up: the players, the coach, the team moms and the cheerleaders. 


Enjoy this fun interview!

Football Team on Facebook

Kvalito on Facebook


Apr 14, 2018

Felecia Prezzano and her daughter Brielle Gaines continue to build their tea empire. Today, they opened their second store in downtown Woodstock building on what they learned from their Marietta Square location. By the time I arrived, they had served over 250 orders and were very busy.


But they both had time to reflect on their journeys. We discuss their Instagram worthy restaurant design and the circle (bubble) motif designed by Cassandra Buckalew, the same Cassandra Buckalew from Season 1 of Marietta Stories Podcast.


I also met a couple, Greg and Rose that drove up from Cleveland (Georgia) just to get some of that delicious Tiny Bubbles Tea!


Apr 11, 2018

Roy Barnes learned politics from the front porch of his father’s general store in Mableton, Georgia. Storytelling is part of his DNA and Governor Barnes tells many in this informative interview from those humble beginnings to the governors mansion and back to Marietta.

Wonder what it was like to remove the confederate battle flag from the Georgia state flag? How about his thoughts about today’s political leaders? What about his wife’s decorations and Governor’s blend pipe tobacco?

Enjoy this fun and informative episode of a true leader.

Apr 5, 2018
Malika Bowling came into this world with barely a fighting chance. She was put up for adoption at an orphanage in India and her survival rate was slim. Thank goodness she was adopted by two loving people who practically smuggled her out of the country to nurse her back to health in America. 
She grew up in East Cobb and graduated from Pope High School. Malika went on to become a food and travel writer, authoring several books, most recently Culinary Atlanta: Guide to the Best Restaurants, Marketing and Breweries. She discussed her journey to getting to where she is today (it's never a straight path) and how grateful she is to have grown up in the United States. Plus, she mentions cooking and her favorite new kitchen tool, and what she loves to cook in it. 

Malika Bowling is a freelance food and travel writer based in Atlanta and Editor at She's the author of Culinary Atlanta: Guide to the Best Restaurants, Markets, Breweries and More! and Food Blogging 101. She has been featured on HGTV and The Huffington Post and has been a contributing writer to USA Today. Malika has also served as a judge at various culinary competitions and food festivals. 

Mar 30, 2018

Growing up in Marietta, Mo Isom was driven to be the best soccer player around. At age 9, she decided she would get a sports scholarship to college, after hearing a older family friend that he had a scholarship.

Several years later she walked unto the field at LSU  and she became an all American goal keeper. She even appeared on ESPN when she kicked a 90 yard goal. 

But all wasn’t as it seemed. 

Join me as we talk through her Dad’s suicide, her near death in a car wreck and her beginning life all over again.

We also discuss her latest book, “Sex, Jesus, and the Conversations the Church Forgot”.

Available at


Mar 17, 2018

When Damien Daigle was filled with wonder the first time he opened a computer. The fan, the boards, the wires, everything he saw amazed him. 

But he needed to learn about life the hard way. A failed 3 month trip to Louisiana, where he was a Walmart greeter, a return home and eventually he found himself working on computers and learning to solve seemingly insurmountable problems.

Hear the rest of Damien’s amazing story, including his journey to owning and providing for his family through his Computer R Us small business. Hint: he provides terrific customer service at a fair price.


Computers R Us


Mar 11, 2018

Brandon Stiles is a long-time Marietta resident and entrepreneur.

From his early days of playing out in the metro area’s bustling live music scene to his current work consulting Atlanta businesses on their digital marketing strategy and implementation- Brandon has seen his share of ups and downs in small business.

In this episode, he shares his insights on how to grow and properly market your business.

You’ll learn things like: 

⁃How to stack your businesses value (instead of discounting your prices)

⁃The steps to building an online sales funnel in order to keep customers coming ‘through the doors’ (be it brick and mortar or online)

⁃The real reason most entrepreneurs start a business, and how to use that mentality to grow 

To learn more about Brandon and his services, check out:

Special thanks to Ignite HQ for the use of their studio.

Also thanks to our sponsor!

Johnny Walker Realty


Mar 4, 2018

Jen Starks and Christie Clarke met at the Marietta Library. They knew they were homeschoolers because their kids were about the same age. They connected like were like magnets. 

But their relationship had some bumps. They once went to Asheville during a ice storm and had the longest hug ever when they made it and knew each other was safe. 

Now they host a Saturday morning connections Meetup at Cool Beans in Marietta and help other entrepreneurs connect with influencers and build relationships. 

Jen's Leaning Local

Christie's Business 

Christie's Send Out Cards Link

Jen's Send Out Cards Link

Luly Rae Cleaning Service FaceBook Page



Feb 24, 2018

Raul Thomas was not prepared to open a theater. He is a chef by trade and when the opportunity presented itself, Raul leaned heavily on his youngest son, Emil to carry him through. 

