It’s a sumptuous Sunday morning when
I arrive at Davis Hamlin’s house to find him fit, welcoming,
and ready to forgive my late arrival, due to tacking west to get east—like Columbus—while avoiding virtuous but vexing street repairs popping up in unexpected places.
A lot about Davis Hamlin is unexpected, too.
But that can wait. First, there’s the lovely setting of his sitting room, with French doors that form a glass wall across the back,
revealing a radiant view of Turtle Creek flowing a few feet away and an earthy stone bridge across it. Riders on bicycles are forever falling in, Davis notes.
And over the years he has had to rescue numerous soccer balls, as well as small children.
It’s a pleasant place to be as we talk about his love of the musical arts and the TACA Silver Cup Award about to be bestowed on him in March.
“My mother was quite the opera lover,” he explains. She required that he, plus his older brother and sister, listen to the Met on the radio every other Saturday.
“I didn’t realize how much I liked it until I was 15,” he admits. This was in Danville, Virginia, where Davis grew up.
Simultaneously we both recall the folk song, “It’s a mighty rough road from Lynchburg to Danville, For the line has a threemile grade.”
Called The Wreck of the Ol’ 97, this is a true story about a railroad man who sees a catastrophe coming but cannot throttle down in time to save himself or the situation.
There’s a cautionary ending: “So come all you ladies, you must take warning, From this time on and learn, Never part on harsh words with your true and loving husband, For he may leave you and never return.”
It sounds operatic and might have been if Puccini ever had visited Virginia.
He did write a couple of Davis Hamlin’s favorites though— La Bohème and Tosca.
Davis also is a fan of Wagner, which means he must have been pleased when the Dallas Symphony did Die Walküre in concert last season.
It is the Dallas Symphony after all, that has first call on his affections.
He’s done everything on the board— finance, audit, and personnel, where as vice president he
“knew too much about the players and it was distracting” during concerts.
He has served on the search committee for several conductors though was not involved in the latest coup, Fabio Luisi.
Morton Meyerson chaired that effort, and while Davis was not with him in this project, the two of them have worked together many times on many fronts.
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