Letters to the Editor

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KILGORE’s wood derrick could be replaced with smaller scale metal model

I read The Kilgore News-Herald article: “Museum’s aging derrick slated for demolition” .It has been a familiar sight at the East Texas Oil Museum since 1980 and I fully understand the rationale for taking it down: aging wood, ferocious recent storms, and potential damage or injuries if the structure fell. The right decision was made to dismantle the old wooden derrick.

However, I really think a one-half scale model (or one-fourth scale model) could be installed on the Museum grounds, further away from buildings and perhaps made out of iron or steel with camouflaged painting to resemble wood.

While Kilgore has plenty of metal oil derricks (some of which are lit-up at night) , I still feel that this would add to the ambiance of the Oil Museum and still be a safe alternative. After all, most people have never truly seen the upper part of a real oil derrick ---and even one that is one-fourth scale wouldn’t show visitors everything; yet, it would be a better glimpse in my opinion; and thus, more educational to patrons if the functionality of derricks was seen closer and clearer. The Museum asked for alternative options in the wake of the derrick coming-down. This is one suggestion I believe would work, be done at a reasonable cost, in prompt fashion, and be safe at the same time. Just a thought.

Sincerely,

James A. Marples,

Longview, Texas

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