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!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Summer travels, 1910, and another mystery

Left London Aug. 8 Monday, 2:30.
Arrived Windsor by train (Paddington) 3:20 PM. White Hart rooms 5/ 6 meals most expensive and an air of graft which irritated me. --Viewed the castle and very imposing grounds.
Left Tuesday at 2:30 P.M. for steam boat trip on the Thames--to Henly--arrived 7:15 P.M.
This trip is decidedly not to be missed--
The beautiful homes and the estate of Astor--Cliveden--are a sight perhaps no where else to be seen in just in such a state of symmetrical beauty. The flowers particularly were so profuse and gay in color on the perfect lawns.

Arrived in Oxford 9:45 P.M.
Mike and I both cold and head-aching. And here was the evil-charm, the land which I shall not mention, as I hope to forget such a place exists. No--I do not for it was an event I shall likely never see in such another similar sphere.
[written in the margin of this page:
 “The Light of the World” H.H. Hunt
Keble College  Glorious masterpiece]

What was the “evil-charm”?  What “event”?

Will we ever know?

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Ima's 1910 Adventures in England, continued.

Left Canterbury Thursday  [Aug. 4, 1910] 2:20
       Arrived London 5:20 P.M.
       Drove (2/6) to Torrington Sq. where we found board (6/6) no lunch--clean rooms, nice people, poor food. In London we did the usual things. This time I enjoyed Temple Courts (Middle Temple), Wallace Collection, Kensington Museum, Cheshire Cheese Inn, walk through Fleet Street, Hampton Court boat at 4:30 to Richmond--walk up to the hill--gorgeous never to be forgotten view with sunset, and a fine dinner. Home by train and subway. At the Japanese-British Exhibit we saw the Japanese wrestlers, a great novelty and a strange thing, too.
       Heard Tetrazzini at Opera in Barber of Seville. Saw “Priscilla Runs Away” Wilson-Terry (charming)--“The Whip”--thrilling melodrama, but goodl.
        Am sorry I didn’t start this sooner for now I am trying to catch up and can not feel like taking time to tell the things which I have felt most important. Here’s one thing, we are seeing the life of the people--as upon the Thames, where were the house-boats, etc. as I did not before.
       The week of Cricket at Canterbury--National Festival--We went down Thursday. A wonderful sight and experience it was; throngs of enthusiasts who were self contained--, a brilliant sight on the velvety big area of green. A most scientific game is cricket but a very unexciting performance, I think.

We don't know what Ima's brother Mike thought. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

A visit to Canterbury, summer 1910

Ima and her brother Mike continue their travels in England. 

Left Bruges 2:10 for Ostend      
       Sailed for Dover 3:30 arrived 6 P.M.
Arrived Canterbury Wednesday [August 3] 9:30 P.M.
       Hotel Statler’s Temperance 6 shil[lings] pension, A very good, unpretentious place. The Cathedral, the close, and the ruins behind the cathedral make a very impressive whole. This cathedral is a transition example of perpendicular Gothic and with the Norman influence. The raised choir is exceptional and very lovely. I shall never forget the view from Mercery Lane, from the corner where it is said the Inn stood at which the Canterbury Pilgrims halted--(Chaucer). I found Canterbury well worth a long stay. We had here an interesting walk along High Street.
       Soldiers--passed in long procession on bicycle--and fresh wholesome boys in characteristic school costume filled the street as it was commencement day at the fine preparatory school here.

And then, on to London--umbrella-less? 


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ima's & Mike's Summer Travels, 1910: Umbrella # 4.

Left Brussels Tuesday [Aug. 2] 4:15 P.M.
       Arrived Bruges  6:25 P.M.

       Hotel du Londres 3.50 Fr.[francs] a bed, Table de Hote meals, excellent and moderate prices. We had a little walk after dinner.       

       The next morning [Wednesday Aug. 3] we continued our walk through the old streets, and over the canals, enjoying the same quaint Gothic houses, the picturesque views at every crooked turn. The Belfry, the many churches and cathedrals give a beautiful outline to the roofs of the little town. We went to the Hospital St. John where I again marveled at the exquisite workmanship and the beauty of Meurling’s pictures: The Legend of St. Ursula, Adoration of the Magi, and the Marriage of St. Catherine, etc. Mike, too, enjoyed these pictures as no others he has seen I think, with perhaps the exception of some in the Tate Gallery in London.  
Umbrella No. 4.

To lose three umbrellas is unfortunate; to lose four is "extremely careless"! 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Ima's Summer Travels, 1910: 2 Umbrellas Lost.

Ima and Mike left Berlin for the city of Cologne, Sunday July 31, 1910: 

       Arrived Cöln [Cologne] 9:00 P.M.
Hotel here 4 M. [Marks: German currency] bed and breakfast each--very good. After seeing the Cathedral went to the Church of St. Ursula with the bones of the 10,000 virgins used to decorate the walls. Took a drive through the city and along the Rhine. Raining. Lost umbrella. Bought another.

