Just holler

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Our youngest son is in the fifth grade and recently turned 11. He is a very sociable child who enjoys his friends. He loves playing sports and sincerely appreciates fishing, hunting and all the wildness living on a farm offers. He is an avid reader and hilarious storyteller and writer.

This year, he wanted to celebrate his birthday with some of his friends from school and from his baseball team. We asked him if they wanted to go out for pizza and made a few other suggestions to keep a rowdy bunch of boys entertained for a birthday party. He insisted they all come out to the house to play and that they wanted to go bowling in town.

One of his friends insisted to his dad that I make the world’s greatest spaghetti. I do not know how this little guy came up with that. It is simply boxed spaghetti noodles, hamburger meat and Ragu’s own Mama’s Special Garden Sauce with a little Parmesan cheese on top. Either way, they wanted me to make that for supper, too.

We turned them loose outside and fed them dinner before heading into Fayetteville for bowling. We had a large group, so we split up into two lanes for a couple of hours. I think it is fair to say they entertained us. They had all kinds of crazy moves. At one point a ball bounced off of the top of the bumper rack in their lane. My husband and our youngest daughter threw a few wild balls as well. Thankfully, the time ran out before anyone noticed this crazy bunch and it was time to head home.

We loaded everybody up in two vehicles and the boys in my car insisted on requesting songs from the designated DJ, our youngest daughter in the passenger seat. When she played the Ryan Upchurch song, “Holler Boys,” they were all belting it out in unison. 

If you are not familiar with this tune, the chorus says, “We them holler boys. Holler if you’re needin’ somethin’ done. Holler if you need a chip on a shoulder and a hand with a loaded gun. We’ll be out that screen door, no shirt on. Leavin’ two black marks down a one lane road. Yeah we, yeah we, yeah we them holler boys.” Give it a listen. 

As they were singing, I smiled thinking about the young men these boys would become. Their teenage years are sure to be eventful. We know their parents well and each of their dads (including my husband) can easily be described as a holler boy. I cannot recall how many times my husband has told a friend or neighbor, “Holler if you need some help cleaning out that pond. Holler at me if you need the tractor. Holler at me when you’re ready to load that hay.” The list could go on for miles.

So, what is a holler boy exactly? He is a country boy who is ready for anything at any time, all you have to do is ask him. Ask him what? Anything – help me get hay put up before it rains. Help me get these cattle rounded up off the White River. Help me put new brakes on my daughter’s car. Help me chase down the scoundrels who stole the four-wheeler out of our shop. 

The greatest joy of my adult life is watching our children grow up. If our sons and daughters grow up with strong values and good friendships, I know the world will be a better place. It will not be long before I hear one of them say, hey mom if you need my help, just holler. That just warms my heart, neighbor.

Jody Harris is a freelance communications specialist, gardener, ranch wife and mother of four. She and her family raise Angus beef cattle and other critters on their northwest Arkansas ranch. She is a graduate of Missouri State University. To contact Jody, go to ozarksfn.com and click on ‘Contact Us.’

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