My many stories of my friend Dink, conjures up yet another story. As I’ve said before, I many times needed to check in on Dink because we had a business deal that wasn’t working out as planned. Since I never knew where he was, there was a network of his friends that I talked to and would report Dink sightings.
I had heard that he may be heading to Austin soon, after a jaunt in Alaska or some other far away place. I knew he always stayed at the Colonial Inn in far south Austin when he was in town. It was right next door to the IRS building. I always joked that he probably stayed there because he knew they couldn’t find him if he was right under their nose.
I called there often enough to have the number memorized. It was alway “has Mr. McDuff checked in yet”, to which they either rang his room or would say he hadn’t made it yet. This one day when I called, the operator said no, but Mrs. McDuff just arrived. Me, thinking it may be him and he’d picked up a new wife or even one just for the night told her to hook me up.
The Mrs. McDuff was his ex-wife, with whom would not be traveling anywhere with Mr. McDuff at that point in time answered the phone. She was as surprised to be talking to me as I was talking to her. Unbeknownst to me that was where she stayed when traveling to Austin on business every few weeks. Of course we had a nice chat, talking about the one and only Dink and the other people that we knew in common.
Yes that person is the very lovely Ida Baylor that we all enjoy here on the Angora Chronicles. I first got to know Ida more than 57 years ago when all the guys, Socks Jackson, Cecil Lewis, GW Lewis, Kenny Jackson, Nelson Lewis and Dink McDuff worked together putting wastewater lines all around Seguin, Texas.
I was not yet a teenager. But those memories have traveled with me for a million miles and more.