My family is “in oil.” (And before you start thinking it, no, this is not about how I started mainlining crude oil.) I don’t know how else to say it because there are so many complicated details about what they do. They don’t own a big company and we aren’t rolling in it like Devon and Chesapeake. No, it’s never been like that for us. We are a small, family-owned business, that has been passed down a few generations. My dad went out on his own to start another company as well, but still works for the family one and a few others. We have always lived right off the highway, in the middle of the country, in a hilly area peppered liberally with pump jacks.
But anyway. Being in this business, my dad and other family members sometimes have to head up to “The City” and get things lined out at the Corporation Commission and other places. When I was little these places were nothing more to me than big, pretty buildings.
Well, one time I got to go. I cannot imagine why, unless my mom was really sick or something, because taking a 4-year-old is just not what you do in one of these situations. We got there though and were seated in this room. I remember there being a lot of windows and a really big table.
And there on that table was a cup. In that cup was a dark, murky liquid that I assumed was pop. I grabbed it and took a drink.
It wasn’t pop. I imagine it was Aunt Betty’s because she’s the only one that was there on that day that would be drinking the brew, but I can’t be sure. Either way, that day in 1989, downtown Oklahoma City, I had my first taste of coffee. It was cold and it was bitter–and I loved it.