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Lucas, Ed Lucas and Juliet
Lucas transcript, 1 of 1
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University of Houston. Lucas, Ed Lucas and Juliet - Lucas transcript, 1 of 1. June 26, 2003. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. June 26, 2022. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/houhistory/item/550/show/549.

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University of Houston. (June 26, 2003). Lucas, Ed Lucas and Juliet - Lucas 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/550/show/549

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, Lucas, Ed Lucas and Juliet - Lucas transcript, 1 of 1, June 26, 2003, Oral Histories from the Houston History Project, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed June 26, 2022, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/houhistory/item/550/show/549.

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 Lucas, Ed Lucas and Juliet
Creator (LCNAF)
  • University of Houston
Creator (Local)
  • Houston History Project
Contributor (Local)
  • Wiltz, Steven, interviewer
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette, project
Date June 26, 2003
Description This is an oral history interview with Ed Lucas and Juliet Lucas conducted as part of the Houston History Project. Ed Lucas was born and raised in Texas. His father worked as a pump station operator for the Texas Pipeline. In 1943, at the age of 18, he was working as a welder in Houston when he went to work for Texas Pipeline in south Louisiana. They moved around the New Orleans area quite a bit, before settling in New Iberia in 1957. During his career with the Texas Pipeline he was essentially a welder, but later got into inspecting and supervising construction maintenance. He retired in 1985, as third in command in south Louisiana. During the interview he describes laying pipe offshore, and discusses safety, education, and natives and oilfield trash. Juliet Lucas was born and raised in south Louisiana to two prominent families in the area. She met Ed Lucas while going to nursing school in New Orleans; they married in 1948, at which time she was not allowed to continue her studies. During their marriage they had four children. At the age of 46 she went back into nursing. They have a son who currently works as an oil traffic coordinator for the Shell Pipeline (which used to be the Texas Pipeline) and another who is a prominent teacher and counselor in New Iberia.
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Energy development
Subject.Name (Local)
  • Lucas, Ed
  • Lucas, Juliet
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • New Iberia, Louisiana
Genre (AAT)
  • interviews
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Moving Image
  • 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
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the "About" page of this website.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Lucas transcript, 1 of 1
Format (IMT)
  • application/pdf
Original Item Location ID 2006-005, Transcript Box 5, HHA 00283
File Name hhaoh_201207_082b.pdf
Transcript HHA # 00283 Page 1 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 1 Houston History Archives HA # 00283 Interviewee: Ed and Juliet Lucas Interviewer: Steven Wiltz Interview Date: June 26, 2003 Interview Site: New Iberia, LA Interview Module & No.: MMS: SW058 Transcriber: Lauren Penney [Transcriber’s note: The majority of the interviewer’s backchanneling and “uhs” and “ums” have not been transcribed for the purposes of readability. At times there is quite a bit of overlapping speech. About 20 minutes into the interview a fan is turned on that decreases audibility quite a bit.] Ethnographic preface: Ed Lucas was born and raised in Texas. His father worked as a pump station operator for the Texas Pipeline. In 1943, at the age of 18, he was working as a welder in Houston when he went to work for Texas Pipeline in south Louisiana. They moved around the New Orleans area quite a bit, before settling in New Iberia in 1957. During his career with the Texas Pipeline he was essentially a welder, but later got into inspecting and supervising construction maintenance. He retired in 1985, as third in command in south Louisiana. During the interview he describes laying pipe offshore, and discusses safety, education, and natives and oilfield trash. Juliet Lucas was born and raised in south Louisiana to two prominent families in the area. She met Ed Lucas while going to nursing school in New Orleans; they married in 1948, at which time she was not allowed to continue her studies. During their marriage they had four children. At the age of 46 she went back into nursing. They have a son who currently works as an oil traffic coordinator for the Shell Pipeline (which used to be the Texas Pipeline) and another who is a prominent teacher and counselor in New Iberia. TRANSCRIPTION Interviewer initials: [SW] Interviewee initials: [EL] & [JL] SW: Interview with Mister Ed Lucas and, what was your first name? JL: Juliet. SW: Juliet Lucas. It’s June twenty-sixth, 2003, we’re in their home in New Iberia. This is technically New Iberia. JL: Right. SW: Yeah, it’s technically. Uh, I like to, I always like to start with a little bit of background about, can you tell me when and, when and where you were born and raised? And what your parents did for a living? EL: My [Clears throat] I was born in [Tatum?], Texas. Grew up [Inaudible], Texas. My father worked for the Texas Pipeline, just like I did. He worked 42 years, I worked 43. Only thing I was a, he was an operator on the pump station, HHA # 00283 Page 2 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 2 Houston History Archives which I did some part time. But I basically I was a welder. And eventually got into that profession with the Texas Pipeline and went on to uh, in the inspecting construction maintenance and supervision. SW: Did you, did you get into the oil industry because your father was in it? Was that something that drew you to it? EL: Well I guess so, there’s good money. [JL chuckles] You know, make, you made a good living. I mean, you know, with the education that you get. JL: The environment, too. EL: Yeah, you grow up in it. SW: So you, it was just sort of a natural thing that, that pop did the same thing and so you just kind of- EL: And we have a son who’s doin’ the same thing. SW: I was gonna ask that, so you have, how many, how many- EL: We have one son that’s into, ‘course he was, he went to work Texas Pipeline, then they merged with Shell and it became Enron. And now Shell bought it all out and it’s Shell Pipeline. And he’s a coordinator in Houston in oil traffic. [Coughs] Has been for the last 10, 15 years. SW: So it stayed in the family for all three generations. EL: Yeah. JL: Three generations. EL: Good benefits, decent money. JL: Makes a good living. SW: If, if the oil industry wasn’t there for you whenever you got started, what, what else could you have done? EL: Well I was already working. I wasn’t but 18 years old I went to work. But I was already working. ‘Cause this was during the war, 1943. And I was welding in Houston when I went to work for Texas Pipeline. But they drafted me and they turned me down as 4F, then that’s when I went to work for Texas Pipeline. And they didn’t need people in east Texas, they needed ‘em south Louisiana. And I’ve been here since, during the first 1943. SW: They, they transferred you here? EL: Yeah. JL: All over. EL: Yeah. JL: In the New Orleans area. SW: But Louisiana? Away from Texas. EL: