Sept 16, 2014

I am taking a family history class and today’s lesson was about Journals and writing in Journals. When the teacher asked who was willing to write at least 8 minutes a day for the length of the class, I raised my hand. I guess I’m a follower like that.

So, to document the day, it goes as follows: I got up this morning and had my 9 o’clock call with Doug and we talked about the four books (two copies of the Sixties mega-book, the paperback and the Kindle, then I published James Brown and the Spanish version of The Everly Brothers.) Who knows if any of them will sell, but I keep hoping} I published over the weekend. He is working on getting products from China to sell and he told me he is going on vacation to Mexico in a couple weeks.

After talking to Doug, I took Barb to work where she spent the day at Heinselmens Yarn shop. I drove home, stopping to pick up a prescription at the drug store and then heading over to the church for the Family History class. After class, I came home and did pretty much nothing for the rest of the day.

I have a new class I got online about selling on Amazon and plan to go through that in the next couple days. I hope to have a site up and running before the end of September for the Halloween business and then get my Christmas site up by the end of October to take advantage of Black Friday and the Holiday buyers.

Oh, and I am working on my next book: Elton John.

I went and picked up Barb at 6 and we had supper and then watched TV for the evening. Watched Masterpiece Mysteries with Hercole Peirot, Agatha Christie’s detective. It was pretty good. Not much on right now as the new season hasn’t started yet and the summer shows are winding down.

Our devotional was held after the news and tonight, we decided to abandon Elder Bednar’s book and instead read a book about the early days of the Relief Society. It is much easier to read and I think will be very inspirational. I am so glad of the testimony that I have of the church. We talked of praying out loud instead of just silent prayers. I suggested that we should, maybe, go out to the car and just sit in the car in the garage and speak to our Heavenly Father. We heard a talk on Sunday from Elder Scott (One of the 12 Apostles) about how our Father in Heaven is, literally, our father and he wants us to talk to him, but silent prayers always seem so forced. You should get away from other people and talk to Him like another person and what a difference that can make. I am going to try that tomorrow.

Well, it’s been about 8 minutes, so I will quit. Time for bed. Good night.

Current: A Day of Ups and Downs

Thursday, March 12 was a tough day. We needed to go to St George to a funeral on Friday. Barb’s sister-in-law’s father passed away and since Barb knew the gentle man, she wanted to attend his funeral. So, we decided to go down on Thursday and go to the St George Temple with Matt and Step in the afternoon.

So, we spent the morning driving to St George where we hooked up with Matt and Steph and the four of us headed for the Temple. We got into the 12:40 session. Now this may not seem significant except that neither Barb nor I have gone to the temple in a long time. I am in lot worse shape now than I was the last time I went through and I worried about how I would do. It was tough, but we made it.

Then we got back to Matt’s only to hear that Chad was in the hospital and ready to have open-heart surgery on Friday. So, after the spirit of the temple, we now were very worried about Chad. He had surgery on Friday and, I understand, is doing very well. We are so glad that he is pulling through this and hope he’s back on his feet soon.

Get well soon, Chad. We all love you and have you in our prayers.


Some Quotes from “Senior Scraps”

“Senior Scraps” is a little scrapbook like book that we got when we were seniors in high school. It’s not a yearbook. It doesn’t have a hard cover. In fact I picked it up the other night and the front cover just fell off, probably from age. It has things like the scores of all the football games we played. I noticed the scores are there, but not who won. Same thing for the basketball games.  I wrote some comments which were written in 1960, the year I graduated.

Under the heading: “Clubs”:

“The only club which I belonged to this year was the Jets Club of which I was the president. Our dues were 25 cents a month. In the ninth and tenth grades we had the Spanish Club at Belleview which I was treasury (sic). We had a riot in both of them.”

Under the heading: “Drama”:

The only drama we had this year was the junior play. It was a riot. I took Nancy Leatherman and we went to her house after-wards for cake and coffee. She sure is a nice girl. The play was about a sorority that didn’t believe in dating boys and how a boy spies on them and reports all about it to the college newspaper. The collection of girls in the sorority were really good and a couple of them stole the show.”

Under the heading “J Hop”

“Wonderful, simply wonderful! I had Dad’s ’60 Ford and took Nancy Leatherman. The theme of the dance was “Sea Fantasy” and the band was the “No-Names”. The decorations were very good and the band was all right. But the best thing of all was Nancy. She wore a beautiful pink semi-formal dress with white gardenias. She’s a wonderful dancer and I had a wonderful time. I hope she did too. After wards we were supposed to go to a party, but instead we just road around and talked. After that we went to her house and sat and ate and talked some more and watched TV.”

You can see I had a good time in high school. Nancy and I were an item for a while, but if you’ve read the earlier posts about high school, you know it didn’t last long. I have a couple more quotes, but I’ll do them next time.


