Our beautiful old colonial house was built by Alexander Dan Holt before the Civil War. His wife was a McNeill, whose parents came from Scotland. They settled in North Carolina and lived there for a while. Because they were ostracized for wearing the Scottish kilts, etc., they moved to Tennessee and bought some land that was formerly owned by Andrew Jackson. One of their sons was John M. Holt who inherited a part of the land located in Gibson County. He married Parthenia J. Ulmsed. They had five children, Nancy Elizabeth, James Richard, Ezekial Hudson, William Marshall and Martha Frances, who was the only child to survive. She married Andrew Burress. Alexander Dan's wife had a sister who married a Senter. One of her children married James Whistler, who painted the famous picture "Whistler's Mother". After Parthenia J. Ulmsed died, John M. Holt married Vashti Martin. They had five children, Dan Alexander, Andrew David, Harriet, Zada and Johnnie. They, John and Vashti, lived there until their death and reared their children there.
During the Civil War the "Carpet Baggers" took John M. to a nearby woodland and hanged him because he would not tell them where his money was. Like most of the Southerners he had no money. They released the noose and left him lying on the ground. They hurried away thinking he was dead. But he was alive. After resting awhile he crawled home. We have no written record of this but John M. loved to tell this strange story over and over to his children and grand children and we know it to be true.
After the land was divided Dan Alexander, the oldest son came in possession of the homestead. He and his wife, Ella (McMinn) Holt lived there until their death and reared their children there. Their names were Allie Holt (Fuqua), Ina Holt (Atchison), Lonnie Dan and Otha. Lonnie Dan came in possession of the homestead in 1919 and lived there with his wife Mattie (Fly) Holt for two years. Their first child, Ethelene Elizabeth Holt was born Nov. 2, 1920. She was the last Holt to be born in the old house. In the autumn of 1922 a fire destroyed the old edifice. For a short while Lonnie and his little family lived in a small cottage until he built the house which now stands on the original site. This house was built almost entirely of lumber cut from the many beautiful oaks which grew on the land. Ruth Irene and Bevley Dan were born in the new house. In 1926 Lonnie Dan moved to Milan to take advantage of better schooling for his children. He retained possession of the land and took an avid interest in it, successfully farming it, including more acreage, which he purchased from time to time. He named this &Woodland Farm&. Before his death he deeded his dear old home and all the land to his seven children: Ethelene Holt Rich, Mildred Holt Miles, Ruth Holt McMullen, Dan, Robert, David and Huey. They have the farm operated by a competent manager, Charlene Moore, who has lived and worked on the farm most of his life. The seven children are proud to have had the privilege of spending most of their summers helping their Dad with the hoeing, mowing, and many other jobs on the farm. When they come home to Milan, they never fail to drive out to see the farm. To all of them, it will always be known as &The Holt Homestead&.Transcription Notes
This family story was written by my grandmother Martha Elizabeth Fly Holt, wife of Lonnie Dan Holt, sometime after the death of L.D. Holt 7AUG1974. It was handed out with a copy of a circa 1893 photograph showing the old home and the listed family members.
While no changes were made in the spelling of names in this document, this family story does contain several name errors and distortions of fact that need correction and clarification. The Holt ancestor from North Carolina was not Alexander Dan Holt, but rather David Holt, as proven by census and court records. His first wife was Nancy McNeill, as proven by a Cumberland Co., NC marriage record. The statement about Nancy McNeill's parents coming from Scotland is probably incorrect. A 1911 biography of Neil McNeill Stewart, son of James and Isabella Stewart, identifies Neil and Lucy Knight McNeill as his grandparents. Isabella McNeill Stewart was the sister of Nancy McNeill Holt, wife of David Holt. Sorting out the multiple Neill McNeills of Cumberland Co. is difficult, but this Neill McNeill was possibly the grandson of Neil McNeill, who was instrumental in bringing a large group of Scottish settlers to NC around 1740.
The statement about the wearing of kilts being the basis for the move from North Carolina to Tennessee appears to be a distortion of historical fact. The English suppression of traditional Scottish customs, including the wearing of kilts, led many Scots to immigrate to the American colonies in the 1700's. The migration to West Tennessee was probably motivated by the basic reasons of cheap land and increased opportunity.
The statement about the Holt ancestor purchasing land from Andrew Jackson would appear to be another distortion of historical fact. Andrew Jackson helped to negotiate an 1818 treaty with the Chickasaw Indian Nation that resulted in the cessation of their legal rights to the territory that became West Tennessee. Once removed from Indian control, this territory became open for settlement and led to the formation of many counties, including Gibson County, which was formed in 1823. There is no documentation that Andrew Jackson ever owned any property in Gibson County.
The statement about Nancy McNeill Holt having a sister married to a Senter is correct, in part. She had two sisters married to Senter brothers: Jannett married Alvin Blalock Senter and Flora married James Senter. But, the statement about one of the Senter children marrying James Whistler is totally incorrect. James Whistler's mother was Ann Matilda McNeill, daughter of Daniel McNeill of Bladen County, NC. A 1965 correspondence letter from Mrs. Johnnie Hale Metcalf to A. D. Holt, states that these McNeill sisters were possibly cousins or nieces of James Whistler's mother. A possibly connection could exist between these McNeills, but needs further research to establish a definitive relationship.
The similarities in content and name errors between this family history and an Oliver (Hutcherson) family history written in 1969 suggests a common source. The Oliver family history was dictated by Mrs. Johnnie Hale Metcalf, a great-granddaughter of Zedekiah and Mary McNeill Oliver. In her 1965 letter to Andrew David Holt, Jr., then president of the University of Tennessee and first cousin to L.D. Holt, Mrs. Metcalf, names Dan Holt as the Holt ancestor from NC and relates the "Whistler's Mother" connection. Mrs. Metcalf stated that she and others were working on gathering family related information. She or one of this group must have been the source of information used by Martha Fly Holt for this family history.
Richard A. Holt
2253 Chesterfield Circle
Lakeland, FL 33813
© 2003 Richard Holt
November 2, 1920 - June 24, 1991
Ethelene grew up and graduated from high school in Milan, TN. During her high school years she played the saxophone in the band. After high school she enrolled at Blue Mountain College in Mississippi and graduated in 1942. Thus she called herself a Tennessippian. While in college she spent one summer leading Mission Vacation Bible Schools in Tennessee.
Here are some excerpts from her college diary:
Observing college freshmen she wrote: "What happens in each girl's life has more to do with that girl's determination to bring to reality all the fires kindled when a freshman, than with her good looks, money, and what other good things that might be hers."
She quoted the opening address of Dr. H. R. Bakeman: "Destiny, is where what you are takes you.
There is no opportunity without responsibility and there is no responsibility without opportunity."
"After deciding that I could not go out for basketball, volley ball or other sports, I made the decision to concentrate on one sport - FENCING!"
She quoted one of her classmates on dating as saying: "He is a little young, a little fat, a little short, but he's better than nothing!"
I found two poems that she wrote in her diary her senior year.
A DAY AT BLUE MOUNTAIN COLLEGE
The dawn brought the day, a new beginning.
The blue bird glided upward to light upon a limb.
The teacher gave a new and nobler thought to the eager student.
The snowball bush bloomed beside the open doorway.
The raindrops fell with quiet and restful pattering.
The girl gave a wholesome, happy smile.
The old colored cook cheerfully gave a day of toil.
The musician gave a peep into heaven with her talking violin.
The night brings peace and full contentment.
So ends a day in Blue Mountain College.
Moon, why are you so hazy and dim?
Are you shading some truth with a veil of light?
Moon, why are you bold and red?
Are you blushing at some ugly remark?
Moon, why are so pure and white?
Does God rest on your bosom tonight?
After college she attended Baptist Student Union week at Ridgecrest Baptist Assembly in North Carolina. While there she sat at the table for meals and a redheaded lad from Mississippi waited on her table.
The year after college she worked at the Milan Ordinance Plant and lived at home. During this year she led an active lifestyle of Christian service at First Baptist Church. It was during this period that she dedicated her life to ministry, as the Lord would lead.
With this new decision she enrolled at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX. The meals at the Seminary were served family style, as was done at Ridgecrest. Soon after one of the meals she walked up to a redheaded lad serving tables and said, "I remember you! You served my table at Ridgecrest last year." Do you know what? I was that same lad and I never got away from her dancing brown eyes. Nine months later we married, June 29, 1944.
Christmas 1943 Lonnie and Mattie Holt had no idea what was happening to their oldest daughter. I wrote them as follows: "Dear Mom and Pop Holt... and asked permission to marry Ethelene." When the shocking letter was opened in Milan her Mother called Ethelene, and in the conversation Ethelene declared, "I have to get married." With that announcement, her Mother promptly got on a train and came to Ft. Worth. Ethelene assured her Mother she was not pregnant. Rules were so strict at the Seminary all we had ever done was hold hands. I remember puckering up to kiss her one time. The lady in charge of dorm walked in about that time. I thought she would send both of us back home!
While at the Seminary Ethelene worked as Secretary for Dr. J. M. Price, Dean of the School of Religious Education. She served with him the two years we were there and during this time she "translated" his book, "JESUS THE TEACHER" from his handwriting to the typewriter. I call it a translation because his handwriting was like that of a doctor, often hard to read! This book was most popular among Sunday School workers and church staff members. It was later translated into a dozen or more languages and used on many foreign mission fields.
Ethelene and I graduated from the Seminary with the same degree, a Master's of Religious Education! Over the years, I served on church staffs in local Baptist Churches. Ethelene always served in a volunteer position. We were in Quincy, FL; Baton Rouge, LA; Augusta, GA; San Antonio, TX; Corsicana, TX; Memphis, TN and Nashville, TN. During our Seminary days I served on the staff of Southside Baptist Church in Wichita Falls, TX.
Ethelene loved the Lord and served Him without reservation. Here are some of her interests and how she involved herself in ministry.
First of all she loved her family, our four children, grandchildren and her extended family. She gave herself to them with joy unspeakable.
She loved the church and gave herself to its ministry of teaching, training and mission endeavors. She was an active leader in all the organizations in the church. She love people and touched their lives repeatedly.
Beyond the church she wrote articles for Baptist publications, and skits for the Tennessee Baptist Convention's 100th anniversary. These skits were used all over Tennessee in various church settings. She served two terms as a trustee on the Historical Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and was elected as the Recording Secretary. Ethelene led conferences at Ridgecrest and Glorieta Baptist Assemblies and many other church training events.
Ethelene loved life with its flowers, trees, birds and animals. It was natural for her to plant and grow roses. She made arrangements for our home and my office throughout the years. We have a large dogwood bush in our front yard. She dug this up from the Holt farm when it was very small. Now it is the height of our house.
She was an avid student of the Bible and excelled in teaching and living its truths. I can hear her now quoting 3 John 2-4: "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."
Ethelene had three major operations in the 60's. From blood transfusions, she developed Cirrhosis of the liver. It became hepatic encephalopathy. She was 70 years young and needed a liver transplant, but decided against the surgery. The operation might have lengthened her life but there was no assurance of its success. You would want to know, she was hospitalized three times in six months. Her last days were as all her days. She never looked back, she never complained, she never voiced a worry about her deteriorating condition and she never gave up! She lived with a smile on her face!
Nine months before her passing I was serving part time on the staff at Central Baptist Church in Oak Ridge, TN. She said, "The most surprising thing happened for my 70th birthday. Our church was on TV. I was called to the front, presented an orchid and two volumes of letters from kinfolk, friends from high school, college, seminary and churches where we had served." It was a super celebration to climax her glorious career!
As we reflect on our loved one, may we each have JOY FOR OUR JOURNEY and may we be admonished by the words of Psalm 90:12, "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." The afterglow is the glow left after the sun has gone down. Ethelene's afterglow lives and her life was one continuous glow for all who walked in her path!
Written by C. Winfield Rich, Ethelene's beloved husband
My full name is Mildred Elma Holt Miles. I was bom October 2, 1922 in the Chapel Hill community of Milan, Tennessee. For years I gave Chapel Hill, Tennessee as my place of birth, rather than Milan, Tennessee. My remarkable parents were Lonnie Dan Holt and Martha (Mattie) Elizabeth Fly Holt. I was the second of seven children, three girls and four boys. My two grandmothers. Mama Holt and Mama Fly were indispensable to my youth.
As a child I always wanted to play school, but I followed my sisters up every tree around, played hide and seek, or made mud pies. But the lure of the classroom remained, so my memoirs will be I centered mostly on school.
I don't recall my parents ever saying how much they valued education, but we children understood that anyway. Both my parents had taught school. My Aunt Ethel made a long career of it. My mother taught me to read when I was barely five.
My elementary and high school days sped by. In the sixth and seventh grades I finally began to "blossom out" and take my studies seriously. I was valedictorian of my eighth grade class. That year I, along with one of my fellow students, represented Milan at a spelling bee in Trenton. We both went down before the final round. At the close of high school I managed only fourth in my graduating class.
In high school I played - or tried to play - a clarinet in the high school band. I remained poor in music, but we had lots of pleasant trips.
During those years we still played at climbing trees, jumping ditches, "exploring" Johnson's Bottom, etc. Down below our house were four dogwood trees that grew very close together. We climbed from one tree to another and had "special rooms" in each. My best friend was Harriet Dickey, but Louise Mills, Thelma Nelson, my cousin Maurine Holt, Nell Farbis, Jimmie Ruth Bolton, Pauline Chapman and my sisters Ethelene and Ruth all felt at home at the "dogwood trees". We played hopscotch, catching lightening bugs, making clover dresses, eating sheep sheer, and other such stuff. As we got older occasional dating added spice to life.