Well, south Louisiana.HHA # 00283 Page 3 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 3 Houston History Archives JL: [Inaudible, overlapping speech] south Louisiana. EL: South Louisiana. SW: Is, was that where the exploration was, was goin’ on more so then in Texas at that time or- EL: Yeah, east Texas was on the downgrade and this was just beginning to bloom good. Yeah. They were [gettin’?] this oil out of here, out of south Louisiana into Port Arthur during the war. That’s the way they laid the line. SW: They needed- EL: From Paradis to Port Arthur. And uh, other parts of Louisiana they’d barge it in. Then they laid the other system, then it all went to Port Arthur. SW: Were uh, were you married at this time? Um- JL: No, we weren’t married ‘til 1948. EL: No, we got married in ’48. SW: You, you were from here? JL: I’m originally from here. SW: So you, y’all met here in south Louisiana. JL: Met in New Orleans. SW: Oh New Orleans. JL: I was in school over there. SW: Oh okay. And what school did you go to? JL: I had gone to [Otell?] U. I was studying to be a nurse. SW: Oh okay. JL: That was in ’47, ’46, ’47. And I met him and we married. I never finished. SW: Oh really? JL: We couldn’t finish, we couldn’t be married and going to school. And I made the decision that I would rather marry than go on to school. So that’s what I did. SW: That’s- JL: And then we lived in Marrero uh, we lived in Gretna, when we first married we lived in Gretna. And uh, then we moved to Marrero and lived in different parts of that area. Moved to Des Allemands, Paradis, I hated Paradis. [Chuckling] I hated Paradis. Anyway, and then moved back in Marrero and then Des Allemands again. And then uh, moved to New Iberia. We moved approximately seven or eight times in the years that, from 1948 to 1957. That’s nine years. We moved approximately… what, eight times?HHA # 00283 Page 4 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 4 Houston History Archives EL: Seven, eight times. SW: Almost, almost once a year basic- JL: At least, right. It was just having to move, you know, we had to go. SW: You’d go where the, where the- JL: Where the work was. SW: Okay. EL: Headquarters. JL: Headquarters, right. SW: You not only got a good living out of the oil industry, looks like you got a wife and family out of it too because it brought you here. [Chuckles] EL: Oh yeah. JL: Right, correct. EL: Yeah- JL: That’s right, you’re right, you’re right. EL: We have four children. JL: We have four children. EL: Two boys and two girls. In that order. JL: That’s right, two boys and then two girls. SW: Uh, when, a-, were you guys still being moved around after you had the, your, maybe your first or second child at that point? EL: Yeah. JL: Uh hm. We had the oldest one. We moved with him. And then the second one we were livin’ in Des Allemands and then we moved only one time with him. The oldest one was in school. And then the second one was a baby when we moved to New Iberia. So, and then the two girls never knew anywhere but here. Then we lived here. And that’s where [Inaudible], the boy, the boys we moved only twice with them. SW: Was it difficult for the oldest one to be moved or was he still pretty young? JL: He was young, he was six, seven years old. EL: He was in the first grade. He started first grade in Des Allemands. JL: First week he was in school he got punished. [Laughs]HHA # 00283 Page 5 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 5 Houston History Archives SW: What did he do? JL: Uh, he went, they told him not to step in the water, in the puddle, and he stepped in it to show ‘em [Chuckling] a boy, a boy. [SW chuckles] Got punished. Sure, he went to the principal’s office, I don’t know if you want all that. [SW chuckles] SW: Well, I’m, I’m interested too in, in, well, it seems like the children were young by the time y’all got settled. EL: Yeah. JL: Oh yeah. SW: It didn’t, didn’t really affect your family being moved around too much. JL: No. No. SW: It was just mainly you two guys moved around. JL: That’s right. They’d catch the bus here every morning and they’d go to Peebles School, which by the port. And then they were brought back home every day. All, I believe uh, Catherine is the only one didn’t go to Peebles, she went to Center Street in town. They had rezoned it. So uh, she was the only one that never really attended Peebles, but the other three did go to Peebles. And then ‘til the seventh grade or sixth grade, whatever it was. So, and that’s it. SW: And then y’all, well, at some point in there y’all built this house and, and- JL: We built the house in uh, we started it in the summer of ’57 and we moved in on November the first of ’57. SW: And you paid, you said uh, 17,000 for it. JL: [Laughing] Yeah. EL: Seventeen thousand three hundred dollars. SW: That’s, that’s an incredibly low price to pay for a house these days. JL: That’s right. SW: But at that time, I mean, I guess that was- EL: Well that was the goin’ price. JL: Well that was a lot of money because we were bringing home, you were bringing home, what, about approximately 300 dollars a month. EL: Somethin’ [like?]. JL: Maybe, I don’t remember. I can’t remember that. EL: I don’t remember. HHA # 00283 Page 6 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 6 Houston History Archives JL: It wasn’t much. You know, it-, there were, at, you know, now it’s not anything, but compared it was uh, but that check came in every two weeks. We never had to ever worry about the finances coming in. Oil companies are good to work for. SW: So you never had any, any uh, problems? Was there ever a point when maybe you would’ve been laid off, Mister Lucas, or, or when, when there was a downturn- EL: We had a layoff one time and they laid off all [Clears throat] not all, but several- JL: Can I move? I see [someone?] [Inaudible]. EL: That’s Catherine. JL: [Voice sounding far away] Oh yeah. EL: Several uh- JL: [In background] Oh, I don’t know who that is. EL: Unskilled uh, people. ‘Course I was skilled labor. And they kept [Here JL talking to someone in the background] and there was one man under me unskilled. [Pause, hear background talking] SW: Okay, we’re back. You’re sayin’ that un-, some of the unskilled people? EL: Yeah, they got what they needed accordin’ to seniority, in reverse order from the bottom up. And they got one man older than, had more seniority than me, got laid off. But I was skilled labor, so they, they kept me. And some of the mechanics was let, younger than me, they kept them. SW: So you had worked yourself up into a position- EL: Oh I was a welder, I was weldin’ then. SW: Had a lot more uh, security I guess you could say. EL: Yeah. Yeah. JL: He had a trade. He had a trade. EL: And uh, normally the welders in a maintenance is the lead man for the gang, for, for the supervisor. You’re kind of, if he’s not there, you kind of [ramrod?]. But you don’t get paid for it. SW: No. [EL laughs] EL: It’s just, well eventually it pays off, you know. But see when I retired, I was third in command in south Louisiana. SW: Okay. EL: You see? They had another district manager in Houma, he had two assistants, then they had three uh, area supervisors. Had one at Pilottown, one in Harvey, one in Houma, and one here. There was four under that, so that’s, so I, I had, I answered to a man in Houma, but I had everything from the Atchafalaya River to the Sabine. But we were down nearly to nothin’ then. In ’85. I retired in ’85.HHA # 00283 Page 7 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 7 Houston History Archives SW: Oh okay. And that’s when- EL: November the first, ’85. SW: That’s when things had gotten bad, I remember. EL: Yeah. SW: I grew up here, too, and I remember. I was in high school at the time. [Chuckles] EL: Yeah, that was [slack years in New Orleans?]