One of the great enjoyments of my career
was working for Exxon at its production office in Kingsville, Texas.
As a young geologist I was paired with a young engineer and, as
a team, we immediately began to develop prospects.
I began work in 1977 during the "boom," when there
were a lot of young people starting their careers in Kingsville.
Of course, we always joked about "getting out of Kingsville" as
soon as possible and moving to more glamorous places. In reality,
Kingsville was a good place to start and I met many of my best friends
A sort of "pecking order" existed on transfers out
of Kingsville. As I was one of the "first in" of my peer group,
after about two and one-half years, I was the "first out."
For my farewell party, I decided to give a "Weevil
Award" as a joke to the next person most likely to leave. "Weevil"
was a term used for new hires in Kingsville. I'm not sure how to
describe it, except to say that it was one of those endearing insults
that are often given to new hires.
The "Weevil Award" was an incredibly ugly, dilapidated
bowling trophy. It was left in my garage by the previous owner when
Mary and I moved to Kingsville. It was one of those strange, forlorn
things that had been abandoned like an old hat.
For some reason, I was reluctant to toss it. Who
knows? It could be put to good use.
For my farewell party, I slapped a fake brass nameplate
on it, and presented the trophy to my co-worker Tom Chidsey, who
most recently served as general chairman for the Salt Lake City
meeting. He passed it on as a joke when he left Kingsville to Gary
Wier. Gary gave it to Jim Himanga, and he to others. Apparently,
it began to take on a mystic aura, in that each person to receive
the award soon left Kingsville.
After a few years I lost track of the "Weevil" and
never gave it another thought.
I've always liked to start things. At least a lot
of people accuse me of that. I'm not sure it's always a compliment.
In the fall of 2000 at the SEG meeting in Calgary,
I was commenting to Dan Smith that I had not found time to initiate
an AAPG prospect and property expo. Furthermore, I lamented, it
was probably too late to start one.
Dan was emphatic that the membership wanted AAPG
to develop this program, and strongly encouraged me to proceed.
So we built a business plan, and then-president Marlan Downey and
the Executive Committee approved the idea. Chuck Noll was chosen
as the first APPEX general chairman. A lot of volunteers and staff
worked furiously, and now we are preparing for our third expo, having
grown every year. Paul Hoffman and Deborah Sacrey are co-chairs
for APPEX 2003.
We have made a number of improvements to APPEX this
- We have moved the APPEX meeting to its now-permanent
time frame during the second week of September. APPEX will be held
Sept. 9-11, once again at the George R. Brown Convention Center
- We are partnering with IHS to present an "Upstream
Perspectives" forum on Tuesday, Sept. 9. The morning session will
concentrate on global issues presented by experts on Africa, Asia
and Latin America. The afternoon session will focus on North American
perspectives, especially gas potential.
- This year the exhibition will last for nearly two
full days — Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 10-11. While the exhibition
will feature mostly domestic onshore prospects, this year's exhibition
also will feature a deepwater pavilion and an international area.
We are expecting our largest exhibition ever with
over 400 booths!
In January 2000, six months after I came to AAPG,
I received a box in the mail. Inside was a letter describing the
history of the Weevil Award and a very nice letter from David Noble
with ExxonMobil. David's letter said:
"You probably forgot about this old trophy a long
time ago, but one of us who worked in Exxon's old Kingsville district
passed the trophy on for all of these many years. I'm afraid it
has become a little worn, and it looks to me that a few of the nameplates
fell off many years ago. But, I can honestly say that is has been
openly displayed with both pride and humor for the entire time that
many others and I have held it for you. And now it is finally time
to return it to you."
You can imagine my surprise when I saw that old trophy
from my garage in Kingsville from over 20 years ago. Attached was
a list of almost 25 geologists with most of their names on little
brass plaques on the trophy.
I display the Weevil Award with pride on the bookshelf
in my office. It speaks to the camaraderie of our profession, i.e.,
only a bunch of crazy geologists would pass an old, ugly keepsake
along for 20 years. Since my name was never on the trophy, I am
amazed that oral tradition preserved that fact for 20 years. I appreciate
David returning it to me.
You never know where something is going to go once
you start it. I guess the most important thing is to start something.
Please join us at APPEX this year. It's a member show
and we have made a great start. Our third year is going to be one
of the best.
For all the latest APPEX news, go to our Web site
at www.aapg.org. For specific questions, contact Michelle Mayfield
Gentzen, at [email protected]