We girls were not excused from work. My two nightly chares were to bring in two armloads of stove wood and to drive the cow from the far pasture to the barn for somebody to milk. In summer we worked at Sitka Pack Shed packing tomatoes. One other thing I should mention, my parents saw to it that our whole family attended church regularly.
I attended Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain, Mississippi for four happy years. One great experience was being a reader for a blind professor, Dr. David Guyton. He always gave me a candy bar after each reading session. It was wartime and candy was hard to come by. During my senior year eight of us like-minded girls founded a Houn' Dog Club. It lasted until the college president heard of it. He told us it was against the college's rules to form a secret society. Pearl Harbor came in my sophomore year. That really woke me up, and I began to take world history, world geography and international relations very seriously. I graduated with three majors, English, history and Bible.
During the summers my sisters and I continued working at the Sitka Pack Shed. But after graduation I spent two summers at West Frankfort, Illinois, working at a Good Will Center as an assistant to Miss Mary Headen, a Baptist missionary.
After finishing college I taught history and English at Hazlehurst High School in Hazlehurst, Mississippi. After the first week a kind teacher told me I was now in the TGTIF Club (Thank God, This is Friday). I loved teaching but Fridays remained the best days of the school years. I was "honored" to be made sponsor of the debating team and program chairman for the PTA.
Following the year at Hazlehurst I decided to work toward a Master's degree. I selected Vanderbilt University and majored in political science. The professors were excellent, the subjects hard, but Blue Mountain College had me well prepared. My hardest work was in writing a thesis. My major professors gave me a title to work on: Walter Hines Page: An Evaluation of His Influence on our Entry into World War One. Somehow I managed to get my degree.
But in spite of hard schoolwork these were perhaps the merriest years of my life, largely because I lived at Greene House, owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Greene. Ten girls roomed there and had their breakfast and night meals. About ten boys, mostly Vanderbilt med students, joined us at mealtime. This was a fun time.
My next school experience was two years teaching at Cohn High School in Nashville. My cousin Andy Holt, then Executive Secretary of the Tennessee Education Association, marched me down to the office of the superintendent of Nashville City Schools for an interview. The results -1 was hired. These were great years, but just before the second year I met the love of my life, Clarence Edmond (Eddie) Miles, a vocational agriculture teacher and farmer. My heart was no longer" in Nashville.
Eddie and I married on November 20, 1948. We've now been married for over 54 years. We have three children, Don, Martha and Millie, of whom we are extremely proud. We have six grandchildren and one step-grandchild.
Since our marriage I have taught at several schools: one year and six months at Humboldt, Tennessee; three months at Medina, Tennessee; three months at Gibson, Tennessee; a semester at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee; six more years at Medina, Tennessee; and finally 17 years at Milan, Tennessee. I retired in 1980.
The years of teaching were greatly rewarding. Constant association with young people keeps one young at heart. But retirement has been greater. We stayed busy with the yard, the garden, the house, the freezer, the farm, our three children, our church, fishing, reading, travelling, visiting relatives and friends and having them visit us.
Now our health is pretty shaky. Eddie has Alzheimer's and is badly crippled from a fall. My eyesight is pitiful and my walking wicked, but I am thankful I can still see all I need to see and walk wherever I need to walk. Eddie is a joy to me. We count many blessings.
My earliest memory is trying to follow my older sisters, Ethelene and Mildred, as they chased our beautiful collie dog around my grandmother's yard where we lived. I admired my sisters greatly but could never quite keep up with them. The second thing I remember is sitting on my grandmother's back porch listening to my great-grandfather McMinn tell hair raising stories about the Civil War and the mean 'ole' Yankee soldiers. He may have embroidered the truth and made up a lot of it, but nevertheless, it kept me mesmerized. He was an eccentric old man in his eighties who had been married four times and had divorced one of his wives. That was unheard of in those days and made him notorious. There were no nursing homes then, so he was passed around from one child to another. I was always sorry when it came time for him to stay with somebody else.
Then came the sad day when we moved into our new home on the outskirts of Milan. I still remember watching the furniture being loaded onto that big truck. I was four years old. The first few weeks in our new home was a bad time for our family. It was in the winter, and there was a bad flu epidemic that year. In a short time everyone in our family became ill. My mother and I developed double pneumonia and were very critical. Nurses had to be brought in to care for us. This was before the days of penicillin and wonder drugs. I was terrified of young Dr. Alexander who called on us because he wore black horn-rimmed glasses. My Aunt Ethel was the only one who could get me to swallow my medicine. Somehow, we survived all this. Many years later my mother looked up Dr. Alexander who was practicing medicine in Jackson, Mississippi. He remembered our family and told her that he never thought I would live. They were so happy to see one another again.
When I was five, I was thrilled because I could start to school. I had a wonderful first grade teacher, Miss Lynn Lacy. She made all the children in our class believe that learning was a lot of fun and a great adventure. This is the best gift any teacher can give a child. I will never forget how thrilled I was when I won the prize for drawing the best chicken on the blackboard.
Another vivid memory of my childhood is the big farm operation, which my father and uncle had every year in the months of May and June. They had several acres of strawberries and grew tomato plant seedlings to be shipped to Campbell Soup Company and other canning firms in the northern states. During this time, the whole family had to pitch in and help. I worked at the strawberry packing shed and paid the pickers as they brought in their cartons of strawberries. To me, the tomato plant operation was awesome. Workers had to be brought in from two or three counties to pull the plants in the fields. Then, they were sent to the packing shed where about twenty women (both black and white) worked on an assembly line in which a conveyor belt kept the plants moving along. When a lot of orders came in, they worked in shifts for twenty-four hours at a time. I decided I would try it and lasted about two days. I soon found out this wasn't fun and games but very hard work. It was during this time that I had my first taste of the business world when my cousin, Maurine, and I decided to start a little business selling bologna and cheese sandwiches, moon pies and cold drinks to the workers in the fields. We had no overhead since we operated out of the trunk of my father's automobile. We usually cleared about a hundred dollars each for the summer and thought we were rich. We did this for two or three summers. I started a savings account at Milan Banking Company, which I still have, though the bank has a different name now.
My school years passed quickly and were a happy time for me. All in all, I would say that I had a very happy childhood. I had two sisters and four brothers. It's great to grow up in a big family. I have so many happy memories of Christmas get-togethers, visits to both of my grandmothers' homes and vacation trips we took. My sisters and I always looked forward to going to the State Fair in Jackson, TN each fall. We saved money all summer for this. That was a different time and a different age, but in some ways it was much better than the fast paced, high tech life we live today. My senior year at Milan High School was not as carefree as I would have liked. A dark cloud was hanging over our country after the Pearl Harbor attacks. Nearly all the boys in my class went into the service right after graduation. One of them was killed, and another came home badly crippled. Food and gasoline were rationed. It was a hard time for everyone during the next four years.
That fall I would enroll at Blue Mountain College in northern Mississippi. Blue Mountain was a good school, and I made a lot of friends there. The rules were so strict, though, that we called it the Baptist Convent. As I look back now, I think my parents wanted their daughters to go to a girls' school because they thought we would be safer there while the world was in such a terrible state of upheaval. I'll never forget how upset they were when I went home one weekend and told them I was thinking about joining the WAVES.
One summer I attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which was a fun time for me. There was a government pre-flight program there, which meant there were plenty of boys to date. Besides this I could visit my brother, Dan, who was enrolled in an officers' training program at Duke University nearby. This meant a lot to me. Our whole family was afraid that he would be shipped overseas soon. While I was there, World War II came to a sudden, abrupt end. The whole town went wild.
After this, I returned to Blue Mountain for my senior year. There was one eventful episode which occurred during this year that would have a profound effect on my future. My roommate happened to invite me to go with her to Newton, MS to visit her grandparents for the weekend. It was on this trip that I would meet my future husband, Elliot. After this I attended the University of Mexico in Mexico City for a while. I lived with a Mexican family, which I adored. This was one of the most interesting periods of my life. I developed a taste and fascination for other cultures and desired to travel. When I left to come home, we all cried. When my husband and I visited Mexico City a few years later, I was so happy that I could see them again.
After this I had to face reality and find a job. I taught English in Ripley, TN for a while. Then Elliot and I became engaged and were soon married. Since my marriage, my family has been the focal point of my life. My daughter, Janis Ruth, was born in 1949 and my son, William Holt, was born in 1951. Newton is a wonderful place in which to live and rear a family. People ask me from time to time how I entertain myself living in such a little town. If they only knew how busy I am most of the time. At the present I am a member of the Newton Arts Council, the Friends of the Depot, a bridge club, a Great Books reading group, two coffee clubs, and attend an art class. I started studying art when I was forty years old. This is a wonderful diversion which I would recommend to anyone. I am always pleased when someone wants to buy one of my paintings.
My religious faith and my church have been an important part of my life. For several years I have worked with the homebound at Newton First Baptist Church. I enjoy visiting the sick and shut-ins. I love the easygoing ambiance of a small town where there are no traffic problems.
My husband and I have traveled a lot and visited many parts of the world. For our 40th anniversary we took our whole family to Alaska for two weeks, which was a wonderful experience. For our 50th anniversary we went on a Mediterranean cruise and visited the islands of Crete, Rhodes, Santorini and Patmos with stopovers in Egypt, Turkey and Israel.
When I reflect on my life, I know that I have been blessed. I was fortunate to have had such wonderful parents and to have married a good man who has always made me a good living. My children and their families have brought me a lot of happiness. I am very fond of my daughter-in-law, Lynn, and my son-in-law, Bill. I adore my three grandchildren, Arlean, Will and Will Elliot. I am getting old now and have some health problems, but life is still interesting to me. I have a formula for staying happy which has worked for me and has gotten me through some rough times (which everyone has at some time or another). At the end of each day, I ask myself if I have learned something today and if I have helped someone today. If I can answer yes to both of these questions, I know that I will never be bored. Ruth McMullan
Today, as we have gathered to say our final goodbye to my father, my mother and sister, Janis, and I thought it would be appropriate for me to make some comments about James Elliott McMullan. For me it is a high honor to deliver this eulogy not only because he was my father, but because we celebrate the life of a man who leaves a rich heritage of integrity, generosity, love of ones fellow man, and of Christian faith.
My father was not a complicated man. He established his basic core values rather early in life primarily from those values laid down before him by his mother and father. Then he simply went to work every day. He lived a good and virtuous life always willing to accept his responsibilities. He maintained a firm and steady hold on these core values and they never failed him in all his 83 years. I know of no other person who valued "the simple treasures of life" more than my father. He loved his family dearly. But he also dearly loved his friends, his hometown, his bank, his Rotary Club, his numerous coffee clubs and particularly this church.
And to those of you here today, speaking on behalf of our family and also on behalf of my father, we appreciate your being here. The out-pouring of prayers and concerns during his illness as well as your kind words of condolences and comfort are something we will never forget. He would probably not approve and would actually be a bit embarrassed that I am here speaking at his funeral. He was never one who liked to talk about himself, plus this is a weekday so everybody needs to go back to work.
I'm not sure that you, who were his everyday friends, fully comprehend just what you meant to my father. As I now look around this sanctuary, I see many of you whom he truly adored. I have always marveled at the diversity of his friends. As was typical of his generation, he was not inclined to express his emotions. But I trust that each of you privately know, that in your own special way, you enriched and nurtured his bountiful life. As I listened to him speak about each of you, it always gave me great comfort for I realized what a fulfilling life my father lived.
He was one of the most plainly decent men I have ever known. It was not until I was well into my adulthood, that I began to appreciate the depth of his being. He was born in 1921 at 809 West Church Street in Newton, Mississippi. When he was eight years old, the Great Depression came which must have made life a real struggle in this small southern town. Perhaps also, this was what made him such a tightwad. Eleven years later, when he was only 20 years old, World War II began and he proudly served 4 years in the U.S. Navy. Amazingly, this was the only time in his life that was not spent in Newton. After the war he returned home and soon thereafter, he met the lovely, charming and soft-spoken Ruth Holt of Milan, Tennessee. She quickly swept him off his feet and they married in 1947. It must have been the hand of providence that brought him one of the kindest and most thoughtful ladies on this earth to soften and compliment his outspoken and some times overly direct personality. After their honeymoon, they moved into a just constructed little house at 807 West Church Street, right next door to the only house in which he had ever lived. It was here that he lived his next 56 years. He joined his father and brother, Victor, in W. L. McMullan and Sons Hardware Store and started the only job he ever had. Therefore, in 83 years of life, he has lived in only one town, lived on only one street, and had only one job. Certainly this stability was partly responsible for his being so deeply grounded.
In 1957, he was elected mayor of Newton as was his father many years before. Amazingly, in spite of his crotchety non-political personality, he was re-elected four more terms. Being the mayor of a small town in those days included many varied responsibilities among which was holding mayor's court. Although he had no legal training whatsoever, he was required to be a municipal judge whenever misdemeanor charges were filed against someone. Inevitably, every few months one of my high school classmates would get into some mischief and get hauled off to Mayor Court. There my father, with all the wisdom of Soloman, had the perfect punishment - he would assign them one months duty on the garbage truck detail. I would often hear him boast to his friends how this demeaning punishment was amazingly effective. And it was. But what he never could understand, however, was that my popularity at school would plummet each time and I would be ostracized for weeks. To this day, some folks, one or two of whom may be in this congregation, have still have not forgotten this humiliating experience.
