Rick Verstynen was a friend of mine, he was a friend to many. A few years back I cooked at the American Legion down on Main Street. Rick was a fixture at the end of the bar, drinking tea or coffee and swapping tall tales with a fellow son of San Antonio. We became close, I knew his wife Patty and enjoyed their company. We lived in McDade and spent time under the pecan tree in my yard, across from the post office, picking guitars and savoring simple country living. To me, he was "Viking Rick," a nod to his roots in Norway. I moved to Matagorda County to fish and take the tonic of salty breezes. One of the last times I saw Rick was to drive him to a doctor's appointment in Austin for cancer treatment.
I miss Viking Rick, I miss Elgin and the Legion Hall, I miss the strange little village that is McDade. I miss Yankee Mike, and Surfer Mike, Flat-top Rick and all the other characters that made life in Elgin so memorable.
Bay City, Texas