Left Cöln Monday [Aug. 1] 2:30 P.M.
Arrived Brussels 9:30 P.M.
Fair was going on. And here we had the most terrible experience.--We could find no place to stay. All the good--and then indifferent hotels were “full up.” Finally, as a final resort we went to the Metropole where we thought it would be impossible to get anything--and we found a place for 12 F.[Francs: French currency] apiece. The next morning we had a glimpse of the gallery, a beautiful drive through the Exhibition grounds, a walk through indifferentlly interesting exhibits, then lunch. Mike was disgusted with the city and so was I. We had a pleasant walk through the “old place” where are the buildings--Hotel de Ville etc.
       The second umbrella was left on the train, and as it as raining, bought No. 3.

Did she lose # 3?  Watch this space to find out.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Ima’s Berlin Secrets: Still Secret!

This is 22 Mommsenstrasse, Charlottenburg, a suburb of Berlin, as it looks today. Ima Hogg lived here in 1907-08.

This is a page from the Berlin City Directory of 1908, listing the owners/residents of 22 Mommenstreasse. 

         Eight owner/residents are listed in this multi-unit building.  One of them was the German novelist/playwright, Felix Hollander.
         None of them is named Grandberry or Cranberry, the family with whom, according to Ima’s 1908 diary, she was living.
         This must mean that the Grandberry/Cranberry family were renting or leasing their apartment.
         But who the Grandberrys were, and why they (or Mrs. Grandberry, or Cranberry, as Ima calls her) were living here is a research work in progress. Ima’s diary says that she knew Mrs. Grandberry from Houston.
         The likeliest candidate is Mary Belle Grandberry, the wife of a Houston oilman, Prentiss Grandberry, who lived at 241 Heights Boulevard (a house no longer there). In 1908 this Mrs. Grandberry was 35 years old. But this Mrs. Grandberry of Houston was born October 26, 1872. The Mrs. Cranberry in Charlottenburg in Ima’s diary celebrates her birthday January 27.


It’s summertime! See the next blog on August 6.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Ima's Summer Travels: a Berlin Mystery

From Galveston to Bremen
via “Hanover” N.G.L.

       Sailed June 30th arrived July 18, 1910.
A most pleasant voyage with a very jolly, and interesting number of passengers.
       This time I am attempting to “conduct” a party--of two--Mike and myself. So far we have not gotten on the wrong train, our tickets have been good, and nothing outside the experiences Mike and I create for ourselves has occurred
       Our tickets, second class, from Berlin to London were $18.00 apiece.
A short account of our trip would be as follows:

       Left Berlin Sunday [July 31] 10:55 A.M.

A “short account, indeed! This brief notation s all we get about the ten days she and Mike spent in Berlin.

Ima Hogg had lived there for nearly a year, from November 1907 until October 1908.



Saturday, July 2, 2016

Ima sails again for Europe, 1910

Tugboat Ima Hogg

This item appeared in the Galveston Daily News, July 1, 1910.

Friends of Miss Ima Hogg of Houston, who gathered at the North German Lloyd pier Thursday to bid Miss Hogg and her brother, Mr. Mike Hogg, bon voyage on their departure for Europe, noted with pleasure the pretty courtesy paid by the tug Ima Hogg. When the ocean liner was leaving the pier the tug named for this daughter of the late Governor Hogg drew alongside the Hanover and gave a salute of three whistles while passing around the vessel upon the deck of which stood the fair lady whose namesake the tug is. Miss Hogg was pleased with the pretty compliment, and smilingly waved a good-by to those whose thought prompted the salute.

Was she secretly gritting her teeth behind that smile?  Her name followed her everywhere!

Note to blog readers: can you diagram this sentence?

When the ocean liner was leaving the pier the tug named for this daughter of the late Governor Hogg drew alongside the Hanover and gave a salute of three whistles while passing around the vessel upon the deck of which stood the fair lady whose namesake the tug is.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Time Out

Ima took vacations. So do I. 

Watch for more blogs--later. (Research in progress)

Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Puzzle for Memorial Day


     This delicate pencil sketch appears at the end of Ima’s 1907 travel diary. No indentification, no explanation. She was a talented artist, and the portrait was no doubt drawn by her.

     Was this young man killed in World War I?
     Was this perhaps the reason for the sudden changes in Ima’s notebook  in the summer of 1918?

     If so, Memorial Day must have always been a sad one for her, even though only she knew why.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

More on Ima’s Reading List, Summer 1918

      The reading list [see earlier blog] comes after a page or pages torn out of the notebook. What had happened? What was on Ima’s mind when she chose these to read?

Outland  (1910) was a utopian novel, some said a socialist tract, about obsessive love, betrayal, and a happy ending.

Iron City, Hedges’s 1919 novel, a “portrait of industrialization in Beloit, Wis., presaged the modern women's movement and contemporary labor struggles.”

Jacobsen’s novel, Marie Grubbe. A Lady of the Seventeenth Century (1917) “is the first Danish treatment of a woman as a sexual creature. Based upon the life of an authentic 17th century Danish noblewoman, it charts her downfall from a member of the royal family to the wife of a ferryman, as a result of her desire for an independent and satisfying erotic life.”