During the 20 years he was mayor, the accomplishments of Newton were numerous. He felt that getting La-Z-Boy to Newton was his greatest success. He and Mr. Knabusch apparently developed a special relationship very quickly and supposedly my father's optimism convinced him that Newton would never let them down. I think history has proven this to be the case. I can still remember, as a young boy hanging out in the hardware store, how all his industrialist friends would drop by for a visit whenever they were in town. This was also when I first heard someone call him Elliott, three syllables, as opposed to Eh-yut, which is two syllables.
Being the mayor of a small southern town in the 1960's was a very difficult job. Janis and I both agree that, in our minds, his greatest accomplishment during these volatile times was the racial harmony and the atmosphere of mutual respect for all citizens that prevailed in Newton. All around us in other cities there was much violence and unrest. But not in Newton. Through his working in the hardware store, he knew almost everyone in town. We attribute Newton's calm success to my father's steady hand and his reputation of integrity and fairness to all people. He was always a man who could be trusted to do what was right and there wasn't a racist bone in his body.
My father was always proud of his Baptist heritage. He loved this church and worried about all his friends who were among those wayward Methodists and pesky Presbyterians. If you knew him very well, you can appreciate the anxiety I experienced 31 years ago when I made the decision to join my wife's church, the Episcopal Church. The only unpleasant part of the decision was having to tell my father. Finally, I decided to come to Newton and get this behind me. To my great relief, he was not upset at all. Despite his love of the Baptist Church, all he had to say was that it was my decision where I went to church. All that he expected, however, was for me to be active in wherever I attended. I assured him I would and, today, I trust that I have kept my part of the bargain. To me, this is a good illustration of my father's wisdom. He never said another word about my not being a Baptist.
Years later however, when my son, Will McMullan, was working in Chicago one summer, I told my father on a Sunday night telephone call how he would be proud to know that his grandson had gone to church that morning. I told him how he visited a beautiful old Presbyterian Church in downtown Chicago. He immediately asked "why he didn't go to an Episcopal Church?" I told him how he had, in fact, gone to one a few weeks before, but that it was a high Episcopal Church where they burned incense and he just didn't feel comfortable there. His response, which was not intended to be humorous and which personified his whole being was, "huh, if you want the boy to go to heaven, you better send him to a Baptist church." I think I laughed continuously for two weeks after that, not just because it was so funny, but because it was such a vivid example of his colorful personality.
Daddy developed few hobbies since he worked all the time. But he and mother did take numerous trips over the years to many European countries. Two things you could always count on him to say upon returning, without fail, was that he was glad to be back in his own bed again and that he never wanted to visit another cathedral. I can still hear him bark out "if you've seen one cathedral , you've seen them all."
But don't get the wrong idea; my father loved the lord. He always counted his blessings and strangely never seemed to feel he deserved the successful life the Lord had given him. In the last few years, I have heard him boast of the fact that he was the longest living continuous member of this great church. So perhaps the reason he didn't want to see another old cathedral was because he already had his own cathedral - far better than anything in Europe. This spiritual home provided him all the nourishment he needed. In the last few years, the truest way to measure how he was feeling was on Sunday afternoon when I would call to see if he went to church that day. I recently wondered just how many times in his 83 years did he walk into this very room - it must have been thousands. Therefore, I feel it is fitting and appropriate that he come through these church doors one last time before he is laid to permanent rest. I am certain that there have been many outstanding sermons preached from this pulpit. But speaking for myself, I have never heard a greater sermon, nor one that was more eloquent nor one more true than the sermon he spoke by the life he lived.
It was a great source of pride for him that both his children and his grandchildren were active in their Christian faith. Throughout our lives Janis and I have never questioned our father's love for us. But frankly, it pales in comparison to the effusive and undeniable affection he had for his three grandchildren. I still remember how I marveled at his newfound level of affection when my daughter, Arlean, came into this world. And oh how proud he was of his two grandsons, Will Tabor and Will McMullan. Sometimes when we would be sitting around and just talking, he would unexpectedly change the subject and exclaim, "I'll tell you now, those are two fine handsome boys." I must also say to my wife, Lynn, and my bother-in-law, Bill, that you too were just as much a part of his family as anyone and he appreciated your enormous contributions. There is no question in my mind that at those times when he had all his family around him, he truly felt he was experiencing heaven on earth.
Hopefully, my father's years of dedicated service will continue to resonate throughout this building and this church for years to come and that he doesn't quickly fade away from all of our memories. His physical presence may be gone, but I hope that a piece of his spirit is embedded in each of us. There can be no greater tribute that each of us can make to my father than by rededicating our lives to our God, our family and our community.
And to you fine people of Newton, the town to which he dedicated his life, please know that until his very end he shared that Ronald Reagan type optimism for the future of Newton and that this glorious little town was indeed "his shining city on the hill." I trust that because of him, the shine is just a little bit brighter. As far as he was concerned, he lived in the "land of milk and honey" and honestly, heaven couldn't be much better than this. Well now he knows.
William Holt McMullan
June 18, 2004
My brother David furnished me with a copy of the personal memoirs he prepared for the upcoming Holt Reuinion for me to use as a model for mine. There will be no attempt on my part to duplicate the literary artistry of this prototype. My effort will try to emulate the style of his treatise. Since "memoirs" basically represents a collection of memories, I will be selective in describing the events of my 76-plus years, alluding to the major pleasant happenings while saying little about those not so pleasant.
I was born October 16, 1926 in the old home place on the Holt farm where Daddy grew up. This house later burned and I do not remember seeing it. My earliest remembrance is of the house built to replace it. Four births preceded mine. The first born was a girl named Hazel, who died in infancy. Then came in succession Ethelene (Mildred things Ethelene was born before Hazel), Mildred, Ruth and then me. Ruth and I were born about two years apart from each other. Later in succession were born Robert, David, Sarah Ella, and Huey. Sarah Ella died shortly after birth. I always felt disappointed in not having a younger baby sister, which was probably best, since I would have spoiled her rotten!
My father's name was Lonnie Dan Holt (L.D. Holt). My mother's name was Martha Elizabeth (Fly) Holt. We called them "Daddy" and "Mama". Mama's father, Thomas H. Fly, who died in the early 1930's, liked to call her "Mattie" and Mama always preferred that name. Mama had a sister, Ethel Fly Mills, and a brother Aubrey Fly Mills. Aunt Ethel's deceased husband was named Bevley David Mills (B.D. Mills) and my name was derived from a combination of his name and Daddy's middle name. There is no letter R in my first name. It was misspelled twice on my birth certificate but this discrepancy was finally corrected by court order many years ago. The name is spelled "Bevley" on Uncle B.D. Mills' tombstone and I also saw it spelled "Bevley" on a memorial certificate issued at the time of his death. Needless to say, the name Bevley has not been passed on to any of our three sons.
Daddy acquired a position as a rural letter carrier and we moved from the farm to the outskirts of Milan, TN in the late 1920s, though I am not certain about the exact year. At any rate, we were living near Milan on my 5th birthday on October 16, 1931. One of my vivid memories is the time Mama was rocking me in her lap while sitting in the middle bedroom. She commented, "Danny boy, tomorrow is your 5th birthday" and reached in her smock pocket and gave me a penny. I entered elementary school first grade in September 1932, one month before my 6th birthday on October 16, 1932.
The years in elementary school were a mixture of good times and stressful times. The economy was in a slump, teachers were poorly paid if paid at all, and my unnamed third grade teacher focused most of her discontent on me. Furniture was in short supply, and we students were required to sit in pairs at desks designed for only one. It fell my lot to sit with a girl of all things! One day without warning this unnamed teacher wheeled around from facing the blackboard and demanded that I come to the front of the room. Since I was being quiet as a church mouse, and not so much glancing sideways at the girl, immediately professed my innocence of any wrongdoing, all the while dutifully walking to the front of the room. This unnamed teacher pushed me over a table and painfully wielded a wooden yardstick on my bottom until she broke it. She never explained the reason for the undeserved corporal punishment. Several years later her obituary appeared in the Milan, TN Mirror Exchange newspaper following her death in a nursing home in Oregon or Washington State.
Miss Mary Horton, my fourth grade teacher, on the other hand, was the epitome of kindness. During recess one day I entered the classroom alone and noticed a moon pie on Richard Burrow's desk. I borrowed said moon pie and departed to the outside water fountain area to consume it. One of my classmates saw said moon pie, requested a bite, and I very generously presented him with an entire half of said moon pie. It is hardly necessary to tell you that the recipient of my generosity was the one who immediately said "I saw Dan Holt eating a moon pie". To her everlasting credit, Miss Mary Horton personified kindness and consideration to me in this matter. She induced me to confess my misdeed, mainly requiring only that I reimburse Richard Burrow five cents for said moon pie. Needless to say this episode completely squelched any aspiration I may have had to pursue a career in crime.
Another episode of undeserved corporal punishment occurred in the eighth grade when a stern, straight-laced and demanding unnamed teacher marched down the aisle and without warning or explanation, before or afterward, slapped me in the face so vigorously that she almost spun me around in my seat. This probably was on the general principle that I performed so poorly in arithmetic, particularly fractions. This unnamed teacher gave me what in those days would be called a social promotion and I bear her no malice. I did not intend to study mathematics in high school except "General Mathematics", a lightweight course designed for the mathematically deficient or deprived students who otherwise could not receive a high school diploma. My youngest sister Ruth let me know in no uncertain terms that she was not going to allow me to embarrass her by taking the easy way out, and that I must enroll in Algebra I if I wanted to retain her respect. She badgered me in this regard all summer long before my freshman year in high school. She must have reignited a dormant fire of mathematical aptitude. I made straight A's in Algebra I and II, geometry and trigonometry, and then went on in six semesters of mathematics at Duke University to achieve a membership in the Mathematics Honor Society.
There was another episode of corporal punishment that was well deserved. During World War II, years 1940-1944, I was the only person in my class who regularly drove a car to school, Daddy's 1938 Pontiac. This was mainly to transport Mama in the morning to elementary school on Park Avenue where she managed the cafeteria. I picked her up in the afternoon, along with cans of cafeteria garbage which we took home and fed to some pigs on the hills back of our house. Daddy let us four boys divide the proceeds from the sale of the pigs. One afternoon in the fall of 1943, the year we won the football conference championships, Joe Sturtevant, our wingback, told us that our center, Wylie Wheeler, had hurt his shoulder and needed to visit the chiropractor in Trenton, TN, twelve miles away. He suggested that we utilize our two study hall periods following lunch to take Wylie to the chiropractor. I agreed. We made the trip and returned to school by the end of the second study hall period. ( I should mention that I played right guard next to Wylie). We brazenly walked up to the front steps of the high school, where stood Mr. Lamar Pittman, the high school principal and previously the football coach. He did not say a word but beckoned us into his office, pointed to a table over which we leaned and he proceded to paddle us in a manner that we would not soon forger. He used a 1" x 4" well planed pine paddle of appropriate length, in which holes were bored. The smooth planning of course, ensured the absence of splinter injuries to our bottoms. The holes maximized the discomfort from stinging, without the paddle inflicting unwarranted bruising. I noticed a big grin on Joe Sturtevant's face and immediately realized that I had been "conned". Mr. Pittman, if asked beforehand, might have permitted me and Wylie to make the trip but if so there was no need for Joe to accompany us! Mr. Pittman dismissed us with the admonition that even though we were highly regarded football players, he did not want to catch us ever playing "hooky" again! It was later in that autumn that we won the football conference championship, the first one ever won by a Milan High School team. This account is totally factual. Precise specifications of Mr. Pittman's paddle are included just in case our schoolmistress niece Millie Clare ever perceives a need for a punitive instrument suitable for correcting the behavior of errant athletes.
Please don't think that my childhood experience consisted mostly of school spankings. I have fond memories of school trips. One was to Nashville where we visited the Parthenon and another to the state penitentiary. There we saw the electric chair and listened to an inmate with Bible in hand caution us not to commit the type of dastardly deeds that placed him behind bars. I attended basketball games (to which I was admitted free by virtue of trooping back and forth among the bleachers selling popcorn at five cents per large conical container for Mr. Pierce, the popcorn and peanut concessionaire). There were Boy Scout meetings and camping trips (including one memorable trip to Natchez Trace State Park where we had to wrap ourselves in blankets to avoid being devoured by mosquitoes), the Tennessee State Guard (organized when the Tennessee National Guard was mobilized for military duty) and, of course, football, which I played all four years in high school.
Social life in high school consisted mostly of interactions with other boys. During my senior year six of us organized the "Grub Club", meeting weekly either in one of our homes or at Whit's Cafe for a meal and socializing. Three of the group (Gilbert Harrell, Gene Moor and James Russell Wahl) are deceased. Jack Fain (Windermare, FL), Bill Claybrook (suburb of Albequerque, NM) and myself (Greenville, TN) remain. We especially enjoyed the meals that Mama prepared since she always had her famous strawberry shortcake for dessert using her own L.D. Holt farm grown frozen strawberries. I still think that Mama's strawberry shortcake constituted the most delicious dessert ever devised by mankind. It was not really a cake. It consisted of several layers of very thin, freshly baked piecrust, separated while still hot by Daddy's Tennessee Beauties strawberries (the best that I have ever eaten) and topped with real genuine whipped cream. Yummy!
Dating in high school, which was sporadic, infrequent, uneventful and never serious, occurred mainly during the second half of my senior year. Generally this was the girl who was not in our class who had been introduced to me by Bill Claybrook. One girl was a pretty blond who moved away to another town. I recall a slight oddity in her otherwise flawless appearance associated with the fact that the coloration of her eyebrows, though attractive, did not form a matched pair. Another was a refined, ladylike, very pretty young woman who was a cousin of Bill's. I think she dated me not for any attraction to me but just to please Bill, of whom she was very fond. Speaking candidly, my high school "love life" was characterized mainly by the lack thereof. Incidentally, Bill Claybrook, after military service and college, and being trained in photography, spent his career with the Atomic Energy Commission and directed the filming of the atomic explosion tests in the south Pacific.
