Saturday, June 27, 2015

Ima begins the diary of her adventure in Berlin, 1908.

January I. (1908)
First, how I came to be here after my four or five months travel abroad. The last two months of my tour, I knew or rather had decided to stay for the winter in Germany. It is needless to say, however, what a trial it was to come to such a conclusion. But Brother as usual came in at the final moment to insist that I take any opportunity to improve myself! It was in Florence almost at the close of my trip that—still without any definite places to locate myself in—that [sic] I met Alice McFarland of Houston—and she, I suppose, is the direct cause of my being at Mommsenstr. 22, Charlottenburg. The way she got into Florence on the evening before we were to leave and so accidentally came to our hotel, in fact, how she got Mrs. Cranberry’s address during her visit to Berlin, the whole thing is absolutely strange for Alice had gotten her facts a little mixed.  But for that, though, I shouldn’t be here. I wrote right away to Mrs. Cranberry and asked her if her landlady had an extra room for me in her “Pension.” Mrs. Cranberry is from Houston. I had known her slightly there through friends—quite well. So I thought it might be nice to stay in the place with her, at least until I could find a German family to live with—I was most anxious to learn to speak German – more than to take up my music, really. – Well, by the time I got back to Florence, I had an answer to my letter from Mrs. C. She was most cordial and told me that they weren’t in exactly what would be a Pension, but that there was a room for me. On the ninth of October, I bade my dear friends good-bye and started out on my journey all alone and awfully lonesome, too. The following night I arrived in B.  And what started me off in B. just right was being welcomed at the station by Mrs. C. and her Brother. Grosse [?] was at 5 Savigny Platz to welcome me there. I remember the next morning when I was tired and homesick, and wondering really what I was going to do here. The Merchant came in and told me that they were going into a Wohnung [apartment] of their own.

This is a work in progress. Who were these people?

Saturday, June 20, 2015

A mysterious stay in Munich ends, September 3, 1907.

Ima left the pension in Munich, after a mysterious eleven days in lateAugust through early September. Whatever else she did, she improved her German. 

Sept. 3 - Tuesday - Innsbruck
Here in the rain. Rode the train 2nd class with the cook in my compartment of some Frau Grafin who was herself 1st class. My companion and I carried on an animated dialogue in German--most enlightening!

Great to find the crowd here--only the men arrived this morning.

[Ima rejoined her travel companions in Italy on September 3. Since August 23 she had been on her own, staying in the “Musicians Pension” in Munich.
Her diary does not account for all of the days she spent there.  

Did she have a secret romance ?

Her travel diary ends in Florence on October 4.  Some time before that date she had obviously made the momentous decision to stay in Berlin. She wrote on October 4: 

Letter from Leah Fisher about my stay in Berlin this winter.”

Who was Leah Fisher???

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Ima Hogg was a belle. No wonder she had romances!

This is Ima about 1900. She was the daughter of a famous politician, she was a talented musician, a skilled horsewoman, a graceful dancer. Every young man she met fell in love with her, long before she went to Germany. One of them was Willis B. Reeve, in Houston in 1905. He wrote her passionate letters, he visited her at Varner Plantation, he followed her to Cliff House in Manitou Springs, Colorado. 

Since this blogger is planning a visit to Cliff House, there may be more to come about the Reeve  romance.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Munich, 1907: Who were the “interesting men”?

More of Ima’s stay in Munich at the musicians’ pension:

Aug. 28 - Thursday Munich
[Wednesday, August 28, and Thursday, August. 29?]
The “interesting men” have gone & in their places very interesting ladies. Have dared to play on the piano here a little. Mrs. Cooper and I carriaged to the Rheingold with little French lady. Had good seats 827-829--Whitehill the Witan was an old friend of Mrs. Cooper’s with an interesting story to his career--and after the performance met him. Quite a striking looking man. Has a good voice, too....Got home in time for dinner.

Aug. 29-Sept. 2 --Friday. Munich-[-
Glorious full day! [Friday, August 30?] Burgstaller as Siegmund in the Valkyrie....[here she gives a detailed description of the opera] Dreadful to come to earth and find oneself in the rain, too, waiting for carriage. [more details of the opera, which she liked better than the Met’s version.]
Met many delightful people at the Pension. Mrs. B---[illegible] of Brooklyn & the Woods also of B[rooklyn].--Mrs. Cooper, Miss Cummings & I went to the Nat. Museum & rushed through to our regret. [ Here she gives a detailed description of the art they saw.]

