No dull moments for Marilyn



December 30, 2016 - 12:00 AM

Marilyn Davis at 84 is a familiar face in Humboldt.
She stays active and seldom does an event occur that she doesn’t have a hand in.
The Humboldt Historic Preservation Alliance is a favorite outlet, and among her chosen projects is restoring a 10-foot-long stained glass window that once was part of Humboldt National Bank.
The window was found in Wichita better than 20 years ago and returned to Humboldt. Today it resembles the personification of a lonesome soldier, leaning against the east wall of City Hall.
Davis likes to draw attention to a photo and story that was in a 1994 edition of the Wichita Eagle. Several men are shown carrying the window, all its panes in place. That isn’t true today. Several have fallen from their lead-ringed spaces.
The Humboldt historical group wants to have the window restored so that it may be properly displayed. The hang-up is finding an expert in restoration. who is affordable.
A can with a slot in its plastic lid rests on a table that holds the window at eye level. Donations of a few dollars occasionally are deposited.
At the current rate it may take years to raise enough funds, all the while the window falling into further disrepair.
So far, the best offer for restoration is $5,000, give or take, including a redo of all the leading.
Davis keeps after the project, but doesn’t let it get her down or hold out false hopes a knight in shining armor will come to the rescue.
Time, after all, marches on and Davis is not one to gather moss.
Davis’s local excursions, in fact, are rather easy to track because she’s easily recognizable in her pint-sized Smart car.
As if the Smart car’s stock appearance isn’t enough, Davis “likes to doll up her cars,” said Nobby Davis, her son and the town’s mayor. The car has rubber “eyelashes” over the headlights and a pair of puckered lips on a placard at bumper level.
When she travels — Dallas, Wyoming and Colorado are recent trips — Davis doesn’t dally.
“I can keep up with any car on the road and pass a lot of them,” she says, and the car, spry as its owner, “cruises along nicely at 80.”
Davis the younger finds riding with Mom “a little frightening,” but husband Ivor, who died three years ago, didn’t. He’d fold his 6-foot-3 frame all akimbo into the tiny car, give his wife free rein and enjoy the ride.

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