Robert (Kim/The Raven) Davis was our neighbor in the Oakwood suburb of Dayton, Ohio in the 50s and 60s. During those years, I spent much time over at the Davis household. There were his parents Bob and Ester. And there was his brother David or later renamed Fred. I remember Kim well and him establishing events like the little car races we had on his driveway. And the club that Kim founded called Planet Playboy Club. We met on somewhat of a regular basis in a room in the basement of the Davis household.
There weren’t many things I was proud of in those years. A few extra badges in the Cub Scouts. A trophy for something in sports. They all came with little enthusiasm.
But membership in the Planet Playboys Club, founded by Kim was one of these few things. One of the few things I had become a proud member of.
Kim was one of a kind and I the appearance of his obituary in my email box (thanks Robert) set off several thoughts and memories of him.
I wrote a short commemoration to Kim on his obituary page.
Yet his official obituary is very long in the Dayton Dailey News. Printed below without any editing.
DAVIS, Robert K.
32nd Degree Mason, Dayton Lodge 147, B.P.O.E. Englewood FL #2378, GMM Mythical Society 3*.
He crossed over due to complications from the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
Preceded in death by his parents Robert and Esther Davis, his beloved Aunt Alice, who fueled his love of cooking and collecting recipes, and Uncle Harold with whom he had many discussions on history.
He is survived by his younger brother David/Fred (Pam). He leaves behind his loving wife of 35 years, Lori; their children: Robert (Chasidy) – Madison, Mackenzie, Macy Rose, and Emmaleigh – Quinn “QoQo” and Lincoln. And his first son, Scott (Mark), from a previous marriage.
At a tender age he worked at Tischer Hardware, he put in many hours at the B&E Drive-In Restaurant in Oakwood, and manned the Big Grill at THE Miami University where he earned a Bachelors degree in Education and how to make his famous Grilled Cheese. As an educator at Northmont High School he taught Social Studies; where swallowing a goldfish could earn you an A (Signed parental consent needed), and Fridays were historical movie days. While there, he coached girls track and field and boys basketball. Later in life he was an instructor at Sinclair Community College teaching Intro to Land Surveying for many years.
His career path took a turn when his love for the outdoors led him to explore and embrace Land Surveying. He earned his professional license while working at the Miami Conservancy District. He ended his working years at the City of Dayton’s Water Department.
Bob’s claims to fame; juggling, champion of the Colgate Dribble and never he left a party before the shank of the evening. He was a Driver in the infamous Rat Lake Races and a suffficionado driver in Demolition Derbies at several county fairs. He hiked multiple portions of the Appalachian Trail, to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and toured Route 66, sailed the seas with Captain Jack, and played a serious game of Capture the Flag.
He loved traveling, fireworks, Rock & Roll, hot peppers, and special friends; Roy the Dog, and Hurricane Bella Mu La-La. Above all he loved his family and treasured the time he could spend with them. He coached little league baseball, football, and basketball, girls softball and when not coaching stayed involved volunteering as part of the chain gang (football) and as a judge in summer swimming at People’s Aquatic Club. He enjoyed being part of the action, encouraging kids to do their best and trying to instill a love of the game as he was an athlete himself. He was a state champion swimmer, played HS football, basketball and baseball in college, and in later years took up golf.
He was gentle, honest and hardworking, and had a unique sense of humor. He will be missed by many.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Tank’s Bar & Grill Saturday, March 19 at 2:30 PM. Please join us to fete Bob’s life and tell a story or two. Be kind and follow mask guidelines as Bob would love to wait a while to see you on the other side.
Kazoo Players, Beauty Queens and Dancing Bears WELCOME! (Leave the goats at home).
Published by Dayton Daily News on Mar. 15, 2022.
So, the obituary of my next-door neighbor Kim Davis in the late 50s and early 60s. The obituary of Kim captures many aspects of his life I was unaware of. Might a biography be written about Kim’s (the Raven’s) life? Is it the type of project that someone should spend time on?
Leading theories about writing biographies argue that biography authors impose a type of personality transference from their subject to themselves. In so doing, they somehow become the subject of their biography. In effect, the subject of their biographies is no more than a disguised version of themselves. Biographies are written for psychological reasons above all else. These reasons should always be the “guiding stars” when attempting to interpret modern biographies.
In the end, biographies are the writing of one person about the life of another. The attempt of one living person to define the life of a deceased person. The psychology of this person much in play during the writing of a biography.
But the death of my next-door neighbor and idol Kim (the Raven) many years ago via an email attaching the obituary of Robert Davis from the email my old neighbor (one house separated from the right side of the Davis household on Ivanhoe) Bobby G. in Denver (thanks Bobby), brings to mind. In all of this emotion and memory I feel overhearing this news, I also think the life of Kim/Robert/The Raven Davis is so much larger than anything an individual author might create by themselves.
One of the things the obituary might hint at but not tell is all the incredible number of people who came into contact with Kim. The Raven. Might lives be judged in a certain way based on these numbers of one’s contacts through life?
Certainly Kim would have one of the greatest number of contacts through his life of any person I knew in those years of the late 50s and early 60s in Dayton, Ohio. I can see in his obituary that the contacts he made in life greatly exploded outward after the years I knew him.
In the end, there really can be no sole author of a biography on The Raven.
A biography of Kim can only be a joint endeavor. Somewhat like the great book Chasn’ the Trane made from comments of those who knew John Coltrane.
They will be put into a timeline and outline that moves towards telling the true story of Kim, Robert Davis.
Biographies should be collections memories of those who knew a subject. The more he or she was loved in the world, the more friends of contacts might want to come forward with memories about their relationship with the subject of the biography.
It would be a good thing if those who have memories of Kim come forward at this time and send your memories to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll put you on our list and send you updates of the biography of Kim that needs to be written. By many. Not one.