FRESHFARM Markets Co-Executive Directors Ann Yonkers and Bernie Prince reflect on the life of Jimmy Hogge of Buster’s Seafood.
Jimmy Hogge of Buster’s Seafood died on Monday in his home in Urbanna, Virginia. They don’t make them like Jimmy Hogge anymore. He was an old fashioned country boy with an accent that was broad and particular. It carried you directly to Tidewater, Virginia where he was born, lived and died. As soon as he opened his mouth, you were compelled to listen to the rich local color of his speech. You were charmed by his quiet unassuming manner. Paige and Jimmy of Buster’s Seafood have been coming to the Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market farmers market since 2004 to sell crab, oysters, rockfish, deviled crab and occasionally eel. Their friendly manner, the quality of their products and the opportunity to chat with Jimmy and Paige built a legion of happy, loyal and curious customers.
Smooth sailing, Jimmy. May the winds push you along to rest and peace.
“How are you? I’ve got something to show you.” Those were often the words that greeted me from Jimmy Hogge as he stood smiling behind his market table loaded with crabs, fresh-caught fish, jars of oysters or clams at the Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market farmers market. A few weeks ago, Jimmy proudly showed me his 9 pound rutabaga. Another time it would be a live wiggly eel that Paige would rather not have brought to market. Jimmy’s distinctive fisherman’s drawl charmed me every time, and I looked forward to his weekly predictions of when rockfish or oysters would be at market so I could plan my weekly purchase. When my daughter visits from Montana, Buster’s is her favorite because she makes a breakfast of their deviled crab.
Earlier this week, I received the very sad news message that Jimmy Hogge of Buster’s Seafood died at his home on Monday, March 6th. As Paige noted “He so loved the market. God bless you all.”
Paige and Jimmy have been selling at the Dupont Circle farmers market since 2004. I first visited their home, crab and oyster sheds in Urbana, Virginia after receiving their application materials, with Paige proudly noting that they were only 130 miles from DC. I learned how they spent sleepless days trading shifts in the crab shed so they could bring softshells to market. When they brought the first fresh oysters to Dupont, Jimmy proudly shucked one for my breakfast.
Over the years, Jimmy and Paige have been like family to me. When my husband had open heart surgery, Jimmy told me about his operation and always asked how Ray was doing because he had gone through the same healing.
I can still hear his voice and see that giant rutabaga at market. God bless and keep you, Jimmy. This market lady and her family will miss you.
A memorial service for Jimmy Hogge will be held on Friday, March 9th at 11am at Hermitage Baptist Church, 94 Wares Bridge Road, Church View, VA. Lunch will be served after the service.
FRESHFARM Markets is also planning a memorial tribute to Jimmy at the Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market farmers market on Sunday, March 11.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts in Jimmy’s name be made to:
- Middlesex Volunteer Fire Department, 4583 Water View Road, Water View, VA 23180
- FRESHFARM Markets, P.O. Box 15691, Washington, DC 20003