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University of Houston. Bougeois, Bob - Bougeois transcript, 1 of 1. August 9, 2002. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. September 19, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/houhistory/item/1140/show/1139.

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University of Houston. (August 9, 2002). Bougeois, Bob - Bougeois transcript, 1 of 1. Oral Histories from the Houston History Project. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/houhistory/item/1140/show/1139

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

University of Houston, Bougeois, Bob - Bougeois transcript, 1 of 1, August 9, 2002, Oral Histories from the Houston History Project, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed September 19, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/houhistory/item/1140/show/1139.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Bougeois, Bob
Creator (LCNAF)
  • University of Houston
Creator (Local)
  • Houston History Project
Contributor (Local)
  • DiTucci, David, interviewer
  • Wiltz, Steven, interviewer
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette, project
Date August 9, 2002
Description This is an oral history interview with Bob Bougeois conducted as part of the Houston History Project. Bob Bougeois was born in Raceland, LA in 1934; he had four brothers. He studied physical education at Nicholls College before being drafted into the military, where he served in Europe for two years. He hired on with Continental Emsco during the summer of 1959 as a truck driver; he worked there for 12 years in sales, moving from Houma, to Venice, to Morgan City, to Lake Charles. In 1971, he went to work for Precision Instrument Company; he was transferred to Lafayette in 1975. Eight years later, he went to work for Gemoco, a division of Weatherford; he retired with them in April 2002. He describes what sales were like in the late 1950s and 1960s and discusses ethically suspect sales practices.
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Energy development
Subject.Name (Local)
  • Bougeois, Bob
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Lafayette, Louisiana
Genre (AAT)
  • interviews
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Sound
  • Text
Original Collection Oral Histories - Houston History Project
Digital Collection Oral Histories from the Houston History Project
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/houhistory
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
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File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Bougeois transcript, 1 of 1
Format (IMT)
  • application/pdf
Original Item Location ID 2006-005, Transcript Box 1 HHA 00047
File Name hhaoh_201207_014b.pdf
Transcript HHA # 00047 Page 1 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 1 Houston History Archives HHA# 00047 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interviewer: David DiTucci and Steven Wiltz Interview Date: August 9, 2002 Interview Site: Lafayette, LA Interview Module & No.: MMS: DD009 Transcriber: Lauren Penney [Transcriber’s note: Most of the interviewer’s backchanneling has been omitted.] Ethnographic preface: Bob Bougeois was born in Raceland, LA in 1934; he had four brothers. He studied physical education at Nicholls College before being drafted into the military, where he served in Europe for two years. He hired on with Continental Emsco during the summer of 1959 as a truck driver; he worked there for 12 years in sales, moving from Houma, to Venice, to Morgan City, to Lake Charles. In 1971, he went to work for Precision Instrument Company; he was transferred to Lafayette in 1975. Eight years later, he went to work for Gemoco, a division of Weatherford; he retired with them in April 2002. He describes what sales were like in the late 1950s and 1960s and discusses ethically suspect sales practices. TRANSCRIPTION Interviewer initials: [SW] and [DD] Interviewee initials: [BB] BB: I’m originally from Raceland. Do you know where that’s? SW: Oh yeah. BB: That’s where I’m originally from. And- SW: Thibodaux. BB: Thibodaux. And uh [Slight pause] and I first went to work for Continental Emsco Company in ’59. I worked out of Houma. And then from there I went to Venice, from Venice I came back to Houma. And Houma and Morgan City. From Morgan City to Lake Charles. From Lake Charles back to Houma. And Houma to Lafayette. And I moved here in ’75 and I’ve been here ever since. SW: You popped around a bit before. BB: Yeah. HHA # 00047 Page 2 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 2 Houston History Archives SW: Did you want to give the intro? DD: Oh yeah. Bob Bougeois. August ninth, 2002, 10 a.m., OCS office. SW: At the beginning of the tape we always got to do that. [Laughs] DD: [Forgot/We got?] to do it. It’s not at the beginning. SW: You was born and raised in Raceland? BB: Yes. SW: What year were you born in? BB: Thirty-four. SW: My father’s [Inaudible]. [Pause] You went to high school there and everything? BB: Yeah. Graduated from high school there. SW: Did you do any college? BB: Yes, I went to Nicholls, it was a junior college. I went to Nicholls uh, uh, w-, worked when I first got out of high school. And uh, then went to Nicholls for two years and then I worked. I came here, SLI [Note: Southwestern Louisiana Institute], and then I worked, came back to SLI. And my last year was in ’56 and played, played ball here in ’56. SW: For the USL squad? BB: Yeah. DD: Did you get your BA from here or? BB: No. SW: What did you- BB: I went in the service in ’56. I ran out of money and I did not have a scholarship, you know, at the time. And so then uh, I was 22, I guess, at the time. And I was very ripe for the draft. I was drafted. I wasn’t in school, you know, so I, I couldn’t get out of it. But I was ready to go, yeah. I was ready to do my time. I did two years. I went to Germany. And I really enjoyed my stay there. [It was very nice?]. Very educational. SW: Nineteen fifty-six? BB: Fifty-six to ’58. DD: I didn’t know there was a draft in ’56. SW: Yeah, that’s what I was sayin’, they, they, they drafted-HHA # 00047 Page 3 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 3 Houston History Archives BB: Yes, yes. I forget when they stopped drafting, but uh, they were drafting in, in the ‘50s, yeah. It was during the Korean conflict. But I was fortunate, I went to Europe rather than- DD: Yeah, Korea was over by ’53 and- SW: They kept- DD: They kept the draft goin’? BB: Yeah. SW: They had sort of exemptions though if you were in school, things like that. BB: You were in school and they, they would push it back. That’s why I was so late, ‘cause normally they draft you earlier than that, but I was 22 and I just happened to be out of school at the time that my number came up again. [All laugh] But I, I was ready, you know, I, it uh, it was time for me to get it over with, you know. Go in and do my time and then come back and start my life. SW: What uh, when you were in school at Nicholls and then SLI, what did you study? BB: Physical education. SW: Okay, so it wasn’t any petroleum studies or anything? BB: No. Physical education. SW: Did you uh, was your mother or your father or anybody in your family involved in the oilfield? BB: Uh… no. SW: So there was, there was no connection from those guys and how you got into it? BB: No. SW: [Inaudible] BB: Well my brother, I could say that uh, when he came out of the Navy in ’55, he worked for uh, some individuals that owned a little company and eventually he bought the company. And it was in, in, so more or less, uh, they uh, rubber products that you supply to the oil and gas industry. Uh, yeah. That would be the only connection. All the other brothers, uh, we were five