What a delight she was…
The news of the passing of Carole McReynolds Davis of Starkville yesterday, was a shock wave. So many people commented on how they just saw her at lunch that day or somewhere in Starkville last week and she seemed “like Carole.”
What a character! She loved “being an artist” and totally embraced the lifestyle, but she loved Starkville, Mississippi State University and Oktibbeha County just as much.
Carole’s columns in The Starkville Daily News came from a reader survey and an idea from extensive research in growing newspaper readership. One of the tips for newspaper readership growth for the lifestyle section suggested having a local artist write a column featuring the ‘story’ behind the art. We asked survey readers if there was a local artist they would like to see featured in a regular column, and Carole was a unanimous choice.
Even though she was an English major at Mississippi State University, she had never written personal narratives about her work. But it did not take her long to ‘find her voice’ because she had been sharing the stories of her work with friends and family for years. If you have ever toured Carole’s home, you know there are closets full of artwork and a story for each piece.
She was so nervous about writing initially, and even though she received a lot of positive feedback about her work, she always worried behind the scenes that she did not communicate her love of the people and of the community as well as she would have liked on paper. She prided herself in being an artist and she told me once that the columns were a new way to express her creative side. I am so glad we took a chance with Carole. Her columns have meant so much to so many people. Artwork that she completed 20 or 30 years ago, we were able to bring back to light and share a wealth of Starkville and Oktibbeha County history along the way. Carole was a very special lady.
Here is the link to the tribute article in The Starkville Daily News: http://www.starkvilledailynews.com/node/17636
Today, I have been looking back in The Starkville Daily News archives to see if I can find a few of the stories I have written about Carole and her adventures over the years…
This one is a preview to the exhibit we held at The Starkville Daily News office in February 2011… http://www.starkvilledailynews.com/node/4649
I wish I had all the photos from the house tour but Carole’s love of history and art was never more revealed than in her home….This was published August 20, 2011 in The Starkville Daily News http://www.starkvilledailynews.com/node/6944
There were several more articles, including a feature on her “yard art” on gloomy January when no one in the world was outside playing in the garden, and historic preservation stories where she discussed the restoration of her parents home that she loved so much.
These are some of my “Carole prizes” …she also bought candy for holidays, plants (that I could not keep alive) and even smoothies from McDonalds. She knew how to make a person feel special. The Iris was the first column we ran in The Starkville Daily News Lifestyle section.
I will always remember her sitting on the front porch swing waving at the people driving by on Louisville Street. I may still have to honk and wave when I drive by.
Starkville will be a little less colorful without Carole McReynolds Davis.