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 . . . .

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Ima’s Mysterious 1907 Adventures in Germany, continued.

Aug. 19. Monday. Munich. Hotel Linfelder. [Ima went out by herself in this unfamiliar city, to pick up the opera tickets she had ordered from London.]
Out looking--got lost--having left my dear old Baedecker [travel guidebook] somewhere--reached hotel 3:30 P.M. tired hot & hungry....

Aug. 21st Wednesday Munich.
Four o’clock Tristan & Isolde! Started from hotel in a carriage at 3:30 in plenty of time...
[She described the opera in great critical detail in her diary.Was she alone???]
Had dinner between 2nd and 3rd Acts....

Came home decided on leaving out Vienna & staying for [Wagner's Ring] Cycle --if my ticket could be redeemed.

A sudden change of plans: why?