Past Primeness?

Still-not-ready-for-primetime Don Lemon has gone on record as saying women over 50 are past their prime. Based on my experience actually living with a woman, I can say that some get even better as they age.

Consider my late wife. This is Mrs. Hoge at age 60 when she had returned to graduate school to prepare for a new career as a landscape architect.

Valentine Flowers

Flowers were always a part of the loving relationship between Mrs. Hoge and me. The first flower I gave her was single pink carnation for Valentine’s Day, 1979.

When we bought our first house in Nashville, we moved in during the late summer. The next spring, I was pleased to see crocus popping up in the yard. After we moved to California, we had roses blooming for 11 months each year, but no crocus.

When we moved to Maryland and bought stately Hoge Manor, Mrs. Hoge planted some crocus bulbs for me as a surprise. I’ve enjoyed seeing them every spring. The first crocus of 2023 came up this morning.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

One of the more disgusting things that the members of Team Kimberlin have done is to try to post ugly and even obscene images of members of my family in the comment section here at Hogewash!. Occasionally, one of the Gentle Readers has posted an ugly image of a member of Team Kimberlin. (Thank you, for avoiding obscene images.) This post On Rule 5 and Rule 5 ran five years ago today.

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There are two Rule 5s that apply here at Hogewash!. One is Alinsky’s Rule 5 which states

“Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

The other is McCain’s Rule 5 from Stacy’s post How to Get a Million Hits on Your Blog in Less Than a Year which states

Everybody loves a pretty girl.

The Gentle Reader may have noticed that this site uses ridicule in its reporting on certain individuals. Hogewash! has also published images of beautiful women from time to time as is appropriate.

Today, I found an image in the comment section which was clearly intended to be an application of Alinsky’s Rule 5, but which is too far removed from wisdom embodied in McCain’s Rule 5 be appropriate for this blog. I’m going to leave the comment and its image up, but I ask that commenters refrain from posting such images in the future.

Some things are just too ugly.

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Speaking of McCain’s Rule 5, here’s a picture of Mrs. Hoge mixing live sound for a concert in Centennial Park, Nashville, in the Summer of 1979, a couple of weeks before she agreed to marry me.

A Carnation for Valentine’s Day

On Valentine’s Day, many of us give flowers and candy to our sweethearts. A single pink carnation one Valentine’s Day is part of a cherished memory of my courtship of Mrs. Hoge.

She was just starting her career as a recording engineer in Nashville and was working at Audio Media Recorders. The small room where tape copies were made had begun to be called “Connie’s Closet.” I stopped by the studio on my way to work at Harrison Systems, and left the carnation in a bud vase on the counter where the Ampex and Studer tape machines were installed.Carnations wound up having a very special meaning in our lives together.

My Better Half

I was born on 31 December, 1947, at 11:55 pm Central Time. Connie and I were married on 24 November, 1979. She died on our 37th anniversary; we were married for 37 years, 3 hours and 52 minutes.

It’s just before 8 am Eastern Time as I’m typing this. In a few minutes I will have been alive for twice as long as we were married. Being married to Connie certainly was the better half of my life.


Today is the forty-second anniversary of my marriage to Mrs. Hoge. It is is also the fifth anniversary of her death.Connie’s wedding dress was originally made in 1949 by my mother for her sister Willie Mae. In the mid ’50s my mother altered the dress for two of my cousins, Jane and Peggy, and it was refurbished again in 1979 for Connie. Since our wedding, the dress has been worn by Peggy’s daughters and granddaughters at their weddings.

How I Met Mrs. Hoge

The original version of this post ran eight years tomorrow. While I was going through some old technical files, I found a picture that reminded me of how Mrs. Hoge and I met and our time working together in the music business in Nashville.

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I met the young lady who became Mrs. Hoge in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria just before 6 pm on the Saturday of Halloween weekend, 1977.

The Audio Engineering Society was having its Fall convention at the Waldorf, and the main exhibit area was in the Grand Ballroom. I had presented a paper on loudspeaker driver parameter measurement that afternoon and was spending the rest of Saturday checking out the exhibits. It was almost closing time when I got to the booth for Harrison Systems.

