By Clay Reid
Now I wasn’t always a cowpuncher in my life. Through the years I wore many different kinds of hats. Started out as a dishwasher at the L & M Restaurant in Wichita Falls, then moved on to roofer, doodle-bug and various other occupations to pay the bills.
One of my favorite jobs though, was the few years I spent as a roughneck for Deen Drilling over in Archer City. Now you won’t hear many people testify that roughneck was a job they enjoyed, but for me it was hard honest work that I never had to turn my back to when picking up a check.
The other thing that was so special about working there was the crew I worked with and the men I worked for. Carlton and David Deen, the owners of Deen Drilling, took me in and worked the heck out of me, but they never looked at me as just an old roughneck. They treated their hands well, and to me, like family too, which I was short of at the time. The other good thing was the fact they were good to bail me out of jail after a Saturday night fisticuffs. They loved doing that just for the mere fact they knew I had to stay hooked at least until I paid off my debt.
Then there were the hands. Oh, my Lord the hands. I could write a book on these guys. Those with the likes of Steve Wright, daylight driller who was always late. David Wright, tool pusher and hard case. The man who kept us as straight as possible was Steve’s uncle Todd Kinnamon, morning tower driller and Mr. Reliable. Jeff Marney, man who was known for shooting himself in the thumb with a BB gun on a dare. Marvin Dodson was one of my oldest friends and chronic moaner A.K.A. Debbie Downer, and the other grandpa to my granddaughter.
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