AtoZ Letter Z~ Texas Oil Boom Zone...

Mother's Iowa Farmer Brothers and their families came for a visit in 1957.  It was definitely several days of Kodak moments for her...judging by the number of pictures taken as she took them on the 'Texas Oil Boom Zone' tour.

This group of 'Shoebox' photos also gives me the opportunity to include them as Letter Z...which is a bit of a reach, but nevertheless an interesting look at the Texas Mid-Century Oil & Drilling Bidnezz.

As indicated in this photo of my Uncles, having a 'Pump Jack' in your backyard was not all that unusual, and regardless of the warning signs and the threat of a whoppin',  kids of all ages could not resist climbing on the iron horse for a whooping good ride.

In the early 20th Century, the Texas oil boom, sometimes called the Gusher Age, was a time of dramatic change and economic growth in Texas.  After the Gushers, by the 1940's production stabilized in East Texas, and West Texas began to be more fully explored and the Permian Basin gradually became the top producing area of the state.  The Permian Basin became the Oil Service Capital of the nation as the influx of foreign oil depressed the price of oil and gas. 

Management of the petrochemical industry and the discovery of natural gas and it's bi-products of styrene, butadiene, polypropylene, benzene and quantities of synthetic rubber and ammonia kept the Oil Industry booming.  New installation Plants were built along the Gulf Coast and the Houston Shipping Channel.  The Odessa-Midland area was a hub of Oil Service Companies with branches throughout smaller communities like Monahans, Kermit, Ozona, Big Lake and others. 

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, my Dad was a Jack of All Trades and one of them was as a 'Roughneck' on 'Drilling Rigs'....like the one pictured bottom left.  On the 'Rig', he was a Jack of All Rig Jobs from Floor Hand to Derrick Hand...which was the one that caused Mother the most worry. 

In the bottom right picture, Dad and his brother MD are standing on a site where a 'Pulling Unit' is in operation.

 This piece of machinery was part of the 'Oilfield Service Industry', which flourished during the 1950's through the 1990's, and will again when the current Texas Oil Drilling Boom Rigs move to their next Drilling Sites.

As I look at these pictures of Dad as a 20th Mid-Century Texas Oilman, I wonder what he would think about the  21st Century Oil Bidnezz.  I imagine he would say,
"God Ahmighty, Thel, what will they think of next?
Thank-you Mom and Dad....I wouldn't change a thing...
Growing Up In The 1950's and 1960's


Unknown said...

Wow, Sue! You sure know your stuff when it comes to the Oil Bidness! I wonder whether you've read any of Mary Karr's memoirs? I don't remember what part of Texas she grew up in, but there were definitely oil rigs. Congratulations on finishing the A to Z Challenge and THANK YOU for reposting my Z post!!! I look dopey in that photo but my boys are their usual photogenic selves. I hope you and I stay in touch!

Nancy's Notes said...

Sue, I'm just crazy about your Bidnezz photographs! They are just awesome and I enjoyed reading every word of your great post!


A Tarkabarka Hölgy said...

Congratulations on completing the challenge! You made it! :) I hope you had fun. The linky for Reflections will be up on the main blog on Monday! :)

@TarkabarkaHolgy from
Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

Joanne said...

awesome pics and finale to A to Z. Zounds!! I've enjoyed watching your childhood in Texas - quite a contrast to mine in PA. Yet here we are - FB friends and a lot in common. Thanks for your visits and herding us minions to the minion. Excellent job.

Wendy said...

Your dad looks like he would have been right at home with JR and Bobby. Oh, and around here my sister and I always say "bidnezz" or "bidneh" when we want to be silly and make fun of some mush-mouth people we know.

Your theme has been fantastic and while I don't have the photos and memorabilia that you have, I am considering doing something similar in 2016. There have been so many memes floating around about writing our own story so that we won't be the mystery woman to future researchers. We'll see.

Thanks for the memories! And congratulations on surviving yet another A-Z Challenge.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I've enjoyed reading your memories. You got me thinking back. I missed a bunch of your posts and will have to come back another day to read them. Congrats for reaching letter Z. See ya.
The View from the Top of the Ladder
Take 25 to Hollister

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

My Pete has been a pumper and a pusher. Our area is being bought up by oil companies as I type. Looking to hit another good pocket. I live 33 miles from the Lucas Gusher. Have you ever read Texas by Michener? Great tale of oil and power and the world wars. Oh, heck, let's just succeed already!
~ We made it!!! ~
Visit me at: Life & Faith in Caneyhead
I am Ensign B of Tremps' Troops
with the A to Z Challenge

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue - that's a great word for ending the A-Z - Zones of the Texas oilfields ... it must be an interesting place to visit and look round - doubt I'd get carried away with it all .. but then I have those tender genes!!!

Well done ... and it sounds like it was a wonderful life your parents gave you as they made their way with all things oily and well-heads ... I hadn't thought I'd be interested in seeing gushers .. but I guess the interest can be brought to the fore .. cheers Hilary

bookworm said...

I wanted you to know how much I've enjoyed your posts for A to Z. We had such different childhoods (I grew up in New York City) but, through the magic of the Internet, and the A to Z, I was able to peek into your life. I lived briefly in Wichita Falls in the 1970's and I've never been back to Texas since. "Maybe one day". Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

Empty Nest Insider said...

I agree with Wendy that your dad would definitely fit in with the Ewing's. Of course he would've been closer to Bobby then J.R. I'm so glad we got to meet through Joanne and A to Z! I've enjoyed learning about you and your fabulous family. You are a wonderful collector and storyteller, Sue. I also appreciate all of your delightful comments. Thank you, Sue!


P.S. Thanks also for sharing my poem on Google. For some reason it was featured with another blogger's profile picture.

Click said...

I've really enjoyed your blog posts. It looks like such a different way of life (in some ways) and yet in some ways very similar to now. I love the photos in this post.

Well done for making it to the end of the challenge. :-)

JazzFeathers said...

Oh, I love these old photos. It's like looking on another world... which I think it was. I like looking at how people lived in different time. And mind you, I'm a 1980s girl, and I think that's a different time too.

Sorry it took me this long to finish reading your challenge. It wasn't because of you, it was me being lazy after the challenge.
I really enjoyed yours, very very much :-)


Related Posts with Thumbnails