The Kings of Big Spring

Twenty-six, and with a young family, Bobby had left his home town of Big Spring in West Texas, a town of oil booms and busts, to seek his fortune away from the legacy of black gold his forefathers had chased. But now Big Spring’s streets are flooded again with money and Texas T, a boom so big that 46% of the world’s oil is bubbling up from west Texas soil and a fevered American dream has taken hold as fortune hunters pour in, oil rigs sprout up like dandelions in the field, and millionaires are minted each day. Grady Cunningham, Bobby’s old friend, is one of the fresh kings of Big Spring. Flashy, loud, smart as a whip and richer than sin, Grady pulls Bobby Mealer and his young wife into his glamorous orbit. There’s a cushy job for Bobby as VP of Grady’s oil company, weekend jaunts to the Bahamas in private jets, shopping sprees in Paris and lost weekends in New Orleans. But beneath these glittering lives is a side of life as dark as the oil which pays for it. Drugs take hold, marriages crumble, accidents happen and most importantly, wells run dry. But the story starts over a hundred years ago, when Bryan’s great grandfather left Appalachia to first venture West to seek his fortune. The heartaches, the triumphs, the pain and the pleasure that accompanies the booms and subsequent busts is keenly felt and endlessly repeated. In The Kings of Big Spring, Bryan Mealer has written an indelible portrait of a family through three generations of boom and bust, and a legacy of fortune and ruin as big as Texas itself.