The Thirty-Sixth Hole

Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family is an extraordinary book. And she didn’t even pick it up because it was an Oprah Book Club selection. She was just working off a list. In between tearing through science fiction, she decided to read nonfiction.

She’s on Chapter 20, in which Margaret, the older Galvin girl, is whisked off, at just shy of 14, to live with a family she barely knows, a family of enormous wealth, who started off on the same economic plane as the Galvins but found luck, such enormous luck.

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Sam Gary was “a natural risk-taker. For years, he had been known around Denver as Dry Hole Sam … In the mid-1960s, when everyone in the oil exploration business was drilling in Wyoming, Sam started drilling just north of the state line in the southeastern corner of Montana. Sam drilled thirty-five dry holes.” — p. 158

  • On June 29, 1967, one of the new wells — Sam’s thirty-sixth try — struck oil in Bell Creek Field in Montana. Sam set up four-hundred new wells, hanging on to 30 percent ownership.

Sam Gary was “about the same age as” Margaret’s father. By the time Margaret moves in with the Garys, they have a house in Denver with a housekeeper, a cook, and various other servants. They own a condo in the main drag of Vail and spend every weekend on their hundred-acre ranch in Montana, just up against Flathead Lake.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Read more books.

 


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