Old Exxon Imogene Camp, southwest of Pleasanton
Alice Lester commented this way, "We bought a house and moved it to the Imogene Camp. Everybody knew everybody there and it was nice being in that community." Since my article, last week, about Humble (Exxon) Camps in Atascosa County, there have been emails and phone calls with much-appreciated offers of stories from individuals. The two ladies relating their memories, of that time period, for this week's article, were married to employees of Humble (Exxon).
Naomi Ridge said, "I enjoyed your article about the Humble Camps in Atascosa County. You asked for input from readers. My husband, the late Clyde Ridge, 'hired on' in Atascosa County in June of 1949, and retired there in 1984. The Camps were closed down around 1960 - I'm not sure of the exact date, but it was before we moved to Jim Wells County in 1963. "
Continuing, "In addition to the Humble Camps cited in the article, there was also one at the gas plant on FM 1332 out of Jourdanton. Clyde was one of several employees who were transferred to the gas plant in 1950 while it was still under construction so that they could familiarize themselves with all the underground lines. Although we did not live in the camp at the plant, I can recall some of the people who did. Among those were the M. D. Porters, the Trucky Meadors, the Fred Rogers and the Jim Todds, all of whom retired in Atascosa County, either in Pleasanton or Jourdanton."
"Not living in the camp but working out there, my husband (Clyde) felt this way. 'His job was his job and his home was his home'. He just did not want to live in a camp - even though you could live in the camp for almost nothing. Exxon did not buy out Humble. The name Enco was chosen for the worldwide market and then they found out it had a negative connotation in Japanese. They had already spent millions on researching the word 'Enco', and not spent many more before coming up with the word 'Exxon.'"
Naomi continued, "When Clyde was working on the rig, they 'threw a chain' to screw the joints of pipes together. That's the way it was done at that time. In a picture you ran in the Pleasanton Express a couple of weeks ago, it showed a man watching the process with several computer monitors. How times have changed."
"In 2007, when Clyde got sick and our kids were spending all their time on the road, we decided to move to Lockhart to be closer to family. After Clyde passed away, I moved into a retirement community - independent living. I'm here, close to the girls, and if I get sick, they take care of me. For about a year, now, I've been writing 'Lockhart Happenings' for the Lockhart Post-Register. This job came about this way. The woman doing the Happenings had health issues and ended up in the nursing home. I went over there and said, 'Dorothy, I want to help you out on this if you'd like. I can come over here and you can tell me about what you'd like to write about and I'll write it for you. ' I did that for about a month and she said 'I just want you to write for the newspaper'. So, I continued writing the article. I've written a couple of books, also, in the past."
Alice Lester began, "Back around 1945 or 1946 is when I met Bubba, we started going together and after I graduated, we got married. That was in 1951. Imogene Camp was where our first home was. We bought a house and moved it out there in about 1952. We lived there until they closed the camp and, eventually, sold the home for $6,500. It was moved into Pleasanton on Haverlah Road near what used to be the ballpark (now Marathon Oil property). I lost Bubba in 2002. A lot of the Exxon people bought those homes when they did away with the Imogene Camp out there."
"At one time or another, Bubba worked with all of the guys that you had in the photo in last week's Oil and Gas section. (That would be Norman Holder, Burton Thompson, George Smith, Bob Dancer, Bill Sturrock and James Ritchey.) Clyde Ridge and Bubba worked together and he was a card and a half. They were very good friends. Our children were born out there in the camp. We had a boy and a girl, Rick and Pat. We moved into town in '57 or '58. "
Alice continued, "Bubba was in a serious accident at one of the leases near Imogene Camp. They were pulling pipe and checking for leaks. When one pipe was pulled, it blew out while Bubba was in that area and he was put out of commission for about eight months. After that, he got right back out in the field. He said 'I don't want to go in an office'. Being out in the field was his life."
LEONZABAVA IS the Oil and Gas Editor of the Pleasanton Express. Contact him at 830-281-2341 or firstname.lastname@example.org
I received this email after the article in last week’s Oil and Gas report. It was highly complimentary to Justine Smith and I thought I would share it with you.
I was born and raised in Charlotte TX, went to school there and graduated in 1969. You used to take all of our school pictures so I remember you very well.
My favorite school teacher, I have always said, was Mrs. Justine Smith. I loved her and thought she hung the moon! I admired her from a distance as I was always too shy to even approach my own teacher! I learned to write in cursive by imitating her writing. I thought she had the most beautiful handwriting I had ever seen. Consequently, I never learned to print and prefer to handwrite in cursive even now. I owe it all to her and I often get mistaken for a school teacher!! Still as of just today one of my co-workers told me that I have a beautiful handwriting, then I see Mrs. Smith's picture in the Pleasanton Express online!
I've often wondered about her but had no idea where she was or whatever happened to her! I was thrilled to see that she's still alive and well living in Pleasanton! I want to make it a point to go by and see her on one of my trips there. I often go there as my two children and grandchildren live in Pleasanton. She will have no special reason to remember me but I have lots of reasons to remember her as my favorite teacher ever!
She was, I believe my second or third grade teacher.
I now live and have lived in San Antonio for the past 31 years but still consider myself from Charlotte.
(AKA Polly Ramos)