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Chuck Hinman: IJMA : 188 : My Legacy

Chuck Hinman died December 15, 2011, and, as he describes below, has gone to his heavenly townhouse (Chuck Hinman, Bartlesville, OK, (1922-2011)). He spent a long life preparing for it, as it describes below in It's Just Me Again No. 188, "My Legacy," written two years ago. Chuck Hinman was introduced to readers of by members of the Hart County Literary Group, an friendship of essayists and artists focused around The Bookstore in Horse Cave, KY. Few other writers on CM have ever had the impact of Chuck Hinman. He seemed so much one of our own, with experiences he shared so parallel to those of Kentuckians in the South Central part of the state. Hardly a week has gone by since his columns were first posted that Robert Stone did not send another column, and when he didn't or we failed to post, we heard from readers! His passing will be mourned by many here - so many who knew him as an intimate friend, even though they had never met except through his writing.

By Chuck Hinman

As I live out my life waiting for my heavenly townhouse to be completed, I occasionally reflect on what one thing I will most be remembered for when I'm out of here. Certainly I have lived in Bartlesville, Oklahoma long enough to have left some tracks. The question is -- what tracks will I most be remembered for?

Several things come to mind. Will it be my jogging days when Bartians saw me huffing and puffing my way every noon from the Phillips gym to Marie's Steak House and back (17,000 miles over 30 years)? Or will I be remembered for my story writing? Or perhaps you will say that I touched more people with my music.

Here's my entry which you may never have known about.

I suggest I will most be remembered as the guy that handed them free gratis one of his "Sentimental Journey" organ tapes. I used to never leave home without taking a couple of my latest tapes to give away to some unsuspecting person.

If you didn't get one, I'm sorry I missed you. I estimate I gave away over a thousand to friends and strangers across the United States. I was a well known customer at the east side post office mailing my tapes.

This is how that happened. I was fortunate to have owned two state of the art Technics organs. They were digital organs and complicated to master. But they came at a time in my life when I did master all of the bells and whistles. I learned how to record on then-popular cassette tapes. The master tapes have been preserved on CDs. It was time consuming but the end product was a "labor of love".

The dozen SJ tapes were done in big band style. Each of the tapes have twenty of the most popular songs of the day. Because I had the best equipment available, the tapes are unashamedly professional sounding.

Each tape starts and ends with the same Chuck Hinman arrangement of Sentimental Journey. Technics organs were unusual in that they had digitally copied sounds such as an actual choo-choo train on a clickity clack track, so realistic sounding that you can almost smell the coal smoke as it lumbers off in the distance with a wailing train whistle to conclude the delightful tape.

It is no wonder to me when I receive word from someone (many times complete strangers) that one of my SJ tape is playing in their car wherever they go. One lady wrote that she picked up one of my SJ tapes at a garage sale. Another person says she has a portable radio-tape player and she does her housework daily doing the "light fantastic" to the SJ tape played by someone who handed her the tape at Luby's Cafeteria years ago.

Not a bad legacy for a former Nebraska farm boy, wouldn't you agree? -CHUCK HINMAN

This story was posted on 2011-12-18 07:28:10
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