Advice on  Marriage

Advice on Marriage from Hiney Hogate

One day when I was paying my rent to Hildreth ("Hiney") Hogate, he wanted to chat a bit. Normally, he and his sister were nice but our dealings were mostly business. He was a good landlord, we lived in the bungalow on Smithfield Street for over three years and every Christmas, he brought us a 5 pound box of Russell Stover candies as a Christmas present. 

First House Smithfield St Quinton - May 1967

Bungalow on Smithfield St.

On a previous visit I had mentioned the need for updating the appearance of the house. The bungalow had white aluminum siding on the back, newer section, but the front was a faded green, that was peeling, chipped and in general need of update. It was obvious that he (known to be a bit tight) wasn't about to hire someone to do it. So, I told him I would do it if he would buy the materials needed. And, I wasn't interested in a reduction of rent or payment, since it would benefit me by looking nice. Well, he agreed and when I got home (about 4-5 minutes later), Geri told me that Smick's Hardware and Lumber had called and wanted me to come down and collect the material to paint the house! Hiney knew a good deal when he got one!!

But I need to get back to the original story. This particular time, he asked me if I wanted some good advice about marriage. Being polite. but newly married to my childhood sweetheart and not really needing advice (wow, talk about naive); I decided to hear him out, out of courtesy. 

So, he told me never to marry a divorced woman. I had heard that he had been married at one time, but didn't know any details. We had only lived in the town for less than a year and though we became integrated into the society of the town later as yet we were those outsiders living in the Hogate place. Anyway, I could not resist asking, "Well I don't plan on becoming divorced and in search of a new wife, but why not?" His reply was, "Well a divorced woman is like a used car, someone else didn't want it and had traded it in!" At this, I chuckled and told him I would keep it in mind and I left.

The next day in school, I mentioned to Hazel Fowser, one of the eighth grade teachers (and one who had lived in Quinton her entire life) what he had told me. Her reply was immediate; "Well that old reprobate, he didn't tell you why she was divorced in the first place", she emphatically stated. She went on, "It seems her first husband came home to find him hiding behind the piano!"

A month went by and it was time to pay the rent, so I walked over to the Hogates' house and in the course of paying the rent, I reminded him  of the advice he had given me. And I added that he had forgotten to mention how the woman had come to be divorced and that I had heard about a piano or something. He blustered at me, "Well, you can't believe every G_D'd story you hear in this town!"

Davdan @ 2008-2018