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An American Dream

My step daughter, a former All American, All Pac 10 volleyball player with the University of Washington, and now a world renown professional player, brought home a cool kid from Croatia one weekend ten years or so ago. He was on full athletic scholarship himself at UW and on his way to two NCAA national championships for team rowing.

Roko had never seen an oil well before. We spent a half day looking at my stuff and I pretended to be the walking Wikipedia of all stuff oily and gassy. We watched a well get worked over, thief'ed a stock tank and shook out some oil to check for BS&W content; on the way home we ate barbecue by the slice, served on butcher paper, drank sweet tea and talked about how cool it was to get stuff out the ground that is 100 million years old. He never stopped grinnin.' I must have answered 200 questions that day.

He and I talked a little for awhile after his visit and it wasn't long after that he changed his degree plan from mechanical engineering at Washington to geology. He graduated, became a mud longer and is now steering wells as a Senior Operations Geologist for Continental Resources in the Bakken.

We still hear from Roko now and then and he is happy. He was a fine you man when I first met him; very polite, very humble and incredibly enthusiastic about this life. I am proud of him.

Apparently Continental Resources is proud of him as well. At their quarterly meeting in Oklahoma City a few months ago, in front of 1,200 Continental employees, they showed this short documentary about Roko. At the end of the film Harold Hamm shook Roko's hand and bragged about him to the entire crowd.

What's better than that?

For Roko it was becoming an American citizen.

"Mike definitely inspired me and firmly cemented my intention of going into the oil and gas industry back when I was still a freshman in college and picking a direction for my life. I saw how well he was doing and what an interesting man he was and my choice was clear; I wanna be like Mike."

Thanks, buddy. It was my great privilege. Please carry on.

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