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Chuck Hinman: IJMA. Thou Shalt Not

Thou Shalt Not. Chuck says Jules Bourquin's weekly tirades on the evils of smoking eventually led him to give up his cigarettes.
Next earlier Chuck Hinman column - Ice Cream -- Ice Cream

By Chuck Hinman

Thou Shalt Not

Connie and I always credited Jules and Ruth Bourquin as the relentless matchmakers who determined that we were 'right' for each other. It turned out they were correct. We celebrated 50 years of marriage before she passed away several years ago.

But this memory story is not about us, it's about Jules Bourquin.

Jules Bourquin, band director and Sunday school director

Jules was the long-time director of the Central Junior High School Band here in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. That band fed its talented musicians to Bartlesville's award-winning bands. All the kids loved their tough little 'John Phillips Sousa' band director in his little band uniform. What a musical giant. And that goes for Ruth as well.

As the departmental Sunday School director (First Methodist Church) where Connie and I were his 4th grade teachers, Jules was equally tough. He came down hard on smoking Sunday after Sunday.

Chuck tries to hide his cigarette

I was a smoker at the time but never in his (or Ruth's) presence. I was so relieved when he finished with his weekly tirade on "thou shalt not smoke!" Of course I never considered he might be aiming straight at me. I was a teacher!

One evening as I was walking to my car to go home, I was suddenly face to face with Jules in front of Musselman Abstract Company. I hadn't seen him coming or obviously I would have ditched the cigarette I was smoking. Instead, I foolishly cupped it in my hand thinking our conversation would soon be over and he would never know he had caught me red-handed.

Jules talks while Chuck's fingers grow warm

Well, any of you who know Jules very well know that he is a born prankster -- he was going to have some fun with me. He knew my cigarette was going to eventually burn my fingers. The smoke was already choking me coming out between my suit coat and my overcoat.

When the cigarette was 'charcoaling' my fingers, I made an excuse why I had to be on my way! Ouch!

Chuck gives up cigarettes and can look Jules in the eye

Every time Jules did his spin on the evils of smoking I always suspected he was looking straight at me. Perhaps not. In any event I gave up cigarettes shortly and spent many enjoyable occasions able to look him in the eye without flinching.

When I get to heaven I hope to look-up Jules, hit him playfully on the arm and ask him if he really intended setting me on fire to get me to give up cigarettes. It worked!

Written by Chuck Hinman. Emailed: Monday, 1 February 2010.

Editorial Note: In a previous story, "Cigarettes In My Life," Chuck credited the importance of becoming a dad in deciding to give up his smoking.

This story was posted on 2014-08-17 04:51:01
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