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From Farming to Refining

Story ID:7230
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Poem
Location:HEMET CA USA
Year:1950
Person:Stupified Chelsea Kansas Kid
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From Farming to Refining

From Farming to Refining

From Farming to Refining

(Skelly Oil, El Dorado, Kansas)

From soil to oil

The transition was hard to make

From working from sunup to sundown

Now I worked only eight.



I thought I got away from plowing dirt

Now I used a shovel a pick or a spade

Digging ditches by hand

In the hot sun, not a bit of shade



Every few feet

We were told to dig a bell-hole

So the welder could work in comfort

While we worked like a mole



The welder was a fattie

That meant the hole had to be extra large

To accept his enormous body

This guy was as big as a river barge



He stood by smiling at us

While we toiled away

On a bell-hole big enough for him

To do some welding in comfort today.



I finally made it to the FCC

There were thousands of miles of pipes

As I looked on in amazement

There were pipes of many types




There were large and small

Some copper and some steel

Some were covered with insulation

The paint on some started to peel



Some were hot some were cold

Some with only compressed air

Some seemed to have no purpose to me

The pipe fitters had just left them there.



Some were curved

Some were straight

There were fat ones

Some almost a figure eight



Where each pipe started and ended

I face a daunting task, to me it seemed

I had to learn what was flowing through the pipes

Gas, Hot oil, water, air or steam.



The city boys that

Worked at the FCC

Were very nice

And explained a lot to me



After eight years at Skelly Oil

I left and moved the family out of state

Soon after that tornado

Of nineteen hundred fifty eight.



Monte L. Manka 5-20-11