Saturday, May 6, 2017

Mike Hogg, Soldier: 1917

       When the United States entered World War I in April 1917, Ima’s brother Mike was one of the first to enlist. He was not unfamiliar with the military, having worn a uniform and learned to drill as a boy at the Carlisle School in Hillsboro, Texas. In fact, he had rather liked it. In May 1917 he found himself drilling for real at Camp Funston, He wrote the first of many letters to his sister, Ima, in Houston:
Wednesday [May, undated, 1917]
Dear Sis:
         This camp thus far, is the greatest experience I have ever had. We get up at 5:40 every morning and, from that time on till six P.M., we are on the “hop.”. Our equipment is the same as the regular army, and our duties are equally as severe.  Everyone is very enthusiastic and, of course, this adds to the interest. We have marching, lectures, music, swimming, and many other things of interest. . . .
                  Only a few minutes before called out.
                           With love -
         From spring 1917 until winter 1919, from training camp to the Western Front to the postwar Army of Occupation, Mike Hogg wrote letters home. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Ima, the Enigma!

More to do on Ima's diaries and her mysteries, but work on my World War I book, The Smell of War: Three Americans in the Trenches of World War I (one of them was Mike Hogg) takes precedence for the nonce. Watch this space for updates. Fall publication.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Ima's Diary Ends, with Questions Unanswered.

Ima and Mike continue their summer travels in Europe 1910.  

Off Friday morning [August. 12] 10:08.
Went by trolley then to Milverton

Arrived in Kenilworth 10:40.
Drove a mile and a half to the castle /6 d. These romantic and very beautiful ruins we saw to the best advantage, for after a walk about them, we drove on the way to the station, with the tilting ground, had a fine view of the whole castle, where the lake used to be. Merwyn Tower was the scene of Amy’s life in the castle.

 [Amy Robsart, wife of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, is the heroine of Walter Scott’s novel, Kenilworth, which Ima had just “reviewed” the day before.]

In Warwick, by the way, he & the Earl of Leicester are buried.

[No, Ima, Robert Dudley was the Earl of Leicester. Amy Robsart, his wife, is buried at St. Mary’s Church in Oxford.]

Left Kenilworth 12:25 noon.
After innumerable changes arrived in Ambergate at 4:30 P.M. to find that we should have to go farther in order to coach to Haddon Hall, & Chatsworth. We spent the time there until 6:18 P.M.--walked, drank tea and admired this promising beginning of the Peak--Bought tickets to Rowsley, but decided to get off in Matlock, 6:40 P.M. A mountainous and beautiful place--and a nice hotel--“New Bath”--with a pleasant garden.--So many of the lower classes seem to be traveling hereabouts--just tiny little journeys. There is a grand piano here in Matlock.--I am aching to touch it!

This was Friday, August 12, 1910. Here the diary ends rather abruptly.

The little notebook has more blank pages, but she did not use them.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Ima's 1910 diary, continued.

Ima and her brother, Mike, continue their European travels in the summer of 1910, as recorded in her diary:

Thursday morning  [Aug. 11] 10:20
Stratford. It was warm and the town has not grown in my favor since 1907.

[On her July 12, 1907 visit to Stratford, Ima had a cold, and wrote in her 1907 diary: Reach S[tratford] sick, but walked to Trinity and out by the Avon- my only chance for I spent July 13- Stratford-on-Avon in bed.]

We visited Shakespeare’s birthplace and then his burial in the church. At the Golden Lion (starred in 1906 Baedeker) [Ima’s tattered copy of this standard tourist guidebook is preserved in the archives of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.] we had an insufficient and poor lunch @ 2/6 and in disgust with everything returned to Warwick on the 2:08 train. That afternoon we read and wrote. I reviewed “Kenilworth.” [Ima was a great reader. She knew
Sir Walter Scott’s 1821 romantic historical novel, Kenilworth, and she was about to visit Kenilworth Castle.]  After our delicious dinner, we walked out to the bridge near the castle. It was some sort of a holiday--a brass band was playing discords, and a happy, well-behaved crowd were running and pushing the poor performers along.

Next: A Visit to Kenilworth Castle

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Saturday, November 12, 2016

For Veterans' Day, a remembrance in a diary

For Veterans’ Day weekend, part of a 1916 poem by Robert W. Service, whose brother was killed in World War I.
       Ima Hogg copied this into her summer 1918 diary.

The Fool---Service

“But it isn’t playing the game,” he said--
And he slammed his books away.
“The Latin & Greek I’ve got in my head
Will do for a duller day.”
“Rubbish!” I cried,
            “The bugle’s call
Isn’t for lads from school.”
D’ye think he’d listen?
Oh not at all:
So I called him a fool, a fool.
Now there’s his dog, by
            his empty bed.
And the flute he used to play.
And his favorite bat--
But Dick he’s dead--
Somewhere in France
            they say

Ima Hogg was mourning someone she lost in that war in 1918. We may never know who.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Summer 1910: A Visit to Warwick Castle

      Ima and Mike continue their travels in England. She, like the Earl of Warwick, was not rich--but she kept track of every shilling on this trip. 

      Ima, the future collector and creator of a museum, had an eye for antique furniture as early as 1910. 

Left Oxford Wednesday [August 10, 1910]  2:15 P.M.
Arrived Warwick 3:30

       Dale’s Temperance Hotel (Excellent Rooms 2/3/--Cab 1/6 (Could take train) Meals delicious & moderate). I had a room here, in the Annex--a quaint, old house. The bed and the other furniture was of magnificent solid mahogany, of that clear light colored wood so rare in our country. 

       We went through the castle grounds and the castle. The guide told us that the Earl and Countess would return the next day with an immense party (100 he said) so the castle would be closed to visitors. I later learned that these two live very extravagantly and are not rich, either. I suppose five shillings which comes with every visitor helps a little!