The Worst Hard Time

The Worst Hard Time

by

Timothy Egan

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Worst Hard Time can help.

“Uncle” Dick Coon Quotes in The Worst Hard Time

The The Worst Hard Time quotes below are all either spoken by “Uncle” Dick Coon or refer to “Uncle” Dick Coon. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Westward Expansion and the Settlement of the Southern Plains Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the First Mariner edition of The Worst Hard Time published in 2006.
Chapter 1 Quotes

The C-note was Uncle Dick’s heater, his blanket. As a child, Dick Coon’s family was often broke. The corrosive poverty hurt so much it defined the rest of his life. As long as Uncle Dick could touch his C-note, he had no fear in life. And he had certainly known fear. Dick Coon was fortunate to live through the Galveston hurricane of 1900, the worst single natural disaster in American history. He lost everything in Galveston but was never bitter. His life had been spared, while six thousand people lost theirs. Dick Coon didn’t plan on getting rich in Dalhart; didn’t even plan on staying in the High Plains. In 1902, he had been passing through Dalhart, making a train connection to Houston, when he fell under the spell of one of the syndicate’s real estate agents. He heard enough to buy his own piece of the old XIT […] but the real money was in town building.

Related Characters: “Uncle” Dick Coon
Related Symbols: XIT Ranch
Page Number: 30
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 23 Quotes

A few days later, Uncle Dick was leaning against a rail in front of the DeSoto when he spotted a young cowboy and his family drifting through town. For five years now, Dick had watched a steady parade of jalopies and wagons float through Dalhart, the people staying only a night or two, and then moving on to some place where there might be work or stable land [….] The cowboy had wandered into town with the XIT reunion [….] Uncle Dick reached into his pocket and pulled out his hundred-dollar bill. He handed the money to the cowboy, told him to take it—it was his. The young man was stunned [….] Later, when the cowboy asked around about his benefactor, people told him it was Dick Coon, the richest man in town. He owned everything. But they were surprised to see him give up the C-note [….] Only Coon’s closest friends knew the truth: Uncle Dick was broke.

Related Characters: “Uncle” Dick Coon
Related Symbols: XIT Ranch
Page Number: 277-278
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Worst Hard Time LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Worst Hard Time PDF

“Uncle” Dick Coon Character Timeline in The Worst Hard Time

The timeline below shows where the character “Uncle” Dick Coon appears in The Worst Hard Time. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: The Wanderer
Westward Expansion and the Settlement of the Southern Plains Theme Icon
Anglo Culture and Racism Theme Icon
...families in the High Plains. Near there was the beautiful, “first-class” DeSoto Hotel, owned by “Uncle” Dick Coon , where a guest could dial 126 and get a prostitute from the Number 126... (full context)
Westward Expansion and the Settlement of the Southern Plains Theme Icon
Anglo Culture and Racism Theme Icon
Environmental Devastation and the Dust Bowl Theme Icon
During conversations with locals, Bam found out that Dick Coon “owned Dalhart.” Coon owned nearly every establishment in Dalhart, including the DeSoto and the Mission... (full context)
Chapter 3: Creating Dalhart
Westward Expansion and the Settlement of the Southern Plains Theme Icon
Anglo Culture and Racism Theme Icon
Dick Coon kept a lucky one hundred-dollar bill in one of his pockets. For him, this was... (full context)
Chapter 5: Last of the Great Plowup
Westward Expansion and the Settlement of the Southern Plains Theme Icon
Economic Hardship and Lessons of the Great Depression Theme Icon
Dick Coon saw the market collapse as an opportunity to buy more property at lower prices. There... (full context)
Chapter 6: First Wave
Economic Hardship and Lessons of the Great Depression Theme Icon
In the DeSoto Hotel, its owner, Dick Coon , tried to keep people’s spirits up. People thought that Dick Coon and other big... (full context)
Economic Hardship and Lessons of the Great Depression Theme Icon
...and buying new clothes. The owner, Lil Walker, drove a pink Cadillac. They drove past Uncle Dick Coon ’s “crumbling empire,” waving and shouting “yoo-hoo,” leaving behind the scent of their perfume. (full context)
Westward Expansion and the Settlement of the Southern Plains Theme Icon
Economic Hardship and Lessons of the Great Depression Theme Icon
...went after Simon with foreclosure papers for not paying his taxes in over a year. Dick Coon owned the property in which Herzstein’s was housed. He asked his lawyer what could be... (full context)
Chapter 14: Showdown in Dalhart
Westward Expansion and the Settlement of the Southern Plains Theme Icon
Anglo Culture and Racism Theme Icon
Economic Hardship and Lessons of the Great Depression Theme Icon
Foreclosing became its own business in Dalhart. It allowed “Uncle” Dick Coon to seize a pool hall, but Simon Herzstein lost his store due to $242 in... (full context)
Economic Hardship and Lessons of the Great Depression Theme Icon
Environmental Devastation and the Dust Bowl Theme Icon
...five gallons of black coffee, and no one could go through line more than once. “Uncle” Dick Coon had quietly financed the kitchen, buying the dried beans, potatoes, and coffee. He had lived... (full context)
Chapter 17: A Call to Arms
Westward Expansion and the Settlement of the Southern Plains Theme Icon
...they would not leave the land. The first signatory was a former XIT trail boss. “Uncle” Dick Coon was the second man to sign his name next to McCarty’s on a declaration the... (full context)
Chapter 23: The Last Men
Economic Hardship and Lessons of the Great Depression Theme Icon
Dick Coon was the only town pillar left. He used the last of his money to throw... (full context)
Environmental Devastation and the Dust Bowl Theme Icon
For Doc Dawson, Dalhart was a lonely place in his last years. He missed Dick Coon , John McCarty, and Bam White. He did not know the new people in town,... (full context)