There was a time back in the early '70s when the future of OOIDA looked pretty dim. We had no staff (except for myself), and no financial resources. We had a two-room office in the west end of a laundromat building in Oak Grove, MO. It was a constant struggle to keep even that small amount of rent paid and still find the money to travel to meetings to work on the issues. Dues were $90 a year, and we only had 30 dues-paying members.
One of those 30 members was Bob Hatfield. Bob lived in Oak Grove and he would stop by the office every time he was in town with moral support and encouragement - which believe me, was very much needed at that time. Bob also kicked in more than his fair share of financial support. I can still hear him coming through the door yelling, "Hey, ain't it about time to bill me for dues?" Records from those days are pretty sparse and so is my memory, but as I recall, Bob was at least five years ahead on his dues and still made that same comment every few months.
Bob never asked for anything in return, and he gave his support at a time when it certainly could not have looked like a sound investment. Bob Hatfield passed away on April 12. I will remember him as a special friend and a very special person.
~ Jim Johnston