But Emil was not going to make it easy. Emil felt that good theater made you uncomfortable and started a conversation. After three years, the theater is thriving and Raul has learned quite a bit from his son.

Thanks to this show’s sponsor, Johnny Walker Realty.


Feb 18, 2018

Luis starting selling mangos in Puerto Rico at the age of 12 to help his single mother supplement her factory income. He joined the Army and learned English in a few months. While in the military, he bought his first house.


Now he started a concrete business that puts the customer first and aligns with his priorities.


I hope you enjoy this inspirational episode!


John Forest, Director of Operations



Jay “Guards” Boudrie — Vice President & General Manager of PSI Security


Extreme Color


Feb 11, 2018

Missy Owen (sorry I said Owens in the intro!) lost her son Davis to the disease of addiction. Davis didn’t fit the mold of an addict; he was class president in high school and loved by everyone.


Everything changed when Davis decided to take something from the medicine cabinet when he was having trouble sleeping. That one moment changed everything for Davis and his family.


After Davis overdosed, his mom Missy realized that a big gap in recovery was not having anywhere to go after successful rehab. In fact, you are 32% more likely to die after rehab than if you just continued using!


She found a 21,000 foot facility for sale and got them to lease it to her. She called it The Zone and with a whole bunch of work, donations and love, it has been thriving.


Now she wants to go nationwide and Build Communities of Recovery and is holding a conference her in Marietta September 26-29, 2018.


Check it out!




The Zone and Davis Direction


Oct 20, 2017

As soon as he could reach the keys, Paul started piano lessons. He went on to the flute, then on to several other instruments (and singing). He also had an ear for music, he could hear a song and play it on several instruments.

Now he conducts several groups, teaches private lessons and sings on the choir on Sunday.

Busy man!

But he believes that classical music has a presentation problem…  So now he is conducting the Marietta Symphony Orchestra at Raul Thomas’s Theater on the Square on 10/28/17. He is going to treat classical music like other music forms. He going to tell the story of each piece he does. 

Sounds like a plan!

For tickets…


Oct 15, 2017

Some of Aaron Marino’s biggest impacts happened in a few brief moments. The first one was when his mom bought him a gym membership. Another was the moment his wife bought him a video camera in 2008. Both led to life altering decisions, the first to own a gym the second to do videos to help men with advice on grooming, dating and fashion.

Of course, there were problems along the way. Failed businesses, debt and selling beer from a golf cart. 

But each time, Aaron got up and started again. 

Now he runs a men’s fitness, grooming and men’s fashion Youtube channel called AlphaM and 6 businesses. He’s grown the Youtube channel to 3 million subscribers and continues putting out content weekly to help guys with stuff they need to know.

This week, internet star, online business master and Marietta resident, Aaron Marino!


Oct 14, 2017

It was a pouring down freezing rain day in December when the Marietta Blue Devils played in their second state championship game. They battled fierce weather and came together as a  team despite integrating with the Lemon Street school that very year. 

Hear from the players and one cheerleader that were there and what it was like to win one for Marietta High School.

Episode includes:

Bill Kelly, Bob and Jim Cagel, Mike Welsh, Ken Delk , Freddie Summerour , David White, 

Vickie Young, (cheerleader), Ralph Hudgins, Lori Hill and Mickey Brown!

Oct 13, 2017

Homecoming is a huge part of Marietta! The parade and the traditions that really makes Marietta unique. 

Hear from the current Marietta High School football players, cheerleaders, band members and the athletic director, Paul Hall!

Oct 11, 2017

What is Amber and the rest of the crew at Markay Gallery up to for October’s Art Walk? Well, she has a virtual reality simulation with Anthony Harris (, a new exhibit called Gem, artists Mary Jane Huegel and Don Kolberg and a podcast called Marietta Stories!


And it just so happens, Sally Macaulay shows up to give an update on the Chalktober Fest celebration that’s going on this weekend on the Square. Five countries represented!


I also speak with the assistant gallerist, Morgan Gillespie. She hasn’t been out of school that long, but she has some advice about the role of art in all of our lives.


Let’s explore a virtual world and Markay Gallery!

Oct 8, 2017

Anthony Bammer and his partner, Vincent Bracey know how to change bariatric people’s lives. For those who don’t know. bariatric is the part of medicine that uses dieting, exercise and behavioral therapy approaches to weight loss, as well as pharmacotherapy and surgery. 

Anthony’s and Vincent’s group trust them and enjoy working out and staying in touch over the week, even when they are not hanging out.  

Some of his clients share their experience and why they enjoy Anthony and Synovia Wellness so much. They use the app, GroupMe to hold one another accountable throughout the week. They also can get specific answers to their questions from Anthony and Vincent. 

This is a fun and educational episode, I know you will like.


Oct 7, 2017

What is the story behind Marietta's Northcutt Stadium?

Where did the rocks come from for the stone wall around the stadium?