brothers, and all the rest of ‘em did something else, you know. DD: S-, so how did you get on- BB: One, one was a pharmacist, and uh, one’s, one retired school teacher, [but?] he’s dead now. And then the one that had the business, he died two years ago this October. So we three of us left. [Pause] Pardon me? DD: Oh, so how did you get into Continental Emsco? How did you first- BB: Okay, well I was uh, uh, when I came out of the service, I went back and Nicholls had been made a four year school, I went back to Nicholls. And uh, then uh, I needed a summer job, you know, I was lookin’ for a summer job. And I went to work for these people and uh, I liked what I was doin’ and uh, I stayed on and went to summer school. HHA # 00047 Page 4 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 4 Houston History Archives They’d let me, you know, take a course there in the morning. I could take an eight o’clock class in the morning and then I’d go to night school, too. But uh, I stayed with ‘em, I stayed with ‘em 12 years and then left them in ’71 and went, went to work for an independent company out of Houston. So worked for them for about nine to 10 years. And then, then I went to work for Welliford. SW: What did you do for Emsco? BB: Emsco I was, I was in sales. SW: Okay. BB: Actually that, that’s, that’s the, that’s what I w-, the whole, each and every company that I’ve worked for, I, it was in sales. SW: Okay. So you weren’t goin’ offshore or any of that s- BB: No. SW: As I was sayin’, you, that was, you- BB: Well- SW: Office work kind of stuff, so you could uh- BB: Well [Clears throat] sayin’ “offshore,” goin’ ba-, way back in, in the uh, late ‘50s and ‘60s, sales personnel, if he was going to sell to the drilling rigs and, and the offshore platforms, you had to catch a crew boat and go out to the platforms and see the individual out there and then come back in, okay. SW: You went and talked to somebody out there and not on land? BB: Yes. That’s right. And then it got to where the insurance was such a hassle and too many people coming and going, so that they stopped that. And then you would the people uh, in their days off or at their office, they had a day that they had to go to their office and would meet us there. And visit with them, discuss, you know, whatever you needed to discuss with them. SW: So for at least a couple of years, though, you would go out there. BB: Yes. Yes. SW: Would you stay out there for a while? BB: Oh no, no. You would strictly go, the, you’d catch a boat, your early morning, go out, and uh, it would take, it would be an entire day by the time you got back in, it’d be late afternoon. So that would be an entire spent, you know, making, on a sales call. SW: But uh, got you out of the office. BB: Right, yeah. SW: Sounds kind of interesting. HHA # 00047 Page 5 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 5 Houston History Archives BB: Oh yeah. SW: Get to see some, a change of scenery. [Laughs] BB: Uh hm, right. But I, I was strictly on the road, you know, I didn’t, I didn’t’ uh, uh, stay in the office, you know, and work by phone or anything like that. It was strictly- DD: Face-to-face. BB: Face-to-face confl-, contact. SW: But uh, it was still the kind of position that allowed you to, like you said, take that morning class. BB: Right. SW: You weren’t workin’ seven-and-seven shifts. BB: No, no, no, no. [Pause] SW: W-, what did you uh, based on just the few times you were out there, did you ever take helicopters or was just boats? BB: Uh, boats in the beginning and then at the, at, then it changed over to helicopters and I was able to fly out, which was much, much better. You know, you would fly out, crew would go out, and the other crew would be coming back in. It would give you roughly 30 minutes to an hour to take care of your business. DD: It wouldn’t take all day long? BB: Oh no. And then you would fly back, you know. On, th-, once you started doin’ that it was a great improvement. It got even better when you didn’t have to go out there. [Laughs] SW: So what did you do back when the boats. You, you would get out there and then you’d have to piddle around for a few hours and then wait for them to come back. After you made your sale- BB: Well, what, what [Sighs] what would happen when you got to the, to the platform of the rig that you were goin’ to, chances are that that boat that went out there was gonna make more than one rig or platform in that area. Was picking up and dropping off, okay. So they would drop a basket, you could climb on the basket and it would pick you up and put you on, on [there?]. And you would stay there, take care of your business, transact your business, and uh, then uh, uh, you’d have to wait until the boat came back. DD: Whenever that was. BB: Yeah. And so you spent the better part of the day out there. And by the time, depending on, again, on how long the boat ride would be, you know. Going out there. And uh, but you’d, you’d spend the better part of your day in transacting your business, you know, you, 30 minutes, you know, ma-, an hour at the most and then after that it was just general conversation. You know, if you were still there. SW: Just B.S. with the guys. BB: Yeah, right. HHA # 00047 Page 6 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 6 Houston History Archives SW: You ever wander around the rig and- BB: Oh, you, you were limited as to where you could go. SW: Oh, for safety and insurance reasons? BB: Right, uh hm. You were limited as, they, they prefer you staying in the quar-, living quarters, you know. But you could kind of venture out and just kind of watch what they were doing, you know. DD: Just don’t get in the way, right? [Pause] SW: [What kind?] of situation did they have, did the, those living quarters look nice or were they? BB: Some of ‘em were and some of ‘em were not. SW: Bare? BB: Yeah. [BB and DD laugh] SW: Did it depend on the company? BB: Yeah, right. Very, very much. Depending on the drilling contractor, you see, they, they had the rig, and depending on how much money they want to spend and, you know, keep their quarters up. Sometimes they were, they were so busy working that they didn’t have time to come in for repair. Uh, [dating/painting?] anything like that, so uh, it uh, the rig just kept workin’. Kept money coming in, because if it wasn’t workin’, it was zero dollars coming in. Zero revenue. So. But I haven’t been on these rigs today, but I was listening to some of the guys before I retired. Those things are like hotels now. SW: That’s what I hear. BB: Elevators and, you know, for living quarters and everything else. And, and uh, televisions, computers, movies, game rooms, fitness rooms, you know, things of that nature. Those things are gigantic and they out in that deep, deep water, 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 foot of water, you know. DD: Do you think that’s incentive to get people out there? BB: Oh yes. You gotta- SW: And keep ‘em happy. BB: Oh yeah. And then from what I understand, too, the, the galley, the kitchen, you know, is a lot, lot better. And, and uh, and I, I think, again, food probably would be readily available almost anytime day or night, you know. You, and before that they, they fed like three times a day, you know. That was it. SW: You had to eat the lunch when you were out there sometimes? BB: Sometimes, right. I’d have lunch, right. SW: Was that any good or bad or?HHA # 00047 Page 7 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 7 Houston History Archives BB: It’s not su-, yeah, some of it was good. Sometimes you had, you had good chefs out there, you know. [Clears throat] Excuse me. And sometimes you didn’t ,you know. But for the most part it was good food. DD: Pretty good stuff? BB: Uh hm, yeah. SW: I, I would just think if I had my employees out there, you know, in close