It is with great sorrow that many members of the SBDA mourn the passing of Don Millar. Most of today's membership never even knew nor heard of him. But to a great many of us his name and darts are synonymous. And today's members have more to thank him for than they realize.
In the summer of 1977, Don moved to Shreveport from Atlanta, Georgia, and from a dart association thriving there. When he approached locals asking where he might find a game of darts, the only response he could get was "Darts? What do you mean darts?" Realizing the potential of this area, he began to enlist the help of some of the local pub owners, to set up boards and begin weekly luck-of-the-draw tournaments. Having been told that a little tobacco shop called The Toad Road had a dart board hung on a door, this was one of the first places he visited.. As the interest and enthusiasm grew Don began to outline the format for The Shreveport-Bossier Dart Association. He was elected the association's first president and served faithfully for 2 years, always giving unsparingly of his energy and dedication to the game.
The owner of The Toad Road, Mel Horton, wanted to enter a team in the initial season of league play. The team consisted of five customers, one employee, and two guys that walked in off the street and said they wanted to play. The team was known as The Toad Road Trebles, and went on to win The SBDA's first playoff championship. In October 1982 the SBDA hosted the first Horton-Millar Cup Tournament, a 4-person event divided into two classes. The Horton Cup for sponsors of A and B Division teams, and The Millar Cup for C, D, and E Division teams. Sponsors entered one team composed of players from their league teams in the respective divisions. It was a fitting tribute, one I personally would like to see revisited.
Don at one time, operated one of the largest dart pubs in the area, known as The Round Table. We all spent many nights playing darts there, and riding that notorious "revolving bar." This is where I met him, and he became my friend. Warm and friendly, he had the capacity to establish close relationships with those around him--quickly, and with a unique, sincere friendliness. And I treasure the memories of being one of those.
Whenever we discussed the history and growth of the SBDA he never failed to say, "it's been a long good-time road." The Shreveport-Bossier Dart Association in itself will always be a living tribute to Don Millar, and in my opinion the best way to celebrate and keep alive his wit, his spirit, and his boundless love for the game of darts.