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Howard Hoganson

Howard Hoganson

WWII Veteran and Bridge Builder Volunteer

Born: Perley, MN, United States
Heritage: European American

Make good use of your time that you are in school. Do the best that you can because it will help you later on, no question about it.

Howard Hoganson

WWII Veteran and Bridge Builder Volunteer

My name is Howard Hoganson. I was born February 25, 1922, in a small town up in the Red River Valley. The town's name is Perley, Minnesota.

I had four sisters and one brother. The three older sisters all were schoolteachers. When I got in trouble at school, I got disciplined not only from my teacher at school but by my sisters and also my mother.

I learned to drive a 1919 Dodge when I was about 12-years-old. The first time I didn't do too well. I went into the ditch.

In the fall of '41 I went to Moorhead State Teacher college. I played some football and basketball. Then on October 2, 1942, I enlisted in the Navy Air Corp. I wasn't called into active service until January 31, 1943. In 1945, I shipped overseas. I lost a lot of friends in the service.

Lola and I we were married in 1947, but we didn't have our first child until January of 1955. We have three children and six grandchildren. Three of our grandchildren are in St. Anthony, three are in Grand Rapids.

Lola and I are involved with Bridge Builders. We volunteer for various things in the schools. Anytime that you can work inter-generationally, it is very good. I'm very pleased with it.

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Do the Best You Can

Honoring Howard Hoganson

Do The Best You Can
(Honoring Howard Hoganson)

Making use of your time
Do the best that you can

My name is Howard Hoganson
I was born in a small town
In the Red River Valley
I knew everyone around
Four sisters and one brother
I recall in the first grade
A young boy who refused to move
From his red chair, George was his name
In fifth grade my teacher
Was my older sister
Disciplined at school and home
I would try to please her
With no gym played outside
All through the winter
No place to wash your hands
I do remember
My father had a hardware store
Sold machinery to farmers
Way back in the dust bowl
Lots of migrant workers
Looking to find a job
Traveling in boxcars
Farmers would hire them
To harvest grain beneath the stars
One time I found
Hidden in a culvert
A whole can of alcohol
From some bootlegger
Before they repealed
A law called prohibition
Way back in ‘33
Hard to make money

Learned to drive at 12 years old
In father’s automobile
First time I did not do well
Into a ditch I remember still
Later riding a car hit us
Woke up in the hospital
With a real sore jaw
Broken ribs and broken finger
Off I went to Moorhead State
Then I enlisted
In the Navy Air Corp
Went to Dallas, Texas
Then to Chicago, Illinois
Norman, Oklahoma
Then shipped overseas
To the Marianna Islands
Got married and built a home
In St. Anthony Village
Without children for sometime
Now have six grandchildren
From three kids of our own
Each of them are married
Now we volunteer our time
At school for Bridge Builders
Helping kids to read
In school weekly
Life has been good to me
Through Vital Aging
Breaking bread with friends
Right here in the village
Everything begins with you
If you are willing

Words & music by Larry Long with Gail Beall’s 3rd Grade Class of Wilshire Park Elementary School. St. Anthony Village, Minnesota.
© Larry Long 2008 /BMI