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Chuck Hinman: Matchmakers for Chuck and Connie

Chuck Hinman: Jules and Ruth Bourquin: Matchmakers for Chuck and Connie
Chuck recalls the couple who were matchmakers in his and Connie's life and the last minute change that sent them to the biggest church in Oklahoma for the smallest wedding ever performed in Oklahoma! The next earlier Chuck Hinman Story: - Picture It!

By Chuck Hinman

Jules and Ruth Bourquin: Matchmakers for Chuck and Connie

January 15, 2004

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Bourquin and family
c/o Dr. Paul Bowles
Bartlesville, OK 74003

Dear Jack and Joy and family

I noticed in the Tulsa paper this morning the passing of your Dad, our long time friend. After absorbing that in my mind for a few minutes, I laid the paper in my lap, took off my glasses, closed my eyes, and just had the best time reminiscing over some very happy times involving your Mom and Dad [Jules and Ruth Bourquin]. It occurred to me that you might like to know some of the things that came to mind.

To put it succinctly, your Dad and Mom seemed determined to be match-makers in Connie's and my life. They really worked at it! And they accomplished their goals in short time as though they were driven by an external power.

After arriving in Bartlesville in the early, early 1950's Connie and I taught 4th grade girls and boys respectively in the Jr. High Department of the First Methodist Church. Your Dad was the long-time departmental superintendent. Connie and I weren't blind, we noticed each other and tested the water a little by dating.

Because of our 30-ish ages, we began to wonder if love was passing us by and we were settling uncomfortably into a single life-style. Each of us had had relationships, but nothing that suggested a life-time commitment!

During the early days of our courtship, we were frequent dinner guests of your folks in their house on South Delaware. We enjoyed your folks patronage. It was as though they were giving us a preview of a successful, well-run marriage. I was sold on marriage because of theirs!

Your folks were young at heart. They laughed a lot. Even though they were nearly a generation older, they always seemed like best friends.

One time your Mom served us a wonderful meal in the dining room using the pretty dishes -- but the reserve food remained in the kitchen. That impressed a country boy like me! Connie, I guess was trying to make polite table talk and as we were about to finish everything on our plates, she turned to your Dad and demurely said, "Can I pass you anything, Jules?" Your Dad with his trademark twinkle in his eye looked across the empty table and said -- "like what, Connie?" ... WE ALL ROARED!

Our courtship lasted less than a year. We planned to be married in the "old" First Methodist Church building. It was to be a very small wedding. Your Mom was to be the organist, your Dad, the photographer, and Rev. John Webb, then pastor, would perform the service. The ceremony would be on May 30, 1952, Memorial Day weekend. Shortly before the wedding was to take place, Rev. Webb informed us he had made a mistake on the date. He needed to be in Tulsa on the date of our wedding for the annual Methodist Conference!

He persuaded us to move our wedding plans to the Boston Avenue Methodist Church in Tulsa, the biggest church in Oklahoma for the smallest wedding ever performed in Oklahoma! Bless their hearts, your Mom and Dad never batted an eye over this change. They seemed determined to finish what they had started!

And I must say, they did a good job as match-makers! Even though Connie and I may have gotten a slow start in marriage, we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in 2002 while she was a resident of Geriatrics Hospital nursing home, six months before she passed away from complications of Alzheimer's Disease.

Your Dad and Mom were our long-time role models and I suspect role models in different ways for many others in Bartlesville. We loved them dearly!

In closing, I need to tell you a "gem" that was typical of your Dad. Hardly a Sunday School service went by but what your Dad "preached" to the kids about the health hazards of smoking. I'm not sure whether he knew I smoked or not. As a smoking teacher, I always shuddered when he began his anti-smoking tirade. But I kept on smoking!

One night after work, I was walking to my car. It was wintertime. I was walking in front of Musselman Abstract Company. Out of nowhere, I came face to face with your Dad. I had a newly lighted cigarette in my hand. I about had a heart-attack when I saw Jules. It was too late to ditch the cigarette. I just wanted to have a short conversation exchanging the usual pleasantries but your "ornery Dad" wouldn't let me go. I'm positive he saw the smoke filtering up all around me as I tried to cup the cigarette in my palm! I wouldn't put it past your Dad to see if I would set myself on fire, or get 3rd degree burns before I dropped that cigarette! It was close but I guess he had mercy on me!!!

I haven't smoked for close to 50 years! When Connie and I have a reunion with your Dad and Mom, I need to remember to tell your Dad that I finally heeded his advice about the health hazards of cigarette smoking. He was right about that as he was about most things. I was a slow learner!

Jack and family, thanks for sharing your wonderful parents with Bartlesville!

Respectfully, Chuck Hinman (and Connie)

2633 Mission Road
Bartlesville, OK 74006

Chuck Hinman's letter to Mr. and Mrs. Jack Bourquin: January 15, 2004

This story was posted on 2013-01-13 13:36:46
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