Randy Davis was a name that I first heard early in my life. He was friends with my dad as he was friends with so many people in this area. In addition to any personal connection there was a constancy the Randy in the community. He was involved and you were likely to come across him anywhere.
To really understand the magnitude of his loss to this community you would have to have seen him in action over the last 40 years or so. Without any pretense of flashiness, arrogance, or entitlement he became a giant in this community. He didn’t achieve this status through wealth or political power. He did it with love for his hometown.
As the owner and operator of WLAQ radio, Randy, along with his daughter Elizabeth and his son Matt, made localism their business. Years after the other local stations sold out to distant corporations, WLAQ is still locally owned and operated. They still cover local news, sports, culture, and events. The station has been heavily involved in covering and promoting local high school sports as long as I can remember. Local commentators discuss politics, local organizers promote their events. On air personalities even pronounce the names of local communities correctly.
WLAQ is a local institution. There used to be a dozen or so station like it in this vicinity. Now it stands alone. You can now easily find story after story of people who can credit that station with their own success - from an opportunity becoming a career to a small spotlight getting a local business in front of customers. The station was Randy’s labor of love. His work there is the epitome of what we wish to celebrate at ABG.
Randy was also instrumental in attracting the local minor league baseball team to town. While I was initially against the idea, the team has been a success on the field as well as a welcome addition to the community.
What I can’t effectively cover here is the number of individuals who have a personal story about Randy Davis. Because he just did things, the right things, without needing credit for it, he made a difference to so many people that we’ll never know about. Facebook is astir right now with posts from people who knew him and can attest to the man he was. His kindness lives on in his absence.
His family and friends lost a loved one. They knew him the best and they will certainly miss him the most. But I cannot stress enough how much Rome and northwest Georgia lost when Randy Davis left this world. For such a kind, goodhearted, and humble man to have had such an impact is almost unheard of theses days. We need more men like Randy in our world. Every small town needs that sort of leadership and dedication.
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire