Oil, the black gold of Texas, has given rise to many a myth. Oil could turn a man overnight into a millionaire—and did, for some. But these myths have obscured what life was really like in the oil patch, a place that was neither the El Dorado of legend nor quite the unredeemed den of sin and iniquity that some feared.
In Roughnecks, Drillers, and Tool Pushers, Gerald Lynch provides a much-needed insider's view of the oil industry, describing life in various oil fields in and around Texas. He also chronicles changes in drilling methods and oil-field technology and how these changes affected him and his fellow oil-field workers. No one else has written a working-class history of the oil fields as colorful and articulate as this one.
By Gerald Lynch
Gerald Lynch is a retired oil driller and freelance writer.
Bobby Weaver is archivist of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum.
"The people in this story are real! The events took place just as I described them, with no embellishment. It is a true factual story of thirty-three years in the 'patch' through boom and bust and how people coped with both—the small triumphs, as well as the trials and troubles of the people who made the oil fields. Not from the outside, I lived it with them. Their troubles were mine and we shared a strange life. We loved it and were and are proud to be 'oil-field trash.' We drilled 'em deeper and cheaper, some of us got killed or crippled, and we received little credit for our work. We made the booms, lived through the busts, and paved the way. Believe me, it wasn't easy!"