By: Gary Durossette (class of 63) and Gana Shriver Durossette (class of 66)
Gary : Alamo,MHS,LHS
Sports : LHS golf team Junior & senior years
College : Texas Tech BBA Marketing(John Franklin was roommate)
Military : US Air Force
Career : Oil & Gas business
Gary : I moved to Midland for my 9th grade and attended Alamo Jr. High. My father was employed by Halliburton as a petroleum engineer and his job responsibilities required us to move every year for the first eight years of my school life. This simply means that I had to attend a different school in a different town from the age of six until fifteen. Each town and school seemed larger and more imposing than the last. Friendships were difficult to make because why bother, I would only be there a short time. Then the move to Midland was next in line. Imagine my surprise when we stayed for several years and I learned early that my classmates and pals knew everyone else. I thought that all kids in an oilfield environment moved as I had done and we would all be on equal footing, not so, but also not difficult to fit in. I would seek out another newest kid in class and compare stories of each other’s live before Midland and then, before I knew it, I had my own list of friends, albeit not quite as long a list as those born and raised in west Texas but, none the less, a start. I now to this day call my friends from Midland my best friends and we stay in close touch.
How can you watch the movie “American Graffitti” without thinking “that was us” and the memories of cruising the streets. During the summer I started working in the oilfield as a roustabout at the age of 17 and lived in Big Lake in a converted storage room attached to a liquor store. From that experience I graduated to working on a frac crew for Halliburton and lived in Odessa. Didn’t they say you raised children in Midland and raised hell in Odessa, although we Midlander’s did not seem to have trouble with the latter in our own town. When you work 60 hours a week there does not leave much time for cruising the streets but that is where & how I met Gana(class of 66) at Burger Chef. I think the small hamburgers were cheap so I probably could be a big spender and treat her. From there we went to Texas Tech and married my last year in school. We celebrated our 51st wedding anniversary last January. My career after Tech was the US Air Force for four years and then the oil and gas business. Additional military information. I had just received my degree in marketing and was fortunate enough to serve in the Air Force stateside stationed in Austin and Denver, CO. My field was procurement. Gana and I moved and lived in 5 states and when asked where we were from we would proudly say “Midland,TX”. I am so glad that I stayed long enough to drink some of that water.