By Anne Weinberg
If you walk by Village Coffee on a warm sunny morning, you’re likely to find a group of “regulars”, leaning back in their chairs, swapping stories, and clearly enjoying each other’s company. Although I know David Bingham through my Denison connections, it’s here where I most often run into him. So, it made sense to sit down with David at Village Coffee to chat about all things Granville.
With coffee in hand, David and I swapped our own stories. He asked about my kids. I learned that he served on ski patrol in Michigan for 48 years. He also played soccer, (that is until the age of 51 “because my mother made me quit”). He loves to paint, read, and cook in the home he helped design on Summit and Hill. He is an avid history buff with an extensive collection of World War I posters. Oh, and he drives a lovingly restored 1942 Willys Jeep in the July 4th Parade every year! David is clearly one of those people with lots of interests, and lots of energy for all of them.
David’s connection to Granville goes way back. Six generations of his family attended Denison University. David graduated in 1960, but not before meeting his wife Mary, a fellow Denisonian. His son and daughter both attended Denison, during which time he and Mary decided to buy a house in town. When she passed away, David moved to a new house, but stayed firmly rooted in Granville. In addition to the pull of memories collected over the years, David is drawn to Granville’s history. He’s read extensively about this town, and served for a spell on the board of the Robbins Hunter Museum.
David’s ongoing support of the Granville Community Foundation seems logical given his ties to the community. But press David on this and you’re likely to have your questions deflected and the conversation steered towards another great story, like the the prank he and his fraternity brothers pulled loading trash onto a parade float, or the time he met Dick Cole, one of the last of the Doolittle Raiders of 1942. You get the sense that David gives simply because that’s what you do in a community you love, no questions asked, and no need to talk about it.
David is familiar with what we do here at the Foundation, mostly from his work at Robbins Hunter Museum, which the Foundation has financially supported over the years. He was interested to learn that a number of our grants this year, such as sponsorship of the Turkey Trot and Feed The Dream Community Food Drive make a significant impact on the issue of hunger in Licking County. He loves Granville, but is adamant about supporting the larger community around us.
As we finished our coffee, Arnie Joseph, another Village Coffee regular stopped by our table. I know Arnie as a retired Professor of Modern Languages at Denison. But, David knew much more: about his escape from Germany in the 1930’s and his assignment as a translator during the international military tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany. I realized, David loves Granville, but really, he’s much more interested in the people. After all, it’s the people who make great stories, and great communities.