Thursday, March 27, 2008

Herman Hoglebogle

Longtime friend and fellow Newsie Skip Hess sent me the obit of Jim Abrams this week. Jim worked on the copy desk of The Indianapolis News in the late '60s and early '70s. The obit mentioned that at various times Jim edited the Blue Streak (the paper's final edition Mon-Fri) and wrote the People in the News and the Herman Hoglebogle column.
Herman Hoglebogle was a cartoon character created by the late Tom Johnson and he was the face of The News when it came to complaining about chuckholes in streets and other such civic disgraces. We had a life-size plywood cutout of Herman, his face was featured on green Herman Hoglebogle buttons and he was the face of The Indianapolis News' Green Safety Flag program under which Indianapolis schools that had a clean safety record could fly the green banner from their flagpole.
One summer evening around 1969 or '70, David Rohn, Bob Basler and I kidnapped the Herman cutout and took him to my place for a night of drunken revelry. Here he is with a can of Budweiser taped to his mitt. That's me on the right, Rohn (who went on to a career as an editorial writer at The News) on the left, and Basler (who writes the Oddly Enough blog for Reuters) on the floor. If you look closely, you can see Rohn is lighting Herman's cigarette.


Robert Cousland said...

I have fond memories of Herman having lived in Indy all my life.

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