GREENWOOD, S.C. – Singer, songwriter, storyteller, poet, published author, loving father and husband, adopted and man of faith — all describe Danny Nicholson, president of the Connie Maxwell Children’s Home.
He is a much sought-after speaker, a runner who has completed two Boston Marathons, a consummate fundraiser and ardent advocate for the children of the Connie Maxwell Children’s Home.
The son of Billy and Mary Nicholson, Danny grew up in Hartsville, attended Charleston Southern University and married his college sweetheart, Debra. They have two adult sons, Taylor and Bryson, who have followed in their father’s footsteps in their love of music. He now lives in Greenwood with his wife and two dogs, Marley and Summer.
Nicholson recently chronicled his life in his autobiography, “My Own Backyard: A Lifetime Collection of Stories, Poems and Songs.”
“I’ve been working on it for a long time,” Nicholson said in a telephone interview.
He has been gathering and sorting material for about six or seven years.
“It is not just my story,” he said. “It is everybody’s story.”
Each chapter begins with a verse from the Bible, and interwoven in the stories he tells are original songs and poems that were written about his life, to his children and about his faith. The last chapter is written to his future grandchildren.
“I guess I was looking to the future to leave something that would last, something for my children, grandchildren, family and friends, something that might inspire them,” Nicholson said.
“I love to write,” he said.
Nicholson wrote about what he calls the “holy moments” in his life.
He said he hopes his story helps readers to remember the “little miracles or holy moments” in their lives and encourages them to “look deeper within themselves to see their life and their 'parade of holy moments.'"
Nicholson talks about some of his life-shaping moments – dreams dreamed under the stars growing up in his backyard, his first guitar, his love of basketball, the wreck in high school that changed the direction of his life, the making of the "Legacy Road" album, his band, Heart of Love; his heroes; a chance encounter with a young boy in a restaurant; and his family and friends, all of whom pointed him along a path that has finally led him to where he is today at the Connie Maxwell Children’s Home.
Nicholson said the young African-American boy in the restaurant was a foster child. He came and sat in his wife’s lap, and before leaving he asked her, “Will you come to me in my dreams?”
Nicholson said it was one of his “holy moments.”
When the boy left, Nicholson told his wife that he didn’t know what had just happened, but he knew their lives would never be the same.
He had worked for nearly 30 years in colleges as a development officer and fundraiser. He was contemplating his next move, where life’s journey would take him.
He told his wife that maybe it was time to thank God for blessing of his life, and then the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the children at the Connie Maxwell Children’s Home presented itself.
“I think this is where I am supposed to be, doing what I’m put on this earth to do,” Nicholson said.
Connie Maxwell Children’s home has campuses in Greenwood, Orangeburg, Mauldin, Chesterfield and Florence at 1924 Durant Drive.