Guy Northcutt's Dad was instrumental in the building of stadium. He thought to use klinkers from the hosiery factory to build up the field for proper drainage. (You'll have to listen to find out what a blinker is...)

Enjoy this Marietta High School Homecoming bonus episode!


Sep 30, 2017

I hung out with some kids at West Side Elementary School, Talented and Gifted (TAG) Academy, about their long term projects and the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program. Students at each grade level work on a year-long project that is based on an identified problem that the school/community is facing. Through the West Side TAG program, students are encouraged to use their talents and gifts (TAG) to solve those problems.  

The 5th graders and 2nd graders interviewed spoke about their experience with their projects last year in 4th and 1st grade. 4th graders collect and dump food scraps during K-5 lunch and maintain the compost bins, while the first graders use the compost in their pollinator gardens.  


Composting at West Side keeps more than 3,000 pounds food waste out of our landfill and helps improve the pollinator numbers in our area. We discussed the usefulness of compost, the creation of compost, and the way it is monitored---temperature, wetness and you guessed it, smell. The smell they used to describe the bottom of the compost bin was pretty interesting. 


Mike Rowe would be impressed!  One thing was clear, the students love their teachers and their projects even though they were full of creepy, crawly, dirty, smelly, rotten stuff. 


I also spoke with their teachers, Mrs. Throop, Ms. Greene and Mrs. Westlake, about their approach to learning. Gone are the days that teachers controlled the classroom. Teachers today expect collaboration, embrace “mistakes, and push the boundaries of the traditional classroom where they are no longer the sage on the stage. West Side classrooms are noisy, messy places where learning is based on solving real problems in our community. 


Seriously, it was a pleasure meeting the 5th and 2nd graders, and their teachers do a wonderful job. 

Sep 24, 2017

On May 30th, 2016 two sisters, Judy Willingham, 72, and Andra Pearce, 69 died in a house fire at 493 Church Street. Approved for demolition in December 2016, the house sat vacant until Sara and Jon Micheletto asked if they could fix it up. 

 Their journey to restore the house includes kicking the critters out, historical documents, 7 dumpsters of material and an indoor pool designed by an architect that built churches. 

Sep 19, 2017

I walked (marched?) in the East Cobber parade along with Linda Jivadi, Debra Howard and some other folks from NAMI Cobb! 


The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) Cobb is all about helping families in crisis and connecting resources for your loved one. Linda and Debra talk about their situations and practical things you can do to support your loved one. 


Breaking the stigma associated with mental illness is the most important thing you can do. So let’s talk about it and see what happens!


You’ll also hear how we braved a very loud skate car behind us, a large crowd of parade people. Guarantee you’ll enjoy this!


Oh yeah, why don’t you give a to help meet their $11,000 goal!


NAMI Cobb Website (resources)


NAMI Cobb Walk Page (donate today!)


Sep 18, 2017

Cecilie and Brian Benefield took 10 folks and me on a 3 hour tour of Marietta. Of course it included great food I had not tried, but i also learned more abut the history of Marietta and the Square. 

Brian and Cecilie created a top notch experience that is rated the number one activity on trip advisor for Marietta Georgia. The whole tour was interactive and everyone had a great time, especially the ones I had on the show!


Check it out!!!

Sep 12, 2017

How did Johnny Pizza learn how to cook real Hoboken Italian food? From his family and his neighbors in Hoboken, of course. Not from written down recipes, but from asking questions and watching as the extended family prepared the meals on Sunday.

Johnny paid attention and learned the recipes and techniques that he applies everyday to his fresh mozzarella, sauce and famous meatballs. 



Sep 4, 2017

Paul Southern, a friend of the show (and former special agent for the department of homeland security), interviews Bill Nowicki about his life and what drives him. From a Friendly’s ice cream scooper to a nuclear submarine to nuclear plants.


But a lot changed back in 2013, when Bill hired Gary O’Malley as a coach. In that moment, many things changed in Bill’s life. 


Submarine Sea Stories Podcast


Nowicki Media


Marietta Community School Basic and Advanced Podcasting Classes

Aug 27, 2017

As a child, Betty Peardon’s Mom brought her to the Marietta City Cemetery and raked the magnolia leaves from her ancestor’s graves . Her Mom told her stories, some of whom fought in the Civil War. The most prominent is William Phillips, a Civil War General that was friends with the governor. Betty tells the story about Jefferson Davis (president of the confederacy) dislike of Phillips and the mysterious tie to a woman.  


Also, Betty described what happened to her ancestor’s home on Waterman Street and what they did to protect the silver and their 9 year son when the war came to their door.


Betty kept building her knowledge throughout her life and attended meetings with other genealogical enthusiasts called the “ancient broads” (her brother Bill’s term). 


This is a fascinating journey into one families life from before the Civil War. With all the controversy around Confederate symbols and the Civil War, maybe it good to just listen. Betty has some ideas and perspective that might help.

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