"In the 1960s, my dad and I were drilling oil wells in southeastern Kansas. Drilling was much simpler then – one rig, a water truck and maybe a pickup. Many times when we were drilling a long distance from our base of Chanute, Kan., we would take our motorhome that Bess and I built from a Metro Milk truck."
the 1960s, my dad and I were drilling oil wells in southeastern Kansas. Our company was
known as Cutter and Dad Drilling Co. Drilling was much simpler then – one rig,
a water truck and maybe a pickup (the pickup was Dad’s, and no one else drove
Many times when we were drilling a long distance from our base of Chanute,
Kan., we would take our motorhome that Bess and I built from a Metro Milk
truck. It was small with no restroom facilities, but it had a kitchen and room
enough for three people to sleep in. We had my dad (Porky Sr.), myself and
three employees. My dad was the cook, and we would sleep in shifts. Back then,
we weren’t required to have a Porta-John on site. All we had was a bucket (with
both ends out of it) and a small shovel – need I say more?
Dad would cook great man-sized meals with the understanding that if we didn’t
eat everything served us at one meal, we would be having it for the next
Since we were running 12-hour shifts, we only needed myself or my dad to drill
and one helper each. This allowed the two extra helpers to be sleeping, unless
we had a problem or were tripping out and back in the hole.
One of our long-time helpers, Roy, was a racing fan. When he heard we were
going to be drilling near Garnett, Kan, Roy packed two suitcases – one with his
work clothes, and one with his best clothes and liquor.
All week, Roy was bragging that the first evening they had off, he was going to
dress up, take the others to Garnett, and show them a good time.
We had a 600-gallon, open-top stock tank that we would fill up and let set in
the sun so that it would be warm when we wanted to take a bath. That time came
while we were shut down, waiting for the cement to set in the well. Roy and the
other guys jumped into water tank, and took their baths. All this time, Roy was bragging about his dress clothes and liquor in the
After bathing, Roy
high-tailed it to the camper, and opened his suitcase with his best clothes.
Guess what? Before his leaving home that week, Roy’s wife had come across his
second suitcase, opened it, replaced his best clothes with more work clothes –
and removed his liquor.
Roy was disappointed, but not discouraged; he dressed up in his cleanest work
clothes, then the guys, with great excitement, headed to Garnett for a good
time. In the 1960s, Garnett,
Kan., was the sponsor of the
Grand Prix Races where up to 18,000 people would attend.
Upon arriving in Garnett in the water truck, they found that it wasn’t a race
day. The town folded up when the street lights came on. Disappointed, they came
back to the rig, ate Dad’s leftovers and rested up (minus liquor) for work the
Moral of the story: Husbands, check your suitcases before you leave
The city of Garnett will be celebrating its sesquicentennial (150th)
anniversary in 2011. The Lake Garnett Cruisers will be a part of the
action by highlighting Garnett’s racing and automotive history. Watch for
news on 2011 events, coming soon.
Until next time!
Porky's Hole Thoughts: A Tale of Two Suitcases
November 1, 2010