My first husband, Bill Davis, was a brittle diabetic, painted in oils and was a “Harry Chapin” fan. When I first met Bill, he’d say, “Barb, you have to listen to this—this man is amazing, he writes the best stories!” Well, needless to say, I was hooked in a very short time.
We would see him when he performed locally and whenever our friends were over they were indoctrinated to Harry’s music. In October, 1977 Bill went into a diabetic coma and was hospitalized at University Hospital in Syracuse, NY. He had been in this coma for 7 days, it was a long time. On October 13, 1977, Harry was performing at the Landmark Theater in Syracuse, the first “Save The Landmark” concert. On the 13th I was on my way to the hospital, trying to figure out what I could do to get Bill to wake up from the coma, all of a sudden it came to me and I found myself parking my ‘67 Volkswagen in front of Hotel Syracuse (at that time all stars stayed there). I went in and picked up the house phone and!
I asked for Harry Chapin’s room. I thought that the operator would just put my call through, but instead she gave me his room number. I was on the elevator in a flash and knocking on his door, and there he was. He asked if he could help me and I said “My name is Barb Davis and my husband is a big fan of your and was in a coma at the hospital and that I believed in miracles. I believed that if Bill were going to wake up, it would be if you were standing by his bed.” His response was “pick me up at six”. I couldn’t believe it.
I drove Harry to the hospital and walked down the 8th floor hallway, right into the ICU. Harry talked to Bill like they were old friends and he asked the nurses about his prognosis. After his visit, I drove Harry back to the Hotel, and he held me while I cried. I saw Harry that night at the concert, what a performance, Bill would have loved it. Bill died October 25, 1977. Later, I received a letter of condolence from Harry—it gives me chills.!
About a year or so after Bills death, Harry was performing outside of Rochester, NY. I went with a group of my friends and gave Harry one of Bills’ oil paintings. It was amazing. He remember Bill…remembered me and I will always remember Harry.
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