quarters like that the whole time, then I would do it like they doin’ it today, keep ‘em happy. [Laughs] BB: Well yes. [Inaudible]- SW: Feed them well, give ‘em games, and stuff. BB: Very definitely, very definitely. Uh. And so when you go to keep people today, because the oil and gas industry, you know, has been up and down, it cycles, you know. DD: All the time. BB: You know, it’s been like that as long as I can, I’ve known it. And uh, they’ve lost a lot of good people. When you [Inaudible] you know they, they want a job that they can go on and stay on until they decide to retire. And not have to every five or six years or so have to sit down and sweat it whether I’m gonna lose my job or not, you know. And then sit home and wait until they call me to come back. And you can’t [Laughs] he can’t do that. SW: There’s good money in it, but there’s also risk. BB: Yeah. Yes. Yes. SW: So you stayed with Emsco basically from that summer in ’59 until about 1971? BB: Seventy-one, right. SW: They moved you around a lot? BB: They moved me, they moved me uh, when I, like I say, I hired out in Houma, they moved me to Venice, from Venice back to Houma, from Houma to Morgan City, from Morgan City to uh, uh, the Lake Charles area, and then from Lake Charles, that’s when I left Emsco in ’71. I went to work for this private company out of Houston. And then they moved me to Houma, back to Houma. And then they moved me to Lafayette in ’75. SW: Why did you leave Emsco? BB: Emsco, I just had an opportunity to uh, go to work for a company where I could make a little bit more money and I thought I could advantage myself, you know. And uh, I felt like I was, I was managing for sales and managing for Emsco and I just kind of felt like I was at the end of the [rope/road?] with them. SW: Yeah. You applied to- BB: Yeah, they uh, I mean, they were a large company, they were, they were all over the continental United States, you know. And they manufactured equipment as well as sold supplies that they would buy from different manufacturers, you know. They were like distributors or reps, you know, but they were, but they also sold complete drilling rigs. They manufactured all the equipment for complete drilling rigs. The manufacturing facility was in HHA # 00047 Page 8 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 8 Houston History Archives Houston. And at that time, uh, they, uh, Continental Emsco Company was owned by Youngstown [Sheet and Tube?]. A lot of the pipe manufacturing companies were owned by, owned supply stores. Like National Supply, Oil Well Supply. Because the pipe, the casing, the tubing, the drill pipe, and etcetera, came from the, the, the manu-, the pipe companies. And then that was an outward form, through these supply companies, because along with everything else that you sold, you sold casings, tubing, you sold drill pipe. And uh, so there was a lot of money that, that uh, and especially when I, when I went to work for, where they would fi-, if you were a drilling contractor and you wanted to buy a new rig, they would finance the rig for you. But [most of this?] tied you in where you did all your trading with, with me, you know. [Laughs] DD: [Chuckling] Right, yeah. SW: That was the agreement? BB: Yeah, that was the agreement, right. SW: We’ll uh, we’ll get you started, but you gonna have to pay us back one way or another. BB: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, and then that’s how you, you built a, I guess a clientele so to speak. And then, then, then you had to take care of these people and their needs if you want to continue to keep them, because one day they may get solid financially and then they choose to go elsewhere if you have not treated ‘em properly, you know. SW: It’s like givin’ them a line or credit basically. BB: Right, yeah. SW: And uh, but that, that’s all good, but when the bottom drops out, everybody gets pulled [from that direction?]. BB: Yeah, it’s, it, it’s a tough business today. And, and we’ll, what has taken place through the years is, is mergers, buyouts, cons-, consolidations, you know, things of that nature. And, and I guess that’s for survival. SW: Yeah. BB: And of course the pie so to speak is, is not growing. And if I want a bigger piece of that pie, and you my competition, or you, what you doing would complement what I’m doing, I’m, you know, we’ll do something to get together. [Laughs] And become one, you know. SW: Instead of competing. BB: Yeah, and then, then the sad part- DD: So that you can both survive? BB: Right. And then the sad thing is people, you know, people begin to lose their jobs. SW: Squeeze out the little guys. BB: Yeah. SW: Yeah, that’s what-HHA # 00047 Page 9 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 9 Houston History Archives BB: ‘Cause uh, you look at the bottom line, especially today. You know, today [Clears throat] I guess more so not only with the oil and gas industry, but I think business in general uh, they call ‘em “bean counters,” accountants, you know. And, and they uh, they, they just look at the bottom line. And they, they become the CEOs and etcetera, before it was, it was engineers, you know. And people were interested in making money. SW: People not workin’ in the field. BB: That’s right. You know, uh, keeping jobs for people and, and, you know, and expand, do this, you know. Not worrying about the bottom. You have to worry about it, but not as concerned. Today it’s how much money can I make, regardless of you or anybody. DD: Instead of oil men, it’s accountants running the companies. BB: Right. SW: This is a reoccurring thing we hear in a lot of our interviews. BB: Yeah. That’s right. SW: All of you guys that have watched it happen. BB: Yeah. Uh, and, you know, it’s, it’s sad, but I guess the times, times have come and things have changed. SW: Yeah. BB: And, and the sad, then another thing is, you know, you got to change with it. If you want to stay there and continue, you have to change with it. If you don’t, well, you won’t be around. [All chuckle] SW: What was the name of that company you went to in ’71, that Houston Independent? BB: Uh, okay, it was Precision Instrument Company. [Pause] SW: And basically you were doing the same thing with them that you were doing with Emsco- BB: Yeah, but except they didn’t have the variety of, of goods. They didn’t manufacture rigs or anything like that. And, and that uh, Emsco we solicited business from production end and the drilling end. And with, the Precision Instrument, it was strictly production. I didn’t get involved with drilling anymore. SW: They were more specialized. BB: Yes, uh hm. SW: [Than Emsco?]. BB: Yeah. SW: And [went to?] Houma, then Lafayette in ’75. You ended up back here in Lafayette in 1975. BB: Seventy-five ended up here. And uh, and I stayed with them until uh, the Precision Instrument until… ’83. DD: Okay. Why’d you leave them? HHA # 00047 Page 10 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 10 Houston History Archives BB: I felt like I had a better chance with Weatherford. That, th-, this guy was, this company was owned by one gentleman. And I, and I, you know, financially I may have made good money, but then my future, I wanted something, you know, really to bank on. ‘Cause this guy died or decided that he wanted to close up, you know, he could do it. So I decided to go to work for Weatherford Gemoco. G-E-M-O-C-O. Weatherford Gemoco. Gemoco was a company that Weatherford bought. [Pause] And uh, I went to work for them in ’83 and I retired from them in April of this year. SW: Oh, so you just finished up. BB: Yeah, I just retired. [Slight pause] ‘Fact I’d still be workin’ if my health would be a little bit better. DD: You look like you’re in pretty good health. [Laughs] BB: [Speaking very low] But uh, got to where I, I felt like I needed to retire. Because of