Saturday, August 18, 2012

There's Gold in Them Thar' Hills

I truly believe that some business folks have not taken a hard look at South Texas. Let me say that I’m always the dreamer; the guy that’s always concocting schemes and ideas. I am not very good at transforming them into reality. I have had folks tell me that it’s an infrastructure thing and companies are concerned about recouping their investment. If you ever have the opportunity to walk into Wheeler’s Mercantile (especially in the morning) in Tilden, Texas, you would immediately see what I mean. Two gals and a facilitator (in case anything slows the process) working the registers. Mostly oil field hands in their FRC’s lined up twenty deep in three lines. And they’re gladly paying up to a 100% mark up when compared to your average Walmart pricing. That goes on from “oh dark thirty” to about nine a.m. every morning. Lunch repeats the process with plate lunches and sandwiches. And traffic continues to flow into the parking lot long after they lock up at nine every night. I bet folks who bought acres of this “worthless” sand and scrub brush are smiling now. $1500-2500 and acre is a thing of the past in the oil patch-more like $10,000 and up now. And you can forget about getting any mineral rights with it. I still think there is money to be made in the rental trailer business or catering. And I don’t mean oil field catering-a lot of folks are in that business. I think a lunch truck could kick some major a** here and someone refurbishing and renting older trailers could get a business going. A lady in the North Dakota oil patch did just that (and made millions) after seeing people sleeping in tents, cars, trucks, etc. If I was Papa Johns, Burger King or Taco Bell, for instance, I’d have a portable kitchen set up somewhere out here. And how come you can’t get a USA Today out here anywhere? And don’t even get me going about RV repair. You could make a fortune just repairing “gate guard” RV’s out here. Did you ever notice there are no tire shops for big trucks out here? Forget about tires-how about diesel repair? We regularly have tire shops send out repair trucks from over 60 miles away. I cringe at the thought of having to pay that bill. And after over eight hours on the side of the road waiting for a tow, I can tell you there is no heavy wrecker service in the oil patch.  Finally; I am surprised that there are not more watering holes out there. Not that I have looked for them; I rarely get time off of the gate. These hands are finding time to drink somehow because $10 six packs fly off of the shelf at the few stores that stock it. In fact, for such a boomtown atmosphere, you’d think vices would be more readily apparent. Evidently I’m not only getting old-I must be losing my vision.

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