(Contributed by Oakland Pioneers)
Hello Boys! Do you remember old man Hogan, who lived at the southwest corner of Eighth and Franklin streets, where the old Galindo Hotel building now stands? His shack was like a big drygoods box: it had no windows, just a slide door and stove pipe through the top.
Some times at night some of us boys would put our backs up against the shack and make it rock, then he would come out and get after us with a big club. On Sunday mornings. Sometimes, he would take two large hogs that he had, a rope tied to each one's hind leg, then take them to church with him; and while he was in Father King's church, had the hogs tied to an oak tree in Jefferson Square so as to let them eat acorns: then after church he would drive them home again. He was a great character.
Then there was Henry Vrooman, afterwards one of our ablest lawyers, who then had a blacksmith shop on the east side of Broadway, just north of Eleventh street. He was a hard working man in the day time but studied law at night and afterwards made a great name for himself as a lawyer, and also became state senator. Some of us boys used to help him along by blowing the bellows for him; and if we wanted a hammer or a wrench, we would just take it along, use it and bring it back any old time: then he would go up "in the air" and drive us out of the shop. But it was no use, he had to have us boys around the shop, as he could not get along without us, we being the power behind the bellows." Sometimes he would come out, look around for us and say, "Boys, come in and give me a lift with the bellows and anyone that wants any tools, just help himself, but please bring them back soon." But we did about as we pleased.
"How about Hutchinson's Nursery at the northwest corner of Broadway and Ninth street?" Well, at that time, let me tell you it was some nursery. In 1862 I lived just north of it, on the next lot. His next move was to Fourteenth street, west of Broadway. and then one block farther west, between Washington and Clay where he was for many years. That's the way I remember it. "You heep sabe me, I sabe you."