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Chuck Hinman: IJMA. My Sixteenth Birthday

Chuck Hinman: My Sixteenth Birthday. Chuck recalls how his brother Bob gave him annual birthday whippings to show who was boss in the family until one year, his sixteenth year....
Next earlier Chuck Hinman column - My First Dancing Experience or May I have this dance?

By Chuck Hinman

My Sixteenth Birthday

This afternoon, my stroll down memory lane took me to this incident which happened over 70 years ago. I'm surprised I remember it and in detail.

My brother Bob was two years older than I and "lorded" it over me from the time I came out of Mom's womb until January 19, 1938. That was my 16th birthday, the first birthday I was able to keep Bob from administering a birthday whipping on me.

Who is the 'boss in the Hinman family'?

The annual whippings began the moment we got out of bed on my birthday. According to Bob, it symbolized who was "the boss in the Hinman family." I had no choice but to submit after a humiliating whipping. I hated my birthday whippings and their symbolism.

But guess what happened? Between my 15th and 16th birthdays, I experienced phenomenal growth and Bob stayed about the same. I had become a man it seemed and my whining and bawling days were a thing of the past!

The year when the whippings were over

As usual, when I awoke on my 16th birthday, there was Bob hovering over me, asking in a taunting voice if I was ready for my annual "butt whuppin." I suspected that this may be the year when the whippings were over so I boldly said "Let's get it on" and pounced on him like an enraged tiger!

He quickly got the advantage by locking his legs around my waist and pummeling me with his fists. I was strong enough with unusual growth during the past year that I got out of bed with his legs around my waist and walked him over to the head of the stairway with his puny body suspended over the stairway. I was able to keep his flailing arms from punishing me and as his dangling body was suspended over the stairway, he soon began to analyze his predicament. I yelled at him to "SAY IT! TELL THE WORLD THAT YOUR BABY BROTHER CHUCK IS BOSS OF THE HINMAN FAMILY!"

Brother Bob, former family boss, gives up

When he hesitated, I started to untangle his legs from their grip around my waist and he would have gone tumbling down the stairway backwards. He was in what in the wrestling world is called a "predicament" and he knew it. He wisely "gave up."

That was the last year of the attempted whippings of me on my birthdays by brother Bob.

Tears at an apology when Bob and Chuck are old men

A few years ago I spent the afternoon visiting Bob in The Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Wymore, Nebraska. We were both old men who had had crippling strokes, Bob having had the worst of what old age deals out. Our bodies had taken a beating but our minds were sharp as tack.

In the course of our conversation, I noticed tears welling up in Bob's eyes as he reached for my wrinkled hand and said in a sobbing voice, "Chuck, I want to apologize for all those whippings I put on you when we were kids." I knew exactly what he was talking about but was too caught up in the emotion of the moment except to grab him in a tearful embrace and mumble something like "Oh, you crazy old nut!"

Boyhood squabbles are treasured memories

My best friend and brother Bob Hinman died a few months later but the memories of our rivalries growing up on a Nebraska farm in the 1930's live on. I wouldn't trade those boyhood squabbles for anything.

R.I.P. I love you - Bob, you crazy old nut.

I was/will be 89 on January 19, 2011.

Written by Chuck Hinman. Emailed Thursday, 13 January 2011.

Charles Ray "Chuck" Hinman (1922-2011)

Charles Ray "Chuck" Hinman, long-time resident of Bartlesville, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Thursday December 15, 2011.

Chuck was one of three siblings born to Ina Merle (Mouser) and Arley Ray Hinman in rural Liberty, Nebraska, on January 19, 1922 on the family farm during the Great Depression with his brother Robert "Bob" and his sister Joy Ann "Jody". Chuck and his siblings attended New Hope Country School in Liberty while maintaining the family farm with their parents during difficult times. Chuck graduated Liberty High School in 1939 and attended Peru State College in Peru, Nebraska.

Chuck's stories on ColumbiaMagazine

Chuck Hinman's stories have been appearing on ColumbiaMagazine for more than four years. While he has been gone from us physically for two years now, his spirit still encourages us in his honest and down to earth stories of his life.

Haiku by Robert Stone for January 19, 2011:
Life in, stories out.
Memories wander about.
It's Just Me Again.
--Robert Stone, 19 January 2011.
-A haiku for the 89th birthday of Chuck Hinman

This story was posted on 2014-01-19 04:15:33
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