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Chance Buckman

"Chance Buckman," goofing around during the filming of The Hellfighters,

in 1967. The Buckman Company's hard hats were red, their coveralls the same; I suspect this was a photo shoot. For a funny story about the making of this film, please see the Oily Stuff post, Remembering Red, here.

This was a short video clip I spoke over in the presentation, The History of Oil Well Firefighting and Blowout Control where I told the story about John Wayne falling on his huevos. At the end of the clip are a few frames of Red, Boots, Coots, John and Timothy Hutton standing together in red coveralls:

In the film Chance Buckman was crushed between two dozers (as was Red once in his actual career). When Chance was taken to the hospital his doctor was an actor named Cactus Pryor, on the left, from Austin. I played tennis when Mr. Pryor when I was kid at Lakeway, World of Champions Resort. He was a well loved, very colorful character in the Austin area and a pretty fair tennis player. Cactus was also in the movie, the Green Berets with John Wayne.

In our office in

Houston, in the kitchen, Coots had a lot of props from the making of this move on the wall, including several Buckman Company stickers and coverall patches that were framed. Lord, I'd give anything to have one of those now. I hope those worms at Halliburton saved all that stuff.

The Hellfighters did not receive very good reviews from critics and did not do all that well at the box office. Personally, I loved it and though I have seen it 143 times, I still like to think of the stories I heard from Coots about its filming and how much fun they all had. Red was quoted on numerous occasions as saying the making of this film was one the highlights on his entire career.

I use to give away copies of this DVD at speaking engagements as gifts, to people who asked me to give the presentation, organized my travel and the IT people that set up the video and sound, etc.

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