Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Happy Birthday, Ima!

Ima Hogg was born on July 10, 1882. That's 140 years ago this year.

She's a Texas legend, and her memory lives on. 

In October 2022 there will be a new book about her:

Grand Tours and the Great War: Ima Hogg's Diaries, 1907-1918, edited, with commentary by Virginia Bernhard and Roswitha Wagner.

Ima Hogg kept many secrets--but her diaries offer fascinating clues about her youthful adventures, and perhaps a romance that changed her life. 

You can pre-order it on Amazon. 

Friday, July 10, 2020

Ima Hogg was born July 10, 1882. Today is her birthday. 

Some day, post-Covid, there will be a new book about her: 

"The Ima Hogg Diaries: Love and The Great War, 1907-1918" 

         Ima Hogg (1882-1975), famous in Texas folklore, cultural history, and philanthropy, left diaries of her youthful travels, including her days in Germany as World War I began. 
         They show Ima Hogg as a young woman seeking to find herself, traveling in Europe, spending a year in Germany, and perhaps losing the love of her life in World War I.  

          My good friend, Rosi Wagner (who did all the German translation) and I transcribed and edited the diaries and tried to make sense of the mysteries.

Happy Birthday, Ima. 

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Remember Memorial Park

On Memorial Day weekend, Houstonians can thank the Hoggs for Memorial Park. 

In an arrangement with the city of Houston, and with a donation of $50,000 by Will, Mike, and Ima Hogg, Memorial Park, named to honor the soldiers who fought in World War I, opened as a public park in 1925.  At 1,500 acres it is one of the largest urban parks in the nation.

The land was once the site of Camp Logan, the World War I military training camp. Along with additional acreage, was bought in 1923 and 1924 by Houston’s Hogg family to preserve as a park.  

Ima's brother Mike (on the left, in the cover below) fought on the Western Front from August to November 1918.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Clabber for Breakfast!

Ima Hogg, who died in 1975, contributed this item to a cookbook in 1971: 

Mrs. James S. Hogg (1891-1895)
Breakfast Menu 
(Courtesy of her daughter, Miss Ima Hogg).

[There was no menu, but this note:] "a typical breakfast in 1890, and always served promptly at 7:00 a.m." began with "fresh clabber (for the children) or Oatmeal with thick cream" (We always had two Hereford cows and a calf)." 
--The Old Bakery Bake Book, published by the Heritage Guild of Heritage Society of Austin in 1971, p. 197.

Maybe the clabber was why she lived to age 93. 

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

One Hundred Years Ago, an Armistice

         On November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m., (the eleventh day and the eleventh hour) a cease-fire was declared in the trenches of World War I. The carnage that had cost over eight and a half million lives world-wide was over. This weekend we remember them, we honor them.
         When Captain Mike Hogg came home, he and his brother Will and his sister Ima established Houston’s Memorial Park in honor of those who died in the Great War. It opened in 1925, and is still one of the largest urban parks in the nation.
         On November 14, Captain Mike Hogg, Company D, lst Battalion, 180thInfantry Brigade, 360thRegiment,  90thDivision, wrote to his sister about the fateful morning of November 11. He was still at the front. 
I am now only a few kilometers from where I was when we got the almost unbelievable news that there was to be a suspension of all hostilities at eleven o’clock. The Germans were only a few yards away and we were preparing to make adesperateattack that morning. I had already given up all idea of coming through. You should have seen the place where we spent the night—and such a night! Everybody and everything was frozen stiff.
We got the news at about ten-thirty. There was absolutely no demonstration. We could not make a sign or move, because of danger. Shells were still falling. At eleven, we heard the German bugles blow and the men shout. We then saw them get right up from in front of us and “beat it” back. All firing ceased. MY! But it was great. We were too tired and chilled, though, to realize what great luck we and the world in general were in. We have been through a great deal of fighting and I suppose are very lucky. . . . 

They called it the Great War. No one in 1918 could imagine a greater one. 


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Good spirits, even in the trenches

Mike Hogg’s letter to Will, from the Western Front, October 1, 1918:

         Well, to go back--I have learned to sympathize with wildcats, coons, and all hunted animals. I’ll never run them again. You know I have to leave my hole to look things over once in a while and then your wild animal stunt--that is, if it is a pretty clear day. About the time you think all is well, old Fritz has spied you from a “sausage” and here they come, whiz, bang, zip, zam! You run like hell for about a hundred (that is, when you have your first few experiences), then stop, wipe your brow, laugh, cuss the Hun, and then move contentedly on--about that time, sure enough Hell breaks loose all around you. You leap for cover, which might be only a pile of brush, a roll of barbed wire, or anything; you hug the ground and flatten out flatter than anything in the world; Fritz splashes them for a time and then all is quiet again. How the Hell they missed you, you can’t tell, because you have merely been playing the ostrich. Now, take it from me, from this time out there is no slow movement. These old-time wildcat movements ensue and remain till back to your beautiful dugout (with its friendly fleas and everything else thrown in) you scramble--and when there, you are as happy as a fool.
         We had a good time down here last night. My runners have a fine quartet and how they did sing! We had the latest from Broadway down to our war songs. Some wanted to drop in a few sentimentals but they did not get far.          

A battlefront is no place for sentimentality. 


Saturday, September 29, 2018

A brief lull before the big battle

During a brief “period of stabilization” after the battle of St. Mihiel, Mike Hogg found time to write to Ima, describing with cheerful insouciance what had been a harrowing combat experience.
                                                               Monday, September 23rd

         You should see me right now. Here I sit, just after having taken the most glorious bath I have ever had. Not that it was up to date, or that I had a good tub, or that I had lots of water. It was a bath--that is all. I am in an old, shell-torn town. The room here is about the only thing left of the house that is whole. The rest has been blown away by shells. This room, however, is great. It can’t rain in here. All my officers (four of us) are here.          You are wondering, no doubt, why that bath was so wonderful. Well, it is this way: I am just back from that big American “push”--St. Mihiel. We were in it up to our eyes. Almost two weeks, we dug, marched, fought and scrambled around in something I know was worse than Hell itself. But here we are, as happy as if we all had good sense --men and all.

         Captain Hogg and his Company D would soon be in the trenches again, in the greatest single battle in American history: the Meuse-Argonne offensive, with a battlefront 75 miles long, and involving more than a million U.S. soldiers, from September 26 until the armistice of November 11.