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Oil Field Orphans

April 27, 2015 5 Comments

Ruby and Her Sisters

Ruby and Her Sisters

The Taylor sisters of Humble, Texas met tragedy early in life

Their mother died in childbirth leaving ten children in grief and strife

Their father rode a black horse around the oil field reading gauges

Recording the data from each well in production for very low wages

When their father killed himself at home he was discovered by his son

Who was only 5 years old. The deed could never be undone.

They had no preparation or reserves for this sudden change

Suicide had swept away home and security, memories forever stained

NaPoWriMo 2015

NaPoWriMo 2015


Poetry is the sport of the month in April.  Please indulge yourself in all kinds of poetry here.


I am an Okie

May 21, 2013 1 Comment

I was born in Tulsa in 1951, and although I moved to Pennsylvania when I was 4, I visited Oklahoma many times in my childhood.  When the musical Oklahoma came out in 1955 I was thrilled and learned the words and music to sing ad infinitum.  I was the soundtrack of some of my best years. I identified with my Oklahoma birthplace which was reinforced by frequent visits, and visiting Tulsans at our home in Pittsburgh.  My parents hung out and had musical hootenannies with other petroleum engineer friends from Tulsa who had come to PA like my dad, to specialize in fracking for Gulf Oil.  They brought much of their Okie lifestyle with them including Woody Guthrie, hickory chips and barbecue.

I went to Tulsa and drove all over the state a few years ago on my first  ancestry discovery trip.  I did feel very at home, although perhaps not in political alignment with the population. I particularly loved the grapes at the farmers market that reminded me of the grapes my grandpa grew when I was very young.  While driving with my uncle to Bartlesville I asked as a joke what we do in case of a twister.  He said we jump out of the car and hide in a drainage culvert.  I started noticing how infrequently these culverts were there on the side of the road, and started having thoughts of vulnerability.  I imagined hustling my fairly nimble but old uncle out of the car and into the ditch to save our lives and I just did not like that idea at all. I made it back and forth across Kansas and Oklahoma without incident, but did find graves and documents from my ancestors who lived through the dust bowl. I respect and admire those Boomer Sooners and pioneer petro peeps who formed the history of the Cherokee Strip and my family tree.  I am sad that my fellow Okies are suffering so much natural disaster and destruction in their lives.  Although I still feel the pride of being from Oklahoma, I know I could not handle living with the terror of tornadoes in my territory.  I have adjusted to wildfires and floods here in Arizona as my natural disasters of choice. I wish the state of my birth a full and speedy recovery.

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