2018-06-14 / Viewpoint

The VIEW from here

Fond memories of Dad

Jeff Hogan—Editor Jeff Hogan—Editor Father’s Day is Sunday, and from this dad to all the dads, grandfathers and fathersin laws I wish you a happy weekend with your children and families.

I plan to start the day with a drive to Elmwood Cemetery east of downtown Detroit to visit my father’s gravesite. I usually run into my brother Dan from Ferndale who makes the same drive to spend time in silent reflection with our dad, Frank P. Hogan, who died in 2012 at the age of 74.

My dad was born in Philadelphia of a Lithuanian mother and Irish father. His parents moved to Detroit when he was a toddler to be a part of the “war effort.” He was a Russian translator in the U.S. Army Security Agency, stationed in (then) West Germany. He learned Russian at the Army Language School in the Presidio of Monterey, Calif. He retired from a career in sales and marketing, including Delta Dental of Michigan. He also once served as president of the Grosse Pointe Optimists Club.

He was also a political activist in metro Detroit.

The oldest of five children, my dad was taught the beauty and complexity of English by the Immaculate Heart of Mary nuns in grade school.

My dad enjoyed the written word, and in 2008 published “Sound-Alikes: A Dictionary of Midwestern American English Homophones.” He spent several years researching the book from a tiny makeshift office in the basement of our home at the time in Grosse Pointe Farms.

On the inside cover of my copy of the paperback book he wrote, “Jeff, proudly my legacy. Your loving Dad, Frank P. Hogan.” The book is a great reference tool to people learning and mastering the English language. I keep a copy on my desk and use it frequently. It’s indeed a living legacy.

Thanks, dad!

I miss our conversations over a cold beer seated at a picnic table in the back yard, fishing for bass and walleye on Lake

St. Clair, talking about the latest headlines in the Detroit papers — but most of all I miss his calm demeanor, his smile and his wit. I miss the twinkle in his eye when any one of his other three children or his wife and my mother, Mary Lou, walked into view.

While I didn’t know it at the time, it was likely the stack of newspapers he read every morning left on my chair at the kitchen table with headlines circled he thought would be of interest that put the bug in me to become a newspaper man. Since I was 10 my fingers have been smudged with newspaper ink.

A wordsmith and a story teller, my dad loved to write long letters in beautiful cursive penmanship (never on the computer) to family and several pen pals. His writing instrument was the classic Montblanc fountain pen. His calligraphy skills were so impressive he was asked and proudly accepted to pen the names on the diplomas of my graduating class at De La Salle Collegiate High School in Detroit.

I hope you all have fond memories of your fathers this weekend. Happy Father’s Day.

Until next time, be well and I’ll see around.

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