There are many homeless travelers who keep Fort Stockton on their hitch-hiking route annually. Kasper is one of those travelers who comes back every other year. However, Kasper’s current 50-day stay has him ready to hitch a ride to any other town.
“Hell, I don’t know where I’m headed – I just need to head somewhere else,” said Kasper. “I want to go to Junction, but my dog, Lil Man, wants to go back to Las Cruces. He’s about 11-months-old and I’m 71. I’ve been out here on the streets since 1981, and I’ve had Lil Man since he was born. I found him here in Fort Stockton,” he said.
While Kasper greatly wants to leave Fort Stockton, he says the best thing that came out of being marooned here is adopting his new traveling partner.
“Lil man will not desert me,” said Kasper. “He raises hell if I try to walk away from him. He’s the best thing that’s happened while I’ve been here – and the fact that we’re getting rained on. Yeah, Lil Man brings me a lot of comfort,” he said.
After being the streets for 37 years with Fort Stockton on his path, Kasper has become familiar with a handful of other travelers who also stop here in town annually.
“I pretty much know all the old birds who always stop here,” said Kasper. “Bill just died. He had a heart attack here at the Flying J about two weeks ago. He’s the homeless guy that was always sitting here playing games on his phone. I’ve known Bill about 10 years. I’d see him here and there in different places. He’d stay in Fort Stockton a lot though. He was young. It’s sad that he passed, he was a good guy.”
Kasper detailed that he’s been facing his own health issues after being bit by a black widow spider on his finger. He took himself to Pecos County Memorial Hospital for treatment.
“The hospital was good to me, but man, I’m ready to get outta here,” said Kasper. “I would really like to get to Orange at the Texas-Louisiana border, because I have friends there. If I can get to Junction I have friends over there too. But I don’t really care at this point. I just gotta get up out of Fort Stockton.”