The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989

Book Reviews

many special places and events, such as Grasshopper Town, Steam
Cave, Lions Head and Crocket Gardens, election night on the square,
the Sam Bass skit at the Centennial Rodeo, and the Big Flood of 1957-
Although not all of the stories bring pride to the community, they too
are part of a history that includes the Tom Young hanging, the visits of
the Ku Klux Klan, and segregation.
Unfortunately, due to the difficulty of locating adequate material on
Texas women in their communities, the volumes fail to discuss the
women's literary and social clubs and the influence of their members on
community projects, such as libraries, schools, and community beau-
tification. Considered as a whole, however, this is an important work on
local history. It should be added to Texas history collections in both
public and university libraries. It deserves replication by other commu-
nities and updating at least every quarter of a century.
Texas Woman's Unzversity Library ELIZABETH SNAPP
Roughnecks, Drzllers and Tool Pushers: Thzrty-three Years in the Oil Fzelds. By
Gerald Lynch. Introduction by Bobby Weaver. (Austin: University
of Texas Press, 1987. Pp. xiv+262. Photographs, index. $16.95.)
Gerald Lynch, who spent all his adult life in the oil industry, has writ-
ten an informative and entertaining autobiography. This is a story of
the Texas oil fields from the "bottom up" by a man who started out in
1925 as a roughneck and worked his way to a tool pusher (the man re-
sponsible for the supervision of a drilling rig-the equivalent of a
lower management position in a corporation). As Bobby Weaver of the
Panhandle Museum correctly points out in his introduction, Rough-
necks, Drillers and Tool Pushers is one of the rare working-class histories
of the oil industry.
For those uninitiated in the mysteries of oil drilling, some of the tech-
nology of the oil field defies written description; however, Lynch does a
sound job of describing in understandable terms the basics of oil drill-
ing, language failing him in only a few places. However, one does not
need to be an expert in petroleum engineering or oil drilling to appre-
ciate Lynch's book since it is full of good history on the oil patch.
Lynch's career, which began in 1925 and ended in the early 198os,
spans completely two generations in Texas, from the early pioneers to
the modern-day independents and giant multinational oil corpora-
tions. After graduating from high school, Lynch began as a roughneck
in the Corsicana fields working twelve-hour shifts for $6.oo a day for
John Champion, an old-time oil man. The derricks were wood, cir-
culating head turned the drill pipe, and the wells seldom went below

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101212/. Accessed April 20, 2014.