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Chuck Hinman: IJMA. Hi! Where Are You From?

Hi! Where Are You From? Chuck recalls and gives thanks for the experiences of the first twenty-four years of his life, the Nebraska years.
Next earlier Chuck Hinman column - Depression Days

By Chuck Hinman

Hi! Where Are You From?

Most people like to brag about where they are 'from.' Nobody claims to be from 'here' even though they have lived 'here' much longer than the place they're 'from.'

I have lived in Oklahoma three tines as long as I lived in Nebraska. I have lived and raised a family here but no way do I say Oklahoma is where I am 'from'! Let me tell you about the place I am 'from.'

Chuck's college song

There is no place like Nebraska,
Dear old Nebraska U
Where the girls are the fairest -
The boys are the squarest
Of any old school that I knew.
There is no place like Nebraska,
Where they're all true blue.
We'll all stick together
In all kinds of weather,
At dear old Nebraska U.
Old school song gives Chuck goose-pimples

If the strains of that old school song of my alma mater, sung to the accompaniment of a massive band with a huge baritone section, doesn't chill you, you haven't an ounce of Nebraska blood in you! In a word -- "You Aren't Big Red!" Excuse me -- four words!

I am 86 years old, walk feebly with a cane, yet when the strains of that loved tune touch my worn-out ear drums, I get goose-pimples on wrinkled skin, my saliva-soaked mouth turns into a proud smile revealing dentures that have eaten their share of fresh corn-on-the-cob! And I have a strange feeling I could discard my cane and walk erectly to the cadence of that song even as I try to snap my arthritic crippled fingers! But the resulting noise from snapping my fingers is more felt than heard!

Chuck remembers his Nebraska years

My mind is suddenly transformed into a movie projector that fast-plays four score and four years of a full and satisfying life in a brief but nostalgic period of time!

The first twenty-four years of that life less forty-one months carved out for military service were spent in and around Liberty, Nebraska.

Times were especially tough economically for my parents, but as a youngster growing up on the farm, I wouldn't trade my experiences for anything,
- going to Barneston on Saturday nights to watch a free -- outdoor still -- movie with a one-cent package of life-savers in my shirt pocket,

- going to Finks Park west of Wymore to swim on Sunday afternoon,

- getting together with the gang (neighborhood farm families) for a pot-luck supper on Friday evenings,

- delivering May baskets in the neighborhood on May 1st and hoping that Allie Dillow didn't catch me and kiss me on the mouth (I'm poisoned!),

- going to Christian Endeavor on Sunday evenings at Liberty Congregational Church,

- playing touch-football on Sunday afternoons with Brother Bob and Bill and Earl Price,

- going to Grandma (Hiles) and Grandpa Mouser's house in Blue Springs after church for Sunday dinner and eating some of Grandma's famous roast beef and brown gravy,

- cutting sunflowers and cockleburs in August,

- cutting wood or shucking corn in the winter months when school was out on Saturdays,

- snowball fights in the winter,

- going to the bluffs to swim ala nude,

- New Hope elementary school,

- and riding bikes to high school uphill both ways,

- forever going out to the pasture to round-up the cows for milking,

- harnessing the work horses -- Dick and Diamond, Fannie and Major,

- playing with Sport the dog,

- watching the cows playing 'Doctor' with one of the cows (maybe a bull) riding on the cow's back to the 'hospital' (wink),

- having homemade ice cream with the gang,

- scraps with Brother Bob and teasing sister Joy Ann,

- Saturday night beans (Bang-Bang),

- and of course a Saturday night bath, whether you needed it or not,

- going off to Peru to college,

- then military service for 41 months,

- and back to University of Nebraska, Lincoln
-- where did the time go!

Chuck wouldn't trade his memories with anyone

As I reflect through dimmed teary eyes, truly -- "There is no place like Nebraska" and I wouldn't trade my memories with anyone! The signs on entering Nebraska "The Good Life" are true.

God has blessed America and Nebraska and particularly me! Thank you Lord!!

Written by Chuck Hinman. Emailed Friday, 14 November 2008

This story was posted on 2014-12-07 05:24:37
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