Admiral Wesley Hull, the director of the Greater Southwest Historical Museum, welcomed more than 90 guests for Master Storyteller John Hinkle’s presentation on World War I Thursday.
The Museum co-hosted the event with the Ardmore Public Library and the Southern Oklahoma Library Systems. The groups worked together to bring Hinkle, an award-winning performer and librarian, back to the area to commemorate the centennial of the armistice that ended the war.
Hull said the museum also offers tours of its Military Museum, which is operated entirely by volunteers.
“We may not have answers to all your questions,” Hull said, “but we will make something up.”
The audience shared several rounds of laughter as Hull and Hinkle leaned on humor to guide the crowd through the story of the first world war.
Hinkle, who was born in Ponca City, offered a theatrical presentation and
little-known stories about prominent figures from the era. Hinkle was part of the United States Air Force Band, and the Air Force Academy Band after earning a bachelor’s degree in music. Later he went on to earn a Master’s degree in Library Science. He then helped found the Southeastern Oklahoma Library System, and earned other awards and honors including the Oklahoma Library Association’s Distinguished Service Award and the University of Oklahoma’s Outstanding Alumni Award. Hinkle was also awarded the Johnny Appleseed award for his efforts to foster literacy throughout Oklahoma. He is well known throughout the state for performing puppet shows which he writes himself — and also makes the puppets. He performed as Bill “Alfalfa” Murray for many years.

While the program may be one of Hinkle’s last performances, his legacy continues with his work through various libraries and systems across the state.