The Connection of Friendship

~Shared by Rick Ferguson~

I met Chip Hooper in August 1980 on the fourth floor of the Freudenberger dormitory on the campus of Southwest Missouri State University. I was from small town Missouri, Chip, Chicago. I listen to Neil Young, Chip; Judas Priest. I drank health smoothies (before their time), Chip ate Honey Buns. I was laid back, Chip was intense. We had much to learn from each other. Those that can teach you the most can come in challenging packages. I learned so much from Chip. Passionate, fearless, driven, and, yes, sometimes overbearing and pushy. I tried to throw him out of my dorm room more than once, but Chip Hooper was simply indomitable.

Chip ran a leaf raking business over the pay phone in our dorm hallway. In short order, several of us were raking and Chip, of course, was negotiating on our behalf. A sign of things to come.

We stayed in touch through the now infamous Chip Hooper phone calls. He made sure I had a “proper” bachelor party. Me, Chip, Steve, and a case of cheap beer in my empty first apartment. These were days long before fine wine and the big time. We attended each other’s weddings and talked long into the night when my marriage ended and again when his did as well. We talked year after year for 35 years.  

With Chip, it really was about the connection. In our case, the connection of friendship through the decades and the deep satisfaction that longevity can supply. Peace to you my old friend.

One Response

  1. Scott Cady says:

    I also went to college with Chip at SMSU. though I was on the 5th floor, I always felt more welcome and connected with the 4th floor beneath me. Chip and I were on the swim team together for awhile. I remember first meeting him, he was a tower above me and I learned he was an Illinois champion and would be an important part of this team even freshman year. We connected quickly, talking about and listening to music. We would visit local bands, and Chip always formed an immediate opinion and could formulate a plan for their future (the Mistakes). I’ve always admired Chip that he could make decisions, formulate his plan, and then execute. I knew from the first few weeks of knowing him he would be going places. I’ve enjoyed him during college and the numerous visits we shared in Kansas City, Minneapolis, Pacific Grove. Time and family growth decreased our conversations, but Chip was always a thoughtful and personal man. I always knew he cared about where you were heading and some offered insightful decisive thoughts that would help. He was one of those people you could reconnect at any time and felt like you never missed a beat.

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