DUNCAN, Okla. — Many can only imagine the fun of growing up with a twin. Few have experienced the joy of growing older with someone of such a connection.
Charlie Ray “Bill” Hanson and Faye “Tater” Hanson Anderson were born Jan. 19, 1920, in Countyline and grew up in the Loco area. Hanson now resides in Duncan, while Anderson is in California.
Now 93 years old, they are part of an extremely small group of surviving twins this age or older. Surprisingly enough, both are able-bodied and still do many of the things they did when younger.
Despite the distance between them, Hanson and Anderson make sure to see each other at least once a year. Just before Thanksgiving this year, Anderson made a surprise trip to Duncan to see her brother.
“She didn’t tell me she was coming,” said Hanson. “I was out raking leaves and there she was.”
Anderson’s daughter drove her the entire trip to Oklahoma and back. Hanson said he has been out to California once and enjoyed it.
The twins were two of eight children in their family, most of who were older. Having lost their father at six years old, growing up during the Great Depression was difficult to say the least.
“My mother raised us out in the country,” Hanson said. “I was 21 when I joined the Army.”
Hanson served in the U.S. Army from 1942-46. By that time, Anderson was already married. A few years later, Hanson married Thelma Ward of Nashville, Tenn. and they have shared 66 years together.
Both of the twins have large families. Anderson has five children. When Hanson married Thelma, she had three children from her first marriage and they added five others to the mix, all of which they raised together.
“It was hard,” Hanson said of raising such a large family. “You missed a day and you got behind.
As they raised their family, Hanson joined the oilfield, where he worked for several years before retiring.
However, retirement didn’t mean a lack of work.
The Hansons owned and operated a lawnmower store and service for many more years after Hanson left the oilfield.
Through it all, the twins stayed close. Thelma said she recognized a strong bond in the siblings when she first met Anderson.
“They were always having something together,” she said.
Hanson and Anderson were more than emotionally close for a short time in the 1970s, when they were neighbors in Loco.
No matter their age or the distance between them, the Hanson twins have a bond they don’t intend on breaking.
“We always try to see each other,” said Hanson.
In between visits, the siblings keep active by doing things they love. In fact, Anderson plays pool three times a week.