HOGG – James Albert – Sept. 10, 1932 – Dec. 31, 2008
Come along and walk with me,
Down memories country road
Just listen softly and you will see
The roads to town as they used to be
Made of gravel — dusty, rough
Yet for their needs quite good enough.
The young Jim walked these roads that led to town
Old Endiang where friends still abound;
So he has come and now he’s gone
Yet year by year the roads go on.
Just as our lives all come and go
But the memories are cherished, that we know!
James Albert Hogg: better known as “Jim” to us his family and as “Jimmy” to many, many of his friends. Jim was born Sept. 10, 1932 to a very beautiful mother, Isabelle Marnock, who was with him for only two years before she died and to a father Albert who had arrived from Scotland with his family when he was 10 years old. That family of five young men, two sisters and a tough old scotsman also arrived without a wife and mother to begin a new life in the new land. Jim’s dad, Albert became known for his love of fancy saddle horses, the scottish dances and his “yokahoola hickadoola doo.” So Jim grew up in the countryside during the homesteading era of the Endiang district with his sister Margaret and only his Dad to do the farming, the cooking, the babysitting, the washing and all the other chores with not much time for hugging and bedtime stories. Of course the time came for Jim and his sister Margaret to attend school which was four miles distance into the little town of Endiang, AB which had by the way, two grocery stores, a saddlery, a hotel, a community hall, a blacksmith shop, a post office, a restaurant, a pool hall, a livery stable, a garage, a barber and beauty shop and a two room school. In the spring, summer and fall they would walk much of the time with their Roger’s syrup lunch pails in hand; no back packs in those days. Then in the winter their dad would always drive them by team of horses and come back again to pick them up when school was over for the day. What a commitment that was and no hot supper warming in the electric oven when they arrived home. At that time Jim was a pretty charming little boy with his blonde, very curly hair, and that special smile. Of course, he always had his older sister to protect him from harm. Grade 9 finished in Endiang, it was time to move on to High School in Castor, AB which meant living in the dormitory during the week and home to the farm for the weekend. I remember his aunt Maud Hogg was always very interested in making sure that Jim had what was needed for a young guy’s clothes which she could usually find in her men’s clothing store in Endiang. So the next era in Jim’s life, as school is over, is work and finding a job. By now, my Dad, Jim’s uncle Bill Hogg, and my mother had moved to Calgary, AB. Bill knew the stockyards from his trucking business, so he managed to help Jim get a job at the Calgary Stockyards which lasted for over 30 years. He lived with Bill and Alice for many years faithfully paying his room and board and enriching all our lives with his always interesting accounts of events. I called this era of Jim’s life “The Wild Card” where Jim lived life to the fullest (not necessarily our style) but even though the nights were late and would sleep through the alarm and our clanging of pie plates for noise to wake him, he did manage to rouse and never missed a day of work even with a hangover. From a young “alley boy” who learned all about cattle who moved up to be a major buyer in the cattle business, Jim made a well-known name for himself. His honesty in business was a great asset and his defined character helped him become a very successful buyer. Jim’s name and stockyard story is written in well-known author Leonard Friesen’s book called “Cows, Cowboys, Cattlemen and Characters”. He tells the story of Jim being 17 years old when he went to work at the Alberta Livestock Co-op. At the end of his story he mentions that Jim liked to take the odd nip with his friends, one especially named Donnie Ritchie who haled from Endiang, and around the stockyards they were called the Katzinjammer Kids. In Jim’s last era of life he was fortunate enough to meet another Isabelle who came into his life, Isabelle Rose, whom he would love and live with for the next 25 years and find happiness; and all his life he would return to Endiang where he owned his farming land and knew all his old friends and to visit his sister and her sons Gary and Dave whom he thought the world of. We who have left that wonderful community all love to go back and walk and talk the memory lanes. After breaking his back a few years ago Jim was not able to do the things he wanted to do and I suspect life became tedious. Then suffering a stroke in the past year left Jim confined to a wheelchair with an impediment in his speech so just recently he moved to a nursing home as care became too difficult for Isabelle. I know for a “free spirit” like Jim this was a very difficult move for both Jim and Isabelle. We all know it can happen to any of us at any time; as well as we should all understand that when “life” becomes too difficult, painful and meaningless that it is sometimes a blessing from the Heavenly Father to have the suffering end for our loved one. We must be happy for Jim. Yes, he is gone from us but he had a wonderful life of his choosing. It was filled with experiences and challenges that he overcame to make a success of his life. In closing, I want to say it has been a privilege to honor Jim’s life and memories and to extend my sympathy to Isabelle and hers, to his sister Margaret and sons Gary and Dave and to his cousin John Allen and wife who continued to be his friends. Jim as your cousin, I remember the good early times and will miss your visits by telephone, especially when I needed to know some Endiang history. You always had the answer. God bless and keep you Jim Hogg.
The day is done and the darkness falls from the wings of night.
Like a feather wafted down-ward from an eagle in its flight
But it picked the feather up again, towards the sky it flew
Jim I know you were riding with it, Up up beyond the blue.
— by Genevie Hogg Dean