Most people who know me also know my wife, Bess Cutter. However, not many of you may know – or would believe today – that there was a time when Bess assisted me by being my driller’s helper.

She’d shovel cuttings, stand on the mud pit and throw the drill stem down the pipe rack guide, and latch the hoisting plug into the next joint. Many times, she fell all around the mud pan, but never in it.

She’d drive the trucks (even the drill), tow the air compressor, haul water and go after supplies when needed.

Bess even would operate the hoist brake, while I would tail out the portable mud pan – with an occasional sudden stoppage of the brake, jarring the teeth in my head.

There were those times that her help did cost me a trip to the hair stylist, as Kopr-Kote clashes with blond hair.

She would drive the pump rig to pick up supplies. There were times store owners would assist her with pulling in and away from their stores because the hoist stood out past the front of the truck, and they were afraid that she would run the mast through the building.

Once, she went to pick up a rebuilt truck engine block some 60 miles away with her Simca five-door hatchback. It took six guys to get the engine in her car, and more to get it out; but it was important, and she got it.

Bess also met with the customers, dowsed the drill sites and got the contracts signed.

Occasionally, she was called on to locate buried lines for motels and locate stolen keys for the local sheriff’s office.

As our company secretary, she also answered the phone, typed up the contracts, met with the health department on site and obtained the well permits. She filled out the well completion reports, and submitted them to the respective health departments.

During this time, Bess was meeting with doctors, county commissioners and county health departments concerning new well regulations. She was negotiating with the counties and the state of Georgia, getting PVC pipe approved for use as well casing.

All the while, she cooked, kept house, did laundry and raised our boys, one husband, a cat and a squirrel. In-between, Bess was a den mother, a Webelos Leader, and many times, the Cub Scout master when I (the scout master) still was out drilling.

She also was working with the school board commission to vote for a new school building.

On her off-time, she was a singer with a singing group of 50-plus people called Botie Chitty and the Singing Americans in Valdosta, Ga.

Me, I was busy drilling water wells, and installing and repairing customers’ pumps.