Henry Martin, an old friend from Boy Scouts and high school, worked for Harrison. He was giving a demo of a Harrison recording console to a very attractive young lady who seemed intent on learning as much as she could. I waved at Henry, and he waved me over. It was almost closing time, and Henry wanted to get to supper with his wife. He introduced me to the girl, noting that she was just finishing her degree in Audio Production at Indiana University, that my job was currently based in Elkhart, Indiana, and that I had worked as a recording engineer in the music business in Nashville.

The exhibits were closing, so I invited her to dinner. She said no. She had plans that evening with the friend she was staying with. So I asked her to lunch, and she said yes to that.

Lunch the next day was at Oscar’s in the Waldorf. Since she’d never had one, I ordered her a Waldorf salad. I asked if she had plans for the awards banquet that evening. She said that she had a ticket. Who was she going with? No one. I was stunned. There were five or six thousand men at that AES convention and maybe a half-a-dozen women who weren’t booth babes, and this beautiful woman didn’t have a date. How about going with me? OK.

We kept in touch afterwards, did some long distance dating, and wound up both moving to Nashville at the same time a year later. (Back to Nashville in my case.) And about a year after that we were married.

RULE 5 UPDATE—Connie_1983

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2021 UPDATE—In late 1978, Connie and I coauthored a paper on concert hall acoustics and recording techniques. It was accepted for presentation at the May, 1979, Audio Engineering Society convention in Los Angeles. She presented the paper at the convention.

Rule 5 and Trees

Over at The Other McCain, Wombat has a Rule 5 link to a post at A View from the Beach about the trees the Maryland Forest Service will give to homeowner to plant for erosion control. Mrs. Hoge was involved in the Backyard Buffers program through her work with the Maryland Forestry Foundation and as president of our county’s Forestry Board.

Speaking of Mrs. Hoge and the forest, here’s a picture of her taken on a hike in the Catoctin Mountain Park, not far from Camp David.

More Rule 5

My son brought another box of important papers up from the basement. This one contained a large stash of family photos. Here are some more pictures of Mrs. Hoge. The first pair are from 1979. Connie had been hired to run the sound system for the Sunday afternoon concerts at Centennial Park in Nashville.This is from 2002.And this is from 2010.


Today is the 41st anniversary of my marriage to Mrs. Hoge, and it is the 4th anniversary of her death.

During the last week of 2014, Connie went to an orthopedist complaining of back pain. It turned out that the cause was cancer in her spine, and the cancer turned out to be stage four metastatic breast cancer with no evidence of any tumor in her breasts. After back surgery in early 2015, she began chemotherapy, and when she began to lose her hair, she had her head shaved. She didn’t want to wear a wig, so she had an artist draw a henna tattoo on her head—a creative response showing her determination not to be overwhelmed by the disease.

The picture on the left was taken a few months before her diagnosis.

I’m thankful for those 37 years.

I miss her, but as I’ve written before, our separation is temporary. One of the things we share is a firm belief that

this perishable body must become imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable body will have become imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then what is written will happen: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

I’ll just have to wait.

UPDATE—My son is working in the basement this morning. He’s going through boxes that have been in storage for years, culling them so that we can make room to store other stuff that needs to make way for some recording equipment upstairs. He brought me a box of old paperwork to go through. It was one of those boxes of “important” papers that is no longer all that important—mostly. It contained mortgage papers, deeds, etc., on houses Connie and I had owned in Tennessee and California. Nothing related to any real estate we’ve owned in the past thirty years. However, there was also a small pack of photographs that included prints and slides of our honeymoon. I rescued the photos and sent the rest to the shredder and dumpster. That find was an interesting gift for today!

Genealogy, Extended Family, and Thanksgiving Gatherings

My parents grew up in a small town in Tennesse.  A few years after they married, one of my father’s cousins (actually, a first cousin once removed) married my mother’s sister. Their children are my first cousins on my mother’s side and second cousins once removed on my father’s.

Are you following me so far?

Both my father’s and my mother’s families arrived in the colonies prior the Revolution.  A few years ago, one of my aunts on my mother’s side decided that she’d like to join the Daughters of the American Revolution. When she went looking for a Revolutionary War ancestor, she found that she (and my mother, of course) were descended from my father’s great-great-great-great-grandfather who had been in the Pennsylvania militia at Valley Forge. My father and my mother were fifth cousins.  That means those first cousins of mine are also fifth cousins twice removed on my mother’s side and fifth cousins once removed on my father’s side.

