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Super Senior: Virginia 'Ginnie' Davenport - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Senior: Virginia 'Ginnie' Davenport

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THETFORD, Vt. -

Virginia "Ginnie" Davenport's creative side came early in life. She used to doodle in school.

"This is sugaring in Vermont," she said, showing off a painting.

Her landscapes are from an earlier time growing up in Vermont.

She enjoys time on her porch.

"Oh I love it. Every chance I get," she said. "This is where I sit. Sit right here every morning."

This is where she reflects on a life of 89 years, the good times and the bad.

Reporter Joe Carroll: You had a tough life.

Ginnie Davenport: I was more a slave than I was a daughter.

The oldest child of four, she says her dad was both verbally and physically abusive.

"I called my mother 'ma.' He took his belt off, threw me on the bed and used that strap on me with my mother screaming at me... at him to quit," she said.

The family stayed on the move. Ginnie went to four high schools in four years. In St. Johnsbury she met George.

"He was as funny as could be," she said.

George was almost four years older than Ginnie. He fought in the war as a tail gunner on a B-17. After George did his 35 missions in Europe, he came home to marry Ginnie.

"There was hardly a night when we weren't together," she said.

George and Ginnie raised four kids and had a dairy farm in Thetford for many years.

Michelle Davenport is their granddaughter.

"They were side by side, best friends, lovers. I mean, they were just inseparable," said Michelle Davenport, their granddaughter.

"But when he died, I was devastated," Ginnie said.

George died of cancer in 2003.

Ginnie Davenport: I know now that I was dangerously close to taking care of myself.

Joe Carroll: Suicidal.

Ginnie Davenport: Yup.

Her family felt helpless, but Michelle thought of a way to get her grandmother's mind off her loss.

"So I suggested her enrolling in an English class down to CCV and even a computer class," Michelle said.

Ginnie was 77 and a first-time college student. She says she was nervous as hell on the first day. She blossomed, writing eight hours a day. All of her emotions pour onto paper.

"What I'm writing about is my life," she said.

She self-published a book called "Coming Home." The book cover artwork is, of course, hers.

"When I rode that bike for the first time it was a wonderful feeling," she read. "I had bought my first possession that was just for me."

It's a book from her formative years, 1940 to 1945. Her writing is plain, simple, but honest. It comes from the heart.

"George called every night and we would talk for hours, plans for shaping up for us," Ginnie read.

Toward the end of her father's life, Ginnie and George visited him in California.

"That was the only time I ever got a hug," she said.

She says he wouldn't admit it, but he realized George and Ginnie had a good life together. Now, all those memories are for all to read about.

Joe Carroll: When your granddaughter said go to college, in a way she saved your life.

Ginnie Davenport: Yeah, I bless her every day... I'm worth something around this world.

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