the health, you know. Other than that, I’d still be. [Speaking more loudly] ‘Cause I enjoyed my work. And it got towards the, the, the last few years that I worked, the, I kind of left the oil and gas deal and went into, what we refer to the industrial end of it. And I called on refineries, uh, chemical plants, power generating plants, uh, pulp and paper industry, lumber industry. What we did there what they refer to as control valves. They had manufacturers like Fisher Manufacturer, Masoneilan Manufacture, making control valve that’s pneumatically operated. And it has controls on it where it tells the valve when to open, when to close, how much to open, how much to close, etcetera. To let flow what needs to flow through, through the valve. And we would manufacture the internals. Uh, once the pipe ran out from, from the manufacturer, we could duplicate these parts. And, and this is what we did. And, of course, we repair the valves. And Gemoco was a very old company, it started way back in the early ‘50s. And uh, had a good reputation and well respected in the industry. They also were involved in the oil and gas industry, makin’ centralizers and flow equipment. You know, they did that, but I didn’t get involved in that, I got, I was in the industrial, which is [what we were doin’?]. I enjoyed that very much. SW: So it’s like a um, that oil company wanted to diversify themselves and do stuff other than just oil and gas as a survival- BB: Right, right. SW: Technique as well. BB: Right, right. SW: Just to get- BB: But you see the, the, these refineries, they’ve got to have the oil to refine and make gasoline and all the other byproducts, you know. So it’s, you know, it, it still needs the oil industry. Without the oil industry, the chemical and refineries wouldn’t exist, you know. DD: Right. [Pause] SW: That’s uh [Pause] with uh, Precision, when they moved you to Lafayette in ’75, they had a office [here also?]? BB: Uh. No, we had an office… first we had an office on Ridge Road. Uh, the [lawyer, there was a lawyer?] down there that had a uh, had a building and we leased that building from him. And from there we moved to, bought some property, build a building on Industrial Parkway. SW: Yeah. HHA # 00047 Page 11 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 11 Houston History Archives BB: We were there. When I left them, that’s, that’s where they were. SW: I think Weatherford’s out there, too. BB: Uh hm. SW: [Inaudible, several people start talking here]. BB: Yeah. Well, Weatherford has several locations in and around town. SW: I’m tryin’ to picture some of ‘em, I know I’ve seen one down in that way. BB: Yeah. Uh, but they have several locations in and around Lafayette. They’ve bought companies. One I mentioned earlier. You know that uh, uh… you want a bigger piece of the pie. You uh, you buy your competition. You know if it’s somethin’ that, that, uh, you doing already or something that’s gonna enhance what you, what you’re doing, you know. DD: Branch out [even?]. BB: Right. DD: Consolidate in order to remove your competition and make you grow- BB: And then what they do, I mean, not only Weatherford, every company that did that, you know, they do that and then they’ll, they’ll just look at s-, what jobs are duplicated, uh, what we could do without- DD: Eliminate the extra. BB: Yeah. And they’ll get rid of some real estate, you know, that they bought, in buying a company they got, they’ve got some real estate. They’ll get rid of that real estate and get rid of people, you know. That’s the sad part about it. DD: Yeah. SW: [Inaudible] numbers now. BB: Oh yeah, strictly numbers. The minute those numbers slow down- DD: Somebody’s- BB: You start sweating. [Laughs] DD: It’s true. SW: [Inaudible] cooked the books, too, to make it look like it’s not a slow down for this year. BB: Yeah. SW: And level it off for the next year. Yeah. I’ve uh, I’ve heard, being on the sales end, I’ve heard just, I’ve grown up in this area. And I, and so I was here, I was in high school, when the first bust came in the ‘80s. I’ve heard some things about, some notorious things about expense accounts, sales expense accounts and things like that. HHA # 00047 Page 12 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 12 Houston History Archives BB: Yeah. SW: That they would, if the guys from Houston came in, there was an unbelievable amount of money spent on these guys to get their accounts. BB: Yeah. SW: Did you see a lot of this or? BB: Oh they had it. I, I, today, I don’t think that goes on today, if it does, you know. But uh, yes. Th-, this is, entertainment thing. [Slight whistle] Yes. Yes. ‘Course you had to be someone high up at the company that had an unlimited, so to speak. You know, you could, you could take people hunting in Colorado, you could take them skiing in Colorado. SW: Cancun and all that. BB: You could take ‘em to Las Vegas. You know, you could, you know. SW: So there’s a lot of, if, if, if a company wanted, really wanted to deal with another company out of Houston [or even just?] to, to… I don’t know where I’m goin’ with this. If you were with Precision and you needed to, to establish an account with such and such oil company in Houston, you’ll wine and dine the CEO or the VP if he came down here. Did you ever experience any of that? BB: No, I’ve never, I’ve never done any of that. In other words, I’ve never called on the higher up echelon. You know, I’ve called on the, on the, the, the field people, and I’ve called on the people in the office, and I’ve gone to New Orleans, and I’ve gone to Houston, you know, and had accounts that I would call on. And I’ve gone to Oklahoma City. I used to fly into Oklahoma City and call at uh, a couple of accounts up there that we were doin’ business with. DD: Would your boss and bosses of the other companies- BB: Right. DD: Were the ones that were doing- BB: Right. DD: All the wining and dining. BB: Yeah, right. Well this, this guy that I worked for out of Houston, he had a plane, you know. And the only thing that I was ever involved in, he had a [deer?] leased out in west Texas during the hunting season. On weekends, he’d fly that plane to Lafayette and pick up whomever, you know, we had invited to go hunt. And we’d take ‘em, take ‘em hunting. Uh. For a weekend, take ‘em, pick ‘em up on Friday morning, you know, and get ‘em back on Sunday afternoon. And they would, you know, whatever they killed, uh, he would have it processed for ‘em and then ship it to ‘em, you know. SW: Yeah, yeah, just a [done deal or so?]- BB: Yeah. But I’ve never been involved in, you know, I’ve heard of a lot of, lot of things. [All laugh] You know, but uh, no, I’ve never been involved in, in any of that. HHA # 00047 Page 13 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 13 Houston History Archives SW: You, can you recall any story or anything that you’ve heard? Something that uh, that just, just, just surprised you? BB: Oh no, it was pretty well open then, you know, with things that, what you just brought up, things like that happening. It was, it was pretty well known knowledge, you know. And [Slight pause] the, the major companies, uh, I guess the higher up people had their hand out, too, so they couldn’t slap the guy that was below them. DD: Right. SW: Yeah, yeah. BB: You know? DD: Yeah. BB: And then eventually, I think, as things tightened up and, and the way doing business changed, uh, the uh, this, this begin to drop off. And especially in the ‘80s when, when, when w-, boo, you know, dropped out. Uh. I, all of that began to slowly dry up and it never did come back, I don’t think anyway, to where it was, never did. And I think it’s a lot stricter today because I know in these plants that I was calling on, like at the, the Christmas season and holiday-type things, we’d get a letter from them stating that, you