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The Shot
Introduction and Rick Tallini
Uncle Gus
Augustus Pease
The Professional
Robert's First Shot
Composition of Roberts' Torpedo
The Suits and The War
The Accomplishment
Otto Cupler
Concluding Remarks and Erastus T. Robert

The Shot

Introduction and Rick Tallini

Before delving into this abbreviated story of powder and nitroglycerin as used in oil wells, it is almost mandatory that the reader peruse "Tales of Destruction" by Rick Tallini, a cool shooter and expressive writer who hasn’t left out one drop of blood or one chunk of heart meat in his many tales which are found in www.logwell.com. Such thunder will no doubt attract Hollywood and inspire future generations of ghouls, but, truth be known, shooting the formation has generally taken a backseat to newer means of fracturing the oil and gas reservoirs. In spite of that, these fearless and colorful men who lived like "every day was the Fourth of July" deserve an accolade, LONG LIVE THE SHOOTER! Botsford (1920) in his article for The Outlook called the shooter the "ace of the industry". Judging from Rick’s activities the service still has some clients. There are some operators who swear that a good shot in the butt does wonders to bring in a reluctant oil well.

During the last year or so, I have had occasion to call Rick Tallini three times using his Titusville phone number (which is the only one I know of). After a series of strange sounds, Rick’s voice comes through. The first time he was somewhere in Ohio and the well site was being cleared in preparation for the shot. On the second phone call, Rick answered from a well site somewhere in New York State. The timing put that call at a point moments before the shot, and we had to make it fast. The third call found Rick somewhere on the road trying to get to a shooting job near Bradford, PA.


© 2004, Samuel T. Pees
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