Thursday, December 27, 2007

Where the Wind Comes Right Before the Rain

A week in Tulsa, Oklahoma to see family and friends for Christmas time--would not be the same without a visit to the Golden Driller. Homeboy here survived one of the worst Bible Belt ice storms of all time.

The Golden Driller was built, if I remember right, about 1959 or 1961, as part of the International Oil Expo. He's about four of five stories tall, and made of fiberglass over a steel frame.

The Driller represents what was called a Rough Neck--and they worked on drill riggs--one dirty and dangerous job. I knew a couple of Cherokee boys that worked as Rough Necks, way back when I was an ROTC Cadet. They did it for the summer for the high pay--only the toughest, craziest, strongest fellahs could do the work. A college boy like me from the city won't last a day. I don't think you'd find any Rough Necks out on riggs today in Oklahoma.

For a few years the Driller was in dis-repair--but has been saved and repainted and remains in pretty good shape. Of all the things that have changed in this city, I'm glad he's still around.

Tulsa is where I was born and grew up, and the old neighborhoods I knew and loved so, were ravaged by the recent ice storm. My Mom was without electricity for 6 days, and my sister for 8 days. Some parts of the city were without power even Christmas day.

Since there was only decaf in the house this morning, I walked about a mile to the nearest coffee shop. A light snow fell mixed with rain as I went on my way. Plans for renting a bike and riding the newly completed River Parks Bike Trail will have to wait until my next visit.

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!


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