L. V. Hogue Anecdotes
L. V. Hogue was an interesting man, a character, as much as he was an artist. He enjoyed visiting with others, traveling, and spending time with his family and friends. This page attempts to capture some of that colour and paint a him as a person for those who visit here. On this page we will refer to L. V. Hogue and his wife by the names they were known to their friends: Lem and Betty, respectively.
Although his full first name is "Lemuel", he was more commonly called "Lem"; including, by his wife, Betty. For many years, Lem worked at the Whiting Steel in Welland; initially as a welder, and then in later years as a janitor (a concession granted to him to allow him to work additional years to improve his pension). At Whiting, he was known as "Len"; a mispronunciation of his name: the final 'm' being replaced with an 'n'. So, in and around Welland, he is often referred to as "Len Hogue" instead of "Lem Hogue" or "Lemuel Hogue.
Lem and Betty had 4 girls and a son. Shirley, their eldest daughter, enjoys telling about how her father played with his children at the end of the day. A favourite game, while Betty was washing the dishes, was to give the kids pig rides. With one of the children astride his back, Lem would gallop around the house on all fours, bucking and making piggy noises. Each such ride would end with Lem coming up behind Betty and biting her on the ankle. Shirley recounts that Betty would always squeal and throw the soapy dishcloth into the air; much to the delight of the children.
A favourite activity for grandchildren visiting Lem and Betty was a trip to one of the locks of the Welland canal. After watching a laker pass though the locks, the children---now impatient from having stood still for half an hour---and Lem would quickly return to the car; a Ford station wagon with a bench seat in the front. Betty would return a little more slowly; her arthritis keeping her from maintaining the pace with the kids. Once in the car, Lem would turn to the grandkids and say, "Now watch, I'll get Grandma going." Once Betty was had put on her seat belt, Lem would exit out of the parking lot and turn the wrong way. Betty would immediately speak up. "Lem, you're going the wrong Way." she would say. Lem would respond, "Now Mother, don't you think I know where I'm going. I've lived here all my life." Betty then would respond with her voice raised, and the grandchildren would shriek with laughter. The reality of the situation was that Lem sometimes did get his directions mixed up, and turn the wrong way.
Lem and Betty were married on Valentines Day, 1928. Lem had pursued Betty---then called Lizzy by her family & friends---in the face of opposition from family and friends because he was Baptist and she was Presbyterian.
My recollection from Lem's stories about the opposition is of Betty's sisters scolding him, "Now, you stay away from our Lizzy!" That said, my Aunt Doreen's recollection (probably correct) is that the Baptist girls would tell Betty, "You leave our Lemmie alone." My wife's memory is of Lem telling us that it was Betty's Minister (Pastor) who delivered the admonition.
Lem once remarked to my wife and me that because he and Betty had been married after a short engagement there had initially been some consternation in the family that their wedding was "one of those rush jobs". He told us that he only became aware of this sometime after the wedding when someone from his parents' generation complained to him that the speed at which Lem and Betty married had caused concern. It offended Lem that others had thought that he and Betty would have behaved improperly; that is, engaged in premarital sex.