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A Note From a Relative Roughneck

Ron Davis wrote in a response to Lake Peigneur: The Swirling Vortex of Doom:

My Dad J.W. Davis built the rig that was involved. He was superintendent for Wilson Bros. Drilling Co. He drew the plans on butcher paper and constructed the rig at the Wilson Bros. facilities west of Jennings, LA. The rig was unique because it was designed to be disassembled, moved to a new location and reassembled in as short as 3 days.

I worked as a roughneck on the rig before it was mounted on the barge and was on the job when the rig was first assembled. We could after a few times literally tear down the rig and load it on trucks make a short move to a new location, assemble the rig and spud in (an oilfield term for beginning to drill) on the second day.

Dad’s brother Gordon Davis and nephew David Davis were the last to leave the sinking barge. Gordon was the Toolpusher and David was working as a roughneck earning money for college.
Nepotism was quite common back then.

Dad and my uncle Gordon have left for the celestial oil field but David and I, when we get together, talk about the time we spent working in the oilfields of South Louisiana.

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