Life is surrounded by a complex set of beautiful natural patterns both simple and complex. I have been surrounded by them since the day I was born and have constantly been in awe of the wonders of these natural patterns on our fantastic planet. That is the number one reason that I got into Geology at a very young age. I was born on the Llano Estacado (palisaded plains) in the West Texas town of Levelland. The Llano Estacado is one of the largest, flattest places on the surface of the Earth surrounded on most sides by escarpments, some up to 300′ in height and under Levelland is one of the largest Oil Fields on Earth. My father, Raymond Taylor, worked for Amerada Geophysical Company and because of this fact I was “raised” in the petroleum industry and was inspired at an early age by many different people associated with Oil and Gas, especially an Amerada Geologist/Geophysicist from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Tommy Southgate, to become a Petroleum Geologist. Mr. Southgate would come to the towns where we were stationed and living and “QC’d” the field data on the Seismic that Amerada was acquiring. When he would visit and stay through the weekend at our house, on Saturday, we would load up and go explore the fantastic natural terrains in which we were constantly immersed and collect rocks and fossils and whatever. It was always a fantastic experience.
In 58 years I have seen seven different states as home, and my last move to Corpus Christi was the 30th move in my life of being exposed to the geology and natural patterns of all these wonderful places! I love the severe serene beauty of the deserts and their plants and critters, the glorious crispness of staggering mountain ranges, the continuity of texture on lonely barrier bar islands; the ragged quickness of canyons; the enormous diversity of animals and plants and geology of the oceans especially the reefs of the world, and the damp argillaceous clay odor and unique sculptures of the subterranean world. I wanted to be a Geologist, so I could climb big mountains; explore deep cavern systems; prospect for gemstones in pegmatites, do underwater videography on thriving reefs, and explore for Oil and Gas with wells reaching deep into the earth. I have gotten to do all of this and much more. I am thankful! Fortunately for me Geology has been a 2 sided sword and I have not only experienced all the natural beauty but have also been blessed by exciting Geologic oriented jobs that have provided an excellent livelihood with Okeene Public Schools, Oklahoma State University, Sun Company, Wagner Oil Company, and Suemaur Exploration. Thanks to those organizations for all those opportunities, and please know that I have always tried to do the best job that I could to seek out the natural patterns. I am proud to be a Geologist and feel extremely honored that my life was shaped by natural patterns and especially the many people of the Oil and Gas Industry.
No matter how one gets into Geology or why; the desire to be a Geologist who understands how it all fits gloriously together has to come from inside, from your heart. Over 25 years ago in Corpus Christi, Texas with my wonderful wife, Mary Ann, and my daughter, Laura, and my son, Chris, and a great job with Sun Company drilling wells in Starr and Hidalgo counties, Texas, I composed a song entitled “No Other Way” and verses #1, #3, and #4 were about the Oil & Gas life. Verse #4 is about South Texas and it goes like this:
Working on a rig in South Texas about a hundred and four,
Looking for that over pressured gold on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico,
Well the Saudis cranked it open and the prices fell, but we kept on drilling our wells,
Looking for the Wilcox, the Frio, and the mighty Vicksburg,
Sweat and Hope in our Skin, don’t you know that we got no kin,
But we don’t know any other way, someday we’re gonna have to pay; have to pay,
Skies are getting a little bit brighter now out over the Bay,
Looks like we made this time, Oil & Gas is gonna stay,
Sweat and Oil in our skin, don’t you know that we got no kin,
Looks like we made it this time, we’re gonna have to stay,
Sweat and Oil, Sweat and Gold, Sweat and Fear in our skin, in our skin,
Sweat and Oil, Sweat and Gold, Sweat and Hope in our skin, in our skin,
But we don’t know any other way, Oil and Gas are here to stay, here to stay.
Dennis A. Taylor – Geologist