Other memorable events of my high school years included attending Boys' State at Castle Heights Military Academy, Lebanon, TN, with Gene Moore and Glenn Jones, and a bus trip to Nashville in my sophomore year with Gene Moore and others to see the Milan team compete in the State Boys' Basketball Championship Tournament. Mr. Lamar Pittman was the coach. We stayed in a downtown hotel and subsisted mainly on Crystal Burgers, one-half dozen for a quarter. Milan was heavily favored to win, but one key player sustained an ankle injury in the semifinals. The team also faced officiating noticeably biased toward the physical style manifested by some brutes from Bradley County High School in Cleveland, TN, who wrested away the victory in the championship game.
Several outstanding teachers come to mind, including Mary Horton, Edith Holt, Virginia Dunnel, Claude Denney, Willie Maude Thompson and Johnnie Hale who required me in Latin class to sit next to her desk, facing the rest of the class. She was very loyal to athletes. During one rainstorm-plagued football game she and Mama were the only spectators sitting in the stands. She is most likely the only Latin teacher in whose honor a football stadium was named.
Ethelene, Mildred and Ruth showed me more sisterly affection and attention than I deserved. Ethelene and Mildred went of to college and I did not see much of them during my high school years. Ruth departed for college during my junior and senior years. Once I visited Mildred and Ruth at Blue Mountain College, Blue Mountain, Mississippi. That was quite and experience.
During my senior year in high school I took a qualifying examination and did well enough to receive an appointment to the Navy V-12 program at Duke University, Durham, NC. I reported on July 1, 1944 and after a few months the V-12 program was converted into a Naval R.O. T.C. program. Three years of college were completed while I was on active duty. I was discharged in June of 1946. Subsequently I completed my studies in Naval Science and Tactics, Electrical Engineering and Business Administration. I received a commission in the U.S. Naval Reserve from which later I retired, though my status was mainly in the inactive Reserve. During the summer of 1947 I worked about three months for Duke Power Company based in Charlotte, NC. My duties involved the servicing and maintenance of all immersed circuit breakers, which function to protect generators and transformers when lightening strikes or similar electrical mishaps occur. One accidental electrocution that I observed, and another near-electrocution which involved me personally, dampened my enthusiasm for the strictly electrical sphere of the engineering field.
MARRIAGE, EMPLOYMENT EARLY ON AND CHILDREN
I met Henrietta Stringfellow during a short visit to Milan in Augist 1947. She was working as a medical technologist for Drs. Clemmer and Fields. I returned to Milan from Duke in May 1948 and Henrietta and I married on September 30, 1948. I worked from 1948 through 1950 with my father on his farm and at the Irving Fly Company, a packer/shipper of farm produce of which Daddy was a partner. Deciding to re-enter the engineering field, I worked for several months in a temporary position at the Milan Arsenal. After turning down an inadequately paid position at the Space Exploration Agency in Huntsville, Alabama, I began work in September 1950 as a field engineer and inspector in the engineering department of Factory Insurance Association (F.I.A.). This was a huge industrial fire and explosion consortium which insured many small and large industries including McDonnell Aircraft, Quaker Oats Co, Monsanto Chemical Company, Fort Motor Company and General Motors.
Henrietta and I first lived in Milan, TN in the duplex apartment (originally the barn) behind Daddy's house. My new job with Factory Insurance Association (F.I.A.) required moving to St. Louis, Missouri area where early in 1952 we bought our first house located at 10343 Renfro Drive, Riverview Gardens, MO. The new job was based in St. Louis but also included frequent travel across the states of Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma and Arkansas, and occasionally Omaha, Nebraska. There were also training sessions held in Hartford, Connecticut and Chicago, Illinois and company meetings held in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio. In 1955 the company transferred me to Memphis, TN. We sold our house in St. Louis and after renting in Memphis we bought our second house on 300 Cecilia Drive in that city in April 1956. After being based in Memphis, my traveling was limited to West Tennessee. We enjoyed being close to the folks in Milan and Henrietta's family who had moved from the Cleveland, Mississippi area to Memphis. After moving to Memphis Henrietta, Mama and son Robert Dan accompanied me to a company meeting in Columbus, Ohio. I don't recall who "baby sat" son James Gilbert. Perhaps it was Henrietta's mother. We returned to Memphis by way of Pittsburg and then Knoxville to visit Robert.
Our first son, Robert Dan, was born in Milan on March 27 1951. Our second son James Gilbert was born in St. Louis, MO on December 10 1953 (thus he is a Yankee), and this event made it necessary for us to miss Christmas in Milan that year. Our third son Richard Alan was born in Memphis on March 10, 1957. Robert Dan lives in Gainesville, FL where he is on the faculty of the University of Florida. James Gilbert is a dentist and lives in Cave Creek, AZ adjacent to Phoenix and Scottsdale. Richard Alan lives in Lakeland, FL where he works as an R.N. at the Lakeland Medical Center.
During my years with the F.I.A. I periodically embarked on two-week active duty training stints in the Navy while otherwise remaining on inactive status. This included trips to Navy bases at Pensacola, FL, Green Cave Springs, FL, the Norfolk, VA area (Henrietta and the boys accompanied me on this trip) and Key West, FL. While in Key West I had a free weekend and took advantage of an inexpensive ($45.00 total cost) overnight jaunt to Havana, Cuba. This was in September 1958, only five months before Fidel Castro gained control of the city! I missed a long-desired chance to go deep see fishing to go to Havana, but have never regretted the choice.
Working for the F.I.A. was demanding but very interesting and educational, and I became familiar with a multitude of industrial processes and functions. However, it was not as profitable as I desired and it seemed to me that further education in engineering, i.e., a master's degree, would better equip me for advancement in my chosen profession. After all, I had received my engineering education back in the days before the transistor was invented and television and FM radio were in their infancy. The company offered to transfer me to Chicago for training in the underwriting department ("where the money is in insurance") with an overall promotion and significant increase in salary. I interviewed in the Chicago office and seriously considered this offer. Simultaneously Henrietta encouraged me to apply for medical school (the very last thought in my mind!) and Daddy also encouraged me to consider this option reminding me that two of my brothers already were physicians. (He had suggested that I consider going to medical school when I was a high school senior but at that time I had no interest whatsoever in anything that involved the sight of blood.) Henrietta continued to encourage me to at least explore the possibility of admittance to medical school. Finally I took my college transcript to the U.T. College of Medicine Admissions Office, fully expecting a resounding "No!" To my astonishment my college grades made me eligible, though successful completion of additional pre-medical courses such as organic chemistry would be required. The Admissions Office formally agreed to admit me to medical school in July 1960, with the proviso that I obtain satisfactory grades in biology and organic chemistry courses. I had to repeat two semesters of physics and made the same grad (A&B) that I had made in physics at Duke University because it had been more than five years since I had studied physics at Duke. In September of 1958, after returning from Navy training at Key West, FL, I enrolled in the evening division of Memphis State University (now University of Memphis), commencing the two semesters of physics. Hedging my bets, I continued my daytime work with the F.I.A. I made a 29 on my first test in physics! However, eventually my cerebral cortex began functioning and I ended up with a grade of A for the first semester and B for the second semester. I resigned from the F.I.A. in August 1959 and then commenced studies in biology and organic chemistry at Memphis State daytime division. I successfully completed these courses in May 1960 in time to start medical school in July 1960. Whew! Someone asked me why I waited until I had a wife and three children before I embarked on this arduous journey, I told them my only explanation was lack of better judgment.
The four academic years spent in medical school at the University of Tennessee, College of Medicine, Memphis, TN were at times difficult and frustrating but finally culminated in my graduation on March 15, 1964. Between the second and third years there was a compulsory interlude of three months, at the end of which the class was required to take comprehensive basic science examinations. Successful passing of these exams was required for advancement into the third year and all of us in the class passed these examinations. During the interlude I worked in the Physiology Department on research projects with anesthetics, while at the same time reviewing for the examination. I had an interest in anesthesiology as a medical specialty, but this interest waned due to the unanticipated and inexplicable demise of one very healthy anesthetized canine research animal. Thereafter my specialty interest be came radiology, the practice of which incorporates engineering aspects. There was a few weeks' interlude between the third an fourth years, during which, accompanied by Henrietta, I traveled to New York City by automobile on a trip sponsored by pharmaceutical firms for senior medical students and physicians in training. We toured their plants and became familiar with the problems and processes involved in the production of safe, useful drugs. This represented a highlight in my medical education. I paid our transportation cost to New York City but the pharmaceutical firms picked up the tab for the hotel and meals in the city. They also entertained us with a visit to Radio City Music Hall and a boat trip around Manhattan Island.
During my fourth year I was fortunate enough to make an astute radiologic diagnosis (ascites in a young child) in a class taught by Dr. David Carroll, a renowned radiologist who was Chief of Radiology at our medical school and teaching hospital (John Gaston Hospital). He highly regarded by brother David, who while serving as a Chief Resident in Internal Medicine at the teaching hospital, had a major role in caring for Dr. Carroll's seriously ill wife. When I graduated he appointed me to a residency in Radiology which was not to begin until after my internship.
Dr. Andy Holt, Daddy's first cousin and president of the University of Tennessee (statewide) presented me with my diploma when I graduated on March 13, 1964. As he handed me my diploma he leaned over and whispered "Dan, I want you to deliver my wife Martha's next baby". This startled and amused me so greatly that I al most fell off the platform! Martha, after all, was in her early 60's. All my classmates insistently demanded that I inform them why I became so tickled in the midst of this otherwise solemn occasion. Following my graduation, Daddy treated all the family in attendance to lunch at a cafeteria. We observed that he and Mama both obtained generous servings of sweet potatoes.
Between graduation and internship I worked as a staff physician primarily doing medical histories and physicals at Western Carolina Center, Morganton, N.C., an institution for mentally retarded permanent resident s, mostly children. This was mainly done to shore up our income, since the salary was about $750 per month. Our finances to say the least had been precarious during the pre-medical and medical school years. Henrietta worked as a medical technologist for Drs. Hughes, Orpet and Wooten there in Memphis. Daddy co-signed notes, and we economized wherever possible eating considerable quantities of Daddy's sweet potatoes. Somehow we survived, assisted by Jimella Coopwood, a black lady who was very diligent and honest and took excellent care of the three boys.
INTERNSHIP AND RESIDENCY
There was one year of internship at the Baptist Memorial Hospital, Memphis, TN, July 1, 1964 to June 30, 1965. Then followed three years of Radiology residency at John Gaston Hospital, same city, July 1, 1965 to June 30, 1968. Family finances and my resident's salary during these years were much enhanced by the fact that Henrietta and the boys had the privilege, along with me, of eating all our meals at no cost in the hospital cafeteria. Richard almost invariably ate veal cutlets. My favorite dish was the eggplant casserole. None of us went hungry.
RADIOLOGY PRACTICE - JULY 1968 - OCTOBER 1997
The next step after completion of residency was to start active practice. It was my choice not to practice in the high-pressure setting of one of the big hospitals in Memphis. One of my residency colleagues, who was much younger than I, and who had chosen to stay in Memphis, told me later that to earn a good income he had to work, in his words, "at a killing pace". He had a heart attack and went into congestive heart failure in his 40's. He recuperated while off work for a year and then resumed practice on a limited basis and then died shortly thereafter of another heart attack. I believed that if I had stayed in Memphis you would have read my obituary many years ago.
Commencing in early July 1968 I first practiced in Greeneville, TN with another radiologist. I covered three small hospitals and commuted to work at the Clinch Valley Clinic, Richlands, Virginia. I did this for four months before returning to Memphis for some additional radiological training. I returned to Clinch Valley Clinic in December 1969, and worked there until June 1971. Then I returned to Greenville to cover one hospital there along with another one in Morristown, TN.
We leased the house in Memphis to physicians in training from July 1968 until the spring of 1985. Henrietta sold it with one telephone call and without the assistance of a real estate agent. She negotiated the sale with no costs to us except for one small mandatory filing fee and a modest attorney's fee. She obtained a selling price of $10,000 more than the price at which the real estate people had insisted she should be listed.
We rented residences during our first stay in Greeneville and then also when we moved back to Memphis and later in Virginia. In Virginia we lived in Tazwell, a town near Richlands. When we returned to Greeneville in June 1971 we bought the residence at 312 North Main Street. This was the third house and is where we now live.
During the summer of 1973 I began covering hospitals in the Nashville, TN area (first Springfield and then Lewisburg) with a a few months back at the Clinch Valley Clinic in 1975 between the Springfield and Lewisburg assignments. We rented at these times. We terminated private practice in Lewisburg in August 1977 and decided to engage in contact and locum tenens coverage assignments. We did this primarily to rid ourselves of the onerous burden of patient billing and the very frustrating dealings with insurance companies and Medicare. In this setting I did radiology while Henrietta and her assistants worked long and more tedious hours handling the billing, filing of insurance claims, etc. ad nauseam. I have never regretted making this change. (I would like to comment at this point, lest I overlook it, that Henrietta and our boys deserve virtually all the credit for my successful completion of premedical studies, medical school, internship and residency, and any worthwhile accomplishments brought about in my radiology practice.)