know, giving and this. You could take an individual to lunch, you know, which I would love to do, you know, I’d take guys to lunch in a way of thanking them for what they’ve done for you, you know. DD: But you didn’t take them out to Paris for lunches. [Laughs] BB: No- [Coughs] DD: You just take ‘em out to lunch. BB: Right, right. DD: It’s a big difference there. BB: Yeah. Right. And, you know, you could do that, but then they didn’t want this taking people- SW: [Inaudible] BB: Yeah. DD: [Inaudible]. BB: Yeah. SW: Where did they uh, where did they get the money for these, these gargantuan expense accounts? BB: Well, uh, let me go back just a little bit. The, the best and, and, and the most, I guess, sources that it, that would come from would be [rental tool?] companies. They [Clears throat] they made more money than anybody. Like a little supply store, you know, a Continental, not little, but I mean a, you know, we, we didn’t make that kind of money. Now the, in the rental tool business, they’ll send out some tools on a job, you know, and normally there’ll be a three or five day minimum, in other words, whether they, they use them or not, you pay for three or five days, whatever it is. And if HHA # 00047 Page 14 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 14 Houston History Archives the job goes on, that, for a month, six months or whatever, you know, tools come and they go. And uh, there’s a lot of profit there. Because once the tools are paid, you see- DD: Once it’s all paid for, it’s all profit. BB: When the tools comes in from a job, whatever has to be done to get these tools in first-class condition to go back out are charged back to the customer that sent them in. DD: Oh really? SW: Ah, so even repairs and upkeep and that. BB: So you see the money? So in other words, they could spend five, ten thousand dollars on you if you gave them a million dollars worth of business or half a million dollars worth of business. SW: It’s a drop in the bucket and, and they felt it was worth it to ma-, to keep you as a customer. BB: That’s right. They’d entertain ‘em. They entertained constantly and, and, you know, and big things, you know. But they, they had the money. SW: They take people to eat out a lot at restaurants here in Lafayette? BB: Oh yeah. Well I used to take, you know, take people that uh, what I liked to do at night was take a man and his wife out to dinner. You know. If either you take the guy at lunch, you know, lunch time, if he can go. And this is the other thing I found out towards the end, you, the companies were not as free to let their people go out to lunch. [Pause] SW: I kind of see that uh, up until the big bust in the ‘80s, takin’ people out to eat was such a thing that it spawned a, a, auxiliary restaurant industry basically here in this area. BB: It did. There’s no doubt about it. SW: And then the dry up came on, a lot of ‘em went out of business, too. BB: Yeah. SW: The bust not only hurt people in the oilfield, but it has its effects- BB: Ah yeah, with the community. SW: Yeah. In all different areas. BB: Oh yeah, very definitely. Oh yeah, there was a lot of things that went on, you know, when, when money was free. And uh. [Slight pause] And accounting at, at the uh, at the companies, you know, were not, was not, you know, nobody was checkin’ it. It was, what I’m getting at is uh [Pause] order one, order one and you charge me for five. You know, like a, a [runner/run up?], you know. [Coughs] DD: They didn’t keep an eye on every little number in those days. BB: No, but they-HHA # 00047 Page 15 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 15 Houston History Archives SW: But it didn’t matter because- BB: No. SW: There was so much money coming in. BB: Oil companies were makin’ money hand over fist. The rental tools, the service companies, everybody was makin’ money hand over fist. SW: I heard some stories that if you ordered so many feet of pipe and called up the old boy and you said, uh, “I need, I need this kind of pipe. And I need 30,000 feet of it, how much per foot?” And he’d say something like, “It’s gonna be three dollars a foot.” BB: Uh hm. SW: But when you got the bill it was five dollars a foot. [BB laughs] But it didn’t matter. BB: No. SW: That was, that was understood that there was gonna be an addition added to that. BB: Uh hm. SW: And if you ever went over there at lunch, it was paid for and next year when you passed by they had a ticket for you to go to Cancun and things like that. BB: Right. SW: So it’s the money was actually sort of goin’ back to him, but- BB: Not to the company, to the individual. SW: Yeah. BB: [Clears throat] Yeah. SW: And it was sort of, sort of this unspoken, unwritten agreement that all these people had- BB: Right. You, you, you very right. I- SW: Is that true? BB: Yeah, very true. SW: You’re [saying/seeing?] that- BB: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Yes, sir. That’s true. [Pause] But uh, I was glad really to see that, that come to an end. DD: Really?HHA # 00047 Page 16 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 16 Houston History Archives BB: Because sometimes you would, you know, people would pressure you into, I say “pressure,” would try to apply pressure to you in a sense. And, and uh, it just wasn’t good business practice at all, you know. You deal with me because either I have a product that you need and can use or you like enough to want to give me some of your business, you know. But not because you give me 10 dollars worth of business, I put 20 dollars in your pocket, you know. [BB and DD laugh] SW: Yeah, it was uh, less of a, people taking care of each other and have good business ethics. BB: Yeah, yeah. SW: Not about, “What can you do for me.” BB: Right. DD: If this was happening in politics, it’d be known as corruption. [BB laughs] BB: Don’t we have a little of that in Washington? DD: A little? [BB laughs] We probably have a little more in Baton Rouge. SW: I don’t we have any of that, I don’t think we have enough tape in that recorder to cover that. DD: I don’t think we have enough tape in this city to cover all of that, but. SW: And this is- BB: That’s sad though, that’s our money, you know, taxpayers money. DD: Yeah, exactly. BB: And, and things that, what we need so badly, you know, for people. Especially the elderly today. You know. DD: And we got all this waste. BB: And it’s waste, waste, waste. And these people have no hearts, no minds, no faith. In Washington and in, like Baton Rouge, too. And I don’t see how they can look in, look in the mirror every morning and shave themselves. SW: Well it, it, it’s kind of, it’s kind of like, at least the way some people were thinkin’ during the oil boom, that it was never gonna end. BB: Yeah. SW: The money just keeps comin’ in and that’s how the federal government looks like we’ve got an endless supply of money and resources- DD: But the thing is, the federal government DOES have an endless supply of resources because- SW: Well as long as they keep taxin’ us, yeah. DD: Right. HHA # 00047 Page 17 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 17 Houston History Archives BB: Well they will. I mean, they- SW: But, but that’s an attitude that- BB: Yeah, yeah. That, a terrible attitude, yeah, I agree with you. DD: Now that we’ve gotten on the subject of politics, how do you think the oil industry has affected Louisiana politics? [Pause] Have you ever, anything it’s brought in the light? More money to it and that’s kind of worsened the corruption? Or do you think that it’s kind of lessened- BB: Well I, I would think that, that it, that it has helped the corruption. DD: But- BB: When things, when things were good there was a lot of dealings going on. I would, you know, I, I can’t confirm anything, you know. But uh, there was a lot of money from the oil and gas