buried treasure locationBuried treasure was unearthed at the ranch last week! Can you believe? I am now $2300 richer. The booty was left on the property several years ago, and Mother Nature managed to obscure it with a luxurious coat of grass.

And what was the loot, you ask? Suckers. You heard me right——suckers. Sucker rods, that is. Used to produce black gold…Texas tea. But, unlike Jed Clampett, I did not become a millionaire from the black crude bubbling underneath my property.

 Suckers are steel rods, typically between 25 and 30 feet (7 to 9 meters) in length, and threaded at both ends, used in the oil industry to join together the surface and downhole components of a reciprocating piston pump installed in an oil well.

 Wow! That’s a mouthful. My untechnical mind has no earthly idea what that means.

Who knew? My suckers were 25 feet long, with one set being ¾” and another rang in at 1”, with the smaller ones stacked on top of the wider ones.


The oil well operator who owned the rods was a real pirate. He took over the oil lease and plundered it, removing the pump jack and propane tank, while abandoning two storage tanks, one overflowing with sludge, leaving the oily slurry penetrating the ground.

 Additionally, the hole in the earth that held the sucker rods is wide open. The pirate absconded with the pump jack but failed to follow his contract and clean up the land, leaving it the way he found it.

I put on my pseudo-attorney hat (I am no lawyer but have worked closely with them over the years) and began writing to the pirate, demanding that the land be cleaned and informing him that he was in violation of the lease.

 I further threatened future action. 

 When that did not work, I went to the Sheriff (Texas Railroad Commission). The sheriff and then the judge at the Commission told the pirate to clean everything up.  Alas, the pirate flipped the justice system the bird. The mess still pollutes my pristine ranch.


 Earlier this year, I jawed with my neighbor over the fence, worried that I could not see the piles of metal and fearful of driving over them with the tractor, tearing up my shredder. He told me those sucker rods were worth something. Apparently, Texas farmers and ranchers use them to build fences.

Excitement engulfed me. You see, once the well is abandoned, I own the equipment the pirate left and can do with it as I wish. And, I am embarrassed to admit, that we have run our credit cards up. Money to help pay them off was a thrilling prospect.

 Our local radio station has what they call Trade Days, designed for individuals to advertise things for sale. For $10, they will announce your sale for five days. When delivering my ad, I found that the door was locked and that payment and the ad needed to be left in a slot.  &%*()$$! I only had a $20 bill. The choices were grim. 1) go back into town and get change, or 2) overpay. My mind teetered. Leaving double the cost felt wasteful and foolish. But how long was this going to take? A good 30 minutes? I finally paid extra and fled.


 Sure enough, the first time the ad ran, we got two phone calls. Six days later all the booty had been claimed. However, digging it up was crazy. We had to unearth the smaller rods with the tractor and move them to the side, then dig out the bigger ones.

buried treasure extraction


 In retrospect, we sold the rods at bargain basement prices. But I don’t care. They are gone, a big relief. Also, it gives me a bit of glee to say “F…you” to the pirate, pocketing his money and laughing all the way to the bank.


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