The Prestons (1918) was a humorous novel about an American family in “everyday life.”

James McKaye, Americanized Socialism: A Yankee View of Capitalism (1918) was the author of several books on economics, politics, and philosophy.

Henry Adams’s now-classic autobiography was just out in 1918.

John [St. J.] Ervine was an Irish playwright. His John Ferguson is a 1915 melodrama set in the “1880s, in rural Ulster, Northern Ireland; John, his wife Sarah, and their children Hannah and Andrew, are awaiting a letter from America that will save them from financial ruin.” Foolish Lovers is another Irish love story.

[Maureen and its author remain a mystery.]

Wind Beneath the Worlds: A 1920 novel about the efforts of a mother whose son was lost in the war to communicate with him through spiritualism.

Lilith: An anti-war play (1920).

An article in “Woman” magazine about Jenny Marx, wife of Karl.  Ima may have been thinking of The magazine Independent Woman (1920-1956).

Book of Susan: A 1920 novel about a young orphan girl brought up by a wealthy benefactor in the early 20th century.

Poet/novelist Masefield’s 1920 book with the long poem, “Enslaved” is based on two stories of young lovers challenged by fate.

Ima may have meant Arthur Schnitzler’s Bertha Garlan: “This 1901 novel by the great Austrian writer deals with a young widowed woman who, following the lead of a libertine friend, travels to Vienna and undertakes an affair with a great violinist she had previously known.”

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Ima Hogg's Reading List, Summer 1918

From the notebook Ima kept in the summer of 1918, an undated reading list. 
These books range from works on socialism, urban growth, war, --and fiction about lost loves, war, and death. What do they tell us?

“Outland” Mary Austin
“Iron City” M. H. Hedges
“Marie Grubbe Jens P. Jacobsen
“The Prestons” Mary H. Vorse
“Americanized Socialism” James MacKay
“The Education of Henry Adams”
“John Ferguson” St. J. Ervine
“Maureen” Patrick MacLiel
“The Foolish Lovers” St. J. Ervine
“The Wind Between the Worlds” Alice Brown
“Lilith” Romaine Rolland
“Woman” Mag. Marx
“Book of Susan” Lee Wilson Dodd
“Letters of A. Chekhov to His Family and Friends”--Constance Garnett
“Enslaved” John Masefield
“Bertha Lanham” A. Schnitzler

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Derby Day!

Ima Hogg loved horses all her life, especially her beloved Arabian, Napoleon.

She would be watching today's Kentucky Derby this afternoon. Or maybe she is.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Ima's mysterious 1918 notebook, continued

[The next notebook page is a large, hurried scrawl about a possible furniture purchase.]

9 chairs Rush
       with new
      Bottomss of Flag
            at 10 Each
            Crated Read
            to Shipp at

      And clock
      case at 10.00
      with hands--

[Next comes a reading list, after what appears to be a page or pages torn out.]

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Summer 1918: The mysterious notebook

[Suddenly copied into the notebook, part of Robert Browning’s 1841 verse drama, Pippa Passes, describing a sunrise.]

Fast and more fast
O’er night’s brim, day boils at last
Boils, pure gold, o’er the cloud cap’s brim,
Where spurting and suppress’d it lay--
For not a froth-flake touched the rim
Of yonder gap in the solid gray
Of the eastern cloud, an hour away;
But forth one wavelet, then another, curled,
Till the whole sunrise, not to be supprest,
Rose, reddened, and its seething breast
Flickered in bounds, grew gold, then overflowed the world.

         from Pippa Passes                            

After missing pages in the notebook, part of a poem copied.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Mia's Summer 1918 Notebook, continued.

[Symphony notes, continued] 

Organization of orchestra:
How many men?
Day or night?
How financed?

Average pay by rehearsals

per week?
Industrial workers as musicians?
How used in other cities?

Community singing
Orchestra conductor?
Band master

Oratorio conductor:
City & orchestra organizations?

Sunday concerts
Home Talent
Visiting Lecturers

City appropriations for Sunday entertainment
Expense of orchestra
Receipts expected from performances, subscriptions

Deficit proportionate to attendance?

[A page or pages appear to have been torn out]

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Notes from Ima's 1918 Notebook

[After a page cut out of the steno notebook, the following page contains only this unidentified  passage]

If the people are to hold the key to power, if they would rule they must serve, and if they would be the heirs of time they must begin to think in terms of eternity.


[More symphony research notes]


Population: white
Philanthropic expenditures
Citizens in labor & industry:

Liberty Loan:
Amusement Exp:
Auditorium attendance:
Municipal position on board.
Co-operation or subsity for b. & o.?
How many band instruments available
Salaries of band men?
Uses of band?  
Highest exp. in U.S. for music? (or.)

       Ima, then president of the Houston Symphony she had helped to found in 1913, was on a working vacation,  planning to ask questions about orchestras in other cities.
         But something was about to ruin that pleasant trip.