industry. And, and, and then the tax structure for the state has hurt since, since the oil and gas industry has slowed down, you know. DD: Right. BB: Well, it’s hurt this community. DD: Yeah. SW: Yeah. What about also uh, three, they were slowly creepin’ out to that three mile limit and all of the state was gettin’ the revenue from that. And now that area has started to dry up and they go deeper, that’s federal waters. BB: That’s right. SW: They lost something from that too, didn’t they. BB: That’s right, very definitely. Yes. [Slight pause] Yeah, the [Clears throat] the, the, the major oil companies have pooled their resources ‘cause they’ll do two maybe three companies will get together and go in this deep water, ‘cause it’s so expensive to do this. And what they’ve done with their, with the stuff in the shallow waters, the state was getting some of that money, what they’ve done there, as the, the reservoirs have depleted themselves, and it got to a point where the revenue was not enough for Exxon to operate it, they would sell it to Apache, a small outfit which would go in there. And not as large Exxon, would go in there and still make money. SW: Yeah, because they didn’t have as big of expenses. BB: They don’t have the overhead that, that- SW: Yeah. BB: You know. And this has happened, so there’s more independent companies takin’ over, you know, uh, wh-, where major oil companies were. DD: Hm. BB: Because it gets to a point, in other words, that the reservoir gets to a point that revenue from that reservoir gets to a point where they say, “Well, we can’t make enough money off of this.” So they may sell that whole field. They HHA # 00047 Page 18 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 18 Houston History Archives may have 10, 10 uh [Clears throat] platforms, you know, with maybe nine wells on a platform, five, seven, 12, 10, you know. And, and, and uh, an independent may come in there and pick it up. [Stone Hawk?], you know, your Apaches here. You know, they’ll come up and pick up, pick up those fields. SW: That’s- BB: And you find that inland, inland waters, you know, and then you’ll find that on, on land. Where, you know, these, these companies that were operating when that revenue begins to drop they, they put it on the chopping block. SW: But that’s how these independents can survive- BB: They can survive because their overhead is not as great as the overhead for that major oil company. And that major oil company, their per-, a percentage of profit is, has to be greater than, than the, than the independent. SW: As the few independents that didn’t go under. BB: Yeah. [All laugh] SW: The ones that, that were big enough to hang on. BB: Right. Yeah, they had a lot of ‘em that went under, there’s no doubt about it, you know. SW: I, I hear this a lot, I hear this uh, that uh, “Oh, we found 10 million barrels of oil.” Uh, Exxon finds that somewhere but uh, they couldn’t build a pipeline, so they just capped it and moved on, because the pipeline would’ve been too expensive. Going through, going through a certain area or whatever. BB: Yeah, yeah. SW: So the oil is there waiting to be pumped and there’s a lot of it, but if, if the bean counters say it’s not cost efficient, they walk away. BB: That’s right. You’re right about that, yeah, very true. SW: That amazes me because you’re always talkin’ about shortages. [Laughs] BB: I, I really don’t think there is, to be honest with you. SW: [Inaudible] BB: We’re running out of gasoline, we’re running out of oil, and that’s just to jack the price up. DD: Yeah. SW: So they, they play with us. [Phone ringing] BB: Oh yeah, very definitely they play with uh- SW: This is all, this is all good stuff. DD: [On the phone; pause in interview, then SW continues with DD still audible talking on the phone]HHA # 00047 Page 19 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 19 Houston History Archives SW: In your, in your experience working just from the late, early ‘60s up until now, whatever, did you ever see or have you ever worked with or experienced working with Blacks or minorities or anything? Um, as sales people or did you come across any in offices or whatnot. BB: In, in the later years, early years the, the, you just didn’t see the minority, okay. [DD gets off phone] But as, as, as the years came on, uh, yes, you, they, they were in offices. You, you call on them because they were in a position where you had to call on them. Yeah. And it, it didn’t bother me one bit. In other words, I didn’t, you know, as long as an individual to me as long as you qualified to do what you doing. Th-, the color of your skin doesn’t bother me. SW: Even in the early years, the office work was done by guys, too, right? BB: Yeah, oh yeah. SW: There wasn’t, women, at that time the women were still at home? BB: Uh hm, right. SW: But as the years came on that kind of stuff happened. BB: Yeah. But uh, I’ve, I’ve called on some uh, Black people, you know, that have been in some supervising positions. And very good, very intelligent people. Uh, very responsive people and uh, and I called on some in the office the, the plants that I’ve called on. So you meet ‘em everywhere today, you know. And [Slight pause] as long as they know what they’re doin’, that doesn’t bother me one [bit?]. SW: Did you uh, did you notice that maybe like other people who weren’t as, I guess we should say, enlightened, maybe, there was any friction with, with these types of people comin’, movin’ into the industry slowly? Or uh- BB: Well, I, I- SW: Ever any problems, conflict? BB: I, I think that uh, yeah, I think there was some. I, I personally, I didn’t experience any, okay. But just in conversation with people and listening to people talk, uh, yes. And I would think [Slight pause] like offshore, you know, when they started to get them to go offshore there was probably some, some difficulty, conflicts. SW: Close quarters and everything. BB: Yeah, right. But I think today that’s, it doesn’t matter today, you know, I think it’s well accepted. SW: Those few times in the early, the early days when you were actually calling on rigs, you didn’t see any women or minorities- BB: No, no, they didn’t, no, no, no. No. [Pause] Uh- SW: You hear a lot of Cajun accents out there? [Chuckles] BB: Uh hm. And some of ‘em, I, I used, I remember I, when I was in Venice, they had a guy that lived in Missouri. Would drive down to Venice, you know, go out and work seven days, come back in, and drive back to Missouri. You would get to spend about five days at home. [Pause] You know, they, they came from all over, like Mississippi, Alabama, you know, people would, that was a little closer, but I mean, that was the furthest, I guess, that I can remember a guy drivin’. From Missouri. HHA # 00047 Page 20 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 20 Houston History Archives SW: It was a job. BB: He had a good job. And the company he worked for at the time was Moveable Offshore. And their office was in New Iberia. You know, they had three, three offshore platforms, you know. Well, floating rigs actually, it was floating rigs. And uh, he worked for them. [Pause] SW: What about uh, I guess I’m goin’ a little backwards here, back when you go into, what other options did you have besides the oil industry? Was there something else you could have done? That uh, that appealed to you or, like you said, you got into it because it was your summer job basically. BB: Yeah. In other words, shopping for a summer job and it just so happened I was lucky, you know. They, they were looking for someone, ‘course they didn’t know I was looking for summer work. [All laugh] And they hired me. SW: [Inaudible]. BB: Yeah, but uh, uh, and, and the money. Uh the, you know, the other jobs that were available, I had done some painting and some plumbing work, you know, with