Trading Up

Trading Up
Trading Up Trading Up Oil on canvas- currently in the East Texas Oil Museum.

This painting was a result of research on the boom town in East Texas, named Kilgore. In 1932 oil was struck and a town of 800 people changed overnight to 8000. So many came that needed mail, the postmen were forced to modernize to Automobiles. I wondered what it must have been like to ride the trusted horse into town for the last time. So here is my image of that moment when Postman Laird traded up. A “Land Man” is on the right with land plots in hand. In the background, oil wells are shown pumping away. So many oil wells were drilled in town that you could get from one end of town to the other without touching the ground. The streets were muddy well into the 30s. On the left I depicted one of the cafes from the early days, and on the right, the first feed store in Kilgore. Laird is dressed in the uniform required by Kilgore’s Postmistress, with mail satchel over his shoulder.

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