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GRAY 1-11H

I started this crazy land gig at 20 years old while still in college.

My now husband graduated a year ahead of me and through a family friend became a landman.

A landman? I had never heard of such a thing.

He cut teeth buying pipeline easements for gas, saltwater, and electric lines across Garfield, Woods, Grant, and Alfalfa counties. A few familiar names popped up again and again on his "line list". Turns out one of them was my great Uncle Richard, my grandfather's brother.

Richard was a farmer and rancher from Garfield County, Oklahoma, and he had expanded his operations into much of northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas. Richard was savvy, a businessman. He ran his operations well and wanted anyone involved to respect the same.

Richard Lee Gray

Due to my geographic upbringing, the broker my husband worked for asked that I assist with the landowners I had rapport, including Richard. I obliged not knowing the first thing about acquisition, nor was there proper training. There wasn't a week that went by my uncle Richard's name didn't pop up and there I was to call him and start the process.

Looking back, I am quite certain of what I didn't know and how that might have been obvious to a few landowners, especially the savvy landowners like Richard. Yet, despite my ignorance, he humored me, (educated me), poured me coffee in his kitchen, and always signed on the dotted line.

This week my very gracious Uncle Richard left Earth to enter his true home. His family, friends, and church members gathered to tell stories of his success and his unmatched generosity.

I smiled knowing his success had afforded me an entrance into this crazy acquisition business over a decade ago.

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