Mac McCalley worked with Charles Goodman and Robert Davenport building Hollin Hills.
Bob Davenport was a government employee at one time. Two or three guys got together, "Let's go build a coupla houses." So they started in Tauxemont about 1945. Each one of them built their own house and moved in. Then they decided to start a corporation where they'd all put in a little money, and they bought Hollin Hills property. Mr. Davenport at the time was just secretary and treasurer of the outfit. Then, as time went on, he was sole owner.
At the time I went to work for Mr. Davenport things were very poor. He didn't have any money, he didn't have anything. He had one little old second-hand truck, and very few employees when we started. After a while, we had a big force, I guess as much as 70 or 75 employees, in full swing. Hollin Hills was nothing but an orchard, apples, pears and cherry trees, and there’s still a lot of them in there.
I thought (the houses) were horrible. The first one was built on the corner of Rippon Road, and Drury Lane. The first house that was built in that style, and I had an argument with Mr. Goodman the first day. I said I don't care to build that kind of house. I walked off the job, I drove off, and I came back and cooled down a little better, and went back to work. I never did like all that glass.
Bob, he was the boss, and I was the construction boss. We would move a house anyway we could on a lot to save a tree.
I've been remodeling the old Zimmerman house. I was taking off some siding last week I found an old cardboard milk top. It said Zimmerman farm. So I gave it to the lady who lives in the house.
Mr. McCalley spent his boyhood on the Mount Vernon plantation because his father worked there.
Duck hunting was my only sport, as a matter of fact. When I was a kid my dad had a dog and he would go out with us and shoot squirrel. Mount Vernon at that time had about three miles of shore line that we used to hunt on. Only those that lived in there were allowed to hunt.
I started out building at a very young age. I decided I did not want to go to school. My parents never did have much money. My dad always wanted me to go to school. I wanted to go into the building business so I quit school. I had one teacher my first three years at St. Mary's Catholic school in Alexandria. I don't belong to the Catholic church, but at the time we did not have any schools to go to. The street car went right to the door.
(Later) I had one teacher at Snowden school that came from way up in the country and had a Model T Ford, and I'll never forget her. There was snow on the ground and she came to school with chains on all four wheels. It was only a two -wheel drive car and she had chains on all four wheels. Mrs. Frinks was my main teacher…the only one I really had through grade 7. It was a two room school. You had your own lunch and you wouldn't eat if you did not have one.
One of the boys that went to school with us was always in trouble. One day a load of guys were going along with a load of hay, and he threw a match in the back. We watched a whole wagon full of hay burn up. We were bad boys.
We played a trick on a preacher one night. He was coming through between two hills, so we got a sack and filled it full of straw, and tied it with a rope across. About the time the preacher gets coming through, you start this thing dancing in the middle of the road.
No we did not scare him. One of the good boys got his grandfather and came down the hill and caught us. We used to steal watermelons at Mount Vernon right out of the garden. They would be green but we would steal them anyway.