Back to High School

The neatest thing happened a couple nights ago. I got a call from Karen that someone had called looking for me and left a number. I called her back and found out it was a women who I graduated from high school with named Betty Gothberg. (She, of course, has a married name now, but I’m not sure if she ever told me what it was. If so, I’ve forgotten.) She was excited that she had located me and we talked for almost an hour. She still lives in Battle Creek where I went to high school.

They are planning a 50 year reunion next year in 2010. They are going to have a big party and invite as many students that graduated in the class of 1960 as they can find.  I told her if there was any way I could do it, I would be there. We talked about all of the people she had located and where they were (scattered all over the country). She told me that they knew of 15 that had died over the years. So out of 72 graduates, there are about 57 of us left. A couple of the names I remember real well and have wrote about here and now they have passed on. So, I won’t be seeing them at the reunion.

After we talked, I got out my “Senior Scraps” which is a kind of yearbook, with room to put pictures and comments that I made back in 1960. I found Betty’s picture (not that I had any trouble remembering her). I spent a few minutes going down memory lane and looking at all the pictures and wondering what the people might look like now, 50 years later.

Next time, I’ll put in some quotes of what I wrote in the “Senior Scraps” book about some of things I did during my senior year. We may have talked about these things before, but I’ve never quoted myself as a 17 year old. Next time…


Current: All Shook Up

Well, I’ve taken a month or so off from this blog. I feel like it might be time to start writing again. I’ve found some stuff from when I went to high school which I don’t think I have mentioned before, so I will be posting that in the coming days. I also found a journal I wrote from about the years 1975 until the mid eighties. It covers leaving North Dakota and some of the time living in Eyota. I think you all might be interested in some of that. So, I guess the history is not done after all.

 Also, I had sort of stopped when I met Barb. I wasn’t sure if you all were interested in what had happened since, but I think I should write some about it. That’s part if my life, too.

So, I guess I’m back. We’ll see how it goes. As a point of news, Barb and I went to the Hale Theater in Orem on Saturday night (Feb 28) to see a play (musical) called “All Shook Up”. It takes place in the fifties and reminded me of the movie “Footloose”. However, it contains nothing but Elvis Presley songs. This guy comes to this small town on a motorcycle. They have a bunch of laws against public kissing and dancing and, in general, having fun. He is like Elvis and swivels his hips and sings all of the rockin’ Elvis songs. They try to arrest him and run him out of town, but the local kids all become converted to him and in the end everybody is dancing.

It’s a fun play and a very enjoyable two hours. We ate dinner at Red Lobster before we went to the play. Then we had a nice dinner at home on Sunday. So, I got two good dinners and a play for our anniversary. By the way, this is nine years. Not bad for the second time around. 

More later….


2009 Is Going To Be My Year

I just discovered a very cool coincidence. It’s actually a result of the way the days of the year are laid out, but it’s still cool. I noticed that 2009 has exactly the same calendar as 1942, the year I was born.

Now, that’s not a real rare event but it only happens every six or eleven years. The last time it happened was 1998. So, it’s been eleven years since it last happened. It’s only happened about 6 times since I was born. Now, I’m not one to believe in signs or astrology or anything like that. But when I noticed this, I decided that this will me my year. I will probably retire this year. (That’s more up to AMEX than me) I will get my business to be profitable.

I am pumped. 2009 is the year!


I Meet Barb and Fall in Love Again

I think this will be the final post in the exciting life of James Hoag. I will only post here occasionally as I have something to say. This one takes us up through my marriage to Barb and that’s close enough to the present to call it quits. Hope you all enjoyed it. 

In late 1999, I got a call from Karen. She was living in Orem and, of course, I still lived in Sandy, Utah. She told me that she had met a lady in her ward that reminded her of my mother and wondered if I would like to meet her. I assumed she meant for a date and asked why I would be interested in dating my mother. But, it sounded cool and after five years of being alone (female-wise), I said sure. The woman’s name was Barbara Bennion and she had five kids from previous marriages, most of whom were grown up. She still had a couple living with her. I started emailing her and we talked back and forth for a few days and then agreed to meet and go out to dinner.

Don’t know what she thought of me, but I guess it wasn’t too bad. We started going out. The first date was to a Ruby River restuarant where we had to wait for almost an hour to get a table. This gave us a chance to talk and we discovered that we had a lot in common and she was really easy to talk to. I hadn’t had anyone to really talk to in a long time, so this was really great. In a way, she did remind me of my mother. I had always been able to talk to my mother. I could tell her anything. We were more than just mother and son, we were friends. And that was the way I felt about Barb.

She liked going to concerts like I did and so we went to several during the fall of 1999. In December, I figured, what the heck, we’re not getting any younger. Why wait, so I proposed. We had only known each other 4 months or less, but I knew it was the right thing to do. We had talked about getting married, but I wanted to make it official, so we went to Temple Square in Salt Lake. They had put up the Christmas lights and it was magical. I was intending to get down on one knee and actually propose, but at the last minute, I chickened out and so we just sat down on one of the benches and I offcially popped the question.

