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June 24, 2008

the price of oil

This one is difficult to write. In the mid-1980s, when OPEC
decided to make the price of oil cheap, domestic exploration
and support along Louisiana's coast ground to a halt. It affected
a lot of ordinary people. We used to have a middle class in this
town once upon a time.

These pictures are of what is left standing today where my
family used to run a handful of support companies. The most
successful of these sandblasted and painted platforms. When
my dad taught me how to sandblast a couple of years ago he
told me "You are now doing what your grandfather did to make
his fortune." He was lucky enough to retire. My dad went
back to school at 30 to learn how to do something else.

We closed up shop and sold all the boats and the equipment
that we could, and I think we were gone from here in 1988.
There was a small building attached to the side of the more
intact warehouse, on that slab. It has since been torn down.
We used to stop by every day after school.

I'm surprised they cut the grass, to be honest, but things
are looking better along this strip of road, as the rent
is cheap, and new companies (and the old ones that survived)
are sprouting up in a small revival of the industry thanks
to the price of crude.

We are back too, though as programmers instead of running
boats offshore and employing all manner of crazy people.

As a final note, sometimes the photography gods give us
gifts. Click on the pictures for enlarged versions - my
favorite is this last warehouse. These look great big.

candice at June 24, 2008 11:32 PM


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