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The Old Holloway Place

It is falling in.

Every time my father and I drove up Highway 5, he gazed over to a spot along the road. He often mentioned the family that lived there, tapped on the window and shared something about his friend John Thomas “Tom' Holloway. Tom, he said, had twin brothers who were four years younger and always under foot. Wesley and Lesley were born about 1912 and were small when their father died.

The gang of early teenage boys attended Bill Arp School and assumed an interest in music.

The group included the Stovall twins, Thad and Clyde; a first cousin, Jim Milam; Tom; and my father, who at that time was called “Theo,” short for Theodore.

Dad would lose the “Theo” when he went away to Berry Schools because he thought it was a “girly-name,” short for “Theodorah,”and there was nobody in the family with that name.

Throughout his life, old friends and family continued to call him “Theo.”

The wannabe musicians needed a place to practice and that turned out to be the Holloway place.

The Holloway home was small, but they still had a detached kitchen, separate and behind the main house, and the kitchen became the boy's rehearsal hall. It was also where neighbors gathered for occasional “entertainments.”

The large kitchen was used as an auxiliary bedroom with cots along the walls.

They needed a name and chose “The Dog River Boys.” The Stovall twins played guitars, Jim Milam played a fiddle, Dad played an accordion and Tom was a singer or kept time with a wash-board. When Jim's father, Uncle Plez, made him give up his musical career and devote more time to farming, continued from page

Dad bought his fiddle.

At that time the local Baptist Church frowned on dancing and would “withdraw fellowship” from anyone dancing in public or musicians playing for a dance. “We played for Entertainments, and if someone got up and wanted to dance, we couldn't stop them,” he told me. Plus, he said, he had never joined the church and didn't much care what they thought. That, I thought, was a funny opinion to be held by a future Baptist minister and President of a Baptist College. The old Holloway home disappeared decades ago, but the kitchen has held on and was probably mistaken for a free-standing home. There probably weren't more than a dozen people in the Bill Arp Community who knew what it was.

The old kitchen gave way last week, the last evidence of the Holloway home place and kitchen. The only artifact of The Dog River Boys is my dad's fiddle. It was very, very old when he bought it from Jim Milam in about 1912. Today it is in the Douglas County Museum of History and Art.

I stopped and took a picture of what had been the Holloway kitchen and tried to reflect on what The Dog River Boys sounded like as a musical group.

It must have been terrible.

The remains of the old Holloway place.

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