i A Time and a Place...: Friendships...

Thursday, December 21, 2006


From the time I was thirteen years old I have worked in the West Texas Oil Patch doing one thing or another. First It was roustabouting for Phillips Petroleum Company out of B&B Construction Company. The work was always interesting to me and I must say I somewhat enjoyed doing it although much of it was very hard, even for grown men, much less a 13 year old kid.
The thing, though, I most remember is the comraderie between men who worked together. Sometimes two men working together for a long period of time became closer than if they were brothers.
This story below is about two men like that. I copied and pasted this from my Journal.

This is a story about something that happened while I was working for J H Marks Trucking Company that has stuck in my memory. I was just out of the Army and twenty years old.

There were two fellows in their early twenties who came to work for the company at the same time. They were from Alabama and came to Texas together with their families. One man’s name was Bobby Brown, I think, and I can’t remember what the other fellow’s name was. They worked on a rig up truck together every day. They would take turns, one man driving one day and the other swamping and do the opposite the next day. They were as close as anyone can be, just like brothers.

There were always two men to each truck, one to drive and one to pull line, for efficiency and, also, for safety.

One day the fellow, not Brown, had to take a day off to take care of some kind of business and Bobby Brown went out that day alone to do a small job. Late that evening he still hadn’t returned and everyone became worried and went looking for him. He was found at the site where he was sent to move a coil of wire line from a shed to the drilling site a couple of hundred feet away, The roll of line weighed over a thousand pounds.

He was found under the coil of line, crushed to death, He had evidently picked up the coil of line with his gin poles and winch and then started to reach under it to hook a chain so it wouldn’t sway as he hauled it and the winch slipped and dropped the coil on him. It was terrible and his friend was almost crazy with grief. He quit his job with Marks. I don’t know if he stayed in Texas or not.

That's all I entered in my Journal but I vividly remember the deep grief and sadness, the raging emotion that his friend exhibited when he learned of Bobby Browns' death. He blamed himself for not being there. I didn't see him again after he stopped working for Marks. Deep friendship has dark as well as light linings. I guess it all goes with the game.


Blogger MonicaR said...

Loss is always the risk. This is a sad story - - I am sorry that man died like that.

10:40 PM  

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