Dink would come through Austin and borrow money for a venture or a vehicle to drive until his boat would come in. I was always needing to contact him.
Dink was always headed off to Alaska to mine gold one time and then off to Africa to mine for diamonds the next time. Another time when he made a little remote controlled oil gobbler that would go out into the water and clean up oil spills. Yes this was different than the containment diaper to strap onto barges and ship that I’ve previously written about. It’s not that Dink wasn’t creative, it was his lack of carry through with things. He got bored easily, I think.
It was a long time before the internet, which would have been very handy, so I developed a network of contacts that helped me keep up with him.
Once he had been in Africa for several months and was due to arrive back in the states. There were reasons that I didn’t expect to hear from him when he arrived back in Texas. Dink seldom kept a permanent address anywhere during those days. He lived in hotels. But I knew his habits so well that I called a motel in north Houston and he answered the phone within 2 hours of landing at the a Houston airport. He hadn’t even checked in under his own name.
Mind you I wasn’t that desperate to talk to him but it was more of an opportunity for me to throw him off balance more than anything. It had become my hobby.
I knew where he liked to stay. I called the airlines to see what time various airlines would be arriving from Cape Town, South Africa. I kept good notes. When I called the Vagabond Motel (yes that really was his favorite place to stay in north Houston) I asked for George McDuff and when they said he hadn’t checked in, for some reason I said, “has George Stockton made it in yet”? When the girl said, yes he just arrived a few minutes ago, I knew I’d hit pay dirt. I’m not sure how I even knew to ask for him by that name. That was his mother’s name from a later marriage. It was purely a guess.
But when he answered the phone and I was on the other end, he was spooked. That’s really what I was most interested in.
He came up to Austin in a couple of days. I think more wanting to know how I found out he was back in the country and how I found him so quickly. I don’t remember ever telling him how I knew so much about his comings and goings.