Dink was about 80 when I got to Presidio in 1958. He was a retired drummer for a wholesale grocery firm. The firm was up in Pecos or somewhere and he traveled around to the small towns of West Texas taking orders from the small grocery stores that furnished victuals to their locals. Somehow Dink thought Presidio was the place to retire and so he did.
Most people would avoid Presidio because it was so hot. When El Bandido Harper had the weather station he called in the temperatures twice a day and Presidio usually made hottest place in the country about one day out of three in the Summer.
Dink apparently did not mind the heat; he wore long handled underwear--top and bottoms--all year around and he also wore khaki pants and long sleeved shirts buttoned at the wrist.
Dink drew $35 or $40 a month pension from the grocery firm and I don't think he had social security or any other source of income. He lived in a lean-to shack someone had added to the back of the Casner Motor Co. I think he lived rent free and doubt that he had many amenities. I know he didn't have electricity nor air conditioning.
He stretched his income by asking anyone going to Marfa to bring him back a few pounds of Pinto Beans because the ones in Presidio were not as good. Naturally those of us that brought him the superior beans refused payment of the dollar or so the beans cost.
Many people of reduced circumstances become meek so as not to offend anyone who may provide a benefit somewhere along the way. That was not Dink's way. He was feisty and out spoken and likely to give you an opinion, unvarnished in any way, on any topic under discussion.
There was a farmer in Presidio universally detested by Mexicans and gringos alike. He owned almost a thousand acres right on the river and his cotton crop--using wet labor-- got him rich. It was his manner and demeanor, however, that made him detested. He was haughty and looked down on everybody in that small community. His name was J.C. Poole and everyone referred to him as J. Cess Poole.
He had a son who was an identical copy of the old man in attitude and demeanor. He had gotten to be a Justice of the Peace when he was 21, some years before I got there. He carried two guns and shot a young Mexican to death over some altercation in a beer joint and got away with it. He was detested even more than his father.
Dink usually spent his days in the metal lawn chairs on the front porch of the Halpern Hotel. However, one day, he was sitting atop the concrete steps of a customs broker beside J. Cess Poole. Poole was commenting on the people passing along the main street below them.
Someone drove by and Poole said to Dink, "there goes a no-good son-of-a-bitch" and went back to his discussion on another topic. Soon another person drove by. Poole looked up, watched the car drive by and commented, "There goes another no-good son of a bitch" and resumed his discussion. Bye and bye another vehicle drove by. Poole looked up, watched the vehicle drive by and saw that it was his son. He lowered his head. Dink spoke up, "and there goes another no-good son of a bitch".
Poole got up and walked away.
After I left Presidio, Dink must have had health problems or maybe something else. The sheriff came to town and scooped him up and took him to a nursing home at Balmorhea, I think it was.
Freedom is a precious thing when a man lives in a private room with a clean bed in a building that is heated and cooled and cooks on hand to keep him fed. Maybe it was the doctors and preachers that came around once a week; Dink was never too high on those who filled those professions. Maybe it was something else because Dink escaped. He was out overnight but they caught him walking toward Presidio on highway 17.
I don't know how this story ended but I wish I did. Dink was not a likeable person because he was too cranky, but he was the epitome of a person who knew his own mind and was determined to be his own man. Many of us cannot live up to that standard.