. We wasn’t movin’ too much oil, but some. SW: What kind of uh, when you were workin’ all these years, I guess goin’ back over your entire career, what kind of schedule did you work? EL: Well, some eight hour schedules then that was only pump stations. JL: Shifts. He worked shift. EL: Shift work [Inaudible]. But then when you, I didn’t work [Inaudible], then when I got up here it was eight hours a day s-, uh, five days a week, 40 hours a week. Daylight. [Coughs] But then when you went on a job, some of ‘em seven days, you know. [Inaudible]. And some were six days. Depends on the contractor, how he wanted to work. SW: So you guys would, a-, your company would contract out to someone to get the work done? EL: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. SW: I see. And so ho-, whatever the length of the job was. EL: Yeah, length of the job is the way we’d work it. SW: You would stay gone from home? EL: Yeah. SW: For those seven days or somethin’ like that? EL: Yeah, [Inaudible, overlapping speech] JL: Seven years. EL: I spent three summers in Harvey. We workin’ around Lafitte area. But we stayed in Harvey. Then one year we was on a river crossing in Lake Charles, I stayed 52 days in the same room. Motel room. JL: Never came home. EL: [Chuckling] Never come. But she would come. SW: It’s almost- JL: I’d bring the children, we’d go visit with him, you know. HHA # 00283 Page 8 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 8 Houston History Archives EL: And uh- JL: That was hard. EL: Chief inspector and then his kids were all grown, his wife would drive the car, they’d come in our car. [EL and JL chuckle] JL: [Chuckling] And I’d corral the kids. Whew, that was- EL: But that worked fine and then we were in Harvey one summer, there was another boy there dopin’ pipe there, he uh, his children were all grown [Inaudible] in college. So she would ride with her down there [her car?]. ‘Bout every other weekend, you know, we’d get together. JL: Go someplace. Go eat. [EL chuckles] Go eat, that’s about all we could do was go eat. SW: [Inaudible, overlapping speech] in Harvey, huh? [Chuckles] JL: [Laughing] Yeah. EL: Yeah. JL: That’s right. EL: Well. JL: Yeah. EL: It- JL: I have a little story uh, when he was on, on an inspection job. And our daughter was, the youngest one, Catherine, was just about six months old I guess. And uh, he’d come home at night, but he’d get home about 10 at night. And he’d go to work the next morning, but he’d get up around four in the morning to go back to work. He was having travel time. So he never saw the children, they were always sleeping. So when the job was over he came home during the day. And I had Catherine in my arms and he motioned for her to come to him, and she, she was afraid of him. She didn’t know her daddy. That was, that was hard. That was a hard thing for him and for, for me, too, you know. Because Catherine didn’t wanna go with her daddy [Chuckling] she didn’t know who that man was. But that’s just a little story. EL: [Inaudible]- SW: She came around, right? [Chuckles] JL: Oh yes, she sure did. I thought that was her just a few minutes ago when she drove up. EL: I did too, I thought it was her. JL: Yeah, she’s, she’s gonna be 40. Catherine’s gonna be 40, she’s our baby. Yeah. Pretty girl. EL: Well what people don’t tell you about these oil companies is their benefits. I don’t know if people realize what you get. You know, you start off, well I did, started off with just life insurance and a pension. You put some, they put some. Eventually worked in [a?] savings plan. You could put six percent of your base pay and they put half what you HHA # 00283 Page 9 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 9 Houston History Archives put. And it was invested and it earned and all that turned over. And that’s the reason there’s a lot of us are livin’ ma-, you know, standard of livin’ that we have today. Now a lot of people don’t realize that. JL: We had a lot of security. When we retired we were secure. So. SW: You were able to maintain [this?] living. EL: Same thing we’re doin’. SW: With the house and [Inaudible overlapping speech]- JL: Yeah, we’re same standard. EL: Yeah. JL: We didn’t have a- SW: You didn’t go to a fixed income- JL: I’ll tell ya, I think we’re livin’ better now than we did [JL and SW chuckle] when we f-, when we first retired, you know. EL: I bring home more poney, money now than I was makin’ when I retired. JL: Oh yeah. EL: Not a whole lot more, but some more. SW: Don’t have any uh, don’t have any kids to take it away from you right now, either. EL: Well, no, not that. JL: Well, yeah, no, not that. EL: We do we want. JL: We give to ‘em. EL: We give ‘em what they- JL: We give to ‘em a lot. EL: They want somethin’ we give it to ‘em, if we can. SW: Got some grandkids that y’all spoil, too? [Chuckles] EL: Oh yeah. JL: Oh yeah, yeah. EL: She’s been spoilin’-HHA # 00283 Page 10 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 10 Houston History Archives JL: All our grandkids are- EL: You can’t spoil ‘em too much. The parents do that. [Chuckles] JL: They’re n-, they’re not, they’re not around us too much, you know. Most of them are away from us and, so we haven’t really, we can’t spoil ‘em how we’d like. EL: We got two here. Two grandkids here, but they’re grown. One of ‘em fixin’ to start USL af- JL: Yeah, she’s 18, she’s in- EL: She just finished high school. JL: Yeah. And that’s it. EL: And the other girl’s 21. JL: Marian, yeah. EL: Twenty-one. JL: Yeah, she’s 21. EL: She’s in beauty school. JL: [Notes this granddaughter just passed a test and how very proud she was of her.] SW: Um, you mentioned when you were at Harvey they put you, you were in hot-, the same hotel room for 52 days. EL: Well [Chuckles] no, no that was in Lake Charles. SW: Oh, Lake Charles. EL: In Sulfur. SW: Sulfur. EL: Well we stayed three summers- SW: The three summers in Harvey- EL: In different motels down there. We go to same motel more or less. But uh- SW: The company would put you up, put you guys- EL: Oh yeah, yeah, they, yeah, we all had, we were open expense. You know. SW: They take care of your meals and all that, too? EL: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. HHA # 00283 Page 11 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 11 Houston History Archives SW: So yeah, you really didn’t have a lot of money, you didn’t have money comin’ out of your pocket or anything like that. EL: Oh no, no no no. SW: You were just away from home. EL: You just away from home. JL: That’s hard, though. EL: And you’d make a little more money ‘cause you’re workin’ more hours. SW: You makin’ overtime? EL: No no. JL: [Chuckling] No overtime. EL: No, they put you on a monthly rate. SW: Oh okay. [Chuckles] JL: He was workin’ 14 hours a day. EL: No no, they put you on a monthly rate. And uh- JL: Seven days a week. SW: For a flat rate. EL: Yeah. JL: Yeah, they put him on a monthly salary. SW: Now I think they do, when they do the seven-and-seven and things like that, they get overtime. EL: Well they do, yeah. Well it’s all based on that, you see. That’s all that, see those accountants just, they’re not settin’ [all this?] for nothin’. SW: Yeah. EL: In them offices. JL: No [Chuckling] J. L. Polk knows what’s goin’ on. SW: Yeah. They’re the ones that are really runnin’ the companies now. They countin’ the- EL: Well more or less. They, well somebody’s got to [mind it?] to keep up with the money. SW: Well I mean they uh, they uh, they keep… I see the decisions being made-HHA # 00283 Page 12 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 12 Houston History Archives EL: Yeah. SW: By some of those accountants sometimes. JL: Oh really? EL: Now- JL: See we don’t know that. EL: No, I didn’t know that. [Fan is turned on, audibility decreases] Well we’re not runnin’ around the office [Inaudible]. SW: You were out in the field- EL: I don’t know, though. JL: [Inaudible, overlapping speech] out in the field. EL: [They weren’t here but one time?] when Mobil first moved in to Berwick there, Morgan City. They were workin’ just offshore. They was workin’ seven-and-seven, but they were work-, working on Monday. Well you see Monday’s the first workday of the week, so everything you made was overtime, you know. It’s 12 hours a day, and then you’d, you got, get into overtime and then quit. Well they changed the schedule and they started breakin’ on Wednesday. Well that, that cut your overtime. So a lot of ‘em took a lot of b-, a big cut in pay. You know, you was [hired?] [Inaudible] [overtime?]