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The Derrikman and the Noose

The hangin tree, about 8 yards from the window

We’ve been with Lantern 16 for 3 months.

This particular site is a little unusual.

It’s a bit jungle like.

And, I have a hangin’ tree right outside my window.

I know it’s a hangin’ tree because a derrickman told me, and who would know better than a derrickman about a hangin’ tree?

We don’t have much turn over in our 7/7 guys. We’ve been with most of them through 6 rotations (which I understand are called tours, pronounced towers).

After a tour or two, you start to get to know the crew. Some guys talk a lot, some just a little.

One guy, not at all.

The first name I learned as a gate guard was Jimmy’s because he refused to tell it to me.

Jimmy travels from the TX/LA border with John and John’s son Bradley. I didn’t know Bradley’s name for the first week because everyone calls him 5 Foot Bear (pronounced 5 Foot Bar). 

Big John, same crew different John, started calling Bradley 5 Foot Bear the first time he saw him cause he was so little and scrawny, just like a 5 foot bear. Hmm…

Every evening, Jimmy and John and Bradley would pull up in front of the RV. John would smile and talk about the weather, the rig, the critters. Bradley’s pretty shy but he’d make a comment now and then. Jimmy, although clearly not shy, never said a word.

Whatever the topic, John was the spokesman. Jimmy would stare at me, chew, spit in a blue plastic cup,  never once looking away.

I didn’t try to win him over. He’s not the type to be won.

I decided to just bide my time and wait him out.

This went on for 4 weeks. In and out, night after night; not a word.

Then, one night, nothing happened.

It was just like every other night except Jimmy decided to start talking.

Some people like me, some don’t, but it’s  never taken anyone that long to make up their mind.

The wild pigs hang out behind the RV

I wrote about the derrick last night. Jimmy is one of our derrickmen.

In addition to all of his responsibilities up on the derrick, he also has a really great view from 90 feet above the ground!

He watches the woods beside the RV.

He picked out his own personal derrick and hung the noose.

Technically he hung a snare, which he camouflaged and baited with food.

Now Henry and I know what that excessive squealing and screaming and thrashing has been outside the window.

Jimmy and John and Bradley were wrasseling wild pigs, 8 or 9 yards from the RV. The first one they snared they figure weighed around 120 lbs.

They caught and killed him and left the rest of the food preparation for Ron and Trevor.

Jimmy, the chef, brings his catch: scrubbed and rubbed and seasoned and baked for 12 hours!

Two days later, the air hose went off, but there weren’t any trucks.

There was Jimmy in his steel-toed boots, bringing supper.

It was my first wild pig meal. Jimmy’s a good cook.

He stayed a while and entertained us. Colorful guy.

I’m glad he’s decided to talk to me. I love this guy!

His tour was up Tuesday.

He and John and 5 foot Bear went ripping out as soon as their shift ended.

He left with a smile and a wave and a present for his wife.

This little one (about 75 lbs) will join the 8 he has in a pen at home.

I’m looking forward to hearing all about it during their next tour!

Napping. It is a long ride home.

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