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Monday, October 10, 2011

Book Entry 101: 1971 Mr. Hamner... Times Up!

           Larry was raised attending church every week.  His family was very active in the Turlock First Baptist Church.  I had been raised in the Hughson First Baptist Church where we attended every service.  We met one evening where our churches, along with a couple others gathered for a youth night of singing and games.  

During the refreshment part of the evening Larry came to me, handed me his styrofoam cup, and asked if I’d get him some more punch.  He made some excuse about his hands were full or he was doing something else at the time or something.  We were young and flirting was awkward.  I was embarrassed but excited a boy was even speaking to me.  I was only fifteen. 
I stood at the punch bowl while the server began filling the cup.  I remember watching the group of kids Larry was talking with and wondering how he’d had the nerve to ask me to do this for him.  I knew his name but I didn’t know him. 
It seemed like I stood there for a while.  The server began to giggle.  When I looked at her she was pulling my hand and tilting it just a little so she could see Larry’s cup better.  I followed her gaze and looked into the cup too.  There was a hole in the bottom.  As fast as she would ladle punch into the cup it came out the bottom and back into the punchbowl.
I felt my face flush.  I looked over to Larry and his group of friend.  They were all laughing.  I’m not sure if I gave his cup back or not.  It was a good joke.  Everyone had a good laugh including me.  The best part of the night was a boy had flirted with me!
Mr. O.C. Hamner was a big part of Larry’s life before we met.  When we married, he became a big part of my life too.  He had been one of the caring folks who helped Larry’s family start going to church many years before I met him.
Mr. Hamner was an avid youth leader and bible teacher.  He was gracious enough to lead a bible study in our home.  I say gracious because our homes were about fifteen miles apart.  He had to take time and make the effort to get to our house every week.  It was just a small group of six.  Mr. Hamner made the group count seven. 
I was always impressed how Mr. Hamner insisted on wearing a button-up shirt and a tie when he was teaching our little bible study.  I remember telling him he could wear a more casual shirt and no tie any time to our house.  He said he liked to dress with a tie to show respect to the class as well as to the subject of the class.   He said, “I just wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t try my best and give my all.” 

Bible study was from 7 o’clock to 8 o’clock in the evening.  One evening it was nearly time for the study to end.  Heidi, in her walker, made her way to the chair where our guests had put their sweaters.  She was always dragging something around the house.  She picked up the sleeve of Mr. Hamner’s sweater and drug it to where he was standing.  It was not her intention but it sure seemed on purpose.  It was exactly 8 o’clock. 
We all laughed when Mr. Hamner said, “I think she is trying to tell me something!”  Mr. Hamner and his wife, Lucille, were a huge influence on many lives.  Mrs. Hamner died several years ago.  Mr. Hamner died in 2010.  He was 100 years old.

1 comment:

  1. What a funny "punch" story....

    It's amazing the influence people of Mr. Hamner have in our lives.


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