It also means that I’m my mother’s fifth cousin once removed and my own sixth cousin.

And none of the family has ever lived in West Virginia.

Alas, we are no longer holding the gatherings of four or five generations of the family for a potluck on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. This year’s Thanksgiving dinner will just be for my son and me, not enough people to justify doing a whole turkey on the grill. We’ll have a venison roast prepared using one of the recipes Mrs. Hoge left for us.

I look forward to a larger gathering next year.


Today would have been Mrs. Hoge’s 66th birthday. One of my favorite memories of our time together is of her 24th birthday. It was the first of her birthdays that we celebrated together.

Connie and I met at the Audio Engineering Society Convention in New York in 1977. We kept in touch over the next few months. In the summer of ’78, I had decided to move back home to Nashville, and Connie, who had just finished her B.A. in Audio Production at Indiana University, was also planning to move there as well. As part of tying up loose ends, she was finishing up an album project for a local Bloomington band, and asked me to help with the sessions. I had some free time between leaving one job and starting the next, so I spent a couple of weeks in Indiana working on the sessions. (The picture on the left is from a feature article about her from the IU campus newspaper.)

While I was there, I took Connie out to dinner for her birthday at one of the fancier restaurants in Bloomington. Instead of a birthday cake, she asked that we order Baked Alaska for desert. When it was served, Connie was delighted. She took real pleasure in the taste and smell of the dish and the feel of the simultaneous hot and cold. There was something marvelously attractive about her in that moment, and it was then that I realized she was the one I wanted to make my life with.

It took almost another full year of courtship to convince her to say, “Yes,” and a few more months to say, “I do,” and then we shared a wonderful 37 years together.

I Guess We Were Statistical Outliers

The New York Post reports that a study carried out by Colorado State University suggests that single men with cats may have more trouble attracting women than other men. OTOH, dogs, don’t seem to negatively impact a man’s attractiveness to women.

Maybe times have changed, or maybe the fact that we were both cat owners made it possible for the future Mrs. Hoge to find me attractive back in the late ’70s. Whatever the case, I’m thankful for my good fortune.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

I don’t think that one could reasonably view this blog as prudish, but I do have some standards of decorum. I generally don’t allow crude, vulgar comments, but I do make exceptions when someone’s actual words are relevant to truthfully telling a story. Five years ago today, the comments on one blog post led me to respond with another post called Thanks for Making My Point for Me.

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If the Gentle Reader scrolls through the comment section for I’m Not Making This Up, You Know, he will find a large number of off-color comments, many consisting of childishly done cut-and-paste memes. They are a marvelous example of the impotence of Team Kimberlin and its inability to control the narrative. They have no facts to back their stories. They are now reduced to middle school name calling.

They are welcome to continue posting such proof of their desperation. Since most of it gets caught by moderation, they should be patient with me. I have real world commitments that can delay my responding to comments in moderation for several hours.

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One of the commenter to that second post noted

I have to say that I find Bill Schmalfeldt’s obsession with the details of the Hoges’ personal life quite odd. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to him that just because he has a horrible tendency to overshare, others don’t.

That said, there is certain information upon which the reader can infer. By his own account, Bill Schmalfeldt was repeatedly cuckolded by multiple wives. It seems that the previous Mrs Schmalfeldts weren’t getting what they needed from Mr. Schmalfeldt. The Hoges, in contrast, have been happily married for decades.

Indeed, Mrs. Hoge and I enjoyed 37 faithful years together as husband and wife. (Exactly 37, she died on our 37th anniversary.)

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

When the members of Team Kimberlin have run out of ways to annoy their perceived enemies, they fall back on telling lies about them. The TKPOTD from three years ago shows one example of such a stilly lie.

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See today’s Quote of the Day.

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BTW, when Mrs. Hoge heard of Schmalfeldt’s grandiose offer, her first reaction was to chuckle. Then she said. “Tell him, ‘No thank you.'” or words to that effect. Well, to that effect, but perhaps a little stronger.