Byron Parade Marshals: John and Christy Petrich

John and Christy Petrich have been named Grand Marshals of this Saturday’s Byron Day parade. They gave us these stories about themselves.

JOHN PETRICH

I was born in Lovell on April 4, 1936, and lived in Byron. 

I started roughnecking in the oil field when I was 15 years old. During my last two years of high school I worked part-time on the rigs. There were four rigs near Byron and depending on which rig needed a hand, I worked the 4 p.m. to midnight or midnight to 8 a.m. shift while going to school. I graduated in 1953.

I continued roughnecking but later became a driller for Signal Drilling Co. and Loffland Drilling Co., one of the largest in the world, until 1960. The oil industry slowed down for a while, so I ran cranes and backhoes for a few years, then went to a drilling school and became a mud engineer.

Christy and I married on March 14, 1967. At this time I began testing wildcat wells for Johnston Testers until 1981, then ran fishing tools through 2000 and worked overseas the last 10 years in Siberia,

John and Christy Petrich

Venezuela, Laos, Malaysia, Borneo, China, Bangladesh, Egypt and Sri Lanka. Now Christy works me like a rented mule.

CHRISTY POLLET PETRICH

I was born on Jan. 19, 1947, to Mary Naomi Wilson Felix Pollet and Charles Burl (Buck) Pollet in the McKay Dee hospital in Ogden, Weber Co., Utah. Our home base was always in Mountain View, but Dad was working in the oil patch for most of our childhood years. So there were lots of moves following the rigs from boom to boom throughout Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nebraska, Montana and the Dakotas mostly. I’m the middle child of three brothers and one sister.

I finished junior high and high school in Mountain View. Mom and Dad had opened the J-X Cafe across from the school, and we worked there at noon, after school and on weekends. I worked for a time at Little America and then had an opportunity to go to work cooking in the E & N Cafe in Mountain View. It was good working there with old family friends that have always stayed good friends.

One day I happened to be waiting tables instead of cooking when this handsome blond, blue-eyed man came through the door. A good-looking stranger in a town the size of Mountain View in those days was definitely an event.

I remember going into the kitchen and asking the owner, Nellie, “Who is that guy?” 

And she said, “Well, that’s John Petrich. He’s been coming in quite often.” Guess I had been cooking for him and hadn’t been out of the kitchen to take a look until then.

John was working for an oil service company and living in Rock Springs. Some of his wells were through Mountain View, so he stopped there for meals when the time was right.

Well, he finished eating lunch and said something about he sure would like a piece of German chocolate cake for dessert. Guess you can bet that the next day when he stopped, he had some German chocolate cake. Mom always said that the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach, and I thought it was a joke. However, it was close to Christmas and John asked me to go to his company Christmas party with him.

We were married in the spring and decided to move back to Byron and get our family gathered together. We started out as four with his children Scott, Michael, Brent and Connie Lynn. Soon our son John D’Arcy Jr. joined us and four years later another boy, Burl Arthur, came along. Burl was almost 7 when Jaime Loften, our last son, was born.

Now in such a short time we have grandchildren. And they are wonderful, too. John has retired again from the oil patch. He is enjoying time to do some of the things he had a hard time finding time for while he was working so long and hard. I like having him around more.

I have many interests and things I like to do. I used to sew a lot, but now it’s mostly patching. I like to knit and crochet and have done a few tied quilts as well as quite a lot of upholstery work. I guess my passion is probably my family, the close living members, as well as my ancestors. For many years I have been involved in researching family history information. Many of my church callings have involved family history. I was serving in the Family History Center when the first computers were introduced and implemented into the center. What a marvelous tool for the genealogist. We enjoy our home computer immensely.