Friday was the opera, perhaps Saturday was the museum. What did she do on Sunday and Monday, Sept. 1 and 2?]

She does not say.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A blog for Memorial Day and World War I

Captain Mike Hogg, 1918: US Army, 90th Division, 180th Brigade, 360th Infantry, 1st Battalion, Company D

Ima’s brother Mike fought in World War I and wrote to her when he could. Here is an excerpt form one of his letters:

I have not written very often, because it has been impossible to write at times. I have been on the front for almost four months and in places where it was not healthy to do any writing. However, I think you have missed getting some of my letters. I have written at least once every two weeks at all times.
         Here is just an enumeration of things which I saw one day while we were on a hill in reserve, on the night we went up to relieve another outfit:
         A marsh just below the hill, full of dead horses, torn-up wagons, and cannon. A road just beyond the marsh, winding up a hill in one direction to where a town once stood, but now nothing but white bricks mark the place . . . .All along the slope of the hill where I was, torn helmets of Americans and Germans. Fresh American and German graves, old French graves, pieces of rifles, shreds of uniforms, packs, shoes, grenades, small holes in the ground all over the side of the hill where men had dug in.
         A railroad track, just this side of the marsh, all torn to pieces.  Old pieces of machine guns and ammunition belts of Germans, where they had tried to make a stand.
         The top of the hill all around me covered with what used to be brush, but which was now chewed up by machine gun bullets and looked as if rats had been eating it. Three large observation balloons, one of which was brought down by a Boche. The air alive with aeroplanes. Some were throwing propaganda, which looked like snow falling.
         Shells falling and knocking up the earth every few minutes. Our boys sticking close to the ground; cook stoves camouflaged and in full blast. Every hill in sight full of American Infantry or Artillery soldiers; litter-bearers going after someone just hit by a piece of shell.         
         These are a few of the things I saw from that one spot. Imagine what could be seen when on the move.
         Mike Hogg and his comrades had indeed been “on the move.” The 90th Division had been under fire from August 20 to November 11, Armistice Day, 1918. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Ima in Munich: Ten Days of Mystery

Ima’s adventures in Munich, Summer 1907, continued:

Saturday - Munich - to Tuesday
Mrs. Cooper, the friend whom Mrs. Thompson has asked to look after me is delightful. Has taken me in full charge. My time has been most profitably spent in listening to the discussion of various scientific and everyday subjects by two men at our table-- Mr. Baumgardt, and Mr. Monroe. And Miss Koerner, studying for opera, has sung some beautiful von Fielitz songs, and among other things Rubenstein’s lovesong (Romance for Piano). [A dreamy piano piece: did she listen with someone special?] We have visited the new Pinakothek [art museum]. The porcelains downstairs of Old pictures are interesting. The pictures which impressed me were:.[Here she wrote a long list of the pictures.] On Monday took the libretto of Rheingold went into the Eng, Gardens, drove there a while, got out & went to the banks of the Isar and read to each other. . . .

On Monday she sat on the banks of the Isar River--with whom?

She does not say.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A sudden decision to stay in Munich!

Ima’s 1907 diary, continued:

Thursday Munich. [Aug. 22]
Ticket redeemed, place engaged at Musicians Pension where Mrs. [name left blank] from Houston is staying & she, too, goes to the opera... Mr. Scott & Mr. Foster went to St. Petersburg --Mr. Thompson to join them in Berlin Tues. or Wed. morning.
Aug. 23, Friday Munich...
Mrs. B.T., Mrs. L.T., & Miss Ione F. waved me farewell on the omnibus at 9 A.M. All alone-- but glad I’m not going to Vienna--am sick of improving my mind--don’t think I have any --so am going in madly for Wagner & Opera -- not too madly for I am really physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and nerve exhausted -- Have just settled my things most permanent-like in a cozy alias Zimmer [room]  at this pension.

She would spend the next ten days there--but she does not tell us about all of them . . . .