Heart of the City Archives

Name above the title? Reverend Colonel Hank Donat with Colonel Strange de Jim.


Our city of hearts, high on the Hogg
by Hank Donat

P. Hiram Hogg is a longtime San Franciscan currently living in Louisville, Kentucky. Hogg, an attorney, is the good will ambassador who has spearheaded the induction of several San Francisco residents into the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels.

The Kentucky Colonel tradition began when that state's first governor, Isaac Shelby, gave his son-in-law the title of colonel in charge of the governor's staff. Similar commissions were later given to enlisted soldiers in the War of 1812 and to Kentucky governors' guards. Today, the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels is a philanthropic organization.

Among past and recent inductees from the City are entertainer Carol Channing, COYOTE founder Margot St. James, Herb Caen's assistant Carole Vernier, Strange de Jim, my colleague Christopher Caen, Armistead Maupin, and this writer. While modesty reminds of the quote from Groucho Marx, "I wouldn't belong to any group that would have me as a member," it is a great honor, of course.

Past inductees into the Kentucky Colonels also include President Lyndon B. Johnson, Muhammad Ali, astronaut John Glenn, Ann-Margret, Tiger Woods, and Whoopi Goldberg.

Hogg's credentials as a San Franciscophile are great. He proudly drives around Louisville with his "ESS EFF" license plate on his car. Among Hogg's souvenirs are rivets from the Golden Gate Bridge and cables from both the Golden Gate and Bay bridges, in addition to the Irving Sinclair painting that hung for many years in the Domino Club. Hogg attributes his recent purchase of an original 1937 Golden Gate Bridge streetlamp to his propensity for EUI - Ebaying under the influence.

It's fitting that Strange de Jim should hold an equal or greater rank than Col. Janis Karpinski, the demoted commander of soldiers responsible for prisoner abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. No one was ever seriously injured from one of Strange's famous punch lines, no matter how torturous the pun.

Cheers to P. Hiram Hogg, who continues to love San Francisco and San Franciscans from hills afar.

Here at home, the Bayview Hunters Point YMCA holds its annual fundraising dinner at the City Club on Monday, May 26. A scheduled highlight at this year's event is the YMCA's lease burning ceremony. Renters no more, the Y recently purchased the All Hollow's School for use as its new home. San Francisco business and community leaders including Mayor Gavin Newsom are slated to attend.

The Bayview Hunters Point YMCA is often the only alternative for the 300-plus children it serves as an after school destination. Children benefit from tutoring, mentoring programs, athletics, and other activities. The dinner, the program's largest annual fundraiser, starts with "A Taste of Sonoma," featuring special vintages from Martinelli, Rosenblum Cellars, Old World Cellars and Pellegrini Family Vineyards. Visit acteva.com/go/bayview for more information.

While there has been little publicity afforded it, the Presidio Officer's Club is hosting a once-in-a-lifetime event through June 26. Run, don't walk, to "From Above: A Robert Cameron Retrospective." The exhibit features 58 large-scale photos - up to 12' x 6' - from the breath-taking catalog of Cameron, the renowned aerial photographer and creator of "Above San Francisco." For more information call the Presidio Events Line at 561-5500 or visit www.presidio.gov.

The Women's Initiative for Self Employment's honors Eunice Azzani with its Founders' Award at its annual gala celebrating entrepreneurial success on June 1. The evening at the Hotel Nikko includes a cocktail hour and dinner, along with musical entertainment and a product tradeshow featuring unique gifts developed by graduates of the Women's Initiative. Azzani, manager of the Korn/Ferry International recruitment firm, has spent the past 25 years placing women and minorities into top executive positions.

The Women's Initiative has selected Sheron Campbell of Oakland's World of Braids as its Entrepreneur of the Year. Campbell moved beyond the death of her business partner to create a thriving weaving and braiding salon. Campbell gives back to the community by offering free weaves to cancer patients.

Founded in 1988, the Women's Initiative provides low-income women with programs that address the cultural, social and economic barriers to self-sufficiency. Visit womensinitiative.org for more information.

The Richmond Ermet AIDS Foundation's newest "One Night Only Benefit Cabaret" stars Arnold McCuller. The singer makes his first appearance at a REAF event on May 25 at the Empire Plush Room. The benefit cabaret evenings and REAF's annual "Help is on the Way" shows have emerged as some of San Francisco's most heart-felt and entertaining fund raising events of the year. Visit richmondermet.org for more information.

Lastly, Holly Tyler has an eagle's eye for San Francisco cinema classics. Tyler has alerted us to the news that "Fog Over Frisco," a rarely seen Bette Davis/Warner Brothers contract film from 1934, airs on Turner Movie Classics July 8. "It has lots of great outdoor locations shots," says Tyler, "Check it out."

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Copyright 2005 Hank Donat
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