Thursday, August 17, 2006

"Col. Drake and the Age of Oil"

Col. Drake and the Age of Oil

by Byron W. King

Titusville, U.S.A.

THERE HE WAS, as big as life and looking quite good for a man who died in 1880. I was on a visit to the Drake Well Museum, just south of Titusville, Pa. I was walking into the museum compound, and whom should I encounter but Col. Edwin Drake, dressed in the period garb one is accustomed to seeing in the grainy old photos. "Well, hello, Col. Drake."

OK. It was not the real Col. Drake. This fellow is an actor who has been playing the role of Col. Drake for about 10 years. He gives talks to museum visitors and appears in films or news articles that call for a Drake look-alike. He has read much of the literature available on the life and times of Drake, he dresses for the part, and he is just the plain old spitting image of the famous man, down to his bushy brown beard. He is as near as one can get to being in the company of the famous man, and his life and remarkable times.


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