. SW: Yeah. EL: What I’m sayin’ them, when the accountants, they’re lookin’ at somethin’ all the time. Well, [I guess that was too plentiful?]. SW: That’s what they would do, yeah. Make sure that, that comes down. Did you ever miss any holidays because you were out on a job or something? EL: Oh yeah. [Laughs] Oh yeah. Yeah. JL: He missed seven New Years Eve years. Seven straight. ‘Cause he was working night shift. And it just happened that the day… how can I say that? SW: It fell right- JL: It fell and for seven straight years he was working [Inaudible] New Years Eve. It was just, it just ha-, and he was always on night. SW: Oh so you work, you worked nights as well? JL: Oh yeah, the night shifts. EL: Well at times, yeah. JL: He worked all shifts. SW: Somethin’ was always goin’ on, didn’t matter what time year it was?HHA # 00283 Page 13 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 13 Houston History Archives EL: Yeah. JL: [Inaudible, overlapping speech] day. Night and day. SW: Welding going on and all? EL: Well there’s that, but uh, see I got in operations there for, for eight years. I dropped out there and went into operations. And then that’s when I was workin’ at [Inaudible]. SW: So when you got out of the operations, you weren’t necessarily [Inaudible]- EL: Went back into it, you see. SW: So you weren’t, you weren’t always welding. EL: Oh no, no no. SW: You did for awhile and then they made you a supervisor and things like that. Show, watchin’ other people while they’re weldin’, huh? [JL chuckles] EL: Yeah. Yeah. SW: That’s the way to be. JL: He was good pipeliner. Now he was a good pipeliner. Very good pipeliner. You can tell him, you can ask him where that pipeline is in that ground and he can tell you exactly where it is. He knows. He knows. Many, many, many pipelines in that ground. [Chuckles] SW: Y’all [made/laid?] pipe for, for gas or for oil? EL: Crude oil. SW: Crude oil. Only oil. EL: And gas [manes?]. We worked on one out of Baton Rouge at that Texaco plant, Texaco refinery [and at Sunshine?] [Inaudible]. It was 54 miles of pipe leavin’ there goin’ north [Inaudible] nearly [Inaudible]. Then they got a [Inaudible] to pump that gas in, gas in that, you know, finished product. Then they got their [terminal?]. I worked on that for about three or four months?]. JL: Oh I don’t know. SW: How does that work when it comes from the refinery it, it has to be pumped through miles and miles and miles of pipe. How do they get the pressure to keep it goin’? EL: Well they got pump. SW: They have pumping stations along the way? EL: Well they got booster station. SW: Oh okay.HHA # 00283 Page 14 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 14 Houston History Archives EL: And then these, where you eventually start, they run that one for several years just, just [Inaudible] pumps [Inaudible] at the refinery. Then they built one up there off of Choctaw uh, [Inaudible]. Automatic station. And uh, that’s the only booster on there. On that line. See they’ve got three, three booster between uh, Erath and Port Ar-, Port [Inaudible]. SW: Did you happen to deal with those too? Did you have to work on a booster station- EL: Oh yeah, we’d [build ‘em?]. Yeah. SW: That’s part of what you do with the pipeline? EL: Yeah. Yeah. JL: Worked in the Gulf too. He laid the, he laid right in the Gulf of Mexico. SW: [Under water?]. EL: Oh yeah, off of lay barge. SW: Oh okay. I’d like to hear about that. What, what was it l-, how was it workin’ off-, so you were sort of workin’ offshore, almost? EL: We were workin’ offshore. SW: You were [Inaudible, overlapping speech] offshore. [Chuckles] EL: Yeah, [Inaudible, overlapping speech] shore. Fifteen miles offshore. SW: How, how was that? Was that more difficult than laying pipe on, onshore? EL: Not really. It’s, it’s on, it’s on a barge and it’s confined. You’re, everything’s there. You don’t have to walk up and down the rightaway to find it. It’s all right there. You, you, that’s one we [Inaudible] we worked for many hours. Uh, well they just got big draglines, they dig the ditch. It’s all surveyed up. [The marsh was?], everyday, you know, they’d shoot a line, scratch it out, and you was where they, they wanted to come on the bank, where they left from. So the engineer set up and shoot the line and, and the guy’d that mark, they’d have [Inaudible], and they’d dig it. And the barge, we had a man on the back of the barge [every time?] you’d move he’d check where the barge was [into that ditch?]. Make sure that pilot was over the ditch. SW: So he was like a spotter? EL: Yeah, he was- SW: Watch [Inaudible, overlapping speech]. EL: Yeah, that’s not hard. They had a tugboat for that. And kind of pushing. Well they did push. And uh, it’s not hard, you know, you got to stay with it, you know, [stay up late?]. JL: The welders would- EL: They weld it together. Uh, big draglines settin’ the pipe in, then they lined it up [Inaudible] when that 30 inch was laid had [seven more?] [Inaudible]. And-HHA # 00283 Page 15 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 15 Houston History Archives JL: [Inaudible] welders. EL: Yeah. JL: That [Inaudible]. EL: Well they fly over it make sure the [well was?] [Inaudible]. SW: Yeah, what, what kind of pipe was this that they usin’? Steel pipe or iron or? EL: Oh yeah, steel pipe. Oh. SW: Steel pipe? EL: Yeah. [X-graded/rated?] pipe, x-grade tool. [Five-eighth that wall?], so it’s pretty thick. SW: About that thick. EL: It’s five-eighths [wall?] and uh, and cement. That’s the gas line. They cement coat it for weight to hold it down. SW: Hold it down. EL: Although it was only in about 15 foot of water. The time you dug a hole another three foot it’s just 30 inches, so you gotta dig it three foot, I mean uh, yeah, thr-, at least three feet. So that give you 18 feet, a minimum of 18. [Chuckles] SW: So it’s actually- EL: Yeah. SW: Under the, under the, the ocean floor? EL: Yeah. SW: You’re not just sittin’ on top. EL: Yeah. That’s three foot of cover over the top of the pipe. SW: Is there, is there a reason behind three feet, you wanted to get it down- EL: Well they normally, yeah, normally that’s just a standard. SW: So nothin’ hits it and- EL: Yeah. SW: Busts it open- EL: [The gas you?]. JL: Ships and, [I think that might too?]-HHA # 00283 Page 16 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 16 Houston History Archives EL: [You can’t move?] you come across that with a barge, draggin’ bottom, yeah, he’s not gonna push three foot of dirt. You know, he can’t sink it, he can’t sink that far in that mu-, in the mud or in the bottom. [Inaudible] bottom out there pretty ha-, pretty hard. That’s not all [flood?]