Wink- Way out in West Texas, where working in the oil fields are a way of life, you’ll wind up in Wink. What once was a town of thousands is now a community trying to literally stay on the map. A massive sinkhole known as the Wink Sink might play a role in that one day. For now, time seems to be standing still. “All I Need Is Time” to make a stop in a city like this. At least that’s what one of Wink’s most famous residents once sung about.
We’re at the Roy Orbison Museum in Wink.
“Very important figure to the town of Wink because I would say that he put Wink on the map,” Barbara Sabonya said.
Barbara is a volunteer at the Roy Orbison Museum which is a little pit stop in Wink that you’ll miss if you blink. Chances are even you’re too young to know who Roy Orbison was, you’ve heard his music.
“”Crying” is the one I always try to sing in the car. I can never get that, ‘Crrrrryyyyin’,” Barbara said.
The man with the legendary and distinctive voice first moved to Wink with his family in 1946. By 1949, he had built a band known as the Wink Westerners.
“The earliest yearbook we have is 1949, and he’s pictured in that yearbook and he’s already wearing glasses,” Barbara said.
The Wink Westerners would play regularly on the radio in the region even back when Roy was just a regular kid.
“We have Roy Orbison Drive and we have the museum,” Barbara said. “We do have some people here that had a personal connection with Roy, unfortunately I’m not one of them.”
Helen Voyles and her husband Billy did have connection to the one of a kind crooner.
“Well, he’s a person that you’ll never forget,” Billy said. “He was just a good guy.”
They used to hang out with Roy during their high school days, and Helen was even Roy’s date to prom.
“We just went as friends, you know,” Helen said. “It was just friends and all, and just had a blast. I wore a pink formal. I’ll never forget that.”
Spring of ‘54 was a much simpler time, and Helen still remembers the night from all those years ago.
“Well, we double dated with another couple, and Roy didn’t have a car,” Helen said.
“We just had a blast and dance our heads off all night, and then we went to Monahan’s and had french fries and Cokes over there. They were the only one place that was open.”
Hearing Helen tell her incredible story was an added bonus to visiting the museum that has more than just a few old pictures and records.
“Our most treasured possession, in my opinion, is under the counter,” Barbara said. “It’s a pair of his actual glasses.”
Getting to see and touch the rock and roll legend’s storied sunglasses is like strumming Willie’s famous guitar, wearing one of Johnny Cash’s black shirts, or driving Elvis’ pink Cadillac. Expect, there’s only one of them that you actually check off the list.
“People who’ve looked through say you need to be careful,” Barbara said. “You feel like you’re either on a boat or inebriated. Don’t move around when you have the glasses.”
While Roy’s glasses were his visual trademark, it was his voice and songs that have stood the test time making this marvelous museum a must stop on The Texas Bucket List.
“He’s just one that we’ll never forget,” Helen said. “Roy’s just … he’s just a part of Wink.”