Willard's been in the drilling business 'bout as long as I have, but he's made a few poor career choices. He specialized in rebuilding shallow-well piston pumps, so, as you can imagine, business is a little slow. He spends most of his time guarding his still nowadays. He allows as how he'd sell his rig if he could just figure out how to drill a beer well!
One time, Willard was helpin' an ol' boy up in Kentucky drill a gas well. They were pretty deep, and the hole started picking up a little water. The driller told Willard to go start the soap pump. Willard went out there to a skid-mounted 4-by-5 duplex and started to try and figure out what to do. The battery was dead, so he had to get the truck around and jump it. By this time, he figured the driller would be getting pretty sore that there wasn't any soap going in the hole. So by the time he got everything running and a drum hooked up, he put the pump in high gear, wound up the throttle on the little Hercules and put the whole drum in - in about 30 seconds! Talk about a clean hole - and about 2 acres of shaving cream. Willard never talked about it much, but I figure he and the driller had a “prayer meetin',” 'cuz Willard came home with a pretty good shiner and a new understanding of the term “injection rate.”
I took Willard on vacation with me one time to Washington, D.C. It so happened that while we were there, there was a protest of some sort going on. We were walking along, minding our own business when, shazam! we came upon about 10 nekid protesters. Willard wanted to know what it was all about. I explained that they were protesting something or other, I didn't know what. Willard said, “I think that one is protesting the saggin' price of milk …” Willard's wife, Cooter, slapped him upside the head - right where the plate is - and told him to shut up! Ya gotta understand Cooter: She's a feisty little ol' thing, and if Cooter ain't happy, nobody's happy.
I pulled up at the yard the other day and found Willard sitting on a bucket, studyin' his feet. I asked, “What's the matter, Willard?” He responded: “It's my 20th anniversary.” I congratulated him, but it didn't seem to help. He explained, “Twenty years ago, when her daddy caught us in the back of daddy's Chrysler, he stuck a shotgun in my shorts and told me that I'd either marry his daughter or do 20 years in prison - ya know, I'd be getting out today.”
I could tell a few other Willard stories, but he'd probably get mad, come over to my house, turn over the trashcan and molest the dog, so I guess I'll leave it alone. Next time you see me at a tradeshow, ask me about Willard - I've got a few other tales I can tell.