. SW: Was, was the pipe itself because it was specially made, was that expensive pipe? EL: Oh yeah it’s expensive. I don’t know what it was. Yeah, it’s expensive. The x-rated is your better pipe. And they got different ones every, X60s a [type that I’ve?] heard is hard. X52’s hard. X40… 42, not too hard and then you go to grade B. Grade B pretty soft. You know, it’ll sag more, but I’ll tell you that X52, now it’s hard. That ones pretty… SW: [Inaudible] it seems like it could get expensive because your pipelines getting really long. EL: [Chuckling] Oh yeah. JL: Yeah, really long. SW: You sink a lot of money into a pipeline basically. EL: Yeah. SW: H-, how, how dangerous would you say the work that you did was? It sounds like you were welding and laying the main pipeline there. Some of this sounds a little bit dangerous. EL: Well it’s not dangerous if you, you know, you were trained safety, we all had safety program. It’s just as dangerous as you want it. ‘Course you gonna have accident. I remember one time we was out there we were [tying in?] and we picked up two ends, you know, the tie end [of course?] they overlap. Picked it up, got it above water, and this contractor had a thing made [Fan is turned off] he, when you get the pipe up, then he’d drop his table down for a man to stand on. Well the thing broke there one night. And them cables go through a pulley and that pulley, that pulley actually broke. And when it did one end of that pipe just dropped. And it flip-flopped and the man fell overboard. But it wasn’t, the water wasn’t rough of nothing and so they right there. But I mean, I’m just sayin’ that’s how it’s dangerous. But yeah, you gonna have accidents and you gonna hurt people, and you killed one every once in awhile. But, you learn to live with all of that. SW: Did you, did your companies have a lot of uh, did they focus on safety at a lot? EL: Oh yeah, yeah. SW: Make sure that nobody got hurt. EL: Oh yeah, that’s, yeah we had a lot of good safety program. Everyone, you had a first aid, teach you first aid every year, review it every month, and anything wrong around where you were working, you talk about it and [Inaudible] it’s safety people. We had people that’s all they did was uh, go check things, you know. And they would uh, yeah, safety’s a VERY important. SW: The companies, why do you think the companies focus on that? Were they more [EL chuckles] interested in prevention or uh- EL: Yeah. Preventative and, you know, yous, and teach you how to work safety. And longer you worked with a group, same group of people, the better off you are because you, you workin’ with same people all the time. It’s not like workin’ with a new group. JL: And you know their routine [Inaudible, overlapping speech]-HHA # 00283 Page 17 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 17 Houston History Archives EL: Well, and you know how to, what [one can do?]. No, talkin’ about why they do it, I, I think is for insurance purposes. SW: Well, yeah, there’s always two or three reasons. [Chuckles] EL: Well that’s how it started I think. I can remember when I was little they didn’t have it. See safety didn’t start ‘til in the ‘60s, uh, ‘30s, ‘xcuse me. Thirty-five, ’36, somewhere along in there. JL: So your daddy wasn’t, there wasn’t any safety program when he was- EL: When he first started, no. But- JL: He started in 1912. EL: They’d have them safety meeting, used to have a first aid team go around. ‘Course they were handpicks you know. And they’d go around and demonstrate. These companies would have picnics and company gatherings and the first aid team would show off, you know. Would have a presentation. They’d tell you what’s wrong with the patient, then they’d go to work. And I did that in the Boy Scouts. Yeah, I was a, I was in Boy Scouts and I was a captain of the first aid team. SW: You were prepared. [Chuckles] EL: [Laughing] Yeah. JL: He was- EL: Well, to a point. SW: Ready when you went out there. JL: [Chuckling] He was prepared, he was. EL: Well it’s good, I’ve been [foolilng?] with that since I was 12, 13 years old. You know, safety, first aid. SW: I, I’ve heard some of my interview subjects say uh, “Yeah, I got hurt, but uh, they just fixed it and everything was fine.” And, but the injury they were tellin’ me about if you would see somebody now that’d have their injury, that’s a multimillion dollar lawsuit. JL: I know. SW: Yeah, or- EL: Well- JL: I, I think that’s just terrible. SW: Yeah. JL: I don’t believe in that. EL: Well some people are deserving of some things and they’ll settle with you if just, if they feel that way they’ll take care-HHA # 00283 Page 18 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 18 Houston History Archives JL: [Inaudible, overlapping speech]. EL: I don’t know of a person, I don’t believe I ever worked with anybody, I don’t know anybody with the company that ever really got hurt that it wasn’t taken care of. Now I don’t believe, I don’t know of anybody. [To JL] Do you? JL: Nope. When you broke your thumb, when that pipe fell- EL: Well I was off si- uh, six weeks, huh? JL: Approximately six weeks. EL: I like cut my dern finger off. But that was my fault. JL: He was welding and- EL: More or less. [Chuckles] JL: The weld, the pipe fell and hit him on the thumb. But anyway. EL: And only lost time accident [Inaudible]. JL: That’s right. EL: Yeah. SW: Well y-, your saying, you’re telling me what I, what I’ve heard a lot of already is most of the, the people, anybody who had minor injuries, whatever, the company took care of. JL: Oh yeah. SW: That’s what I’ve heard more, more so than anything else. EL: Now they had a boy here I know him, he used to work for me. He, this happened since I retired. He fell off of a, somehow he tripped or somethin’, he fell off of a 1,000 barrel tank, them field tanks, tank battery. They’re 16 foot high. And he fell off that thing and broke his arm and he was off a few days, I don’t know, a week or so. They operate on him, put a plate, then he come back to work, and he continued on more or less kind of light duty, give him some help to do what he had to do. But all that was taken care of and he really, I don’t know, Jimmy didn’t lose a whole lot of time did he? JL: Jimmy- EL: [Inaudible]- JL: Jimmy who? Chauvin? EL: Jimmy Chauvin, yeah. He fell off that tank [out there at?] [Inaudible]. JL: Well- EL: Tripped or somehow. And [Inaudible] [and I do too?]