Oral Histories

Frank “Pancho” Tabberer


Pancho & Elsie Tabberer

Q: Not involved in any local things.

A: No, I was too busy. Traveling around the country. When we got back here and after 1974 when pres Nixon took the price freeze off the products we got involved to where we had location in Farmington, in Moab, Nucla, Co, a blasting agent mix plant, and we had a blasting agent mix plant at Magna. We set up a location in Idaho. We were servicing the mines in Idaho, the mines in WY, the mines in Nevada, the oil exploration in WY. We serviced about 10 of the western states CO NM AZ UT NV ID. It was pretty big.

Q: How many employees?

A: We had 30. At our peak, counting Elsie and I. Moab has been really good to us. Both of our kids grew up here, once we moved back here in 68. Then we saw all six of our grand kids grow up right here in Moab.

Q: Your son?

A: He still works for Dyno. He’s western regional salesman for Dyno out of Moab.

Q: Lives out where Dabney used to live?

A: Yes, where Walt and Carrie Dabney lived. Ross bought that house out in the valley.

Our daughter married David Adkison who’s a CPA here.

Q: Haven’t gone far from the tree?

A: No stayed pretty darn close. I keep kidding the kids about the fact that when they come back we say “Sorry. We broke your plate when you moved out of the house.”

Q: What about you and the agencies? Did you have any dealings with the Park or the BLM?

A: We did blasting for the BLM on some of their trails. We had a license and we were certified to be able to blast and we did some blasting for them on trails, Canyonlands the same way, and the Park Service. We’ve done some things out at Dead Horse Point when they were putting in the new restrooms out there. We were involved with the contractor out there that was blasting the new restroom facilities. Same way with down at the Canyonlands where they were putting in new housing down there, we were involved in that park. It seemed that everything that went on that required explosives, we were involved with.

Q: So you not only sold them the explosives, you provided someone to show how to use them.

A: Go out and help them to do a good quality, safe job. I was very involved with the potash when they went to the solution mining to blast all the pits and the ponds and the roads out to there, because Neilson’s of Cortez was the contractor and they were one of our really good customers and so we got lucky there, when they gave Neilson’s the contract, a ready made customer for us. We would be involved with the FS. There were some big well locations that were put on the La Sal Mountains and we’d have to go with the FS and make sure that when they blasted, they did it to where they didn’t end up devastating part of the country. When they were redoing the Loop Road up at Mill Creek on the big cut where they wanted to widen that road. Strong Construction out of Springville came down here and had that contract. The guy that was project manager on the Strong job wanted us to be involved in drilling. They had their own drills but they wanted us to set up the patterns and do the thing. Our son, Ross, had been to blasting school and was just getting involved. I did a bad thing to Ross up there, because I told them that I wanted to have Ross do this for them because he’s just come out of blasting school and he knows what’s going on here. And, Jean, this was a great big bluff up there. And if you looked at it now, when they shot that off, it was going to fall off into the canyon, into Mill Creek. And I knew it was going to do that. The guy with the FS said there is no way we are going to let any rock fall over the edge – we’re going to be in big trouble. I told that contractor that there is no way when it breaks that it’s going to fall off the cliff. So Ross went up the day that they loaded it and sure enough when they shot it, it went over that cliff. I shouldn’t have done that to him. Set him up. The FS guy told Ross when it went off “I’m dead, they are going to kill me. My boss in SLC is going to kill me” But anyway, it’s grown back and you can’t see where because the trees have come back. It’s come back. But the road’s good. We cut the hill off so you didn’t have all that undercut. It’s a lot safer road.

Q: Any other things.

A: Later on, I became. In the later years, as I began to slow down after I sold the company. I ran it for Dyno for 3 years and then consulted for 3 years.

Q: So you got out gradually.

A: Yes, sort of worked my way out. I was still working. I was asked if I would serve on the hospital board. I served on the hospital board for…..

Q: Is that where Sam Cunningham knew you?

A: Yes, that’s true. Well I knew Merv Lawton really well from Rio Algom, and knew Sam through Merv and the hospital board. I served on that board from 96 to2001 and I’ve been on the community church board forever. Now I’m on the Museum board and the golf board. I’ve been on the golf board for about 10 years, 8 or 10, President for about 6.

Q: Retirement doesn’t slow you down much?

A: No much.

Q: Played golf?

A:I play golf when I can, Elsie is a fair weather golfer. She likes the weather to be nice.

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