Saturday, February 28, 2015

July 10, 1907: A 25th birthday unrecorded, and a cold caught.

[Ima and friends visited the Tate Museum, where she wrote detailed, dutiful descriptions of every painting they saw.]

Tate Gallery. Put on a voile gown “the better to see” --thin yoke, --sneezed & knew a cold was coming. . . .

[The next day was her 25th birthday, but she did not mention it in her diary. Did she keep it to herself?]

London--July 10th--Windsor Castle. Drove over--coached to Windsor - Left our trunks - two apiece!- at the hotel, taking only suitcases for our tour up through Scotland. Just as we got in. . . down came torrents of rain. But we went on just the same though it was terribly cold, too. Started at 10:30 got to Windsor 2:30. St. George’s Chapel with Princess Charlotte momument & Henry VIII  burial place. White Tower where the order of the garter organized, building in which Merry Wives of Windsor was first played. Then the beautiful view towards Eton from the steps--where I turned my ankle & scrambled up by Mr. Scott’s coat sleeves. Dreadfully caught more cold. Holbein’s portrait (one of them) Henry VIII hangs in the castle. . . . .Started for Oxford at 5:55 P.M. There at 9:00.

And Mr. Scott was no doubt happy to help.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Ima Kept on Keeping Secrets.

       In the summer of 1907, the year after her father’s death, Ima Hogg decided to do what many wealthy young people did in that era: take a grand tour of Europe. She sailed from New York in June 1907, and she did not return to Houston until October 1908. 

       She traveled in a tour group, and she kept a diary, which is preserved in the Ima Hogg papers at the Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas in Austin.

       Even then, she was into keeping her private life private. The first thing she wrote in her diary was:

This is a chronology of my trip to Europe--not a diary of personalities.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Ima's Valentines

Happy Valentine's Day.
Here's a photo of her around 1900, given to a friend many years later, signed "from Imogene, with love." In her 90's she began to call herself "Imogene."
Wish we had some of the Valentines Ima's beaux sent to her, but evidently she kept the good ones to herself!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Ima Kept Her Father’s Secrets, too.

       When Ima Hogg was a little girl, she kept newspaper clippings about her father--but only the good ones. When she edited the family letters in a volume for her brothers, she carefully censored and sometimes destroyed letters that did not measure up to her ideal of a perfect family. For instance, Sallie Hogg’s letters scolding her husband for not writing to her while he was on the campaign trail, and for neglecting their son, Will, on some occasions, do not appear in Ima’s edited collection.
       When Jim Hogg’s critics lambasted him, Ima made sure that their comments did not make it into his official biography. Some documents are missing, as well: the early records of Hogg’s oil business at Spindletop, 1901-1903, “have been lost”--according to Hogg’s biographer. 

      “The time sequence of the formation of the Hogg-Swayne Syndicate is not clear, since most of the earliest records have been lost.” (Robert C .Cotner, James Stephen Hogg: A Biography, Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press, 1959), 525.)

      Who lost them?