“Hogan’s Story: Here’s My Story, and I’m Sticking To It,” by G. Michael “Mickey” Hogan tells the story of a man, a family and a time in Durango when volunteers and city councilors worked together to create the community residents love today.
Hogan, a Durango native who died Sunday at age 89, was involved as a central figure in political, business and volunteer efforts for more than 50 years. Every time people drive down a street – paved, thanks to Hogan and other city fathers – or pass Durango High School, fly out of Durango-La Plata County Airport or strap on their skis and take a run down the mountain at Purgatory Ski Resort, Hogan had a role to play in making it possible.
“I can’t begin to tell you how much I learned about Durango by working with Mickey on his book,” said John Peel, a former Durango Herald columnist and editor. “All these things we take for granted are because of what they did.”
While the first part of the book about Hogan’s personal life and genealogy may be of more interest to family and close friends, it’s the second section, “How Durango Thrived,” that should be of interest to anyone who calls La Plata County home. The book is like sitting down for a chat with the author at his beloved Parsons Drugstore (at the southeast corner of Main Avenue and Ninth Street) for a cup of joe about the people and the efforts to make Durango a vibrant business, tourist and arts community.
The book includes the history of the family business, which was founded in 1929 and closed in 2010 after serving as an anchor on Main Avenue for all those decades.
“As a rural kid, I always felt welcome when I walked into the store,” said Ed Zink, owner of Mountain Bike Specialists and founder of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic. “He knew what we all wore, what sizes we were. When you bought something at Hogan’s, it was neatly folded and neatly wrapped, almost like a present, not just dumped in a plastic bag.”
The book is available at Maria’s Bookshop, where it sold out quickly and is on back order.
Hogan completed his autobiography with a charge to those he left behind to carry on the commitment to community.
“So what I’m trying to say,” he wrote, “is if we’re going to maintain the fine quality of life we’ve created by developing all these facilities, it’s up to the new leadership to maintain and upkeep what we have. We don’t want to lose the edge that we’ve created.”
Readers can reach Ann Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org.