|Their numbers are diminishing – those who can remember how the days of oil in Oklahoma’s Osage County – when a fabulous wealth of shallow and easily drilled oil was found soon after the turn of the century, drawing from around the world a horde of that rough and romantic breed known as “Wildcatters,” followed soon after by further hordes of lawyers, politicians, drifters, and gamblers.
Those already here were swept aside or overrun in the rush for oil. The fact that the Osage Indians owned rights to the oil added still more turmoil to the scene. A system of “headrights” was instituted for the protections of the Indians, but the system itself led soon to arson, murder and political corruption in the Osage Nation so great the newly formed FBI was called in for one of its first investigations.
Floyd Beaver’s Picture of A Derrick presents a full spectrum of emotions in dealing with all the elements of a wild city (Tulsa), and a national (Osage Indians), who were invaded by red, black and white – who vied in a highly charged arena of all but lawless greed, ambition, and an often inelegant scramble for wealth and power!
Although told as fiction the story’s spirit is the blood and passion of the real people who brought forth from the chaos of the early oil fields of great State.
Floyd Beaver was born in Tulsa in 1920. His father moved the family to the Osage oil fields when he was a child. He attended school with Osage Indian children and grew to manhood in the oil fields. After service in the U.S. Navy during WWII, Beaver graduated from Tulsa University. He was Wire Desk man on the Tulsa Tribune, and eventually moved to California as an advertising man in the San Francisco area. He has a hundred published short stories in books and national television. Beaver’s Picture of A Derrick, is a happy coming together of heritage, training and experience, unusual in one man, which has resulted in a gripping story of the discovery of Oklahoma crude, a little known period in Oklahoma history few other writers could have produced.