When Dad Met the President
One day during the drilling, President Eisenhower was playing golf. He came up to the drill site, introduced himself to Failing employees and asked their names. He came back a few days later, walked up to the drill site, shook everyone's hand and addressed them by name. The other employees said that my dad was so impressed he would not wash his hand for a week.
Jimmy Doolittle (a famous pilot of the time) came up to the rig one day and stated that he didn't know what was wrong with his game that day, however, he was going to finish his drink and find out!
Mr. Failing had a party for the employees on the last evening. (He also brought the employee's lunch to the jobsite each day.) At the party, he announced, "You know the Failing/Zippo lighter that I had polished up and presented to President Eisenhower when we shook hands today? Here's that lighter; I gave him my old one by mistake."
Mr. Failing took a small core of very hard rock from one of the wells at the golf course home, had it polished and mounted on a desk plaque with the words "Presented to President Dwight D. Eisenhower from George E. Failing Company" engraved in gold. Mr. Failing then sent it to the president. I wonder where that core is today!
When I was very young, I met Mr. Failing on several occasions at his home. Years later, my wife and our two sons visited Mr. Failing at his mansion north of Enid, Okla. He and his wife always were very nice.
My father once was sent by George E. Failing Co. to drive a Failing 1500 from Enid to New York City to deliver it to C. W. Lawman Co. While stopping for gas in Philadelphia, the attendant asked him what that big thing was. Dad advised him that it was a smoke grinder. The attendant said, "We sure need one of those around here."
While driving in New York City in the drill, Dad got on a one-way street going the wrong way during rush hour. A policeman stopped him and asked, "What the @#$%^& are you trying to do?" Dad said, "Trying to get this @#$%^& thing turned around." The policeman stopped all the traffic, got Dad turned the right way and gave him an escort to his destination.
Later, Dad was requested to fly back to New York, but he didn't want to fly. Dad flew on a twin-engine plane from Enid to Oklahoma City, and then on to somewhere else. The ride from Enid was very rough and when he arrived in Oklahoma City, they were calling his name over the intercom, saying that his flight was about to leave without him. As he boarded the plane, the flight attendant asked him, "Don't you want to fly today Mr. Cutter?" His answer was, "I really don't give a $%^&*# whether I do or not." Dad really didn't like to fly.
While Dad worked for Failing, he helped me buy my first drill rig when I was 13. Later when I was 16 and doing very well, I tried to get Dad to quit Failing and go into partnership with me. He said Failing had been so good to him that he couldn't just quit without a good reason. He said he would ask them for a $100 raise and then when refused, he would quit. He came home that weekend and somewhat down. I asked him what happened. He said, "They gave me the $%^&*# raise."
Sometime later, Mr. Art Johndrow (Art was then president of George E. Failing Co.) and a friend advised dad that he was to fly to somewhere. Dad asked, "If I refuse to fly, would that be it?" Art said if Dad couldn't take orders, he guessed that would be it! Dad said, "I'm not #}*@&% going." Hence, a long and prosperous partnership (until his death) as "Cutter & Dad Drilling Co."
But that's another story!