Many people are talking about the recent loss of radio personality Scooter Davis. Social media lit up last Friday at the news of his passing. Stories began to surface of a man who is described as kind, gentle and very giving. Our community lost a great man, most said. Some talked about his decades on the radio playing both rock and roll and country classics. He was a man who loved dogs, children, steam engines and motorcycles. He was a fighter and never seemed to let the cancer that was eating away at him affect his contagious spirit. In fact, when most are sick, they focus on themselves. For Scooter, it seemed to be the opposite. He soaked up every bit of life he could, even to the end.
Scooter passed away from terminal metastatic carcinoma consistent with esophageal cancer. He had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer early in 2015, with doctors saying he had only six months to a year to live. This diagnosis, however, was not something Scooter would allow to change him. The cancer, although eating at him physically, could not win over who he was.
Scooter is a nickname given at an early age to Thane Austin. It stuck over the years becoming a persona you could hear by flipping the dial to several of the radio stations over the years Scooter worked. His career is very lengthy, finding him in Nashville, Russellville and Bowling Green. He even worked as a weatherman for WBKO way back. Scooter spent a great deal of his years at the little building on Nashville Road where he was a DJ for WBVR “The Beaver” before it moved to Bowling Green, Scooter with it.
Myla Thomas Porter, another popular voice on the radio, said Scooter hired her in 1984. He became more than a co-worker, he became a great friend, said Porter.
“We used to call each other our work spouses. Heck, our working relationship lasted longer than some of our marriages, and most of my shoes,” laughed an emotional Porter. “He was more than just someone I worked along side. He was my friend.”
Porter was very complimentary of Davis. She said although his family and friends were the most important to him, radio was his life. He was at home when he was on the air. He felt a connection to those out there listening and never let it go to his head. He loved so many and was such a giving man. From the animals at the humane society to the children at St. Judes, Scooter seemed to care more about others than he did himself.
Davis lived in Russellville. He was married to his wife Tammy, who survives him. He has one son, Adam of Alexandria, Ala., and three grandchildren, Leigha, Ashton and Ava.
“Adam was it for him,” said Porter. “I can remember so many things about Scooter as a dad over the years. He was so proud of his son. “I remember how excited Scooter was when his grandson Ashton’s team won the Alabama State Championship in baseball two years ago, with his son as coach. He was beside himself. I think that may have probably been the most excited I’d seen him, because Ashton and Adam did it together.”
Porter says she can remember one time when Adam was small, Scooter got him his first motor bike for Christmas. Adam got on it for the very first time and ran it straight into a tree. Adam jumped off, said Porter, and told his dad he thought he had better take it back. Scooter walked right over to him and said, “No son, you can do this. We don’t give up. We try until we get it.”
This is exactly how Scooter was in life. Even when given only months to live, Scooter didn’t give up. He was teaching a lesson to us all through his experience, you have to keep trying even if you think you can’t.
“He will be missed,” said Porter. “He lived his life the way he wanted to. He was a good guy and he left his mark.”
To contact Chris Cooper, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 270-726-8394.