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Chuck Hinman: IJMA. Hogshooter, USA

Chuck Hinman: Hogshooter, USA. Who would have dreamed that Chuck Hinman - this transplanted farm boy from tiny Liberty Nebraska - would have found and chosen this area to share his adult life. It was a perfect fit.
Next earlier Chuck Hinman column - Chuck Hinman, Fisherman

By Chuck Hinman

Hogshooter, USA

Every year in June a large bunch of bicyclists (around 300) make a week's journey across Oklahoma from south to North (a different route each year) and not much of it on freeways. Most is on the back roads. Next Thursday our rural church is a rest stop for "Free Wheel 2003."

Being one of the oldest members of our church, our pastor asked me to write a brief history of our neighborhood to be passed out to each cyclist along with some refreshments. This is what I wrote:
June 10, 2003

2205 N. 4015 ROAD

Welcome to Hogshooter USA!

Hogshooter is not a fictitious name. It is the name of a creek that meanders through this community [south and east of Bartlesville, Oklahoma].

Hogshooter Creek has given many hours of fishing pleasure to people like Ella King (deceased) who used to be able go out her back door and sit and fish for a few hours every [afternoon. She loved it; it was her life!].

New Harmony church founded

Over eighty years ago, several people that lived in this community felt called to establish a church to meet their spiritual needs. The newly formed church selected the name "New Harmony" and the church identified with the Southern Baptist denomination. The church commenced meeting in a vacant school building [Truskett]. The present [impressive-looking building] where you are having a rest stop is the result of several major remodeling and new construction jobs to meet the needs of this bustling community on the outskirts of Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

My name is Chuck Hinman. I am an 81 year old widower. I have the distinction of being the next to the oldest member of the church.

I was 36 years old when, through a home Bible Class my wife attended, I began to participate and in time, I confessed I am a sinner and accepted Christ as my Savior.

Hinmans become members of New Harmony

Our best friends, Ray and Maxine Lewis invited us to visit New Harmony. We did visit and became members and were baptized in 1960.

This church has been important in our spiritual development as well as a place of service to God.

[Who would have dreamed that this transplanted farm boy from tiny Liberty Nebraska would have found and chosen this area to share his adult life. It was a perfect fit.]

Forty-five years have passed by in a hurry! [Connie and I] were a newly married couple with a young family when we came here [and joined New Harmony in 1960. Ralph Dershem was the young pastor who baptized us. New Harmony was his first pastorate.] We have been very active in the church over the years. Our kids grew up in this church and moved on in their lives. My wife and I were Sunday school teachers for many years -- teaching in every department from little kids to adults. For many years we jointly taught a Bible class for all the kids on Wednesday nights. What fun teaching with flannel graph Bible lessons and singing all the Bible choruses! Sometimes we had as many as 20 kids from tots to teenagers [who didn't seem to notice, or mind the difference in their ages. I credit and give an A plus to their parents for this kind of parenting. Where but in Hogshooter can you find this?].

Chuck becomes bus-captain for church

When church-bus ministries were in vogue, I was the bus-captain. I about ran my tail off! [While my neighbors in town were on the golf course or at the lake, I was happily looking for kids in the Hogshooter-Ogelsby area.] The most kids we ever collected by bus on these roads you are traveling today was 29. Many years later, a young person would stop me and introduce him or herself as one of those kids who used to ride "Nehemiah," [the blue church bus.]

At that time, just like now, we had many ministries going. On a typical Sunday, I would leave home at 8:30AM and board the church bus. The bus driver, my good friend Jack Shinn [(now deceased)] and I would cover the area I had visited on Saturday afternoon in the Hogshooter area, to pick up the kids who had said they were coming to church on the bus. By the time we returned them back home after Sunday school and church services, and got home for a bite of lunch, it was time to join the Jail Ministry guys for services at the Washington County Jail. As soon as that finished, it was time to go to the Forrest Manor Nursing Home in nearby Dewey, Oklahoma for Sunday afternoon services.

Because I have been a church pianist over the years, I was kept busy with the jail and rest home ministries on Sunday afternoons. My long-time friend, Ed Bailey was the song-leader [and as you might expect, we developed a great comraderie over those years. Ed and Jean still live in the Hogshooter community.].

There was little time left on Sunday afternoon to see who the Dallas Cowboys had defeated before heading back to church for Sunday evening services.

Choosing to live where there is compassion

When you pass through a community such as you are doing right now -- you may wonder why people would choose to spend a life here! I'll tell you. If I had to do it all over again -- there's not much I would change. I lost my dear wife, Connie 5 months ago. We had been married 50 years. She had Alzheimer's disease for the last 14 years of her life. With all the handicaps, she was one of the prettiest, most pleasant persons I have ever seen. Connie was an accepted member of this congregation right up until the end. Compassion from the pastor down through the youngest kids were an ever day occurrence. One dear friend, Apryll Kannard, did the ultimate when she came by our house with her hot-water bottle to administer an enema to my wife Connie, her Alzheimer-ridden friend.

[Connie passed away eight years ago. She had Alzheimer's disease for the last fourteen years of her life. With all her problems, she was an accepted member of this loving congregation right up until the end. Compassion, respect, and deep love were showered on her when she was able to be in the church services. That extended through the congregation from the pastors to all the kids she had lovingly tutored like popular Bartlesville news reporter Tim Hudson who is old enough to have a young family. Tim always had a hug for Connie whether he was 15 or 45 years old. He never forgot and she "ate it up!"]

Now, you wonder why this community is special. GO FIGURE!

When Connie's funeral was held in early January 2003, the church auditorium was [packed]. You would have thought it was the funeral of an important person. It was the final tribute the wonderful people of this community paid to a dear friend with a terrible debilitating illness. Unusual? No, [not for here in Hogshooter, USA] -- normal for here.

After you return home and you are looking at the pictures from your trip, don't forget this little rural area with the funny name -- Hogshooter, USA.

Chuck Hinman

This writing begins with a date which is approximately correct. However, I found an account by Laurie Allshouse who was one of the bicycle riders who stopped at Chuck's church and read his history.

Chuck has June 10, 2003, likely the date he wrote this, and says the ride came through Hogshooter on Thursday which was June 12. Laurie says it was Friday the Thirteenth.

Chuck sent out a shorter, revised essay on Hogshooter in July 2010. The wording within brackets is from this 2010 version.

Robert Stone

This story was posted on 2013-07-14 02:54:34
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