If you saw Jim Hogue on the street, you wouldn't think he just turned 94 years old this month.
“I was born September 17, 1917, in Stockton,” Hogue said. “The town was named after Stockton Bottoms. The town was barely into Nevada County and about seven miles north of Waldo.
“I grew up with two brothers and two sisters,” he said. “I graduated high school at Willisville, in 1939.”
Hogue recounts his varied careers over 94 years, beginning with a stint in the military.
“On February 6, 1941, I was drafted into Company D, 153rd Infantry out of Magnolia,” Hogue said. “If you were 21 and older, you didin't have to have parental consent, but if you were under 21, you had to have a parent sign you in. I was barely 21 when I signed up...I mean weeks.”
Hogue received his basic training at Camp Robinson in Little Rock and was a cook and baker in the U. S. Army for two years.
“I made mess sergeant in Alaska and went to Amarillo for training. My eyes weren't very good and I was supposed to have surgery, but I was called back. I went to Athens, Texas, and Ft. Meade, Maryland, and never got a chance to get the eye surgery,” he said.
“I got people ready to go overseas,” Hogue said. “I got their clothes exchanged, and issued gear for them to go overseas. After that assignment, I went to Camp Adair, Oregon, and instructed men to operate flame-throwers. I did that for five months, and that was dangerous instruction.”
Hogue got out of the Army in November, 1945, and stayed in Oregon for a year.
“After I got out of the Army, I came back to Hope, and worked for E. P. Young at his Chevrolet place here,” he said.
Hogue went to Texas for 30 years and worked at various jobs. He spent 10 years in Nocona, Texas, where he owned a Chevy and Oldsmobile dealership.
“I also worked in the Dallas area for 20 years,” he said. “I came back to Hope in 1979 and worked for Young Chevrolet again.”
Along the way, Hogue got married to his first wife, Johnnie, who died in 1978. They had three girls, two of which are still living. They also had six grandsons.
“When my girls were growing up, we were always active in their lives,” Hogue said. “I was active in the P.T.A. and I was an assistant Girl Scout leader for about 10 years.”
Hogue married his second wife, Barbara, 27 years ago. The couple recently celebrated their anniversary.
When asked what advice he would give to young people, he replied, “Believe in the Lord and let Him help you. Being in the automobile business has taught me to be nice to everyone and I've learned, you won't have any enemies.”
Page 2 of 2 - His faith has carried him throughout his life, he said.
“I attribute my 94 years to the Lord. It's all about Him,” he said. “The Lord has been good to this young man my whole life. People need to exercise and eat right. I did heart rehab for four months, recently. They found a blockage and put balloons in my heart and one stent.
“That's the only time I have ever had heart trouble and I just got a t-shirt for my graduation from the rehab,” Hogue said, smiling proudly. “I was proud of that shirt. You've got to put your trust in the Lord and believe that He will protect you and your life will be wonderful.”