This is Mamaw Hollar.


Mamaw Hollar’s full name is Augusta Townsend Hollar — a lovely, dignified name which, at the age of 10 or 12, I would have scribbled in a notebook as an idea for a future novel.

She celebrated her 92nd birthday on April 15, and her friends and family gathered at the Captain’s Galley (a seafood restaurant in Granite Falls) to celebrate. Today, I got an email with this photo and those details, because the News-Topic often runs birthday announcements and because people know our catchall address, but frequently just email things to reporters they’ve met or dealt with before.

The little release included a few more details, including these lines:

“She has 3 children – Larry Hollar, Betty Annas and Dennis Hollar, all of Hudson, 7 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren. ‘Miss Gussie [note — another absolutely excellent name] loves spending time with family and friends, tending to her flowers, feeding and watching the birds…and sharing stories of her life with Papaw Henry Hollar.”

For all the frustrating things community journalism is (getting the silent treatment from public officials, sitting silently yourself while someone yells at you on the phone, waking up at 11 p.m. knowing for sure you spelled a name wrong), and all the sometimes-disappointing things it isn’t…

It is also Mamaw Hollar’s 92nd birthday, and an announcement in the paper from people who love her.

I’ll take that. I’ll take it today, tomorrow, and the next.