When I first broke out in the oil patch, one of the things I quickly learned was that holiday or not, the well-work came first. This meant that holidays off turned into “maybes,” or as the low man on the totem pole, “definitely working.”
For some reason I always think of Easter as a time to pump cement with Big Red during daylights –although I’m sure there was some Easter in there where I was working nights and pumping something else with some blue or orange colored contractor. Well, these holiday skeleton crews don’t always run so smooth, so rather than griping about having to work on the holiday with all the extra downtime I took up wellsite grilling. Easter Sunday I’d cook up 6 lbs. of New York Strip for the rig and 9 lbs. Tri-Tip for the contractors. For those accustomed to only Texas BBQ, Tri-Tip is essentially a sirloin cut with a generous back of fat so that it grills nice and slow, 3-4 hours, to jive with that holiday downtime.
One Easter Sunday I remember grilling up the steaks, we were waiting on the last Big Red bulk truck, and the pumper came over to me with a huge bag of something I’m not allowed to describe in public. The grin on his face was even bigger than the bag, “It’s called Tripas.” Well, we cooked up the steaks and the tripas and had ourselves an Easter Sunday BBQ right there at the wellsite. Maybe we didn’t get to be with our families that year, but we were brothers that day all the same. And that bulk truck never did show up, so we all came back Monday and got that job done, just another day.
So, the rain and the heat, the booms and the busts, they come and go. The reasons we chase all of it stays the same. I might just have grill up some extra steaks today out of tradition–probably not any tripas though–Happy Easter!