The Digital Journalist
Selected photos from Michael O'Brien's The Face of Texas.
© Michael O'Brien

Bob Holloway/DECATUR - Bob Holloway, 73, the son of a Keller, TX dairy farmer, continued the tradition--the old-fashioned way--on his own 340-acre ranch 11 miles north of Decatur: For 37 years, he milked as many as 150 cows a day. He used machines for the milking, but he didn't go so far as to get a computer to keep track of things. And he brought bulls in for breeding--Nature's way--instead of using the far more prevalent method of artificial insemination.

Holloway recently sold the dairy operation so he could kick back. When he's not traveling around border country or out West, he reads history (he holds a history/government degree from Southwestern University), writes poetry, trades cattle and rides horses.

"I kinda hole up here like a cowboy in a dugout," says the six-foot-three Holloway, who also served as a Wise County judge in the mid-'80s.

Holloway, whose daughter Rosalinda describes him as a "larger-than-life character who gave my life character," pens a new message for his answering machine every couple of weeks; a recent verse follows:

It's a spur for the hoss
And a whip for the fool
It's time to get mounted
So saddle yo' mule
The old sun ball's a pokin'
Up high in the sky
So leave me a message
Ki-yippy ki-yi!


I'm off across the prairie
Or down around the bend
I've gone to check the cattle
To see that they're all in
I've gone to check the ranch out
That's what it's all about
We hope we get some rain tonight
To make some grass come out.
Leave me a message!