Oil patch jump started around-the-world career

Bill Cooke

Neighbor Grover sez he once had amnesia, or maybe it was twice. G reat to hear from an old friend the other day, one

Jack Dymke who, since graduating Dear Ole’ Rock-a-dale High in 1953, went around the world a bunch of times selling oilfield equipment with Stanco Brake Lining Company of Houston.

After that, he ran a number of his own businesses while he and wife Dene, married 56 years last Feb. 12, lived at White Oak and raised four children.

Jack retired at 71 and is now living the good life on a nice spread in San Augustine.

“We’ve been very blessed,” he said of both family and profession. His story, since leaving the family’s sandy land farm south of Rockdale, bears evidence of many who were cut from the same bolt of cloth called necessity.

Jack started in the “oil patch” in 1954, taking a job on a drilling rig working out of Caldwell.

Jack Dymke Jack Dymke He and Dene married in 1955 and bought their first home in Houston when he went to work in sales for Standco. “I guess they hired me because I had worked on a drilling rig and knew the components,” he said.

“At that time there were about 2,300 rigs on the North American continent, but things began to shift overseas and our domestic rig count dropped to less than 1,200 which greatly affected our sales of drilling rig expendables,” he said.

Standco refocused on foreign markets—Canada, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. Meanwhile Jack had become assistant sales manager, and then when the sales manager took a job with another company, Standco named him worldwide sales manager.

“We changed our marketing policy in Canada and it worked so well we made similar changes worldwide, eliminating export reps in New York City and training foreign reps,” he noted.

In f ive years Standco had increased foreign sales by some 600 percent, more than offsetting the drop in domestic sales with the declining U.S. rig activity.

Weary of the world travel, Jack resigned in 1964 to stay home with family. They relocated to the Kilgore-Longview area, settling in White Oak where their four children grew up, graduated and married.

Jack and a friend established O&D Sales & Service in Kilgore as manufacturers’ reps for about 15 companies, including Standco. Next they started O&D Manufacturing Company. Both firms still operate today, although Jack and his friend sold out after several years.

He estab- lished Wellhead Equipment Company in White Oak, later shutting it down to run White Oak Real Estate for 15 years. He sold real estate and was a contract landman in the oil/gas industry.

He returned to operating oil and gas leases in the East Texas Field for the next 20 years. At age 71, he retired to San Augustine where his acreage has some nice natural gas production.

In the 50 years since he graduated RHS, we’ve had chance meetings (homecomings and the like) maybe five times. It was great to learn about his career and a privilege to get to write about it.

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2011-09-15 digital edition

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