We were married on Feb 29 2000 which is the leap year extra day. So, we only have a real anniversary every four years. We were married at the Ward house in Orem and our Bishop did the honors. I think everybody from both sides of the family were there. All of my kids and their families (actually, I think Matt was the only one married at the time) and all of her kids. Mike and Julie Sveen even flew out for the occasion. It was a great day. We then spent a few days in Las Vegas on our honeymoon. Next Feb, 2009, will be our ninth year together. There has not been one day that I have regretted marrying Barb. We are happy and we get along perfectly. People we run into at church or other places ask how we met. I tell them, my ex-wife set us up. Well, after hearing that, they have to know the whole story.

And now you do.


Living in Sandy, Dad Dies

During this time, both Kristy and Katy lived with us for a time. I don’t remember the specifics, but Kristy worked at Office Max and lived with us which was just up the street from the store. She finally left that job and transferred to an Office Max in Denver where she met Chad and you all know the rest of that story.

Katy, while using my computer, met this guy online named Craig and they started a relationship. After some interesting events and a couple rocky years, they are together permanently and have a sweet little boy named Ben who I don’t get to see very much. You also know the rest of Kate’s story.

One day while working at American Express, I got a call from an old fiend from Magellan. He was now a manager and asked if we could have lunch together. I met with him and he said he would like me to come back to Magellan (the new name of HAI). He made me an offer I couldn’t refuse and, so after only 15 months or so at American Express, I changed jobs yet again and went back to work at the same location I had worked at originally upon coming to Salt Lake City.

This was 1998. I think that is the same year that my Dad died. I got the call from Dorothy, his wife, that he had passed away and the funeral would be in a few days. David and I got on a plane and flew back to Kalamazoo, Michigan to attend the funeral and see my Dad for the last time. We had been out there about a year earlier and had stopped and talked to him. He was in a hospital bed and pretty sick and we all knew he would not last much longer. That was the last time I actually talked to him. After the funeral, we flew home. Dorothy moved in with her daughter, Linda (my sister) and I never heard from either of them again.


Current – A New Year

I actually wrote this on the 1st. Took me a few days to get it in the blog.

It’s Jan 1, 2009 and a new year has started. We just got back from a night in Wendover, NV. We went to a concert which featured The Comets and then had dinner and rang in the new year. You probably have never heard of the Comets, but you might remember “Rock Around the Clock”. It was a big hit in the 50’s and some say, the first rock and roll song. It was done by Bill Haley and the Comets. Well, Haley died several years ago and the Comets are going on without him, playing the old rock music of the 50’s.

Needless to say, it was great. They had 5 members of the band, but only 3 were originals. One is 74 years old, one is 75 and the drummer is 84 years old. I am 66 and can barely walk. This guy is 84 and can play the drums for 2 hours in a fast paced, high energy concert. They were really great. They said they are opening for an extended run in Branson, MO at Andy Williams’ show room. Barb and I are trying to figure out how to get to Branson so we can see them again.

It brought back the memory of  something that happened to me a few years ago. I think I was working at Magellan, but it might have been before that. A fellow came to work in our area and some of the guys told him that I was pretty knowlegable in music. He was very sceptical. So, he said to me: If you know so much, tell me this. What is the song that’s on the flipside of the original 45 record for “Rock Around the Clock”? You have probably already guesed that I knew the answer. I have the original 45 of the song and the B-side is called “Thirteen Women”. This guy was so impressed. He said he had never found someone who knew the answer to that question. I thought about this during the concert as we listened to the orginal band doing “Rock Around the Clock”.


Traveling the Country with Synon

Everyone was afraid of Magellan. There were rumors that they were going to fire everybody in the IT department. I started looking for another job. The tool that we used to do our programming was called Obsydian and it was owned by a company called Synon, Inc. There were very few people in the country who knew Obsydian and in the 2 years I had worked at HAI, I had become something of an expert. So, I called Synon and asked them if they would like to hire me. I had heard they were looking for teachers.

To make a long story short, I interviewed and was hired. For the next nine months, I worked for Synon as an instructor. Every sunday night I flew out to somewhere in the US and every Friday night I flew back. I have a magnet on my refrigerator at home of most of the states and cities I travelled to. It was great fun to see the country. I went places I had never been before. The class I taught was about 4 1/2 days long and it was the same every time, so I got pretty good at it. The job was great and I really loved it. But after a few months, I really got tired of the travelling. It turned out that it was not good to leave David alone in the apartment for five days at a time. I was still very heavy and it was a struggle to get to the airport and stay in hotels and eat out all of the time.

It lasted for nine months and then I said, enough. I called a friend of mine who had also left HAI and went to work at American Express in Salt Lake. I asked him if they had any openings. They did. I interviewed and was hired and once again, I changed jobs. This time I went to work for American Express. We worked out near the airport which wasn’t too bad since I lived in Sandy. I continued to program in the same language that I had been teaching. I lasted at American Express for almost 1 1/2 years.