Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The Permian Basin
We ended up in Big Lake, a frontier town, which was a semi arid neighborhood with few trees. The attraction was that the discovery well of the Permian Basin had been drilled about three miles from downtown. Now there was excitement about the oil boom. At Best, about five miles away, which once had about three residents, now there were about 3,000 residents living in tents. Soon Best reached a population exceeding 30,000 and had a number of bars and brothels and a violent group of people with murders occurring every week. The Permian Basin eventually extended for several hundred miles into New Mexico. Daddy sold automobiles as fast as the factory could ship them. He was making a lot of money. I hated Big Lake because I compared it to California, which was a beautful land. My Daddy did not have time to worry about me because he was selling automobiles in all directions. Even the Big Lake was dry. On westward where the drilling was taking place, McCamey which once had maybe 10 residents now had 50,000. This was the late 1920s and it looked like prosperity would last forever.