The Great Depression
struck in the 1930s. One day during the Depression, Daddy was crossing
the street when he met a fellow looking very down on his luck. Say,
Mister, could you spare a nickel for a cup of coffee? he asked.
Thats just what Ive been looking for, said
Dad, fingering the small amount of change that he had in his pocket.
The mans expression changed immediately to one of sympathetic
understanding and he said, Its hell, isnt it, buddy?
Good old Daddy immediately pulled out a dime and said, Lets
The worst part about the Depression was no one ever knew when it would
end; or, if, in fact, it would get worse. During the 30s, Daddy
survived by being very frugalgrowing his own garden, always
keeping a cow or goat and chickens. He was one of the few men in town
with such animals, but no one resented that. In fact, the neighbors
bought the surplus milk and eggs. An occasional oil lease commission
would provide the family with the necessities. Once, when the electricity
was cut off by the utility company, the family resorted to using candles
until the bill could be paid.
During the Depression, Daddy, who had worked at many trades and knew
how to run his own business, thought of many a business opportunityall
the way from artesian well irrigation in New Mexico to a tourist court
along what was then Highway 66 between Oklahoma City and Amarillo.
However, he resisted each venture for the sake of the education of
his three children. He felt that nothing should take precedence over
it, keeping always in his memory Grandfathers lack of education.
During the Depression and a virtually non-existent family income,
Daddy still occasionally brokered some oil land leasing to major oil
companies. Sometimes he would take his commission in oil land mineral
rights. Even in the darkest days of the Depression, Daddy had steady
confidence in the future, confidence in the long-range potential of
oil production in the Anadarko Basin. This oil basin covered a lot
of western Oklahoma where Daddy lived. During prehistoric eras these
lands were underwater, actually forming a part of present-day Gulf
of Mexico; oil was created from decomposing organisms at the bottom
of the sea.
Daddys oil land holdings gradually increased over the years
and he was justifiably proud at the end of his life that he could
leave his family a substantial legacy. He always dreamed of his ship
coming in, and it finally did, in increasing installments, over
the latter part of his life. It must have been very satisfying to
him to see his faith in the Anadarko Basin so well rewarded.