different people. Little odd jobs, whatever you could find. And uh, but this, this job here, I was interested in it, I liked it, I like that type. Being associated with the people that I worked with and the people that I called on, you know. I was interested in that, I liked it. But the money at the time, the oil and gas industry paid good wages, you know. SW: Yeah, better than anything else. BB: Yeah. But today, you know, they, I don’t know that their wages are any better than any other jobs that they, you know, that. You know, it beats sellin’ hamburgers at Wendy’s, you know, but I don’t know that they, you know, the top wages like they were years back. SW: I think they uh, those guys that work offshore come home with a big check, but that’s workin’ a lot of overtime. BB: Yeah, well they work 12 hours a day, you see. They, they on 12 hours a day, and they off 12 hours a day. And [lot of ‘em just how their?] [Clears throat] work, work week starts, you know. In other words, that whole time out there, that week is, is split, you know, so they won’t get- DD: As much- BB: [Inaudible] week and then you start another one, you know. But still workin’ 12 hours a day and 10, 12, maybe 15 dollars an hour. I don’t know what those guys make anymore. They make a lot of money. SW: I think it comes in the form of overtime. They end up working 70 or 90 hours a week. BB: And I can remember I, I, I stopped school one time and I got, went to work for Texaco. And I was workin’ out of the uh, their Harvey District, out towards Venice. And they had uh, quarter boats that you would sleep on. You know, and they charged you a dollar a day, they gave you, you, your bed and, and your meals for a dollar a day. [Clears throat] And I was makin’ a dollar and 95 cents an hour, you know, and that was good money. This was in the mid ‘50s. That was good money. SW: That’s well above the minimum wage at that time, too. BB: And, you know, we’d work 12 hours a day. [Pause] SW: That’s uh-HHA # 00047 Page 21 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 21 Houston History Archives BB: But they, I, I really don’t know what the wage is for offshore people, but I, do, do you know? Has anyone ever mentioned? DD: I know one guy who’s workin’ offshore, but he’s gone through several levels of it. He’s l-, lit-, about Steven’s age, you know, late 20s. And uh, makin’ a couple hundred a day. But he’s gone through several stages. He’s gotten several certifications and all. He also works a month and a half at a time, or a month or a month and a half at a time, too, so. BB: Yeah, well, the longer he stays out there, the more money he’s gonna get. DD: Yeah. I think he just got out for a two and a half month sh-, stint. [BB whistles] Came home two weeks, saw his wife, and left again. [BB laughs] BB: That’s tough, that’s tough. DD: It is tough. SW: Yeah, yeah. I know one fella who uh, in the mid ‘90s he was workin’ offshore for a little while before they got him a land job in an office. He was, he said he would come home and his check was big, but if he deducted the amount of hours he actually worked, it broke down to about eight bucks an hour. But he made overtime, so the check was large, and you can’t spend it when you’re out there, so when you come back in, it looks like you’re makin’ a lot of money. BB: Well you know, I don’t know, it could have been that they were on a sliding scale. You know, the more hours you, you put in, the less you making per hour. DD: Chinese overtime. BB: Yeah. [BB and SW laugh] DD: That’s what it is, it’s called “Chinese overtime.” BB: I can remember when I first started with Continental Emsco Company. I, I started off drivin’ a truck. And I did that for a little while, I was workin’ inside the, the warehouse and drivin’ a truck. I did that for a couple of months, I guess. And I can remember you had a bulletin board and you’d have your time sheets there. And when you’d come to work you’d write your time in, and then when you leave, you’d write your time. And you were supposed to be, you know, eight to five. Okay? So that was for the labor board, if the labor board ever came by they’d see, ‘cause you’d record exact hours the way you were workin’. And then when it got time to send that time sheet in to the Dallas office, you would redo that thing. And you would put eight to 12, one to five. Six days a week, you know. And uh, but your ti-, your regular time sheet, you just threw that in the trashcan and you might have worked 10 hours today, you might’ve worked eight hours yesterday, you might work 12 hours tomorrow, you know. But it, it, it just, they paid you, in other words, it, it was, y-, you had a monthly salary. And it was broken down by the hours, you know, 40, but when you hired out, they said, “Well we gonna pay you,” like I started out 320 dollars a month. That’s what I got, regr-, regardless of how many hours I put in, my check- DD: Four hours a day or 16 hours a day. BB: Was, and, and then, if I didn’t want that, there was a guy right behind me wanting that job. DD: Right. [BB and SW laugh] BB: You know. HHA # 00047 Page 22 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 22 Houston History Archives DD: Right. BB: So, and they knew that, you know, so you did it. SW: That was the environment. BB: Yeah. You did it. But uh [Slight pause] but it, it, I don’t regret any of it, I really don’t. I don’t regret a minute of it. SW: What did that, what do you think in your opinion the oil and gas industry did for south Louisiana? BB: It did a lot of good things, a lot of good things. SW: It brought money in? BB: Brought money in, put a lot of people to work. There’s no doubt about it. [Slight pause] SW: You see any negatives that it brought? BB: Well yeah, there’s some negatives, you know, the, the garbage or whatever you want to say, that they’ve done to some lands. And uh, you know, way back when, I think maybe they having to clean those things up and, you know, uh, police it a little bit better. But, you know, they were, they were, when they first started out- DD: Willy nilly. BB: Yeah, you know, they, they, they, they could do basically what they wanted to. You know, they’d come out and maybe lease, lease uh, your land, you know, and go out and say, “Well, yeah, we’ll take care of this, we’ll do this.” But they come and drill the well, and if it was a dry hole, they just [kind of?] clean up things and then they were gone, you know. DD: Well we’ve seen pictures of where they used to just dig a pit just o-, in the ground to store the oil in. Just open pit with oil on the ground. Back in the early part of the last century. BB: Yeah. SW: Maybe sometimes they didn’t even know what they were doin’, huh. BB: Yeah. SW: Sometimes they were just, oh, they didn’t understand. BB: Right. SW: Damage doesn’t show up ‘til later. BB: That’s right. But uh, you know, it, it’s, there’s been some damage done, you know. But there’s been some good, too. And I, and I would [hope/vote?] there’s probably more good than, you know, bad. Uh, because you, you put people to work, you, you got more tax dollars coming in, you know, things of that nature. SW: Things start circulating. BB: Yeah, yeah. HHA # 00047 Page 23 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 23 Houston History Archives SW: But uh, and then there’s some auxiliary effects like, for example, you moved around a lot I noticed. BB: Yeah. SW: How did that af-, how was that for your family, your wife and your kids? BB: Well, uh, and I always left that up to my wife, whether she wanted to move or not. In other words, because she, I was gonna be workin’, it wasn’t gonna bother me. But she was gonna be the one being home and she was teaching school, you know. Whether she wanted to leave her job and see if she could get another job wherever we went. And the first time we moved, our son