Winkie Hodges – They still called him Winkie

Hi readers.  When Keith and I were kids in Portales in 1954,  a boy named Harold Hodges ran around with us a little.  For some reason we called him Winkie.  Keith and I discussed him sometime a while back and he knew Winkie a long while after I lost track.  Winkie was one of the really honest-to-goodness poor kids we knew.  Hardscrabble farm kid out in the sand hills off the Clovis highway.

I knew his dad died in the mountains deer hunting in 1955, I remembered that.  And I remembered his mom became a bootlegger to make a living in alcohol-dry Roosevelt County.

Anyway, I was remembering an incident on the school grounds involving Winkie, Keith and I getting into one hell of a lot of trouble with a teacher named Mrs. Tate.  The meanest teacher I ever had, maybe the meanest woman I ever encountered this lifetime, though she had stiff competition on both avenues.

But Winkie, Keith and I made her cry.  On the other hand, thanks to her I didn’t learn long division until a quarter-century later.  It wasn’t an even trade, but it was the best three 4th graders could do given the resources available.

Anyway, I did a websearch for Harold Hodges, then Winkie Hodges.  Just curious.  All I came up with was an obit for a name I’d encountered several years later when I lived in Borger, Texas.  Small world.  Winkie was still alive in 1998, still in Portales, and they were still calling him Winkie.

Abbie G. Friend
  BORGER – Abbie G. Friend, 85, died Monday, Nov. 2, 1998.

She married Deane Friend in 1975 at Borger. She was preceded in death
by a son.

Survivors include her husband; three sons, Wayne Vaughan of Mission,
Jack Vaughan of Pryor, Okla., and Gerald Vaughan of Long Beach,
Calif.; three brothers, Volly Hodges of Friona, Teet Hodges of
Roswell, N.M., and Winkie Hodges of Portales, N.M.; seven sisters,
Lorene Cunningham of Lubbock, Lois Hill of Odessa, Bernice Alexander
and Natoma Reigle, both of San Antonio, Geraldine Farmer of Ozark,
Ark., Maggie Rae Gibbs of Silver City, N.M., and Lena May Gibbs of
Portales, N.M.; seven grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

The family suggests memorials be to the Women’s Abuse Center.

Sooooo.  Bound to be a story worth knowing why the family wanted memorials sent to the Women’s Abuse Center, but it didn’t have anything I could discern to do with Winkie Hodges.  Just Coincideneces trekking around roping and branding everything in sight.

Anyway, Winkie’s dad died of a heart attack early in life, but I think he might still be alive.  I didn’t find an obit on him, anyway.  If I ever figure out I’ve got enough heart left to travel I think I might try to look him up or find his gravestone.

Old Jules

10 responses to “Winkie Hodges – They still called him Winkie

  1. I never knew Winkie had seven sisters and two brothers. Hell, it’s no wonder they were poor. Sheeze. J

  2. Touching story, Jack, worth pursuing. In a few graphs, a few lifetimes told with a lot of detail and emotion. Hope he’s still alive; it’d do you and him good. Best

    • Hi Wesley. The blog does offer up a place for short anecdotes someone might find amusing or interesting. I can’t imagine that working in a longer venue without more work than I’d be likely to put into it. But I was thinking about a couple of other dirt poor kids from Portales circa 1950s last night, good kids who in their early 40s ended up spending most of the remainder of their lives in the Federal pens. Hardscrabble farm kids, both. The Stokes boys. I always had a lot of respect for both of them. Might blog the story sometime. Gracias, J

  3. My dad,who is Winkie’s cousin, saw Winkie today (11/05/14) . And he is doing just fine, still working, still going and still doing .

  4. Winky is my older brother, still doing well on the same family farm on the Clovis Hiway. He has been a master
    welder for a lifetime. Excellent big brother, excellent story teller, stop by and see him anytime..

  5. Winky is my older brother, still lives on the homeplace on the Clovis hiway. Stop by and visit him anytime, I promise you will enjoy your visit. Lena Hodges Goff

  6. And. why we called him Winkey…when our oldest sister was in the second grade, she had a reader that had a story about a little monkey named Winkey. My brother had to have that story read daily, and the name stuck..
    My oldest sister and I searched every antique shop for that grade school reader, hoping someday to find it to give to him….we did finally obtain a copy.

  7. Bart (Possum) Alford

    Well I’ve known Winky Hodges all my life and can tell you that he is very much alive and in good health, still living in Portales where he has a thriving welding business has raised several nice race bred colts and has a wonderful family to boot, I count Winky and Melody as two of the most influential folks in my life. Winky taught me several different trade skills over the years explaining that ” you never know what’ll take to make a dollar” I’ll always be grateful for that schooling and his friendship… Bart (possum) Alford

  8. my husband’s (Bryan) mother (Genevia) is Winky’s cousin. We are desperately trying to reach Winky or Lena. I would love someone who can get me in touch with them to email me at Thanks

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