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Forum: From Alaska to Puerto Rico!


Fort Worth to Arizona via Wyoming

Created on: 08/11/10 07:42 PM Views: 2388 Replies: 1
Fort Worth to Arizona via Wyoming
Posted Wednesday, August 11, 2010 02:42 PM

After graduation I started a series of northward moves.  I spent 4 1/2 years at Kansas State as an equipment manager for Phil Hewett's bands.  Working for Hewett was as much of an education as attending regular classes and getting a degree.   Hewett's K-State band programs were world class.   It was a good gig, but sooner or later you have to get a real job. 

The next stop was Riverton, Wyoming, aka the middle of no where.  I went to work for one of the seven sisters (Amoco as in Big Oil).  One of my dad's friends (who  worked for Amoco) told me to take this job since had they had bet the company on developing a huge gas field in southern Wyoming.   It was a dangerous learning curve, but worth it as there was a lot of new technology being created there.  

Two years plus later with 4 months off in the military, they sent me to Fort Lupton, Colorado (north of Denver) for a drilling program that lasted two more years.  At that point they were in the process of sending me back to Wyoming for a drilling program there.  I did not want to live in Wamsutter (population 60, not counting cattle, sheep and coyotes) so I found another job. 

I had a lot of encouragement from another one of my dad's friends to go to work for The Western Company (I'm Mad Too Eddie).  They were expanding into the Rocky Mountains and needed experienced cold weather people.   We spent the next two years, one month and 14 days in Rock Springs, Wyoming.  This is easily the worst place to live east of Cambodia.   

Then, I got sent back to Denver for nearly a year.  Then, out of the blue I got transfered to Fort Worth.   I really did not want to go at all, since my heart has always been in Colorado.  The Western Company sent my check to Fort Worth so I could either go pick it up or find another job.   We packed up another house and moved kicking and screaming back to Fort Worth.   I honestly did not think we would be there that long given that we usually moved every couple of years. 

I was really wrong on that one.  We lived in Fort Worth for the next 16 years in the same neighborhood I grew up in.   The whole family liked this and all in all it worked out pretty good.  After The Western Company cratered I went to work for a smaller service company with a lot of friends from Western.  I got to stay in Fort Worth with this and it worked out real well.  That is until a Canadian conglomerate bought us out.  

The Canadians had bought a number of regional serivce companies with the idea of competing with Halliburton.   I thought that the Canadians would fire all of us on the day they took over.  I sat around all day waiting for Fedex to deliver my last paycheck, but they never showed up.  The next morning my new boss called to tell me that I still had a job but it was in Dallas.   The next eight months were sheer torture as the idiots from the north quickly ruined a perfectly good oilfield service company.  

In the mean time, the writing was on the wall for the oil business.  The price of oil was headed back to ten dollars, the industry was in the pits.    It was time to move on.   I took over the Blackmon-Mooring operation in Phoenix in late 1996.  We thought that this might be our last chance to live near mountains.  I have a need to spend as much time out of doors as possible and this fit that bill well.  Running a restoration business is a lot like the oilfield so daily challenges are a big part of what we do.   It's nice to be home every night.  We live on the edge of the McDowell Mountains and the Mogollon Rim.  In the winter we can see snow on the mountains but we are not quite close enough to have to shovel it. 

RE: Fort Worth to Arizona via Wyoming
Posted Friday, August 13, 2010 06:43 AM

How interesting - and you ended up in Phoenix with a Ft Worth company!  Every time I see a Blackmon-Mooring truck it makes me smile. When I first moved to Houston and worked for NM, Bobby and crew rolled in after store hours one night in 1972. Probably the first Ft Worth face I'd seen in Houston.  thanks for sharing!