| September/October 1984

  • Sketch of oil well with derrick
    Sketch of oil well with derrick and supporting buildings.
  • The shooter's job was to blow the bottom of the well
    The 'shooter's' job was to 'blow' the bottom of the well with nitroglycerine when it became clogged by waxes from the oil. At times more than a hundred quarts were used.

  • Sketch of oil well with derrick
  • The shooter's job was to blow the bottom of the well

1615 Brick Kiln Lane Louisville, Kentucky 40216

Sounds too good to be true? Don't you believe it!

The good people of West Virginia think that this sounds just about right when describing how they feel about their beautiful state. They show it by displaying bumper stickers that proclaim it and they show it in their enthusiasm for the popular song that contains these words. Today many West Virginians consider 'Country Roads' as sort of a state anthem, and one need only be in the audience when it's played to see what I mean.

Of course the 'Mountaineer State' is most beautiful and its people have every right to be proud of her.

West Virginia is also steeped in an abundance of history, not the least of which concerns its oil and gas industry, and is still today a big part of the state's economy.

And this brings me to the reason for writing this article namely the annual West Virginia Oil and Gas Festival which is held each year in the middle of September. A more interesting and entertaining festival will not be found anywhere. There are so many stories to be heard about the early days of oil and gas exploration, discovery and operation, whether it be about the 'nitro-man' and his rig or Gib Morgan, the legendary oil field worker whose exploits rival those of 'Big John' of coal mine fame, or a hundred more fascinating stories.