. And one time- JL: He’s still working for the company. You know, if you sue your company they’ll fire you.HHA # 00283 Page 19 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 19 Houston History Archives EL: Well they- JL: Generally. Well, but now the boy is still working, he’s got a good job, he doesn’t work hard. I mean, I know that for a fact. EL: Yeah, he’s a meterman. JL: You know, he’s a meterman, but it’s just, the boy was smart he kept, you know. EL: I do know one feller in Paradis, see they got a cement ring with a diameter about six or eight inches bigger than the diameter of the tank. So you’ve got three or four inches of cement past the tank. Well he fell off and hit his head on that cement slab. And killed him. Yeah, it [Inaudible] down there in Paradis. JL: Yeah [Inaudible, overlapping speech]- EL: But that’s the only man that I ever know that- JL: Got, actually that was- EL: That actually got hurt bad, you know. SW: Was killed. EL: Got killed. SW: It was, [Inaudible] it was just an accident [Inaudible, all talking at once]- JL: Yeah that was an accident. These things happen, you know. EL: Well it was an accident. Now, I don’t know how he fell off that tank. ‘Course they found him, he, there was nobody with him, that’s the, he worked by hisself. You don’t know these thing. Yeah, hell, he may have been drunk and fell off or somethin’, I don’t know. ‘Cause he had been known to take a few drinks. [Chuckles] But I don’t think while he was workin’. But anyway. SW: Hope not, huh? [Chuckles] JL: Yeah. EL: Yeah, anyhow I don’t know the detail. All I know he fell off and hit his head against that slab and killed him. SW: But work-, working around the uh, the tanks and the pipes and all of this stuff that y’all do, I mean, like you said, accidents are bound to happen. JL: Oh yeah. EL: Yeah, well- SW: Even when everyone was being very careful, sometimes stuff just happens. JL: That’s right, that’s correct. SW: But if you stayed with the company for 43 years, it must’ve been okay still, huh? [Chuckles]HHA # 00283 Page 20 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 20 Houston History Archives EL: Yeah, yeah. JL: And he retired early. SW: Yeah. JL: He’da worked 46 if he’da worked to 65. EL: Yeah, I was 61 when I got out. I was just 18 years old. SW: That’s right I have on here you started when you were 18. [Chuckles] JL: That’s right. EL: But that’s during the war, now. I don’t think they’d hire now, I know a feller in Erath started when he was 15. But he started in the kitchen. And he wound up a toolpusher. JL: [Inaudible, overlapping speech]- EL: Now that a pretty good job with Texaco. Toolpusher. SW: ‘Specially goin’ from the kitchen. JL: From the kitchen. EL: That’s right. But anyhow, he finished high school and [Inaudible] I guess he finished, [David Nunez?]?\ JL: Oh yeah, oh I guess, I don’t know. EL: Now he had a, he had two uncles that were drillers and the reason they were drillers they didn’t have enough education. So when you become toolpusher you gotta, you gotta count the money and all that. You know, keep up with what you’re spendin’ and all this mess. A lot of paperwork. JL: That uh, we’re talkin’ about education, there’s a lot of the men from Loreauville and uh, in that area that have no education and they worked for The Texas Company. Nowadays you have to have a high school diploma at least. But in those days, which was many years ago, and they h-, they couldn’t read or write. EL: Some of ‘em- JL: And they were hired and made excellent workers, you know. And uh, it’s just how things change. EL: [Inaudible noise, perhaps yawning] JL: Because uh, yeah, some of ‘em he, he couldn’t work, he couldn’t go any farther than what he was because he couldn’t read or write. He couldn’t advance. EL: See I went to trade school after I started uh, inspectin’. I take drafting, ‘cause you’d have to draw all this stuff [you was puttin’ up?]. I could do it, but it’d take me forever and a day. But go-, by going to trade school I learned how to handle this stuff. I didn’t wanna be a draftsman, but it helped you do what you had to do. And uh, this feller Paul [Prothreau?] was with us up here the other day. Had them scars on his- JL: That’s skin cancer.HHA # 00283 Page 21 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 21 Houston History Archives EL: Skin cancer. SW: I didn’t talk with him, but I saw his name written on the sheet. Paul, is it “Prothrow”? EL: Say it “Protho.” JL: “Protho.” SW: “Protho,” okay. JL: Prothreau. EL: Well see he was a- JL: Telephone man. EL: Yeah, and he k- [Clears throat] he went to trade school. I say “trade school,” I know he went to school somehow, into the radios, then into the computer system. ‘Cause we got out just as the computers was comin’, comin’ in. But he had to learn some of it to k-, before we, we retired. But. JL: Yeah he, they retired the same year we did. Same time together. EL: Yeah, we all retired together. SW: It, from what I’m hearin’ y’all say, it’s, it’s uh, back in the day if you could work hard and, and the opportunity was right, you could get in, didn’t matter your education level basically. JL: Right. SW: But now there’s- EL: Well it was different, right after the war. SW: Yeah. EL: And before the war. SW: And so- JL: There was opportunity there. EL: Yeah. JL: There was opportunity there. EL: Well, it, it wasn’t as technical then as it is now. JL: Oh no, now. SW: So…HHA # 00283 Page 22 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 22 Houston History Archives EL: L-, lot of your control system went from uh, air into electronics. You know? And, well you got to, you got to have electronic background and know somethin’ about it to even do the first thing. And that’s where everything takes place, that control system. With computers and all this. SW: So now your, your average, average oilfield worker needs, needs to have more of an education just to get the job [Inaudible, overlapping speech]. EL: Yeah. JL: That’s right. That’s what I’m seeing, that you need- EL: You more or less have to have a trade of some sort. SW: Some sort of specialization even so? EL: Huh? SW: Some sort of specialization? JL: Specialized, yeah. EL: Yeah, like mechanics or electronics b- JL: Well like Mark. Mark was a welder, but he has real bad eyes. EL: He’s also a diesel mechanic. JL: He’s our second son, he’s our second son. And he uh, then he went to become a diesel mechanic. And that was his daddy suggestion that you take diesel mechanics, because if you go into welding your eyes are bad already, they’ll just be worse and then that’ll hinder your ed-, your trade. So, and now he’s working with computers. He don’t, he’s a whiz on that thing, you know. And he did it on his own, you know. And that’s, he’s the one in Houston. He’s the one working in- EL: Well he was in Denver for three or four years. JL: Oh yeah. EL: He went to two or three different schools. JL: Yeah. EL: Courses in eng-, uh, on his own, you know. JL: Yeah. Show advancement so that he could, show [encouragement?]. EL: He took that Windows, part of that Windows course. JL: Yeah, I don’t know. EL: I don’t know what they call it, what that is.HHA # 00283 Page 23 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 23 Houston History Archives JL: But they look for that. These oil companies look for that. They look to see that there’s any ambition in you. You understand? ‘Cause if they see you just sitting [milly milly matter?] they’re not gonna fool with ya. SW: You need to separate yourself from everybody else. JL: Right, correct. So if you show ambition they’ll help you. They’ll help you. SW: That’s, that’s who they’re looking for, those types of workers. JL: Right correct. They want advancement, they want people to- EL: But I’d hate to see this country without these oil companies in here. This area, through here. Now it has been a blessing for this country. I was working, I remember when they first started building that stuff in Lake Charles. [Fan turned on] City Service, Continental. Were the first two refineries in there. Then they started on that chemical plant. Same thing in Baton Rouge. Now you’d be surprised at how many people them people employed. And they all makin’ good money. SW: So it’s not just the drilling and the oil coming out, it’s refineries [Inaudible, overlapping speech], the fabrication companies, and everything- EL: Oh no, the refineries- JL: Everything. SW: Good jobs. EL: Chemical- JL: We, we needed, they need the whole work. EL: You make all kind of stuff out of natural gas. [Inaudible], all your plastic. JL: [Inaudible] chemical [Inaudible]. EL: Yeah, chemical. [JL