Leland Hale had a career in the oil field. He worked for some time for Humble, which is now Exxon. He also worked on a rig in the gulf of Mexico, working one week on an one week at home. Later he worked in the Persian Gulf, working one month there and one month at home. Before retiring he worked for Eastman Whitstock in horizontal directional drilling.He enjoyed the last 13 1/2 years he worked in directional and horizontal drilling than any other.When called for a job he never knew where it would be or when. It was never boring as each job was different and was certainly always a challenge. His jobs took him as far as PA, Wisconsin and other states. Mostly, he worked in Texas and Oklahoma. Many times Esther was able to go visit him at the job locations which was different that any of the other years when he worked away from home. Once when on a job close to Texarkana, Mike, Reeda and Esther were able to go visit him.
One thing Leland always wanted was to stay close to family. There were actually time the whole family could get together at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Many Christmas holidays were either early or delayed until he came home. Another way he stayed close and enjoyed family was the tradition of making "wafflo's" on Sunday mornings when he was home. Shauna & Lori were always there, Jenny, Sarah and Mark came often. Summer and Autumn lived in Texarkana and unable to come.
Leland enjoyed teasing his own children and the grandchildren as well. Ask any of them and they will tell you he usd to scare them. He called Mike one morning and Autumn aswered the phone. (what an opportunity) He told her he was the sheriff, telling no telling what all and then he heard Autumn yell "DDDDAAAADY!" Mike suspecting it was Leland came to the phone and asked "What did you tell her?" Tricks were another thing he liked to do and still does. Once Shauna, Jenny and Esther were in the company pickup. One of the girls noticed it was low on gas. He told them not to worry it was a magic truck...all they had to do was look out the back window. two little heads turned and Leland switched the tank. When they looked back it was full. How impressed they were!! He told them it had to be a white truck with Oklahoma tags on it. He told them to go home and announce to their parents to buy a truck like this one and they wouldn't have to buy gas anymore. Another trick he pulled on Mark when he was small and visiting them that he could make the garage door go up and down by saying "aba-ca-dabra".. Mark loved to make it go up and down. Later he told us he saw Grandpa push something in his pocket, soooo, who was fooling who? Space does not allow to go into the many more things, but you get the idea.
Esther took photography classes and had a great dark room setup. She created and designed the double image of the picture shown here of Leland and the oil rig. She did this without using a photo editor. That was challenging, but I don't think as much so as learning to fly an airplane. Wayne got his license first, then Mike and Esther. Leland also flew and was a good navigator. He helped Esther with those skills. Once Esther said she got lost while flying solo. She went into the airport after landing and told two pilots there that she wasn't going to fly anymore. One of them told her there were two kinds of pilots. One that has been lost and the other one that would get lost. They teased her about it anyway and called her "one way Esther." --> -->
When I first saw this picture of Mark I thought of the movie Top Gun. Mark had always wanted to skydive and he got that for a birthday present about a couple of years ago.
Sharon (his mom) didn't learn to fly a plane, but she always wanted to skydive. As far as I know she hasn't done that yet. Maybe she should get a skydive experience for her birthday.
P.S. In Leland's article it was mentioned how he loved scaring the kids..well, that goes for other members of the family too. Recently Jo Ann visited and when she started to leave he told her his PU was behind her. It was out of the way, but he had a plan. As she was backing out he let out his loud YELL and it blamed near caused a heart attack. She didn't know if she hit him, his PU or me. Of course it was none of the above. It helps to have nerves of steel and a sense of humor to be part of this family