was… two, three, you know, something like that. And so that, you know, it’s okay. And then uh [Slight pause] I guess we were in Morgan City and he started… kindergarten or first grade. K-, first grade I guess. And they were moving me, wanting to move me from Morgan City to Lake Charles. And then of course my wife and I, you know, you can’t uh, we had two kids at the time. Went to Lake Charles, looked around, said, yeah, okay, “You want to go?” She said, “Yeah, [I want that?].” Then I told ‘em, I said, “Now my kid started school.” I said, “Now, I’m not disrupting his first year in school.” I said, “This is a foundation for him. [Inaudible] and I want that to be good.” So they agreed. They said okay. But I had to go. DD: So you left your family there and you went- BB: And I, and I would come home ever-, every weekend or so. If I couldn’t come home on the weekends, they would come to me, you know. And uh, I did that until the school was over with. And I, I went over there like in December, January, so, you know, didn’t end ‘til May. And then when school was over with, my wife, you know, gave up her job and then of course my, my little boy finished first grade. But other than that from, from then on, then they went to school in the Lake Charles area. And then we moved to Houma, then I was concerned about [Slight pause] my little girls was, was more open then my, my, my oldest boy was a little reserved. In other words, he, he, you know, kind of- SW: A little shy. BB: Yeah. So I was concerned about that, you know, but then he, he was, I knew some people in Houma and they had some kids goin’ to school, so I, you know, kind of got them together, they helped out. And then we moved here. And uh, I think it was tough on, again, on my oldest son when we moved here. And, and again, I had, but when I, I went to school here and played ball here. So guys uh, coaching at [Inaudible, name of a school] that I knew. So that helped my, and that’s where my boy went to school. Got in there, and so they just kind of took him and [Claps] it worked out beautifully, you know. But it coulda been, it coulda been bad, yeah. DD: You knew people and they had kids and, that’s good. BB: Yeah. So see I was blessed with that, you know. SW: Yeah, yeah. BB: But moving around is tough, it’s tough. SW: Sometimes you have to make it work somehow. BB: Oh yeah. But it’s uh, you know, like, like, like I told you earlier, you know, it didn’t bother me because I’m doin’ my work. I’m busy [Inaudible], you know. I leave in the mornin’, I come home at night, you know. But if your wife is home and your kids are unhappy, she’s unhappy, and then you come home and the whole household is unhappy. [Laughs] DD: You don’t want to deal with that. HHA # 00047 Page 24 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 24 Houston History Archives BB: No. SW: Go back to work. BB: Right. DD: You might as well just stay at work all day. [Laughs] SW: [To DD] [You got enough there?]? I just have one more question. This is sort of like another opinion question. BB: Okay. SW: Um, and then you can add whatever you want to add at the end. Uh. Does this, why is Louisiana, the State of Louisiana so poor if we’re so rich in minerals? [Slight pause] BB: Bad management. [Pause] Too many hands uh, you know, it’s just [Pause] you know, Governor Edwards, such a brilliant individual. And he could have been the best governor this state has ever had in my lifetime, but he chose not to be. And that’s a shame, it really is. I don’t know how you feel about Edwards, [Edwin?] Edwards, you know. SW: [I feel the same?]. BB: You know. His, his first four years I think he really tried. Then after that, I, after that, he was strictly [Inaudible]. SW: He got the smell of the money. BB: Yeah. DD: And I think that’s what happens to a lot of ‘em, they go in there with good intentions- BB: You see like Foster, I feel the same thing about Foster. DD: Same thing, I agree. BB: His first four years were terrific. DD: After that- BB: And all he’s doin’ right now, ‘cause I was talkin’ to Senator [Don Heins?] out at the [Inaudible], and he and I agree with that. All he’s doin’ now is takin’ care of his cronies. You know. DD: And that [Stelly?] thing is a joke. I don’t know where that- BB: So, you know, it’s [Slight pause] better give them four years and kick ‘em out, I don’t know. [Laughs] SW: Yeah, term limits, term limits. BB: Yeah. DD: Well then they do the same thing, because they don’t have to run for reelection, they just take care of their buddies in four years instead of eight. HHA # 00047 Page 25 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 25 Houston History Archives BB: Yeah, yeah. It’s, I don’t know, it’s [Whistles] I don’t know, the politics in Louisiana has always been terrible, you know. And I know we have some good people up there. I guess we have more bad than we have good. DD: Foster was good when he got there. BB: And, and the bad corrupts the good after a fashion. DD: What, that one bad apple ruins the bunch? BB: Yeah. [They rot?]. But I, I, I’ve said that over and over to many, many people about Edwin Edwards. That he could have been if would’ve wanted, he could have been the best governor in my lifetime of this state. ‘Cause he had all of the makings, he has all of the makings, or he had ‘em, you know. I mean he just, he’s intelligent, he knew how to manipulate people, he knew how to delegate, you know what I mean, he just, you know. And, and, and Don Heins commented to me, he said, you know, he said, “Edward and I, you know, we’re not real good friends, but,” he said, “when I went in his office and discussed somethin’ with him,” he said, “When I left there, I knew what the answer.” In other words, they, “I knew he was yes or no. I knew.” DD: He was sincere with him. BB: Yeah. But he said, “You go in with this guy here now,” he said, “you don’t know when you come up.” It’s a bunch of riddles, you know. [BB and DD laugh] You know it’s- SW: Sounds like somebody that we had in Washington for eight years. Just recently. [Laughs] BB: Yeah. SW: Both, both sides of the mouth there. So. They, well, [we?] had all this money comin’ in, the severance taxes on the oil and gas, and they were just gettin’ piddled away. [Then he had?], was any of this money leaving the state? BB: I don’t know. Chances are, but I really don’t know to be honest with you. SW: Goin’ back to Houston maybe in some aspects? BB: It could, could, could’ve been. Could’ve been. [Pause] You know, yeah, yeah, you do somethin’ for me, you know, and I, you know, whatever. Yeah, you, it’s very possible. But I can’t confirm that. SW: Yeah, well, well, it’s just an opinion. BB: Yes. SW: Basically. BB: Uh hm. SW: There’s no right or wrong answer, it’s what you saw. BB: Yeah. SW: So, no regrets for the oilfield? HHA # 00047 Page 26 of 26 Interviewee: Bob Bougeois Interview Date: August 9, 2002 University of Houston 26 Houston History Archives BB: None whatsoever. You know, I met a lot of good people. Uh, and I, I’ve learned a lot, you know. And uh, and they taught me a lot, you know, along the way. SW: Glad you could make a good living? BB: Yes, very definitely. [Slight pause] I’m not a rich person, but I mean, I’m a comfortable person. You know what I mean, I’m livin’ comfortable, which is great. That’s all that matters. [Laughs] SW: Yeah, [Inaudible, overlapping speech]- BB: A roof over my head and I eat three meals a day. DD: Don’t have to worry about what’s gonna happen next month. BB: [Inaudible]. And uh, so my family’s happy, I’m happy. SW: Keep the wife at home happy and everything else falls into place. [All laugh] BB: Everything else falls into place, huh. [Laughs] DD: Well, hopefully. It’s a big part of it. SW: Okay Mr. Bougeois. [To DD] Let’s uh, let’s get a picture, too. DD: Okay. SW: We’d like to just take a still photo- [END OF RECORDING]