Thursday, January 27, 2011

Texas Tidbits: Hellfighter: Red Adair

Much Man
There are legends and there are LEGENDS. One way to determine if a man is a LEGEND is to find out if he's ever been played in a movie by John Wayne. Chances are a little better than even (wink> that if he has been played by The Duke in a movie, he's a LEGEND. Paul Neal Adair is such a man. He was immortalized in the 1968 John Wayne movie, Hellfighters. Paul's nickname was 'Red". I'm sure many of you know this man as Red Adair.

Houston-born Red Adair was a man who traveled the world putting out fires.....oil well fires! Please allow me to get a snippet from Wikipedia, " Adair gained global notability in 1962, when he tackled a fire at the Gassi Touil gas field in the Algerian Sahara nicknamed the Devil's Cigarette Lighter, a 450-foot (137 m) pillar of flame that burned from 12:00 PM November 13, 1961 to 9:30 AM on April 28, 1962 (video). In 1977, he and his crew (including Asger "Boots" Hansen) contributed in mending the biggest oil well blowout ever to have occurred in the North Sea (and the 2nd largest offshore blowout worldwide, in terms of volume of crude oil spilled[citation needed]), at the Ekofisk Bravo platform, located in the Norwegian sector and operated by Phillips Petroleum Company (now ConocoPhillips). In 1978, Adair's top lieutenants Asger "Boots" Hansen and Ed "Coots" Matthews left to found competitor Boots & Coots International Well Control, Inc. In 1988, he was again in the North Sea where he helped to put out the UK sector Piper Alpha oil platform fire. At age 75, Adair took part in extinguishing the oil well fires in Kuwait set by retreating Iraqi troops after the Gulf War in 1991". At 75? WTF? Red Adair was much man. Hell, at 75, I just wanna wake up on the right side of the dirt every day and Adair at 75 was putting out oil well fires! No wonder he was the subject of a John Wayne movie. The Duke was the only man in Hollywood that could possibly play this guy. Damn.

That, in a few hundred words, is Red Adair. I found the following quote from Adair on his Wikipedia page. he once said, ""If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." Now that's funny! A while back I posted a piece from Coach Bum Phillips and talked of Texans being forged of a hotter fire. When Coach Phillips wrote those words, he was speaking of men exactly like Paul Neal Adair.

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