The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947 Page: 29
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Reminiscences of Sour Lake
causeways. The pipes, together with the derrick floors and the
little islands about the boilers, served as foundations for more
bridging; the bridges usually consisted of two by twelve planks
thrown down wherever the crying need of some little piece of
work had demanded. On these frail structures the traffic of the
field was conducted.
The statement that there were no roads in Shoestring needs
qualification. Along the south border of that seething section
there was one good, graded road. This road, however, was
owned by one of the large companies of the field whose holdings
took in all the land immediately southward. The company main-
tained this road for its own benefit. The company had it
fenced into a strong lane with a locked gate at each end and
with armed guards to keep trespassers out. In the unruly con-
dition of the place, however, they could not keep out pedestrians;
and because of the convenience of the road, it was a great thor-
oughfare for those walking any considerable distance in those
parts. Whether because they could not prevent it, or because
after a time they grew more lenient, the officials came to allow
such things as could be packed bodily to be transported along
the road. That was the means, when I knew the place, by
which all material, be it light or heavy, was moved into and
out of Shoestring.
Whenever anything heavy was needed to be brought in, it
was hauled by wagon as close to the road as possible; then a
gang of men would take it and carry it on to its destination.
Packing along the road was fairly easy, but when it became
necessary to turn out into the mud, that was another matter.
The packers often had to lay down more planks; they had to
twist like snakes around obstacles. Sometimes they had to lay
the load down on a friendly derrick floor, skid it across to the
other side, and then take it up again.
One hard day's work that I remember was helping pack a
lot of eight-inch pipe. There was a good sized crew of us, and
we would line up on each side of a joint and lift it up with a
handstick; then with measured step we moved along the road to
where we had to turn off into the tangle of Shoestring. Then
the cautious creeping commenced. Slow and easy was the word
as we felt our way along the insecure footage. All day ,we went
thus, back and forth, back and forth, taking plenty of time, but
the work was hard, and glad we were when quitting time came.
Sometimes when an object was too heavy to be carried bodily,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947, periodical, 1947; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101117/m1/45/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.