chuckles] Well I know, but I’m just sayin’ what they do with it. SW: So it’s uh, since you arrived here in, in the ‘50s have you seen the importance, I’m guessing you, you totally see the importance of the oil industry for this region. JL: Oh- EL: Yeah. SW: Specifically south Louisiana. EL: That’s right. SW: [Inaudible]. Did you see this place grow and grow and grow because of the oil industry? Or was it everything or was it strictly- EL: Yeah.HHA # 00283 Page 24 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 24 Houston History Archives JL: Lafayette, Lafayette built up because of the oil industry. Why do you think it’s called the Oil Center? EL: Well it, Lafayette is like Tyler, Texas. They got the money [Chuckles] all the offices and the business people are there. But it works out, away- SW: The fabrication plants are here in [Inaudible, overlapping speech]- EL: Oh, well, Houma. SW: And Morgan City and- EL: Houma, all down below New Orleans and all. JL: But New Iberia was a booming town and then, since the oil industry has gone down, it’s gone down. So we depending on tourism more than [we can?], because there’s not really much- EL: Well we’ve known a lot of people [working at that plant?]- JL: At the port. EL: Yeah. JL: Well, yeah. But I mean it was better than it is now because of the oil industry. It’s, it’s just [Inaudible] to self, it’s in a slump. EL: [If you go down that ship channel?] Lake Charles, I didn’t know this [Inaudible]. [Flew?] a lot of stuff all the way down to the edge of the Gulf. Down that ship channel. We went fishing over there here awhile back. They ferry us out down through there. [Clears throat] Oh yeah, that’s all the way down right at the edge of the Gulf, down that [Inaudible]. Below New Orleans, all the way down Venice, and below Houma, below Houma there. JL: [To EL] Did you tell him about these big ships that go to Grand Isle? Where they unload pipe and send that pipeline? I don’t know if he wants to know that. [Inaudible]- EL: The super port. SW: I’ve heard about that. That’s uh, that’s pretty impressive. JL: Yes. Yes. EL: Yeah. How they do that now. Some of that oil comes right through here. SW: Yeah. That’s very interesting. EL: Comes through here, goes through Texas pipeline [Inaudible] goes into, in east Houston, then they spread it out to them refineries, and then it leaves Houston. SW: It’s, it’s uh, it’s quite a sizable endeavor. [Chuckles] JL: It’s a big production. Big production. SW: That’s why they call it a super port. [Chuckles]HHA # 00283 Page 25 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 25 Houston History Archives JL: You’re right. I’d love to see [Inaudible, overlapping speech]- EL: They were pumpin’ around 13,000 barrel an hour. Over here at Erath. I don’t know how they run it now. ‘Course we were down to very little when we retired. Then right after we retired they started comin’ up. Then it slowed up a little bit, then here it comes back. [All that?] Eugene Island [Inaudible]. See it goes in through the Texas pipeline system into Houma. See they had a gathering system in Terrebonne Bay, Caillou Island, Lake Barre, and all that. ‘Cause all that goes there. That, those lines come in from there into that system, then it goes from [Barre?] to P-, uh… booster station at Barre on into Houma. If the pressure gets too high it’ll bleed off and go down to Cocodrie. See Texas Pipeline had them lines goin’ into Cocodrie. Plus going up to Houma. But then Cocodrie pumped it into Houma through another line. But they [got, except?] if that pressure builds up it’ll bleed off over into that other line and go up to Cocodrie. SW: Oh okay. EL: Keep that pressure down. The lines were laid [there’s nothin’ doin’?]. SW: It won’t hurt ‘em. EL: Texaco ain’t doin’ nothin’ with ‘em [Chuckling] so. [There ain’t no more?] Texaco. JL: [Inaudible]. SW: Not anymore, huh? EL: No. SW: What can you tell me about uh, you might find this a funny question, but I like to ask it. Uh, the reputation of the people in the oil industry. Sometimes people c-, consider ‘em a rough bunch. EL: Well. It- JL: [Inaudible]. EL: Some of ‘em are rough. You know, we’re all good people. Basically. [Chuckles] And of course you got some or other, you know. JL: That was, that was in the ‘20s and ‘30s. EL: [Well?]- JL: These rowdy people. EL: You got some now [I’ll tell you what?]. JL: Well I don’t know whether. EL: Oh no, we don’t fool with ‘em. JL: Well, that’s true. EL: [We don’t?] [Inaudible]-HHA # 00283 Page 26 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 26 Houston History Archives JL: Well that’s true, too. EL: Well you see in that bunch that was up there the other day, that’s a good- SW: Yeah. JL: That’s some high-class people. EL: You know they all just basically, you know. Of course you gonna find some that. JL: Well. SW: When you, when you were moving around, goin’ to, goin’ to a job site, some of these different little towns like Harvey or going through in there, or even when you moved into New Iberia, uh, obviously the people who lived here had been here a long time. The locals could see that you were an outsider. EL: Oh yeah. JL: And they still- SW: And you were comin’ in because of the oil. JL: They still- SW: They still do? EL: You [know that?]- JL: They still uh, living out here, the people are friendly with us. They’re friendly. You know, but [To EL] what? EL: You just ain’t one of ‘em. JL: It’s just the Cajun, you know. EL: You know when I retired all them boys were younger than me, over in Erath. They kept talkin’ about [Inaudible], “You goin’ back to Texas? You goin’ back to Texas?” I said, “Man, everything I own is on [Inaudible] Road.” [JL laughs] And they said, “Well you’re not from here.” Says uh, you know, they didn’t say- JL: Well that’s ignorance. EL: Said, “You don’t belong here.” I told one of ‘em one day, I said, “I’ve been here longer than you have.” [Chuckles] He wasn’t old enough. Well just like here, I’ve been in south Louisiana longer than you have. Although I’m not from here. JL: Your family, your family is from south Louisiana, you know. So you really a native. SW: Yeah. JL: And then he, you’ve heard the expression- EL: I don’t even know if our kids [from Louisiana?]. HHA # 00283 Page 27 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 27 Houston History Archives JL: Oh yeah. Oh yeah, oh yes, they’re [Inaudible]. Definitely because they were raised here. They were raised here. EL: Well. JL: But he has a, he has a bil-, belt buckle that I hate. He call, it’s called “oilfield trash.” I hate it. And he’ll say that every once in awhile about being oilfield trash. EL: Oh- JL: And he is not, you know. And I don’t like that, I don’t like that. Because, you know, he’s the one if it wouldn’tve been for these oil people New Iberia wouldn’t be what it is, I can tell ya. New Iberia would not be what it is. And one thing about oil people, they pay their bills. Those bills are paid. We know of a man that during what the Depression maybe, ‘30s, in the ‘30s. EL: Lat-, latter ‘30s. JL: They had a grocery store, he bought groceries at this store and he’d pay every two weeks when you get a check, you pay your bills. And he’d go to this store and he’d pay his bill every two weeks. And that was the only person that would let him buy groceries, this grocery store. EL: On credit. JL: On credit. So he kept, he kept buying after all the years he still continued buying at that store. EL: [Inaudible]. JL: Because this man trusted him. And he always bought there, you know. And a lot of them, I mean, I know that. But uh, a lot of, they, they just wouldn’t accept ‘em because of the, I call that ignorance. That is definitely ignorance. I do-, I don’t know. I don’t like to talk about it. I’m glad you asked the question, but I don’t, you know. SW: You s-, you said, you said everyone, they treated you nice, it wasn’t like they were rude to you. JL: Yeah, but they always have that distance. SW: Distance, oh okay. JL: There’s always, but these people around here now, they’re used to us. We’ve been here 40-somethin’ years, you know. But uh, when we first moved here, like we lived in the country, there were few houses. But being a native they accepted us because of me. SW: Because of you. JL: You see? EL: See her grandpa owned from that road right up here all the way to the bayou. And that’s over a mile down. [Inaudible]. SW: Owned all the property. EL: [He had, uh hm?]