Copano Bay Press is a Corpus Christi publisher that specializes in keeping Texas' past alive and sometimes blows up myths in the process. This particular book wins my award this week for intriguing marketing copy, and goes on the reading list. Here's the lead in:
The East Texas Oil Field. The Black Giant. Most productive field in US history.
Not only did its discovery lead to technological and legal innovations that changed the industry, it's fair to say that the United States could not have fought Hitler and the Japanese Empire at the same time without East Texas hydrocarbons. Then there's the famous discovery story.
Old Dad Joiner Believed
He believed East Texas was floating on an ocean of oil even though none of the major oil companies thought so. He believed because his geologist, Doc Lloyd said so. Because he believed, Dad kept going even after two wells were junked, spending his last dollar to sink a third hole, burning green wood and old tires to power a ramshackle rig manned by farmhands. And on October 5, 1930 his faith was rewarded when the Daisy Bradford No. 3 came in. But that ain't how it really happened. Neither Dad nor Doc thought there was any oil to be found on Daisy Bradford's farm. They were, in a word, scoundrels. And finding oil was the last thing they wanted. Michelle Haas spent a year on the trail of Dad and Doc, and has recorded their stories from birth to death. She has forever destroyed the myth. She trailed these rogues across Texas, through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Ohio... and in the case of Doc Lloyd, even made a special trip to the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho to dig up some especially rich dirt on him. You are probably familiar with the Joiner/Lloyd lore, but who were they really? Two contradictory old sayings perfectly describe these two men and their relationship. The first: "Opposites attract." Dad loved poetry
Doc sang lewd ditties
Dad was a suit and tie dandy
Doc dressed in khakis and a campaign hat
Dad was stooped, frail and soft spoken
Doc was hearty, loud and larger than life
The second: "Birds of a feather flock together."
Both had manufactured their life histories
Both had run scams for decades before the East Texas discovery
Both spent a lot of time in court
Both claimed professions in which they had no training (lawyer and geologist.)
Both were bad husbands, though unlike Doc, Dad limited himself to one wife (but not one woman) at a time
Michelle has turned over all the stones to record the full truth about these two oil field legends for the first time.
The link to the Copano Bay Press website is: https://copanobaypress-gallery.com/products/dad-doc-the-men-behind-the-east-texas-oil-field I have no financial interest in this company and don't get anything for posting this other than the opportunity to share a good resource with other Texas history lovers.