Pacific Beach centenarian still going strong on eve of 100th birthday
by Marsha Kay Seff
Published - 10/25/12 - 11:18 AM | 67775 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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When centenarian Harry Bogue looks back on his beloved Pacific Beach, he might be thinking, “I built that.”

His lumber, in fact, did go into many of the local buildings. A Pacific Beach resident since the weather brought him to the beach in 1938, he worked for and managed Pacific Beach Lumber (which became Western Lumber) for 40 years before retiring in 1978.

The father of two, grandfather of four and great-grandfather of six celebrates his 100th birthday on Friday, Oct. 26. He recalls building his own home on Diamond Street in 1938 and raising his family there. The cost for the land was $1,500 and $4,500 for the house, according to his granddaughter Lindy Martinet, who still lives in Pacific Beach with her children, who are fourth-generation PB residents.

When her grandpa’s house was new, the backyard looked north onto vacant land with no trees in sight, said Lindy, pointing to an old photo. The elder Bogues were married for six decades. Their son and his family live in that home now, across from the Pacific Beach Recreation Center, built with lumber sold by Bogue.

Bogue was born in Imperial Valley and later moved to Lakeside in a covered wagon. Still spry, smiling and already looking forward to his birthday, Bogue said he is frustrated that he can’t recall details of his 10 decades.

“I used to remember so well for a long time, oh my goodness,” he said, trying to force some memories to the forefront.

But photo albums — with pictures starting in sepia and moving to black and white and, later, color — help jog his memory. His family fills in the rest of events that he hates he’s forgotten.

According to Martinet, her grandpa became a charter member of the Pacific Beach Lions Club in 1940 and had perfect attendance at meetings for more than 60 years. He still proudly wears his yellow Lions baseball cap.

Bogue was also on the board of directors of the Pacific Beach Town Council and was a member of the Chamber of Commerce.

“He was on the council of the PB Recreation Center and contributed to PB any way he could,” Martinet said.

Bogue remembers dancing at the Crystal Pier.

“Wherever there was any dance hall, I was dancing,” said Bogue. “I’d rather dance than eat.”

And he loved the beach. He rode his bicycle to the boardwalk until he was 85.

Now in a retirement home in Clairemont, Bogue is coy when asked if he’s popular with the female residents. “I’m not saying much about it,” he said. “[But] Oh yeah, I enjoy life very much.”
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