. JL: He owned it all.HHA # 00283 Page 28 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 28 Houston History Archives EL: He had [Inaudible]. He had six kids and they all got 80 acres. Four hundred and ei-, nearly 500 acres. He had. SW: So that, that mu-, that made your transition easier because you were- JL: Yeah. SW: Well what is your maiden name? JL: I was a [Viatar?]. SW: Oh, so you’re- JL: See that’s, that’s around here- SW: But Lucas doesn’t- [Chuckles] EL: But her grandpa was a [Delecreaux?]. JL: My grandfather was a Delecreaux. EL: And let me tell you that- SW: Wow. EL: When we come here, the tax assessor sent his man out. JL: Yeah, that’s a [close?] story. You can turn all that off if you want, it don’t matter. EL: He uh, assess the house and all the property. We got 300 square foot lot. Her aunt down the road built a house just before us. Basically the same house as this one. Only they got a single carport. It’s actually double, but it’s at a right angle. JL: [It’s an odd shape?]. EL: Where you go to put one car here, one car here. We got a double carport to drive into. She had two bedrooms, but no partition in the back. We’ve got three bedrooms, but your two bedrooms were partitioned off. Makes it three bedrooms. It’s the only difference in the house. Well she wasn’t payin’ much, ‘course she owned the land. But we owned 300. But anyhow, we got ours and it was 60-somethin’ dollars, our taxes. Which ain’t bad. So I was talkin’ to the fella I worked for and he’d been here since ’35 or six. He said, “I’ll tell ya,” he says, he says, “Lucas don’t mean a thing with these people. See [you’re not?] LeBlanc, Broussard, Delecreaux, Comeaux.” He said, “Now that gets their attention.” This man’s name was Williams. But he lived next door to the tax assessor’s nephew. [JL chuckles] Okay? Next door. So he told me, he says, “Get your wife and go down there and talk to Caesar [Leveaux?].” He was the- JL: He was the sa-, tax assessor at that time. EL: Tax assessor at the time. Says that, so we go down there and they’re real polite. Nice little [mulatto lady, young you know?]. It’s his secretary. So he says, uh, told me, said, “Bring me, show Miss Lucas in, bring her folder.” So they go in. He gets up from the back, he comes around, sets her down. Says uh- JL: Oh, a white man.HHA # 00283 Page 29 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 29 Houston History Archives EL: Says, “I’m Caesar Leveaux, Miss Lucas. What can I do for ya?” Says, “We’re here t-, we’re here to serve you. We’re public, public office.” So anyway [Laughs] he opens the folder and says, “Uh huh.” Says, “Yes, there’s Delecreaux, Delecreaux, Viatar, Lucas.” He says, uh, “Well Delecreaux was that?” Says, “Nicholi Delecreaux.” “Hm, [Inaudible].” Say, “That’s Whitney Delecreaux’s daddy.” “Oh, yeah, yeah, Mister Whitney. Yeah, yeah. What’s that other Delecreaux?” Said, “Well that’s Whitney’s daughter, that’s my mama.” “Well Viatar?” Says, uh, “That’s uh, Luke Viatar.” Says P-, “Delecreaux married a Viatar.” “Oh,” said, “what Viatar is that?” Says, “Well that’s uh, uh, Luke Viatar.” “Oh,” says, “That’s Andrew’s brother. Andrew, the chief of police.” Said, “That’s his bro-.” “Oh yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah.” JL: And this, to make the story short, the boy’s got things to do. SW: It’s okay, it’s okay. [JL and EL laugh] EL: “Yeah.” So all this time he’s figurin’. And says, “Lucas.” Says, “Yeah.” Says uh, “I was a Viatar and I married a Lucas and we bought the lot from her mother.” Says, “We’re out there.” Says, “How does 16 dollars sound to you?” She says, “That’s sounds real good Mister L-, uh, Mister Leveaux.” So she gets up, thanks him, comes in, we get our deal. Cut it from 60 to 16 dollars. SW: Because of the last names? JL: Because of the name. EL: The names and the people- JL: And you don’t think of that, you know. Now Lucas over there in Texas is like LeBlanc here in and Broussard here. EL: Over there. JL: And what [Hebert?] here, you know. EL: Well it’s not- JL: As names like that, you know. But anyway, names have a lot to do with it. Names have a whole lot to do with it. But they know Lucas now. [SW chuckles] They know it. SW: You’ve been here long enough. JL: Oh yeah, well, we got a son, we have a son that’s well-known here. He’s very well-known here. Our oldest son. SW: Oh okay. JL: Very well-known. And when, the people love him, they just love him. He uh, he went to Vietnam and he lost both of his legs. And so he’s in a wheelchair and he’s been in the wheelchair 30-somethin’ years. And of course the people just love him because he’s a school teacher, he’s a student counselor, and then he works with the drug and alcohol abuse program, this Teen Court. He works with that and then of course he has his own private practice of counseling. Par-, uh, family counseling. So he’s well-known. So Lucas, the name is well-known here, very well-known here. You know, so he’s the one did it I guess you’d say, you know. But anyway, I don’t think, that’s not all important, ‘cause that’s not oil company- SW: I just have one, one more question and then I’ll shut it off. Um, any regrets with for your career in the oil industry?HHA # 00283 Page 30 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 30 Houston History Archives EL: Oh no. JL: No. EL: I think I did real well. JL: No, uh uh. Any regrets. EL: Considerin’ the education against what I became, you know. I don’t believe I could’ve done any better anywhere else. JL: No, I’m, I, I was very pleased. I was mostly a mother and a housewife. I went back to school after I was 46 and became a nurse. I went back into nursing. And uh, but I was here with the children. I was, I raised the children. We had a little struggling to do like anybody else, you know. We had to count our pennies every week, every two weeks, you know. EL: Still count ‘em. [Chuckles] JL: Yeah. Well, anyway, it was just, you know. It was a nice, it was nice uh, association. And we’ve been retired since ’85, so. SW: And y’all have that group, so it’s a still a good association. JL: Yes. SW: You go to the uh, meetings. EL: Yeah. Yeah. JL: Right, right. We had one in New Iberia, but it folded. EL: Is Tex- JL: Texaco. SW: Oh. Texaco. JL: It was just Texaco and it folded. So that’s why we belong to the other one because we like to be social, sociable. We like to meet people, you know. SW: Well I’m glad y’all came, ‘cause I got a chance to meet y’all. [Chuckles] JL: Yeah. [Chuckles] Yeah. SW: And I thank y’all for the interview. JL: Well you’re quite welcome. SW: This was very important. JL: Good. Nice meeting you again.HHA # 00283 Page 31 of 31 Interviewee: Lucas, Ed and Juliet Interview Date: June 26, 2003 University of Houston 31 Houston History Archives SW: I’ll turn this off here. [END OF RECORDING]