During our various sojourns, Robert Dan graduated from high school in Greenville, TN then attended Princeton University followed by Harvard for his Ph.D. James Gilbert graduated from high school in Tazewell, Virginia, then attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN, followed by U.T. College of Dentistry in Memphis, TN. Richard Alan graduated from Goodpasture Academy in Gooodlettsville, TN (near Springfield) followed by degrees first in business management then in nursing at Belmont University in Nashville, TN.
Before commencement of the contract and locum tenens work Henrietta and I took an extended automobile trip of several weeks duration from mid-September to early November 1977. Going to California we drove through the states of Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Nevada. We visited a Navy buddy in Creston, Iowa and cousins in Red Lodge, Montana (Jeannette and "Pat" Patronaude) who entertained us royally with overnight stays in Red Lodge, Yellowstone National Park and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Returning through Cody, Wyoming we stayed overnight in Yosemite National Park. We visited a cousin in San Francisco, saw Pebble Beach Golf Course, and drove down the California coast, visited Monterey, the Hearst Castle and points of interest in Los Angeles where we also visited one of Henrietta's aunts. We proceeded on to San Diego, visiting Jimella Coopweed, a friend of ours who had moved there from Memphis. From San Diego we came through Arizona and New Mexico visiting Phoenix, Sedona, Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon and Carlsbad Cavern. Driving through Texas we visited Ray Fuqua and his family in Odessa then visited friends (originally from Memphis) who lived in Dallas and Tulsa, Oklahoma. We returned in time for the pre-nuptial festivities associated with Richard Alan's wedding to Kimberly Jean Vietti on December 10, 1977. If he had not planned to be married, we might still be out West!
The various contract and locum tenens assignments engaged in beginning the first half of 1978 are too numerous to justify anything but a summarizing chronicle. During the first half of 1978 I worked at hospitals in South Hill, VA and then covered for Dr. Oscar Weaver for a month in Johnson City, TN. I later worked at a U.S. Army medical clinic in Atlanta and the Naval Hospital in Quantico, VA followed by a month in August at the Naval Hospital in Key West, FL. I snorkeled and attempted deep-sea fishing in Key West. Snorkeling was fun but the pesky fish ignored my bait. While I was in Key West, Henrietta accompanied Bob, his wife Lynne and her girlfriend on a trip to England, Scotland, and Wales. During this time we continued to maintain our home in Franklin, TN. The contractor who posted me to Key West asked me to consider a long term position at the Army Hospital at Ft. Riley near Manhattan, Kansas. After an interview and on site inspection trip with Henrietta I accepted. We moved to Manhattan, KS in the autumn of 1978 and remained there two years till October 1980. Following the Ft. Riley stay, I accepted a transfer in October 1980 from the same contractor to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. From this base I commuted to Indian Health Service Hospital in Sisseton, S.D. (Coach Don Shula's hometown), Wagner, S.D. and Winnebago, Nebraska. The contractor was underbid by another radiologist so my stay in Sioux Falls terminated in the autumn of 1981, one year earlier than expected. I worked for the same contractor in Bemidji, Minnesota in December 1981 and January 1982. We survived temperatures of 40 degrees below zero F. and one blizzard. I commuted to several nearby small hospitals, then transferred to Plattsburg, NY where I worked at the U.S. Air Force Hospital from February through September 1982. We rented houses in Manhattan, KS and Sioux Falls, SD and a small apartment in Plattsburg. Henrietta stayed behind in Sioux Falls commuting to Plattsburg on several occasions. We visited nearby Montreal, Quebec City, Kingston, Ontario, areas of New York State, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine on these occasions. Several days each week I crossed Lake Champlain on a ferry to visit the Radiology Department at the University of Vermont in nearby Burlington. There I was welcomed with open arms and made virtually a member of the department. I took the opportunity to greatly enhance my knowledge and expertise in the expanding field of radiology. I consider the time spent with Dr. John Tampa at the University of Vermont the highlight of my career in radiology. My contract work ended in September 1982 and we moved back to 312 North Main Street, Greeneville, TN shortly after the lessee's lease expired.
Based in Greeneville from October 1982 through September 1986 and from July 1988 through the spring of 1990, I practiced locum tenens radiology (i.e. covering practices temporarily vacant or where the established radiologist wanted time off). This included a multitude of sites (though the list is only roughly in sequence and not entirely complete), with stints of variable time lengths in Seatly, Arkansas; Northo, Virginia; Jackson, TN; Cookesville, TN; Lexington, NC; Helena, Arkansas; Lumborton, NC; Jefforson, NC; Utica NY; Ogdensburg, NY; Eldorado, Arkansas; Oxford, NC; and Fort Knox Kentucky Army Hospital. I worked fulltime at the hospital in Mountain City, TN in the intervening period from October 1986 through July 1988, at which time the hospital closed permanently. During these times I resided in motels or apartments, depending on the length of the assignment. Henrietta often accompanied me, part or full time. The apartment in Mountain City was new, comfortable and inexpensive and close enough to Greeneville for frequent commutes.
In the spring of 1990 I investigated a locum tenens opening at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Mountain Home, TN, an enclave surrounded by Johnson City, TN. Learning that I loved only 30 miles from Johnson City, the chief of radiology requested that I apply for a full time position. Travel to widespread locum tenens locations had become somewhat wearisome, so I became a full time radiologist at that hospital in June 1990, remaining there until I retired in October 1997.
MARRIAGES, CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN
Our oldest son, Robert Dan (Bob) married Lynne Weissman from Metuchen, NJ in December 1975. They met in graduate School at Harvard University. They now live in Gainesville, FL. In June 1975 our second son James Gilbert (Jim) married Louise Lowe from Tazewell, VA. They met in high school and attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville before Jim went to dental school in Memphis. They have two sons, Jason and Joshua. They now live in Cave Creek, AZ, in the Phoenix area. Youngest son Richard Alan married Kimberly Vietti from Nashville, TN in Decmber 1997. They met while in college together at Belmont University. They now live in Lakeland Florida and have two daughters, Laura and Megan and one son Joseph (Joey).
TRAVELS AND MISCELLANY
Bob and I spent several weeks in Australia in July and August 1991. Henrietta knew that I had long desired to visit Australia, and she secretly (and sweetly) arranged with Bob to plan the trip. It was a fabulous experience. During the summer of 1995 Henrietta and I visited France and Switzerland while Bob was based in Paris doing ecological research. His wife Lynne, her sister Karen and mother Ilse (fluent in French) joined us. That trip also was a fabulous experience. Bob is excellent at planning all phases of travel, e.g. itinerary, places to visit, reservations, etc.
Bob and Lynne lived in Lawrence, Kansas from 1979 to 2001 while he was on the faculty at the University of Kansas and Lynne worked in research for the Kansas State Legislature. Bob moved to Gainesville, FL and joined the faculty of the University of Florida in 2001. Jim and his family first lived in Christiansburg, VA, where Jim practiced dentistry in nearby Sun City. Their older son Jason just finished his first year at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. He and younger brother Joshua are both good athletes and excellent students. Jason is on his college football team and also plays the cello. Joshua makes mostly A's, participates in baseball and basketball and plays percussion instruments. Richard and Kimberly (Kim) and their children have lived in Lakeland, FL for about 16 years. Joey just finished high school and is taking flying lessons. Second daughter Megan is in college studying biology at West Florida University in Pensacola, but is home for the summer. She loves animals and landed a summer job in a pet store! Their oldest child, daughter Laura, just graduated in May from Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. She majored in law enforcement and French. She now lives in White River Junction, Vermont, working in her chosen profession as a policewoman.
Henrietta and I have visited our sons and their families at these various locations on many occasions, both before and after my retirement. We also occasionally visit family and/or friends in Cookesville and Springfield, TN, Milan, Memphis and Mississippi.
Henrietta for many years has been very active in civic and cultural affairs in Greeneville. She has been a member for many years of the prestigious Andrew Jackson Club for women. They meet monthly for a meal and have outstanding programs by invited speakers and dignitaries. She is greatly admired and respected, knows many important people, and has a multitude of friends.
As for me, my current procrastinated endeavors are directed primarily toward disposing of old cancelled checks dating back to the early 1940's (one was written in 1942 for fifty cents) and reviewing and shredding reams of long dormant records before the silverfish and mildew gain the upper hand. Whew!
The preparation of these memoirs has resurrected many happy remembrances, most of which have been duly recorded. Nearly all the sad thoughts that have passed through my mind are best left buried and have been omitted. Please accept my apologies for lack of brevity.
One last thought to be recorded is the realization that, being nearly 77 years old, I am staying around on borrowed time, at least when measured by the Biblical standard allotment of three score years and ten. There are several major bodily afflictions that have become attached to my physique, any of which without warning, could bring down the curtain and assure my rapid exit from family friends and this beautiful, wonderful world to that next far more transcendently magnificent world beyond. In the meantime, with no intention to plagiarize Lawrence Welk let me conclude by saying "Adios, Au Revoir, Auf Wiedersehn, Good Night, hopefully not too soon, forever Good Bye".
Bevley Dan Holt
This treatise was written in its entirety by Dan Holt. On December 28th, 2004, he quietly passed away in his sleep while visiting his son and daughter-in-law, Robert and Lynne Holt, in Gainesville, FL. His brother David and son Robert edited these memoirs but made no effort to shorten them. To have done so would have distorted the intent and altered the spirit of the text.
I, Robert Lonnie Holt, was born to Lonnie Dan and Mattie Elizabeth (Fly) Holt December 21, 1930, (on my father's birthday) the fifth child of seven.
Growing up, David and I fought as siblings do; we were 14 months apart in age. Fun times were playing cowboys and Indians with the black boys on the farm. David and I were the cowboys. Travel was on a "slide" with one of the farm mules pulling us. I still have a scar over my eye from a "B-B" shot by David at the barn. As I become older "fun" times turned into work; driving a tractor and the various tasks associated with farm life.
In high school I played football and graduated in a class of 57 students. To make extra money my parents let me milk cows. On nights I'd have a date, I'd have to pay Huey (the youngest brother) 10 cents a bucket to wash them; to be on time for my date. After graduation from high school I enrolled at UT Martin. At the end of my freshman year I enlisted in the Air Force and after basic training was sent to Denver, Colorado to intelligence school, and from there to McDill AFB in Tampa, FL in January of 1951.
In my class in high school there was a girl named Jane Cantrell. We dated four years and married July 7, 1951. We lived in Florida for ten months. I then was sent overseas to Japan. This was the time of the Korean conflict. Those were exciting and scary times since I was the courier from Japan to Korea. Fun times in Japan were going on R&R to the mountains skiing, and steam baths, all of the luxuries of a very exclusive resort of the Japanese. Scary times were landing at Seoul City Airport in a blinding snowstorm or driving across the Han River with no side rails and covered with ice. After nine months in Japan and Korea I returned to McDill AFB for a year.
The first B-47 bomber squadron was sent to England in March and as a member of that squadron I also went. We landed in England the day of Queen Elizabeth's coronation. The next day I was allowed to go into London to see the decorations and some of the excitement of the event. Another highlight of my three months was to take a 100-mile bike trip including Oxford, Buckingham Palace and a thorough tour of London. On this trip a "bobby" (policeman) stopped me to say, "It does me heart good to see an American on a bike and not in one of your big cars taking over our roads."
After the English tour of duty, I was discharged and enrolled back at UT Martin. Our son Howard Lee was born on November 11th, 1954. In 1955 we moved to Knoxville to further my education.
We liked East Tennessee so much that we decided to make Knoxville our permanent home. In 1959 we had another child, Virginia (Ginny). Both children were born on holidays, Ginny September 7th Labor Day and Lee on Armistice Day.
I was employed for Knox County Juvenile Court and Jane was a stay at home mom. After several rental properties, we bought an older house in Lindburg Forrest (that has become a historical area). We have lived here since 1969.
After 38 years with Juvenile Court I retired. Lee is married to Liezl from the Philippines. They have one son, Robert Lee, born April 25, 2002. By previous marriages Lee has two daughters Amanda (in college in Minnesota) and Katelyn a freshman in high school. Lee and Liezl live in Somerville, Tennessee and Lee works for the USDA. Ginny lives in Knoxville with her three dogs. She is a nuclear tech with Summit Medical Group.
Jane went to work for the Knox County Clerk after our children were out of high school. She retired in 1996 after 16 years. We both now are trying to have a relaxing life.
FUN THINGS AND INCIDENTS WITH FAMILY
One of my best investments was to buy Jane a "Better Homes and Gardens" cookbook. The first six months of our marriage I nearly starved to death. It was good she took the hint and finally learned to cook.
As for my older siblings, Lene probably saved my life when I was about 6 or 7 years old. We were playing in the back yard, running down a plank leaning against a grapevine arbor. As I ran down, I reached up and grabbed an electrical wire that was "live". By the time Lene thought to unscrew the fuse, I was drawn in a big ball. You better believe I have great respect for electricity and am grateful to Lene for my life.
When Dan was in school at Duke and Ruth at Chapel Hill, Daddy, Mamma and I took them back after a school break. The great treat for me about this trip was Daddy let me drive all the way back to Milan and I was only 14 years old. When Mer was in Nashville, Jane and I drove there (in the new Buick) to pick her up. That was a fun trip to get her. The year Ruth took Home Ec. She was to make a lemon icebox pie, which she did then give to me. That pie was my favorite and I ate the entire pie.
Life is sweet. Life can be sad. At times life is monotonous. But life can be beautiful. Share it all and be thankful for all you have together. Bless the Holt Huddle for years to come.
