Donald R. Hoke, Ph.D:

"Honest Don"


[Picture: Coming Soon!]



Born May 22, 1951, Bethesda, Maryland.

Springbrook High School  1969.

BA  1973, Beloit College, Double Major:  Economics & Theater Arts.

          National Science Foundation Undergraduate Smithsonian Grant.

MA  1975, University of Delaware, History of Technology.

          Hagley Fellow.

Ph.D. 1984, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Economic History.

          Smithsonian Pre-Doctoral Fellow.

Dissertation won 1985 Nevins Prize.

Museum Management Institute 1988 (J. Paul Getty Trust).

Winedale Museum Seminar 2005



          Books:  Time Museum Catalogue & Ingenious Yankees.


          Popular:  Steam cars & horse manure.

Married Carolyn Nichols in 1984.

Daughter Carolyn Jacquelyn born in 1990.

 Museum Employment Career:

          Early Virginia Vehicular Museum

          Smithsonian Institution

          Hagley Museum

          Milwaukee Public Museum

          Outagamie County Historical Society

          A Texas historical agency

          An insurance con game.

          An education con game.

          The 500 Prima Donnas

          Another Texas historical agency

          Consulting Director - The Stanley Museum


More Detail Than You Ever Wanted:

Don was born in Bethesda, Maryland on May 22, 1951.  After graduating from the Fairland School Kindergarten, he attended St. Bernadette’s School in Four Corners for eight years.  Four years later, he graduated from Springbrook High School in Silver Spring, Maryland in 1969 where he was active in theater, served four years in student government, and lettered on Springbrook's first varsity soccer team.

In the fall of 1968, he contracted Steam Car Disease and after looking for a steam car, he impatiently spent his $500 a 1915 Reo, only to see a basket case Stanley in the very next issue of Hemmings Motor News.

After touring Europe sitting in the last chair of the viola section with the Montgomery County Youth Orchestra in August 1969, he took up his undergraduate work at Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin, where he majored in Football, Fraternity, and Pool, drove a 1934 Ford Fire Truck, remained active in theater, and had a major smash in the 69 Mile Bike Race in the summer of 1971.

Despite lettering in track, wrestling, soccer, and football, he managed to complete a double major in theoretical economics and theater arts.

While home on “summer” break in January 1971, he talked his way past the security guards at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of History and Technology (now incorrectly named the National Museum of American History) and found himself in the office of Don Berkibile, the Curator of Transportation.  Mrs. Bocock, who owned a carriage museum in Richmond, Virginia and who was also in the Curator’s office, overheard Don (Hoke) ask Don (Berkibile) if he (Don Berkibile) had any jobs.

Mrs. Bocock then then said "Oh, young man, are you looking for a job?"  To which Don (Hoke) said "yes," and Mrs. Bocock then took Don (Hoke) downstairs to the Smithsonian cafeteria, bought him a cherry pie and a carton of milk, handed him two binders of carriage photos, and told Don (Hoke) to research the carriages and come to Richmond in two weeks when she got back from Africa.  That reminded her that she had to go to the airport and she abruptly walked out of the cafeteria leaving a befuddled Don (Hoke) with a half eaten cherry pie and two binders of carriage pictures.

Back upstairs (after finishing both the pie and the milk) with Don (Berkibile), Don (Hoke) asked “What Happened?” and "What Was That All About?"  Don (Berkibile) explained that Mrs. Bocock did have a carriage collection and money to pay and that he (Don Hoke) was free to use the empty desk in the next office if he (Don Hoke) wished.  So he (Don Hoke) did.

This was the beginning of Don’s museum career.  As his wife has noted, Don started at the Smithsonian and it has been downhill ever since!


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