From a treasured escape to a forever home.

Tom and Barbara Ducker knew they had found something special at Reynolds Lake Oconee and transitioning to a permanent address was easy, thanks to great friends.

For Tom Ducker, there were two things he learned he needed to know when he got to Reynolds Lake Oconee: one was Georgia football and the other was how to play golf. “I didn't know a thing about either one,” laughs Tom, as he looks back on the decision he and wife, Barbara, made to purchase here. “However, we've since learned about both.”

The couple purchased their first property in National Village in 2010 after being introduced to the community by their son, Scott. “He came out and visited some friends of his that had parents living here,” Barbara says. “They came and spent a weekend here and loved it.”

So, when Scott heard his parents were looking, he told them, “You have to see this place. It’s right up your alley.”

That’s when Tom and Barbara first booked a visit and took a tour of the community. “We came down and were just so impressed,” Barbara says. “We thought, ‘This is such a lovely place. It has all the amenities we like and it isn’t that far from Atlanta.’” At the time, the Duckers were living in Annapolis and it was growing rapidly. Tom, a neurosurgeon, had been working in the Baltimore/D.C. area for 35 years. Their three kids were all through college, married with kids and, according to Tom, “paying their own rent.” Tom had known he wanted to move south, and with the proximity to Atlanta, this was definitely an attractive option. After contemplating it a bit, the Duckers decided to give it a shot. They officially became owners at National Village, and for the next two years, Reynolds was their second home.

It wasn't long before their neighbors in National Village welcomed them right in. And given the fact that there was a high density of “Dawg fans” in the population, they received a firsthand education on Georgia football. “There’s a whole group of guys that gets together and tailgates for the football games each fall,” Tom says. “They invite us up regularly and we have a great time.”

As for the golf, Tom found himself in a regular group that plays Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. He claims he has the highest of the handicaps, but nobody really seems to mind. With these guys, the fellowship outweighs the analysis of the scorecard. “There’s a lot of groups down here. And that one was nice enough to let him in,” Barbara says, laughing.

As for Barbara, she has kept herself quite busy as well. She has been very involved with the Plantation Ladies Club, crediting it as one of the major ways she was introduced to the members of the community. “Quickly, I became involved with them, and I’ve been on the social committee for three years now,” Barbara says. “That’s been a wonderful way to find out about the various programs and to be involved and get to know other people. So I’ve enjoyed that a lot.”

It seemed the more the Duckers learned about the community, the more involved they would continue to get. So much so that they started rethinking this whole “second home” idea. “We decided to put our National Village home on the market, and fortunately, it sold pretty quickly,” Barbara says. “Then, we bought our home in Angel Pond and have been here full time about a year and a half.” Now, with a permanent address in the community, the Duckers find themselves the ones introducing new members around. In just a few short years, they have gone from the new kids on the block to resident experts. They’ve been adopted by Dawg fans, learned a thing or two about golf and seem to be enjoying everything about their new home.

“We didn’t know anybody when we came here,” Barbara says. “It’s amazing that it’s been three years. People are friendly here. The social functions are really great and we have made so many new friends.”

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