April 29, 2012

SandBoxBlogs: Grand Junction Daily Sentinel/Dennis Webb "Black Sunday still reverberates 30 years later"

Dennis Webb:
"Thirty years ago this Wednesday, on /Sunday, May 2, 1982, the party ended — for O’Leary’s, for Parachute, for much of western Colorado. On what became known as Black Sunday, Exxon announced it was shutting down its Colony Project, putting its workforce of more than 2,000 people out of work, and spelling job losses for thousands more support workers.

O’Leary’s eventually shut down. But the reverberations spread far beyond Parachute.

Gary and Monica Miller had gone into the clothing business in Rifle just a year before Black Sunday.
“We had one year of incredible, very good, healthy business, and a complete, severe drop the day after Exxon left. You could tell the next day,” said Gary Miller, 65. “... It was really an exodus. It was here one day and literally gone the next day.”

The couple was in the process of buying a Rifle home that would end up losing two-thirds of its value. It took more than a decade to recover that value.

“That was a very, very difficult time,” said Herb Bacon, now 82, but at the time a senior vice president of United States Bank of Grand Junction, now part of Wells Fargo.

“... Overnight everything just stopped. We had 15,000 people move out of Grand Junction. Because of that we had all kinds of foreclosures and empty houses and people took a lot of stuff they weren’t supposed to.

It was a tough deal. We survived, but it took several years to pull out of it.”

Thirty years later, the memories of Black Sunday are still sharp for those who went through it. Many still can describe where they were and what they were doing when they first got the news...."
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good one out of Webb. Sentinel has kept just the good ones and put a lot of new reporters on. Better stories and more depth.

We aren't 30 yrs. ago and are a lot better prepared on the slope for handling the ups and downs.

We need oil shale, oil rigs and more gas development. We need CNG stations and cutting edge environmental recovery. There are ways to keep the air clean and the accidents down. The left shouldn't be thinking that getting democrat hold of county seats is going to give them tighter regulations. It won't because the majority won't stand for it, the oil and gas industry can be worked with and alongside. I would like to see collaboration and partnership come out of this election cycle.

That's not going to happen in Garfield with John Martin still sitting.