I was bom February 19th, 1932 at our home place on the outskirts of the south side of Milan, Tennessee. Dr. J.C. Bryant delivered me. In September of that year, out in the country on the north side of Milan, he also delivered a baby girl by the name of Joy Carr who twenty two years later became my wife. I was the sixth of seven children. Thank goodness I was not the "baby"! Even though I nearly died at age two from double pneumonia, I was a rather plump little boy (and still am). My mother thought I was so round she just called me "square"!
I have many fond memories of the carefree and wonderful days of my childhood. We had a 40 acre back yard and I spent many hours, primarily with my brother Robert, playing cowboys and Indians, building tree houses, swimming in a mud filled pond, and racing through the hedges and sagebrush.
My three sisters, Ethelene (Lene), Mildred (Mer) and Ruth (Ruthie) and my brother Dan were much older than the three younger children. They were all away in college before I even entered high school. Huey was the "baby" of the family. He was spoiled and well protected by his two big brothers, Robert and me. Robert and I were only 15 months apart, and I was always getting into his hair. We fought regularly, and Momma had to supervise and intervene in these fracases at the appropriate time. We all knew who was going to win, but she would let us fight for a while and did not let Robert inflict much damage on me. Daddy was a very stern disciplinarian and thankfully Momma never involved him in punishing us for our mischievousness. Momma was always busy with the kids, the home, gardening and the garden club, church, football games, etc. Daddy was very involved with the church and farming. Supporting a wife and his brood of seven children was very time consuming! When I was in high school the summers were busy times. Daddy had a large farm and grew a lot of tomatoes and strawberries. He would keep us busy gathering produce, milking cows, driving trucks, etc. Robert and I finally called a truce to our fighting when I was 15 years old, and we have not had a cross word since then.
I feel like I was raised in the First Baptist Church of Milan where our entire family attended regularly. The pastor's youngest son was my age and we would hide up in the balcony and, through a straw, blow tiny birdseed over the balcony and out onto the people standing around below after the church service. Rather miraculously we never got caught. If my Daddy, who was a deacon and superintendent of the Sunday School, had gotten wind of this - watch out. I hate to think what he would have done to me. My favorite gathering at the church was on Wednesday night when all the women contributed to an add a dish dinner and would bring their favorite recipes and dishes. Momma always made rolls at home and then baked them in great big ovens at the church. The delicious smell of the rolls permeated the entire church and whetted everyone's appetite. My mother was always very careful to assure that her children got at least two of her delicious rolls.
When I was twelve to fourteen years old I loved to go camping in the spring and fall. The only requirement from Momma, who directed all such things, was to be back Saturday night in time for dinner. I don't think I ever missed a meal. Usually we would go camping Friday afternoon after school. A friend and I would pack food, bedding, etc. on a backpack and take off for our farm which was about six miles out in the country. We would catch a ride or hitchhike to a dropoff on the highway and then walk about two miles over to the farm. We usually slept out in the cow pasture and on more than one occasion would wake up in the middle of the night with a cow staring in our face. I remember one time in particular that the only food we carried with us was Irish potatoes. This night we thought it would take too long to bake them so we decided to have fried potatoes. The only problem was we didn't have any oil, only a skillet. We managed to borrow some Wesson oil from my Aunt Mattie Ruth. I ate so many fried raw potatoes that I became sick and vomited practically all night. For years I could not look at a French fry, much less eat one. The next morning however I had adequately recovered and we went fishing and caught several catfish. We dressed and cooked them for breakfast and again it was catfish or nothing. We managed.
I lived in Milan until I went off to college at age 18. I attended the University of Tennessee at Martin on a football scholarship along with two of my high school classmates. After a very frustrating first three months as an agriculture major, I found my true love and switched to premed. After going to school continuously for two and a half years, I headed off to medical school at the University of Tennessee at Memphis.
I enrolled at the University of Tennessee Medical School in Memphis and was there three and a half years with only one three month break between the sophomore and junior years. Medical school was a grind, almost like programmed torture! It seemed as if we were expected to leam everything there was to know about medicine. We would study until 12:00 or 1:00 a.m., and I had a coffee pot on my desk going almost continuously. We had a note taking system which was very helpful. I was one of the class typists. This helped me learn a lot of the information they were attempting to cram into our heads. I had two buddies that I studied with most of the time. One quarter we were having an unusually difficult time with neuroanatomy so we decided it would be very helpful if we had a brain specimen for our own personal use. We "borrowed" a brain that was assigned to us and that was supposed to have been left locked up in the neuroanatomy lab. We sneaked it out and for three months kept it over at one of the fraternity houses where we utilized it regularly in our studies. Fortunately we were able to slip our "prize" in and out of the medical school anatomy building without getting caught. I hate to think what our professor might have done to us if he had caught wind of this. We did run into him as we were sneaking up the back steps with the specimen but amazingly somehow or another he seemed to look the other way and did not notice what we were carrying. I don't think I would have embarked on this escapade except for the fact that my accomplice and study mate was the son of the Director of the State of Tennessee Public Health Department. His father was very influential and high up in the health care system and medical politics in the state of Tennessee. I recently visited this classmate who is now a retired pediatrician living outside of Nashville in Dixon. We joked and reminisced about this and other incidents that occurred while we were in medical school.
During my senior year in medical school, after five years of rather tumultuous dating, I married my high school sweetheart Joy Carr. With some regularity Joy and I had been dating off and on since I was a senior in high school. While I was in medical school and she was in college we managed to meet and see one another in Milan every three or four weeks. I did not own a car, but I did manage to marry a Carr! Joy had graduated from Bowling Green University and "just by chance" was teaching commercial education at Bolton High School about 25 miles from Memphis. She was an outstanding teacher. Several of her students were able to secure employment immediately after graduation and command considerably more salary than Joy was making as a teacher. She was quite proud of her students' success and enjoyed this teaching experience. Her teaching career came to an end with the birth of our firstborn, David, Jr. and the assumption of the job of "Mom."
While interning at the John Gaston Hospital I frequently would have to work all day Saturday and then all night. Joy would come to the emergency room and function as my nurse. Even though she was a "school marm," being around those big brutes who were bleeding and all cut up did not phase her one bit. She would scrub and clean them up and I would suture. We made a good team. Meals were free and a fringe benefit of being an intern was to invite several members of your family down to the hospital to "eat out." We did this regularly as the food was pretty good and the price was "right." On several occasions Momma and Daddy and other family members would join us, usually on Sunday at lunch.
One Saturday night there was a concert at a ballpark next to the obstetrical building where I was on duty. When my fellow interns and I were not busy delivering babies, we would lean out the windows and watch. We saw a rather strange looking young man playing the guitar, gyrating his hips and mesmerizing the girls. They began fainting and falling over in droves! It was almost like mass hysteria. None of us knew the entertainer - we later learned it was Elvis Presley.
One day after I completed my internship, my son David Jr. was born. If he had been born one day earlier he would have been born gratis at the John Gaston, the charity hospital for the University of Tennessee where I interned. As it worked out, he was born across the street at the Baptist Hospital and it cost us $250! Initially my salary was $25 a month as an intern, but later on we got a nice raise to $60 a month. In 1956 I entered my first year of specialty residency training at the Kennedy Veterans Administration Hospital in Memphis. I had joined the Air Force Reserves in order to avoid being drafted into the Army. I drove all over Shelby County at night moonlighting and doing insurance physicals to supplement my income. By this time my residency pay had quadrupled to $250 a month and with my moonlighting and my Air Force Reserve pay we were able to save an appreciable amount of money. Joy also worked part-time as a secretary. We were very active in the Bellevue Baptist Church. These were very busy and enjoyable years.
In January of 1957 I was called to active duty by the Air Force and sent to the most desolate and isolated post in the world, Thule Air Force Base in Thule, Greenland. The air base was part of the Strategic Air Command and we were all extremely cognizant of the fact that this post, albeit isolated, would be the very first casualty if the "cold war" every came to fruition. It was the first time I had ever been more than 250 miles from my home in Tennessee. I sure was a lonesome country boy up at the North-Pole. However, this evolved into a very educational and enlightening experience. I learned how to "politic" and discovered who had the real power in the military service. This power and control of course, as everyone who has been in the service knows, is in the hands of the master sergeants and to a lesser extent the warrant officers. I cultivated their friendship and was able to do things that a lot of the other officers did not have access to. The master sergeant would assist me in "borrowing" an ambulance and we would drive all around the base and local area and see all the sights. One of the highlights of my tour at Thule was a brief encounter with a family of real live Eskimos. They were getting into their dogsled and about to leave and head out onto the frozen water in Thule Bay. Eskimos were strictly off limits to all the Air Force personnel. Our group just happened to have with us a world famous visiting professor from Tulane University. At our "suggestion" he requested to visit with these Eskimos. Of course we were obligated to accommodate him. I was also AWOL one week on an icebreaker as a "guest" of the Navy. On this occasion there were four of us, including two female nurses. I never could explain to Joy's satisfaction how I managed to spend this week on an icebreaker in such company. On many occasions when the master sergeant would obtain ambulance transportation we would visit the BMEWS (Ballistic Missile Early Warning System) which was being constructed at the time. This was a monstrous football field sized radar screen and was quite an engineering feat. It was fascinating seeing them construct this. With the help of my friend the sergeant, I was able to see a lot of the off limits areas of constructions. On several occasions we would go down under the icecap in mile long tunnels which were being dug for storage and experimental purposes. I also managed to wrangle an invitation to the Newfoundland Medical Association Annual Convention and had several very pleasant days at Comerbrook, Newfoundland. On two occasions I appointed myself as the most appropriate medical officer to accompany acutely ill patients that were being air evacuated back to the United States. Of course, when I arrived stateside I immediately applied for and was able to wrangle three or four days leave time and fly to Memphis to see Joy and David, Jr.
My wife and baby boy stayed in Memphis until I returned one year later. I was reassigned to McDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Florida, where we had a very pleasurable and leisurely 15 months. After completing my military obligation, off we went to Boston to continue my medical training.
RESIDENCY - RESUMED
In Boston I received eighteen months of medical training at Lemuel Shattuck Hospital, a teaching faculty administrated by Tufts University Medical School. This hospital specialized in chronic disease and was the only one of its kind in the country. The majority of its patients were afflicted with advanced cancer, cirrhosis, or diabetes. The training, albeit very stressful and emotionally draining, prepared me well for the type of practice I later developed in Ft. Lauderdale. Boston was very academically, culturally and historically oriented, and our time there was very delightful and rewarding. However, living there was extremely expensive! Primarily for that reason, we moved back to Memphis in July 1960, two months after our daughter Alys was bom.
The years of 1960-1964 were very busy and active for our young family. I completed my residency at the University of Tennessee Medical School where in my final year I was the chief resident in internal medicine. I thoroughly loved to teach and remained on for an additional year as a junior faculty member. In this capacity I had the rare privilege of acting as a mentor to my brother Dan, a senior medical student. Our home was in Whitehaven, a short distance from Grace land (Elvis Presley's home). We were very active in Bellevue Baptist Church. Thanks to the kindness of Joy's Aunt Linnie, who would come and stay with the children, we were able to take some nice trips out of town. We bought our first air-conditioned automobile, an Oldsmobile station wagon. Along with another doctor and his wife we made a very enjoyable driving excursion to Colorado and attended the American College of Physicians annual meeting. This was the first top-notch medical meeting I had ever attended and was a great experience. One of the fringe benefits of being on the UT teaching faculty was attending two medical meetings per year with time off and a travel allowance. We took full advantage of this, also traveling to San Francisco to the American Medical Association's annual meeting. On this occasion, we took David Jr. with us. He was a real trooper and fine traveler. This trip from Memphis to San Francisco and back was accomplished in a week; thus it was a whirlwind but memorable event.
After completing my formal training in Memphis in 1964, we moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where I "hung out my shingle" and where I have lived and practiced ever since.
My two children grew up and lived in Fort Lauderdale until they went off to college. David Jr. graduated from Vanderbilt Medical School and completed his radiological residency training at Emory. He now resides and practices radiology in Anderson, South Carolina. He has two boys from his first wife, Sybil, and two boys by his second wife, Erin. David Jr. seems very content now that he has a new wife, four boys, a beautifully remodeled home, a boat and a very successful radiology practice.
After graduating from Emory University with an RN degree, Alys married and then moved to Boston. Here she pursued her real love, earning a Master's Degree in Physical Therapy at Boston University. Alys now resides with her two children in a beautiful home in Apex, North Carolina, a suburb of Raleigh. She is employed by a Home Health Agency and provides physical therapy in patients' homes.
The empty nest syndrome was not a problem for Joy and me. We were fortunate enough to be able to take several enjoyable and pleasurable trips abroad. Two of the more memorable ones were a medical mission trip to India and an excursion to China. Almost all of our traveling was done with two of our very close friends, a medical doctor and his wife from Oklahoma City.
Joy and I lived in our custom built home from 1968 until 1996 when we moved to a condominium. Joy worked side-by-side with me in my practice through most of these years. She also attended to the children and was "class mom" several times, a regular member of the PTA, involved with the Cub Scouts and one way or another in most of the children's activities. For many years she also worked full time in my office as secretary-bookkeeper. She spent many a night at home typing statements and doing other bookwork. She belonged to and eventually became president of a charitable organization, the Junior Welfare Society. This organization sponsored a yearly dinner party in the various members' homes. On several occasions Joy and I were hosts for this event which was always held in December. This was a sit down affair for some 50 to 100 of our friends and acquaintances. Miraculously it never rained and we were able to fully utilize our outdoor patio, which was screened in and had as much square footage as the interior of our house. We did this for many years and it was always a joyous occasion.
