Dink Wrote Me A Check

George Lester McDuff was a fiery little fellow. Everyone called him Dink and he always had a story to tell. He had the ability to make me laugh. He could make anyone laugh. I first met Dink in 1963, when I was just a kid. He and my dad worked for the same utility construction company. Dink ran the roadboring division. Roadboring is where a horizontal hole is drilled under a roadway or railroad track a then pipe is installed. It was dirty work with mud knee deep and oil and grease everywhere. But everyday Dink showed up in starched … Continue reading Dink Wrote Me A Check

I Would Be Considered Dink’s Stalker In Today’s Terms

Dink McDuff was one of my best friends in my earliest days in the contracting business. I had know him since about 1963 or 64. He and my Dad had worked for the same company, doing underground utility construction. I thought he was the funniest person I’d ever met. Being about 12 years old upon our first encounter, it didn’t take much to impress me. After going into business at 19 years old our paths crossed and it didn’t take long for us to have some sort of a partnership. It wasn’t an enduring sort of deal, so within a … Continue reading I Would Be Considered Dink’s Stalker In Today’s Terms

The Check Washer

Years ago, maybe 1977 or 78 a fellow showed up in our office selling portable check embossing machines. Those are the ones that punched a series of tiny perforations in the amount line of the check, to make it less likely to be forged. As part of his sales pitch he had us write out a check and within 3 minutes he had put a solution on the check and washed all the ink off. He left our signature on it by taping over it before the washing started. Then he made it out to himself with a million dollars … Continue reading The Check Washer

Gulf vs. Sinclair

Virg Baugh operated the Gulf Station at 4th and US 281 (most likely it was still designated Texas 66 in those days) The owners sign above the door is somewhat obscured, but I think it says Johnnie Crooks. If anyone knows differently, please holler. Photo reads 1954  It seems that Mr. Baugh’s son in law, Chet Sayers came to town and started operating the Sinclair Station that was across the street and almost a block to the north. I don’t know who actually owned it at that time. I have heard that the arraignment caused some consternation in the … Continue reading Gulf vs. Sinclair

Hall Level and D&H Foundry

When I was growing up around the Austin Area, in the 50s and 60s, there were two businesses in the vicinity of 3rd and Comal. As far as I know they were sister companies, owned by the Halloway Family. One was Hall Level and Manufacturing. The other was D&H Foundry. Hall Level produced several types of carpentry and industrial levels. The one I am most familiar with was their aluminum torpedo level. Hall Torpedo Level D and H Foundry produced the aluminum cast part and Hall Level made the glass bubble portion and did the finishing to make them the … Continue reading Hall Level and D&H Foundry

Travels Across The Desert

Few people ever went long distances prior to the last 4 or 5 decades. If they did it was making a migration to hopefully find a better life. That was in the summer of 1955. Maw-Maw Nonie and Paw-Paw Theron went with my parents and us to visit folks in California. Kenny and I were both were pre-school age, 3 & 5. All six loaded up in a new Mercury 2 door car that Cec had just bought. It of course didn’t have air conditioning. Being in the hot summertime Cec bought a contraption called a Car Cooler. It was … Continue reading Travels Across The Desert

J.P. and the Tires

The junk yard as we called it, was a five acre field up the hill that we didn’t cultivate and out of sight of our house. It was on our land, but was operated by Hugh Hampton. He would bring wrecked cars in and strip them down for usable car parts then scrap the remaining pieces. One day a 63 (may have been a 64) Chevy Impala was brought in that had been in a wreck and was pretty much totaled. It had belong to a schoolmate, Jerry Ford. It had a really nice set of wide ovals on the … Continue reading J.P. and the Tires

Tumbleweed Hill

Kenny had only been out of the Army for a short time. He was working for the company. I had a 1976 Chevy 4 Wheel Drive Pickup that I handed down to him. We had a project installing a new waterline that extended from near Mesa Dr, along Far West Blvd. The line would end near FM 2222 and Bull Creek Rd. This was Kenny’s project to oversee. We were for the first time living a role reversal, where I was his boss. I made an early morning drive by to check the progress and didn’t see Kenny anywhere, even … Continue reading Tumbleweed Hill

Going Boating

Kenny was away serving in the Army, so when he would come home, we spent as much time together as we could. He got home this one time and I had just purchased a Chrysler 17′ fiberglass boat, light yellow, with a 55 HP Chrysler outboard motor. (Yes there was a time that Chrysler got in the boat business – not a real successful venture) It was used, but just gently so. Not a real powerful boat but it would cruise up and down the lake. Gasoline was well south of $.50 per gallon back then. (For those unfamiliar with … Continue reading Going Boating

Ingrown Toenails

As a teenager I was plagued with ingrown toenails. They came and went. One day as I complained about the pain, probably using it as an excuse to get out of work, my dad had heard enough. “Come here boy, I am gonna fix those toes of your” As I set in the kitchen floor, he brought out a syringe that we had recently used while castrating hogs. It had the largest and coarsest needle you can even imagine. He had the same medicine we had used for deadening the hogs. He loaded that syringe full of it and as … Continue reading Ingrown Toenails