Introducing a new face to the HHH

Published 5:38 pm Saturday, November 10, 2012

By Holly Johnson

Hormel Historic Home

I know this article is meant to be a look into the past of Austin, and I plan to hold to that pattern in the coming weeks.  However, for my first column I have decided to give you a little history on me — Holly Stover Johnson.

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Although born in San Antonio, Texas, I have been fortunate to live in several parts of the country.  At three-years-old my parents moved my brother and I north where we settled in a small town of Neodesha, Kan. Go ahead, Google it.

I didn’t really appreciate life in the middle of “no where,” but I now look on small town life as an opportunity to really know people, to recognize the gifts in every individual, and to lift others up in true community.

My parents were small business owners in a place filled with many entrepreneurial-minded people.  I saw them work together to help a town in the middle of a wheat field thrive.  I saw a group of faithful energetic people work to offer arts programs, musical endeavors, and educational opportunities that have influenced my life greatly.

From Kansas I went to college in Boston and then in Indiana, and after graduating from Purdue University, I moved to another small town but this one was surrounded by corn fields — Austin.  After nearly two years I moved to Minneapolis to work for Hormel in a sales position.  I met my husband there and in 1998 we moved to Kansas City and then to Charlotte, N.C.  We have now been back in Austin for five and a half years, and after all that moving, when people ask me where I am from, I am proud to say Austin, Minn., Spamtown, USA.

So my journey has brought me here, to oversee the historic home of a small town business family.  Being surrounded by pictures of such an influential and giving family is humbling.  They started a business to benefit their family and ended up helping a whole town grow. This beautiful facility has served many purposes during its 141 years of existence and all of them have benefitted Austin. Now I hope I can be a benefit to the organization by continuing the home’s tradition of hospitality, outreach and education while preserving and restoring the historical past.

Now that you know a little (ok, a lot) about me I hope you will stop by for a tour, or to introduce yourselves and share some of your memories.

 This Week at the HHH

•Harris Piano Competition: Nov.17. Public concert is at 4 p.m. at the Historic Paramount Theater. Free concert to hear the top eight finalists from the competition is followed immediately by awards ceremony.

 Coming Soon

•Social Concerns: Benefits of Yoga, 10 a.m. on Nov. 20. Sign up to attend at 433-4243.

•Santa’s Mailbox will be arriving soon so make sure the kids are compiling those lists. Santa starts planning early.