People: Casey man overcomes handicap

March 23, 2004|BRENDA EDWARDS

Jerry Davis began recreation time by reciting a story, then began playing the keyboard and singing about John the Baptist baptizing the Lord. After each song, he got a loud round of applause from the audience.

There's nothing unusual about singing and playing the keyboard, but it's a bit unusual for someone who has been blind since birth.

And he's also a self-taught harmonica and guitar player.

"I've been playing since I was about 5 years old," said Davis, who entertains regularly at the Casey County Adult Day Care in Liberty.

"I had a few lessons, then I just sat down and started playing."

Davis, 55, plays mostly hymns in churches and at the day care. He's a regular at his home church - Salem United Methodist Church.


A Casey County native, Davis, who grew up in Rheber, continues to live there with his 91-year-old mother, Nettie Bell Davis.

Davis has lived most of his life in Casey County with the exception of time he spent at Kentucky School for the Blind in Louisville.

He attended classes for 11 years, then returned home.

That's when he began picking out tunes on the guitar and harmonica.

The pianist used to travel to different churches to play and sing, and sang on WDKO Radio for many years. "I had to quit the road because it is difficult to get a driver," said Davis.

He worked at Pioneer Opportunity Workshop in Danville for a few years but transportation was always a problem so that did not last long.

Davis keeps up to date with current events by listening to tapes from the Kentucky Library for the Blind, and he also has the Bible on tape.

He appears content to stay close to home and sing and play when the occasion arises.

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