It’s a cliche that innkeepers are disaffected corporate exiles, the former mavericks and loose cannons in the offices and cubicles. That was true with Dan, at least.
After 23 years working in newsrooms across the Southeast, he was on the verge of going to an open window like Howard Beale in Network and yelling, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!” But this story is about more than running from corporate tedium and politics. It’s about returning to what matters.
Nancy was a teacher. She really is still a teacher, though she gave up the classroom in 1999, her second year at Inn on Main Street. Nancy nurtures. She’s patient with those who drive some of us to distraction. She taught mentally handicapped children, emotionally disturbed children, and children with all sorts of multiple handicaps for more than 20 years. She knows how blessed most of us are. Beneath the flaws, we’re all unique and wonderful people.
When he wasn’t a reporter and editor, Dan was an explorer. He takes off after new interests like a puppy following a June bug. That curiosity got him into journalism, but also got him into world travel, into home remodeling, into organic farming, into art, into cooking and eventually into hospitality (where else can you meet more interesting people than the average reporter?). Even now he pursues an arts career, making handmade tiles, including those shown in buttons throughout this site. He’s a jack of all trades, a dilettante, a poor man’s Renaissance man.
Dan and Nancy each grew up near Chicago and met at Southern Illinois University, but their story is set mainly in North Carolina. They were married on top of Table Rock near Morganton. Their daughters were both born in the North Carolina mountains, in Spruce Pine and Asheville. The first home they owned was a three-room cabin on 13 acres near Old Fort, NC, a tiny farm with dairy goats, chickens, too many dogs and a huge organic garden. That first home and a few soulful friendships were a siren song that kept calling them to the mountains when they moved to Savannah, then Fort Lauderdale, then Charlotte. When it came time to go it alone, there was only one place to go.