Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrances of Jim Hall

(Editor's note: This blog was written by David Hinds, who lives in Chili now.)

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of my first playmate and best friend Jim Hall. I don’t remember when we first met, it seems like I just always knew him. We had to have been about 3-5 years in age when we spent many hours playing together and exploring the world around us. We ventured into a wooded area just over the hill from where we lived and discovered a large rock that Jim said looked like an alligator. Neither of us ever forgot where ‘Alligator Rock’ is. I remember once when our explorations got us into trouble. Jim told me that he knew a lady on the next block behind his house that had a television and that she would let us watch Howdy Doody on it. Now I had never seen a television and wasn’t sure what a Howdy Doody was, but Jim’s recommendation was all I needed to join him in going to Mrs. Duncan’s house. She wasn’t at home, but as was the custom in those days, her door was unlocked so we went on in. Jim knew all about the television so he would operate it. He did manage to get it to turn on, but we never did find a Howdy Doody on it. I’m not sure how it was discovered that we were in the house when no one was at home, but we both were severely scolded and told never to go into someone’s house unless they invited us. The real punishment was that we were not allowed to play together for a time.

Remarkably, we always played together well and never fussed and only had one fight that wasn’t really a fight, more of a game. One of my older brothers and his friend, Stanley Tucker, put boxing gloves on us and made us fight. The match was pretty much a draw and my remembrance is that Jim gave as good as he got.

As usually happens with childhood friends, we grew further apart as we grew older and saw each other less and less. In recent years we only saw each every other year at our High School class reunion. As an adult, the quality that most stands out in my mind about Jim was his genuine character. When I think of this attribute in his nature I am reminded of what Jesus said about Nathanael in John 1:47 (NIV) 47When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false." I never saw even a hint of deceit in Jim. For example, when he asked how you were, you knew that he wasn’t just making small talk; he really was interested in how you were. As I remember this trait of Jim’s, I ask myself, ‘do others see me as a genuine person’?

When I heard about Jim’s diagnosis I knew, that because of the distance between where we each lived, that I would never again see my old friend Jim Hall here on this earth. The best I could do was to call him. I talked to Jim just a few weeks before he passed away. When I called he was watching a college football game on television. Although we both knew that this would probably be our last conversation in this life; Jim didn’t reminisce about old memories we shared. He talked about things that were going on now. His raspy voice became alive with excitement and joy when he talked about his grandson.

As I hung up the phone that day again the words of Jesus came to mind; in John 16:16 He said: 16"In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me."


At November 11, 2009 at 8:45 PM , Blogger Kathy Bain Dunn said...

David, where was your woods? Mine was behind Herman Sharp's house and south of Col. Reese's house. I don't remember an Alligator Rock back in there, and I knew every rock in my woods. I had a kitchen rock and a "bed" rock. And thinking about Mrs. Duncan - Jim and later his kids all just called her "Duncan." The Duncan's were close friends of the Hall's all through the years.

Thanks for sharing about Jim.

At November 12, 2009 at 12:15 AM , Blogger lroop said...


Thanks for sharing thoughts about Jim. I miss him already.

I remember Alligator rock!

Linda Hall Roop

At November 12, 2009 at 5:29 AM , Blogger David Hinds said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At November 12, 2009 at 6:03 AM , Blogger David Hinds said...

Kathy, The patch of woods was over the top of the hill on the street were Jim grew up. Between where the Hensons lived and the Meehs. When we were small Mr. Lane lived in the Henson's house. He was a diabetic and not supposed to eat sweets. When he went to town he would buy candy; and if he had any left he would give it to Jim and me so his wife would not know he had been eating candy. Whenever we saw him coming up the hill in his old red pick-up, we would run to see if he had any evidence that he needed to get rid of!

At November 12, 2009 at 8:29 PM , Blogger Kathy Bain Dunn said...


Judy and I just read through your blog again, and we are really touched by the scriptures that you shared as you remembered Jim. We know Jim would be honored by the first one, and we are so comforted by the promise in John 16:16.

Like Linda, Judy knew all about Alligator Rock! I seem to be the only one in the family who missed that adventure.

Your phone call meant a lot to Jim!


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