Through the years Joy had serious and recurring medical problems. This included many major operations, many falls, many broken bones and repeated hospitalizations. Her health slowly and progressively deteriorated. For the last two years of her life she was more or less homebound and quietly passed away on December 3, 2001. She is now at peace and rest with her Lord.
This year I had nice visits with Mer, Ruthie, Dan and Robert, and was lucky enough to attend my 52nd year high school reunion!
One of the highlights of this year was a trip to Honduras with David Jr.'s two oldest children, Matthew and Brian. We went on an eight day family medical mission under the sponsorship of the Christian Medical and Dental Association. This was a very rewarding and enlightening experience and I am looking forward to returning in 2003.
I am still working but trying to slow down and spend more time with my family and friends.
MEMORIES OF HUEY THOMAS HOLT BY WIFE ANITA HOLT
Named after Brother Huey, minister of First Baptist church in Milan for 25+ years.
Born: July 15, 1935 Died: August 28, 1992
Graduated Milan High School 1953 Attended UT Martin 1953-1955 UT Medical School 1955-1958 Member Phi Chi Medical Fraternity Interned at John Gaston February 1959 - January 1960 General practice Dyersburg, TN February 1960 Drafted into US Army November 28, 1961 - May 1964 Returned to Memphis 1964 Medicine Resident 1964 - 1966 at UT & John Gaston Fellow in Rheumatology July 1966 - August 1968 Part time at UT and private practice 1968 Also worked for Arthritis Foundation 1970 started the Arthritis Group with Dr. Harry Blumenfeld Very active in UT Medical Alumni and Memphis and Shelby County Medical Society Member of University Club, Chickasaw Country Club, Summit Club. Founding Fellow in American Rheumatology Association 1986 Holy Communion Episcopal Church Memphi Society Cotton Carnival
Married Anita Wright December 1956
Children: Huey T. Holt, Jr. born July 1, 1958 Michael W. Holt born April 16, 1960
We lived in Memphis, Dyersburg, Fort Lee, Virginia, Memphis.
I could write a book on our happy life of 34 years
MEMORIES OF HUEY BY HIS BROTHER DAVID
The thing I remember the most about my brother Huey was how while growing up he took full advantage of having his two bigger brothers around to always look out for him. He was four and three years younger respectively than Robert and I and was very small, short, and tiny, especially compared to his "big brothers". At that time Robert and I weighed 175 and 185 pounds. While Robert and I were close by he would strut around knowing full well that no one in the neighborhood would dare pick on him. If they did, they would have to answer to his bigger brothers. I remember one exception to this. One afternoon after school Huey and our cousin Sammy Barnwell got into a fistfight. They were both about the same size so Robert and I decided not to intervene and let them fight to the finish. They fought a good while, finally got tired and quit fighting and walked off arm in arm. I guess they both thought they had won. Huey acquired his growth after he started college. Eventually he became as large as his other two "big brothers".
Huey went out for football when he was a freshman in high school at that time he weighed about 99 pounds. I was a senior and a 185 pound tackle on the first team. When we would scrimmage it was my assignment to tackle my little brother. He was playing tailback and was very fast and shifty. If I could manage to catch him and tackle him, I would sort of lay him down gently because I was afraid I would just break him in two. Fortunately, at least so I thought, early in the season he injured his knee and our family doctor, Dr. P.D. Jones, told him he could not play any more football. However he was advised if he kept his knee padded that he could play basketball. This he did regularly and practiced year round with his friends. By the time he was a senior Huey was an excellent basketball player and Milan had a good team. By the time he was in his senior year the Milan basketball team beat almost everyone they played, including our archrival Humboldt. Meemaw relished in telling the story about when Milan was playing Humboldt and Huey, while dribbling around the court, would taunt their players by rubbing his stomach at them. They would get aggravated and try to get the ball away from him. They frequently would foul him and then Huey would get a free throw. These extra points contributed much to Milan's defeat of Humboldt.
We thought Mom and Daddy "spoiled" Huey. I guess because he was so small he rarely was required to work on the farm like the rest of his brothers and sisters. This gave him plenty of time to perfect his basketball skills and pursue other avenues of interest.
Unfortunately, after I went off to college I did not get to see very much of my little brother. Like Robert and I, he went to UT Martin, and after premed was in medical school while I was an intern. Even though we were on the same campus, both of us were exceedingly busy and I had very little contact with him. This little runt of a brother of mine eventually was as big as I was. As time went on we would see one another briefly at Christmastime and reunions. I am sorry I was unable to have spent more time with my "little brother" along the way.
David H. Holt, M.D. Fort Lauderdale, FL
MEMORIES OF HUEY BY HIS SISTER RUTH
My earliest memory of Huey is of my playing with him in his playpen in our back yard. My mother depended on me to help her a lot. I read stories to him and helped him color pretty pictures in his coloring book. I was very attached to him.
Huey was a bright, energetic little boy. However, when he was about three years old, an unfortunate thing happened, which was a real setback for him. We had a cute little puppy, which developed rabies. I still remember the day this happened. I was roller-skating under our carport when the little dog came running toward me. I realized he had gone mad because foam was coming from his mouth. I managed to jump up on the concrete banister on the carport and get away from him. I must have had a big adrenaline rush because this was very difficult to do when I was wearing heavy roller skates. However, Huey, who was playing outside, wasn't so lucky and was bitten by the dog. My parents had the dog killed and rushed Huey to the hospital. The doctors put him on a series of injections, which lasted thirty days. This was powerful medicine and made him very sick. The treatment worked, but my mother always believed that those injections stunted Huey's growth. He never grew as tall as he would have liked.
When Huey was in the sixth grade his teacher, Miss Edith Holt, picked him as the student to participate in the Gibson County spelling bee. His teachers always said that he was very bright. I remember coaching him for two or three weeks. Every night I would work with him and call out words for him to spell. When the day came, Miss Edith and my mother went with Huey to Trenton for the big event. Both of them were nervous and were afraid that Huey would be eliminated on the first round. Instead, they were surprised that he lasted for over two hours. Finally, there were just two spellers left - Huey and another boy. It took a long time but eventually they came up with a word Huey didn't know and the other boy won. Miss Edith and my mother were really proud of Huey that day.
Once Huey rode with me to Blue Mountain College in north Mississippi to visit some of my friends. On our way home we were stopped by a highway patrolman and found out that an airplane had made an emergency landing on the highway just ahead of us. There was a lot of commotion, and a lot of people were milling around. We were very excited when we learned that the pilot was Buddy Rogers, the movie actor. When we got home, though, Huey was very dejected because none of his friends believed his story. They thought he had made it up just to impress them.
Huey was a star basketball player at Milan High School. He didn't have the stature to be a great athlete, but he was quick and agile and could weave in and around the larger players, He was also clever and would confuse his opponents by rubbing his stomach and grinning at them. Then the other player would become disconcerted and make a foul. The Milan team would make the free shots and win the game. One of my mother's favorite stories was about some antic that Huey pulled off and won the game for Milan in the last few seconds while playing our archrival, Humboldt.
Huey was blessed with a happy, lovable disposition. He had a successful rheumatology practice in Memphis, but he came to the Milan Hospital one day a week to see patients there. I always believed that he did that so that he could come see his parents and check up on them. After a long day at the office, he would always come by their house. My mother usually had five or six people lined up there waiting to get some free medical care - Betty Rogers, the black woman who worked for her, Thomas Douglas, the black man who helpred her some, my Aunt Ethel, My Aunt Ina and two or three neighbors. It always amazed me that Huey was so pleasant and agreeable about waiting on them and never complained. As a doctor he had what is called a great bedside manner. When I was in Memphis at his funeral, several of his patients told me how much they loved him. One lady told me that if it hadn't been for my brother she would have been in a wheelchair ten years before.
Huey liked the good life and enjoyed a flamboyant lifestyle. He died when he was in his fifties. Though this is sometime we shouldn't question, it seemed to me that he was too young and should have had some more years left. He burned the candle at both ends. He loved his family and had many friends. He was a great doctor.
MEMORIES OF HUEY BY HIS SISTER MILDRED
When Huey was small our dog, Lucy Jo, came down with rabies. The dog bit Huey and Dan. They both had to take a series of rabies shots. The shots were very hard on them and Mama thought the shots stunted Huey's growth.
I remember Huey was quite a remarkable basketball player. He could dribble the ball like a pro and he was a good shot also.
I remember Huey sat in a highchair at our breakfast table until he was almost ready to be married. One day he announced it was time for him to give it up and the highchair was removed.
Birth The first child of Ethelene Holt Rich and first grandchild of Lonnie and Mattie Holt, I was born on December 30, 1947 at Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Education Moved, at age 6, to Augusta, Georgia, where I attended 1st grade; then to San Antonio, Texas, for 2nd and 3rd grades; then Corsicana, Texas, for 4th-6th grades. In 1960, the family moved to Memphis, where I attended Fairview Junior High School and Central High School, graduating in 1966.
At the University of Memphis (formerly Memphis State University) I earned a BA, cum laude (1970) and JD (1974)(Managing Editor of Law Review, 1973-74).
Early Employment Before law school, I had a wide variety of jobs. Early on, I worked on Danda's farm - chopping cotton or sweet potatoes, picking or pulling cotton, picking strawberries, and packing tomato plants. Later, I worked as a paper carrier, lumper for truck line (loading/unloading trucks), scale clerk, telegraph delivery, flower arranger, mail clerk, Army Depot clerk and gas station attendant.
Military From 1970 to 1976, I served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. For the longest time, I wore a short-haired wig to cover my then-in-style long hair. Made the rank of corporal.
Family I married Sara (Sally) Reams in 1970. We moved to Northern Virginia in 1974. Sally is a successful manager working for Department of Defense. Sally and I divorced in 1995. Together, we had two children - Charles Alexander Rich, born February 27, 1982, and Sara Elizabeth Rich, born June 7, 1984. Both attended Abracadabra Preschool, George Mason Elementary School, George Washington Middle School, T. C. Williams High School ("Remember the Titans"). Alex is now attending the University of Virginia as an engineering student. Sara is a senior at T. C. Williams and is in the process of deciding where she will go to college in the fall of 2002.
I married Marcia A. Call on November 18, 1995, in New Castle, New Hampshire. Marcia is a part owner of a very successful marketing consulting firm, McKinley Marketing Partners, Inc., located in Alexandria, Virginia, with offices in Virginia, Texas, Colorado and California. Together with one of her business partners, they recently renovated an old "arms warehouse" into an upscale two-story office building and moved their company into it in March of 2001.
Marcia and I have two children, Margaret (Meg) Holt Rich, born nearly 3 months early on July 20, 1996, and Martha (Mattie) Helen Rich, born over 2 months early on October 4, 1997. Both have attended Abracadabra Preschool like Alex and Sara. Meg is now in kindergarten at Mt. Vernon Elementary School in a dual-language program in English and Spanish.
Professional Life I have been an attorney for over 25 years. Since 1987, I have been a partner in Rich Greenberg Rosenthal & Costle, LLP. My primary practice areas are Wills, Trusts & Estates; Business Affairs; Real Estate & Land Use; and Employment. Prior to that, I served in the Office of General Counsel at USDA, and then spent several years as a sole practitioner.
I was admitted to Tennessee Bar (1974); District of Columbia and Virginia Bars (1981); U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (1981); U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit (1982); U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit (1985).
Civic Life After moving to Northern Virginia in 1974, I settled in Alexandria in 1976. Marcia and I recently renovated a 1923 craftsman-style home in the Del Ray neighborhood. Since 1985, I have been an active member of Baptist Temple Church in Alexandria. I sing in the choir and organize the "Children's Lessons" for the worship service.
To 'keep me off the streets," I have been involved in a number of activities:
Alexandria City Council (1991-2000)(Elected three terms and retired) Alexandria Chamber of Commerce (1982-present) Alexandria Democratic Committee (1981-2001), Chair (1987-1989) North Ridge Civic Association (1987-1991), Board of Directors Del Ray Civic Association (1977-1987)(2000-present), President for 2 terms George Mason Elementary School Ad Hoc Task Force (1991) No Gridlock! (1990-1991), Steering Committee Retired Senior Volunteer Program (1985-1989), Advisory Council Alexandria Civil Liberties Union (1982-1985), Board of Directors NAACP Life Member Northern Virginia Planning District Commission (1982-1985) Alexandria Charter Review Commission (1980-1981) Alexandria Human Rights Commission (1978-1979) Alexandria Women's Commission (1977-1979)
I was born in Corsicana, Texas, on September 28, 1959. Corsicana is famous for its fruitcakes - no reflection on me of course! We moved to Memphis, Tennessee, when I was 9 months old. We lived there for 16 years so I have many fond memories of this time. The pilgrimages to Milan, Tennessee, were frequent and, like most of Danma and Danda's grandchildren, I put in some sweat equity on the farm. I even had aspirations of becoming a farmer, but this was quickly suppressed when I realized how much work there really was to be done.
Sometime in high school, I got bit by the piano bug. I had been studying since I was 8 years old and felt I could best express myself through music. This desire led me to complete a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at the University of Tennessee at Martin in 1981. Afterward, I worked at Vester's Music Store for a couple of years. Later, I pursued a Masters of Music in Piano Accompanying and Vocal Coaching at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. After much struggle, I finished this degree in 1988. I then worked as a free-lance pianist for three years.
