Oral Histories

Dennis E. “Pete” Byrd, Sr.


Pete Byrd

Interview by Detta Dahl in Moab, January 21, 2003.

Q: This is Detta Dahl. I’m talking with Pete Byrd at his house.

Pete: My name is Dennis E. Byrd, Sr.

Q: Thank you. We’re at his house in Moab, Utah and it’s January 21, 2003. Good morning.

Pete: Good morning to you.

Q: Can I call you “Pete”?

Pete: Sure. I didn’t hear the name “Pete” for 25 years, till I came to Moab.

Q: Were you named Pete when you came to Moab?

Pete: No. The only person that called me Pete when I came to Moab was Charlie.

Q: Charlie Steen?

Pete: Yes.

Q; Because he knew you from before?

Pete: Turn that off a minute. (Tape turned off).

Q: Okay, Pete, how did you come to Moab? And why did you come to Moab?

Pete: We were living on a ranch in central Texas in Brown County. We were in a drought and we’d lost all of our investments. We had decided that when we sold out in the spring, we were going to move. But in the fall of ‘52 my sisters sent me a clipping out of a Los Angeles paper, about an inch long. It said that a geologist by the name of Steen had discovered uranium in southeastern Utah and it had a Grand Junction dateline on it. It was a clipping which was stapled to a piece of paper. When I got it I wrote on there that if this was the Charlie I knew, “congratulations,” and gave him my address and stuff. I mailed it to the Grand Junction newspaper. I didn’t even know the name of the paper. Pretty soon I got a letter back from Charlie saying that it was him and he was excited out of his mind almost. Then I didn’t hear anymore from him. Then between Christmas and New Years of ‘52 we lived in an old ranch house that was beside a dirt road, a real rough, dusty dirt road.

Read the other Oral Histories