OK, let’s continue. Are you bored yet? When I was about 3, my parents broke up as I mentioned last time. About a year later, my mother met a man named Ray Clemens. This guy wanted to impress my mother so he would come by and pick me up and take me everywhere he went. My earliest memory (and it’s pretty fuzzy) is going to the barber shop to get my first haircut when I was four. Ray took me and I remember two things from that visit. One was a big gumball machine that was at the barber shop and how I begged Ray to put in a penny and get me a gumball. He always did. The second thing was he would brag to the barber how I was only four and I could tell time. I’m not sure if that was an accomplishment or not, but Ray seemed to think that a four year old that could tell time was pretty special.
My mother ended up marrying Ray Clemens and for awhile was Emily Clemens. They had one child together who is my half-brother. He is Thomas Jay Clemens and he now lives in Florida, I think. I haven’t seen him in about 20 years. We were bothers but I was 5 years older than him and we were never very close. Tom was born on Dec 28 (probably in 1947 since there was 5 years between us) and he was mad every year when they always seemed to combine his birthday with Christmas. He felt cheated, rightly so, and I think he never quite forgave his parents for giving him such an unfair birthday.
We lived on Haskell St in Battle Creek, Michigan. I thought I remembered the number but now realize I don’t. I went back to Battle Creek about 10 years ago and the house is in the slum area of town and is now all boarded up. No one is living there. It may be torn down by now.
Are you enjoying this? Should I go on. We’ve covered the first 5 years. Only 60 more to go.
Well, we left off with me a baby and visiting my Dad in Kansas. I don’t know what happened from that point for the next couple years, but my Dad eventually came home from the war. I don’t know exactly when he returned, but I do know he served in Italy and was wounded there. He was shot in the leg and carried the scar the rest of his life. He got a “Purple Heart” for the injury. Every soldier who was injured in the war got a Purple Heart. I have it in a box in the basement.
When my Dad came home from the war, he decided that he didn’t want to be married anymore. I’ve always heard I was three when they divorced, so that would be 1945. Anyway, he left my Mom and I and I hardly ever saw him again. We got together maybe once or twice a year and it was usually for a special event like Christmas or some birthday . The Hoag’s were big on family reunions and tried to have a big get together every year. My mother would send me to the reunions, but my Dad hardly ever went to them. Over the years, he got a reputation for not being being part of the family.
Keeping this short, let’s stop here for today. I hope everyone doesn’t get 30 e-mails as a result of this post. Let me know if that happens.
In the beginning…
I will start this project of my life story that I know will take several months. It may seem like I ramble at times, but I’m writing as I think of things. Maybe when it’s all done, I’ll go back and re-order everything and try to make sense of it all.
To start at the beginning, I was born Oct 9, 1942 to Emily Ida Marie Hoag (maiden name -Altman) and Lewis Truman Hoag. My Dad has the middle name Truman which was his father’s first name. My middle name is Lewis which is my father’s first name. I have continued this tradition down to Matt. His middle name is James. I think Nathan’s middle name is Matthew, so that makes 5 generations that have followed the tradition.
I was born in Battle Creek, Michigan at Leila Hospital. I don’t know what time of day it was, but I know my mother was fond of telling me how hard it was. She must have had a difficult delivery. I always felt I was worth it, though.
I don’t think my father was there when I was born. I think he had already left to serve in the Army for World War II. I think this is true because my mother always told me a story about when I was a baby:
Shortly after I was born, my mother decided to take a train and go to Kansas to see my Dad. He was in basic training and getting ready to ship out overseas. The only thing I know about the trip was that she went there to see him and that she stayed at a motel that was infested with bed bugs. She woke up in the middle of the night and both her and I were covered in bed bugs. She got out of there real fast and came home. We didn’t see Dad again until he returned from the war in 1945. It’s not much of a story but she liked to talk about the bugs.