Water Well Journal

September 2016

Water Well Journal

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/715953

Contents of this Issue


Page 61 of 81

I have penned several articles in Water Well Journal the last 15 years about many of the people in my life. I have writ- ten on my father, coworkers, best friends, associates, and even one of my original employers. One individual from my life, though, who has received lit- tle mention is my mother. And besides my wife, there is no other woman who has had such a profound impact on my life. Now, you might think an article about a mother might be in- appropriate and even boring for a water well magazine, but that could not be further from the truth here. In fact, I can attribute a portion of my exposure to the water well industry to my mother. My mother was an extremely inventive and imaginative person. She wrote several poems, short stories, and manu- scripts that were submitted to magazines and book publishers, but were not published. She could bounce between poetry one minute to an immediate oral rendition of a short story involv- ing a well drilling crew the next. She created various charac- ters for her stories that often enthralled and delighted me as a kid and literally pushed me into the water well industry. So grant me a little personal indulgence and allow me to introduce you to Mom. Orvilla June Daily Right off the bat, you must know that my mother was a slightly different and offbeat type of person. In fact, she was given the name of Orvilla at birth and had to go through life being called various names, generally the more common man's name of Orville or Orv for short. I never saw her get upset over this often mistaken identity. She simply preferred to use the more informal identification of Vel to her friends and family. Orvilla June Daily was born to Gerald and Opal Daily on December 13, 1933 in Springfield, Missouri. I never met my maternal grandmother, as she died well before I was born. Gerald subsequently married Vivian Mandel, who became the maternal grandmother I knew, although now my maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother are the only true grand- parents I retain memories of to this day. The Daily family, which ultimately consisted of the two parents; an older brother, Stan; my mother, Orvilla; and two younger sisters, Donna and Rheta, moved to Grants Pass, Ore- gon, during the mid-1940s where my mother met and married her first husband, Jim Beck, when she was just 14 or 15 years old. This type of marriage was fairly common at the time and in 1949 my older half-brother, Denny Beck, was born followed by my half-sister, Jannice, in 1952. During this union an economic imperative resulted in my mother's newfound interest and subsequent research into the water well industry, which soon led to Jim Beck's employ- ment as a helper on a cable-tool drilling machine. Although I know my mother would have preferred to be the one out working on the drill rig (believe it or not), convention at the time dictated she stay home with the children. Strife and turmoil, as it often will in a family with limited financial resources and two young children, entered the mar- riage, culminating in a divorce around 1955. My mother, with two children in tow, then moved closer to the Corvallis, Ore- gon area where she met and married my father, Edward Oren Butts, in October 1957. I was born the following July in 1958, followed by my sister, Debbie, exactly one week shy of my first birthday in 1959. The entire Butts family, which now included two parents, two boys, and two girls, relocated 10 miles up the road to Al- bany, Oregon. My father worked in various industries to sup- port his family, most notably on a green chain in a lumber mill and as a local laborer. My mother introduced him to the water well business sometime around 1959 and he began as a helper on a cable-tool machine. He found he had a knack for this type of work and was soon operating his own drilling machine around the Albany-Corvallis area for a drilling contractor. In search of untold riches, the family relocated to the Bak- ersfield region of central California around 1962 where our father gained employment for a few years working as a helper and driller on an exploratory rotary drilling machine for Shell Oil Co. He quickly learned the fundamentals of blending, working, and drilling with mud mixtures. This experience on a mud rotary drilling machine would soon produce dividends. ED BUTTS, PE, CPI ENGINEERING YOUR BUSINESS ONE WOMAN'S STORY Like many, the author's mother had an impact on his introduction to the groundwater industry. I know my mother would have preferred to be the one out working on the drill rig (believe it or not), convention at the time dictated she stay home with the children. waterwelljournal.com 58 September 2016 WWJ

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Water Well Journal - September 2016