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Story Time: Holler

Posted on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 4:24 pm

By Lorry Myers

We are a house of hollerers, at least that is what it sounds like. It is our chosen system of communication, the one that keeps us all connected. In our house, not hollering would be like not talking at all.

That’s not going to happen.

The hollering way of life started early for me. Growing up in a big, two-story house filled with

Lorry Myers

Lorry Myers

children, shouting was the only way you could get anyone’s attention. When you needed someone, you shouted their name, inside, outside, up the stairs, or across the neighborhood. Not once, but over and over until someone, anyone, hollered back at you.

There were houses in our neighborhood that used other communication systems. One mother blew a little, silver whistle to call her children to supper. Another would continually flip the outside light on and off, signaling her brood to come in for the night.  At my house, someone simply stuck their head out the door and hollered, hollered ‘til the kids came home.

It always seemed to work.

When I was expecting my first baby, my grandmother gave me a sound piece of advice. “Never pick a name for your child without hollering it out the backdoor first.” So, that is what I did. I narrowed down my choices while standing on the porch, calling out potential baby names like they were real people. My husband would sit in a lawn chair and listen, believing he had married a crazy woman. I weeded out names that were a mouthful, and ones that no one would ever answer to. By the time my third child was due, I had the whole family yelling off the porch, picking and choosing what sounded best, floating around in neighborhood air.

Without a choice, my children were born into the House of Holler, it is the only life they know.

For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.