My Name is Micah Davenport
My name is Micah Davenport. I am a long-time friend of Ray Whitlow and his wife, Isabel, and I currently work with Isabel running the Faded Glory Farm.
My family has lived in Fannin County since the mid-1800s, and I was born here in 1918. I own and live in my family’s homeplace near Mineral Bluff, just off of Route 60.
I trust in the Lord, and I consider myself to be a Christian, but I must also deal with my own personal demons every day. As a young man, I accidentally caused the death of my best friend in a traffic accident. My friend Sonny and I were both drinking heavily that day, but I was the one that was driving when my car plowed into a huge oak tree. That was the day I learned the hard way that drinking and driving don’t mix. I sometimes wonder what Sonny Wilbur would have turned out like had he lived, but I have been thinking about that for years, and that idle speculation has never done me much good. I know that I cannot bring him back, but, every day, I try to make my life worthy of being left behind.
After the accident I enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in Guam for three years. I returned home in 1946 and married my high school sweetheart, Sally Ann Arp. It turns out that even though I was ready for marriage, Sally Ann was not. We fought continually, and we had our differences right from the very beginning. Fortunately, our marriage lasted only ten years, and we had no children. We remained friends even after our divorce and right up until she died of cancer in April, 1976. I never remarried, and frankly, I wouldn’t ever want to.
A few weeks ago I was asked by your author to say a few words about Homer, but in order to talk about Homer, I have to talk about the ‘whole package.’ Homer mostly reminds me of Scooter, the yellow lab that was my dog while I was coming up. Scooter walked to school with me every morning, and he was waiting outside school every afternoon at 3 o’clock to walk back home with me. Scooter had a mind like a Timex watch; he was always on time, and he never forgot. Scooter wasn’t known as a ‘biter,’ but he did manage to nip a few of my buddies in an effort to protect me on several different occasions. Later, when Ray and Isabel got Homer, it was like takin’ up with Scooter all over again, without the need for any fancy introductions. Homer and I just seemed to naturally hit it off, and I’d say we’ve been good friends ever since.
Now, Homer is far from perfect. He has a few flaws. Isabel does let Homer get away with things that Ray’s first dog, Ol’ Jack, could only dream of, but I think she has a soft spot in her heart for Homer because Ray loved him so; Ray and Homer were inseparable right up until the day Ray died.
Homer doesn’t really warm up to new folks too quick, but he does seem to get along okay with Isabel’s new beau, Ed Hightower. Ed seems like a good sort, but like everything else, time will tell.
After Ray’s death, I sort of adopted Isabel, and right along with her — came the Farm. When Ray died, the Inn was all but finished, but there were still a lot of cosmetic details to be completed, in addition to a whole bunch of unpaid bills which were staring her in the face. Probably the one thing that saved the Farm was that there was no mortgage; the property was all paid for, but lots and lots of bills. Being a small town such as it is, the local merchants and tradesmen were patient, and they all got paid off as soon as the Inn began to take hold and do business.
Nowadays, the Inn is pulling its own weight, and we literally have to turn down reservations from time to time. I have really come to love working at Faded Glory since the tourism industry has taken off in our county. There is lots of variety and an endless stream of new and interesting guests arriving every week. I guess my work here will never be done, and that’s perfectly okay with me . . . Job security!
I’ve never told Isabel this, but I’ve always had a hankering to be a cook. It isn’t a sensitive subject with either of us; it’s just never come up. My momma was an excellent cook, as was my ‘memaw’ before her. Louella has been teaching me some of the basics in the kitchen, and I have tried my hand at making biscuits and Brunswick stew with some success. Louella says I have lots of promise as a breakfast chef. Guess it just naturally runs in my family. One of these days, I’m going to ask Isabel if she would let me join Louella in the kitchen to make breakfast. I’m sure Louella wouldn’t mind, and I think it might be fun.
After my accident back in the 40s, I made a decision never to drive on the highways again, and to this day I never have. It has probably held me back a bit, but I cannot believe how much money I would have spent had I owned a car over these many years. I either hitch a ride or jump on my old bicycle if I need to get somewhere. You’d be amazed at how easy it is to get a ride, but the exercise doesn’t hurt when I don’t. I also haven’t had an alcohol drink since the accident, and I haven’t missed it even once.
Life is good here in the north Georgia mountains, and I am plenty happy as long as I can stay busy. Here at Faded Glory there is no shortage of “busy.” In this big old world, I think it’s important for everyone to find their ‘niche,’ and I know in my heart that I’ve found mine!