In 1991, we lost mom (Ethelene Holt) and I was diagnosed HIV+. My sister, Elizabeth Ann, who was a pulmonary physician specializing in AIDS, told me that I probably had 5 to 7 years to live. I decided that free-lancing was too strenuous a life style for me to maintain so I returned to the music store where I worked as a sheet music buyer. This job lasted until 1998 when the store went bankrupt. For the next year, I bounced from job to job at the mercy of whichever temp agency called me. I seem to remember loading and unloading a lot of boxes. I also had a brief encounter with a jack hammer - talk about a "whole lot a shakin' goin' on." That job lasted one day; I was not asked to return.
Since 1999, I have been working as a reference assistant in the music library of Vanderbilt University. I enjoy helping students and faculty with their research and processing inter-library loan requests and maintaining the accessibility of books and periodicals and a variety of administrative tasks.
As for being HIV+, I am going on my 12th year of living with it - thanks to the benefits of modern medicine, the love of family and friends and the grace of God.
I was born on November 1, 1956 at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. My dad was finishing his medical training at the time. I am the first and only son of David Holt, Sr. and Joy Vernelle Carr Holt , and I'm fairly sure that I am the twelfth of the eighteen grandchildren of Mattie and Lonnie. During a visit to Memphis in 2000, not only did I get to visit Graceland and stay at the Peabody Hotel, but I also got to see the apartment of my conception (thanks to a map drawn by my father) - a definite highlight of my trip!
After living for a short period of time in Memphis, my family moved to Tampa, FL - I believe this was due to my dad's air force gig. Dad was sent to one of the most desolate, coldest places on earth for a year or so while in the USAF - Thule, Greenland. My mother and I managed to make it without Dad, but were certainly glad to get him back! Shortly thereafter, the family moved to Boston, MA where Dad got additional medical training. While in Boston, my sister Alys was born.
When I was 5 or so, the family moved back to Memphis. I attended kindergarten there, and then 1st and 2nd grade at Graves Elementary (close to Graceland). I remember being in awe of his huge estate when driving by. Before starting third grade, my mom and dad moved to the spot where they settled down, Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The clean air, breezes, and lack of allergens was the attraction. My mother was cursed with terrible allergies (and passed them along to me and my sister!).
I completed elementary school (at Floranada), and then enrolled in Pine Crest Preparatory School for junior and senior high. There were lots of rich folks there! (I don't include myself in the bunch....) The current owner of the Seattle Seahawks and Kelsey Grammer of Cheers and Frasier fame were in the class of 1973, one year ahead of me. Reading Lonnie Charles webpage, and his mention of wearing a wig while in the Marine Corps Reserve not only brought a chuckle, but reminded me that Kelsey Grammer did the same thing to avoid the school's strictly enforced hair policy - no hair over the tops of the ears! Kelsey had long flowing golden locks in high school. Wayne Huzienga, owner of the Florida Marlins and Blockbuster Video, also went to my high school.
While in junior high and early on in high school I was active in the Boy Scouts, eventually getting the rank of Eagle Scout and fulfilling a goal of going farther in Scouts than my dad (he stopped at the level of Star). My mother would continually prod me to stay in the scouts when I was thinking about quitting. We had a great time in the scouts...in the tropical climate of south Florida we were able to go on camping trips almost every month, and we would have week long camps in the summers. I played on the football team for several years but didn't amount to much! I was too darn slow to play the "small positions" and not big enough to be on the line....I was definitely not as good at football as my dad! He was a husky starting tackle at Milan High and then at UT Martin. Luckily, I did well with my schoolwork and got admitted to Vanderbilt University where I started my undergraduate studies in 1974.
School, School, and More School!
I started undergrad at Vanderbilt at the age of 17, in 1974 and didn't finish my education/training until the age of 31 in 1988! Some long hours of "busting butt" were packed into the intervening years.
My first semester at Vanderbilt was fun! I was away from home and all parental constraints! In my own little private bachelor pad (more like a cubicle), a black light (remember, this was the seventies), and more than one Playboy centerfold plastered on my wall. My room was one of about 40 on the floor in my dorm - I had about 40 new friends! We found a little pub that had foosball, ten cents pinball, and quarter draft beer. Several of us got into playing the card game hearts till all hours of the morning. Not surprisingly, my grades were not stellar that first semester. After Dad threatened to get me a tutor (I was insulted!), I buckled down, studied like a fiend, brought my grades up and eventually gained admission to Vanderbilt Med School. Missed a lot of parties studying!
Med school is like a blur in my memory.....study, study, study...I stayed up all night long before almost all of my tests....thank goodness we had note takers for our classes! There were about 5 other fellow with similar study habits that I had to keep me company during my all-nighters. We still keep and touch and reminisce about the intensive study sessions and the numerous coffee breaks we had together. I had always thought that I would be a specialist in internal medicine, just like Dad - until I got into my third year of medical school! That was when I had to start dealing with patients.....I quickly discovered that I did not have the patience of Job....when confronted with little old ladies that were in the hospital for a failing heart, and that would prefer to discuss their grandkids, their arthritis, their constipation, their psoriasis, etc, etc, instead of their failing heart, I became quite frustrated! Thus I began looking for other medical specialties. I feel quite lucky to have found one that suited me....radiology. Radiologists are "doctor's doctors." We occasionally see patients, but most of our personal contact is with other physicians. And we get to interface with physicians in all the different specialties - surgeons, internists, orthopedists, pediatricians, etc. This suited me to a "T." So, upon graduating from med school I decided to enter radiology.
Largely because my girlfriend at the time, Sybil Hill, (my future wife), was at Emory Med School, I entered Emory University's radiology residency program. Residency was tough, but more interesting. Many a long night was spent in the Grady Memorial Hospital's emergency radiology facility (a dark, small, smelly cave!). Grady is a large hospital in downtown Atlanta serving mainly indigent patients. But, I finally felt as if I was learning salient, practical information that would help future patients. Sybil and I got married in my second year of residency. After completing residency (Sybil was finishing up her training in pediatrics), I decided to enter a fellowship (the means to become a "subspecialist") in nuclear medicine. Nuclear medicine deals with images formed by radioactive materials which are injected or otherwise administered to a patient. These materials reflect the function of an organ system rather than strictly the anatomy. This distinguishes it from the majority of radiology which generally depicts anatomy only. The images seen in nuclear medicine are formed by energy emitted from the patient, instead of transmitted through them. Towards the completion of my nuclear medicine fellowship, my first son Matthew arrived. A whopping 11 pounds of baby boy! Little did I know that I would be destined for 3 more... After a fairly vigorous search, I decided to take a job in radiology in Anderson, SC.
A Real Job (FINALLY!)
I moved to Anderson, SC in January of 1988 ready to help heal humanity. Anderson is about halfway between Atlanta, GA and Charlotte, NC on Interstate 85. The main attraction for me was Lake Hartwell, a beautiful lake with 1000 miles of shoreline, maintained by the Corps of Engineers. After a year or so in Anderson, I got a boat (and have had one ever since).
About a year after I moved to Anderson, my second son Brian was born. I soon believed all the stories that Dad told me about he and Uncle Robert fighting all the time! Matthew and Brian have always been best buddies, but best enemies and rivals as well. I shall let my sons tell their own stories in there own time (hmmm....might have some embarrassing stuff to say about me!).
Sybil and I eventually got divorced....if there can ever be an amicable divorce, ours was. We still talk on the phone at least once a week about Matthew and Brian's hectic schedules.
About 2 years after my divorce, I married the love of my life (perhaps meaning "able to put up with my cantankerous self!") - Erin. Knowing that Erin had never had children, I (most reluctantly!), agreed to have more...I'm getting too old for this stuff I thought! I think I was wrong. Hayden (3 as of 4/02) is shaping up to be a "mini-me"! That's good and bad, mind you, but somewhat gratifying nonetheless. He is cantankerous, opinionated, but good-lookin'! (Ha!)
Thinking that I was immortal and never needed to retire, Erin and I decided to give it one more shot....(HOPEFULLY THE LAST!)...thus my newest family member, Harrison, at this writing 10 months old. He is too young to tell how he will turn out, but shows signs of assertiveness, and is generally good natured and quick to smile and laugh.
Matthew (14 as of 11/01) has turned out to be an intellectual - doing better in SATs in eighth grade than I did in eleventh, and convinced he is somehow going to go farther in Boy Scouts than I did. Brian (12 as of 6/01) is somewhat of a rebel - has to have his arm twisted to do homework, loves WWF wrestling and music that turns my stomach. I think both will turn out great though....where's the wood to knock on?!
Life in Anderson is good. Kids, boating, bowling, concerts, socializing with friends, and the ever-present work schedule keep our schedules packed. But, we can always make time for family! If any of you are ever passing our way, let us know. I have just recently remodeled my house, and it now qualifies as a compound - sort of like the Kennedy's have....We have plenty of sleeping room, and a boat for lake excursions in warm weather. We recently had a nice visit with Uncle Windy and his new bride Barbara. I was privileged to be able to attend their wedding. Sammy can still belt out a tune, and Robert Dan can really tickle the ivories! (Lonnie apparently, like myself, is not musically inclined, but looked professorial and councilman-like in his tux, and he was a heckuva best man.)
For those of you that were able to finish this quasi-autobiography, I salute you!
Later, Love if you are family,
A tremendous Holt Huddle, version 2009, just concluded, expertly organized by my first cousin once removed Sara Rich. It spurred me to review my semi-autobiographical novella in the Holthuddle.com website. I must add on additional details of my life (otherwise I may get 'cut off' from my wife Dale...and I don't do well in cut off status!)
Since my last update in 2002, much has transpired. I will condense.
My oldest two sons (Matthew and Brian) have grown up and look (fingers crossed!) to be maturing into fine young men..both are in college...and they can tell their own stories!
Hayden is a typical young rascal...now about to enter 5th grade....learning to be rebellious and perhaps a little less cute than he used to be! He is a great artist, and doing well in school. He had a heckuva time messing around with Sammy's boy Ellis in the pool, and Sammy's grandkid...Steven's boy (sorry, can't remember the name, and it isn't in the website!) in the game room this past Huddle.
My youngest son Harrison was afflicted with Rasmussen's syndrome.....a condition that afflicts children and is characterized by intractable seizures. 4 years ago, Harrison had many seizures, some in the dining hall at the inn at our reunion. As is the natural course of this horrible disease, they became progressively worse. The only treatment is hemsipherectomy...disconnection of half of the major part of the brain. After a gut racking decision process, this was done in October of 2007. It has been a long road back for my little rascal with lots of OT, PT, and speech therapy, but as of this date he is doing great! He just repeated first grade and did fine. He has permanent weakness and incoordination in his right arm, and a bit of weakness in his right leg. However, he managed to complete the hike down to the falls at Fall Creek Falls and back up in 2009 (unlike some of his older cousins once removed!). To him, and his father, his future looks bright despite a bit of disability....a minor annoyance to him.
On to me!
First, I am obliged to acknowledge the ass-whuppin Lonnie Charles laid on me, Sammy Steve and my sister Alys, this past Huddle. My braggin words from previous victories got stuffed back into my mouth! I, however, look forward to future rematches!
Second, my 'love life'...if you can call it that!...has been totally turned upside down. If anyone wants to know the details of all of it, you can play me at hearts during the next Holt Huddle, or email me (address is in the website). Nothing sordid, mind you! Anyway, I got divorced from Erin, and after a two to three year courtship, remarried for a third time to Dale. She is my best friend, and a good soul. I truly think this one will work...if not, I shall likely end up a hermit hillbilly in a cabin in the mountains of TN or NC..with an old houndog as my companion! Dale met many of the Holts at this past reunion, and got along with all.
She, as I, was very impressed with Aunt Mer having visited with Uncle Elliot 64 countries! And my entire family was disgusted with the revelation that Sammy Steve urinated from the second story of his elementary school! (NOT!!! Hayden thought that was cool!...and I a few days later did the same thing off the deck of a cabin I rented in Pigeon Forge, lol!).
I didn't condense so well, huh?! Take care, my relatives!
- David Jr.
The following spiel of mine was read to my children at Christmastime December 2011 and I would like to read it to this group on this occasion of the Holt Huddle.
What I am about to say is something you will probably not hear anywhere else or from anyone else. It may completely surprise you. What I am referring to basically is something that I term
Most of us are gifted and have
status in various ways. We are relatively well educated, loved by our family and in general feel very safe and secure in our environment. In varying degrees we are reasonably comfortable financially.
The status that I am referring to, if you want to call it that, of being privileged goes back to our basic roots. Mine and your parents and grandparents, Meemaw and Danda, gave us a legacy and a solid foundation of emphasizing the importance of education, hard work, resourcefulness and the importance of living lives of honesty, character and self reliance.
As I have come to appreciate for some time, and perhaps you have begun to realize, in my opinion our family is a notch or so above a lot of our peers and friends in a lot of ways – in accomplishments, status, financial security, etc. The differences as I perceive them, in the
Have Nots in our society and country, are increasing and assuming more and more importance as time goes on. I think as we go along our ways each of us should attempt to address this issue in some way as best we can. We must never forget that some of our friends, acquaintances, and yes, indeed perhaps some of our family members did not receive or incur this blessing of being privileged.
We should all endeavor to help those less fortunate than we are in whatever way we can. This could be simple encouragement, friendliness, moral support and perhaps by monetary or material assistance. We should all try to help in some way those less fortunate than we are. This will not only help the needy around us but may help narrow this gap between the
Have Nots and indeed, make you feel better about yourselves.
We are the Haves and let us never forget that or take it for granted. We do need to help in some way those less fortunate than we are.
I hope this little spiel in some way has imparted onto my extended family some of this philosophy. If you do some of this we will feel better about ourselves and the less fortunate will have more respect for us as individuals.
Our talents, abilities, and yes our status, are God given and we should never forget that.