"It was like doodoo hit the fan," he said. He woke up. He came to his senses and tried to scratch his head. But they had shaved off all his hair. He was covered in burn marks, and when he tried to lift his arm, all he saw were bandages.

He couldn't find his hands.

"I said, 'Oh God, what happened,'" said Mike Davenport, 37, an Athens resident who lost both his arms in an electrical accident in 1979.

Not losing hope, Davenport then began drawing with his mouth about 20 years ago, and his work can be measured against artists who have the full use of both hands.

In the past, Davenport said he has displayed his work in an art show for disabled artists sponsored by the Georgia Power Company.

For years, Davenport said he has been selling his University-themed illustrations to Athens residents downtown in order to finance art supplies for himself.

"Even if you ask him, Davenport won't draw anything that doesn't have at least something to do with UGA," said Mark Lake, owner of the Broad Street Bar & Grill.

Davenport said he was 13 years old when the accident occurred.

After watching his favorite movie, "Tarzan, the Ape Man," he said he had gone outdoors to find a rope to swing on, but settled instead for a 20-foot length of copper wire.

Davenport said his toss missed the tree limb and the wire struck the main power lines, sending a 555,000-volt torrent of electricity coursing through his young body.

"The doctor said that I was lucky I was wearing tennis shoes, because (otherwise) I would have exploded like a live bomb," he said. "I was kind of like a live wire. I hit all three power lines. All three of them."

Davenport said he remembers laying on the ground as his uncle, Tony Barnett, instructed him to stay still. But because Davenport's body was so charged with electricity, Barnett got zapped in the process of helping his nephew and was left brain-damaged.

"(Barnett) walks around now like a zombie," Davenport said, "but he saved my life."

After enduring extensive plastic surgery, the amputation of both hands and his toes and a skin graft, Davenport said he was inspired by his late grandfather, who had been paralyzed from his neck down to his feet.

Instead of saying "Why me?" Davenport said his grandfather urged him to say, "Help me."

"When I started asking God to help me, it felt like something came in that room and lifted my spirit. And ever since then, I've had the drive," he said.

As he sat in at the Broad Street Bar & Grill talking to a Red & Black reporter, he clutched a container of ketchup and mustard with his hook, before setting them on the top corners of a napkin and smoothing it over.

Rigged with rubber bands and attached to his shoulder blade, the hook on his right hand helps him with his daily routine, he said, which includes cooking, shaving and pouring coffee.

As he sketched Uga, Davenport hummed and whistled to a Counting Crows song.

"This year, I just taught myself how to draw and talk at the same time," he said.

Being motivated by other people in his life, like his grandfather, a woman he read about in high school who could paint with her mouth and Hershel Walker, with whom he used to practice Tae Kwan Do, Davenport said he likes to motivate people, especially children.

Knowing where to go and who will want a picture is just a feeling, he said. "People love art, and I do entertain them, I guess."

Davenport said he is happy when he wakes up in the morning, but he has had to work hard to achieve that piece of mind.

He remembers friends who started treating him differently after the accident, he said, as well as the process of training himself to draw with his mouth -- the hardest part of which, he adds, was not drooling.

More than anything, Davenport said he wants people to be real, to be themselves and not to pretend that they are anything else.

He said he hopes to be recognized by Ripley's Believe It or Not, and added that he is in talks with producers to appear on the Maury Povich Show in August.

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