Skip to main content

Item 14: 00014_Ayers, Buddy_MMS-History, 2002, 2003

 Item — Box: 1

Interviewer(s): D. Austin, New Orleans, LA

Affiliation: University of Arizona

I was referred to Buddy Ayers by Leslie Learney of the Historic Diving Society (HDS). I was talking with Leslie at the HDS booth at the Underwater Intervention conference, and he suggested that Buddy would be a good person to talk to about the history of diving offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. Buddy was also at the conference, and when he came over to the booth Leslie introduced us. We went and sat at a table in an area designated for Latin American contacts and chatted. Buddy introduced me to a couple of other people who came over and gave me the names of a number of people he thought would be good contacts. We arranged to meet again at the conference two days later for an interview. We connected up at the HDS booth late Saturday morning and walked to a nearby restaurant to have lunch and talk. The restaurant was almost empty and Buddy indicated that we wanted to be left alone, so almost no one came by. Buddy talked for a couple of hours and then we had lunch and went back to the conference before it ended. Buddy told me about the divers' reunion that was taking place the following Sunday and invited me to go along. I flew back early from Atlanta on a standby flight and rode with him out to the reunion. We picked up another diver, Jerry, on the way out. Buddy and Jerry talked all the way out and back. At the reunion I spent most of the time meeting other divers. I returned in 2003 to complete the interview.

Buddy began diving in Texas when he taught himself to scuba dive as a young teenager. He started working offshore in 1961. During the 1970s, Buddy became the secretary for the newly formed divers' union. As a result of his union activity, he was blackballed in the Gulf of Mexico and ended up spending four years in the North Sea. He stayed there until the contracts ran out and he went to work in Mexico. He returned to the Gulf in the 1990's as an independent contractor.


  • 2002
  • 2003

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Oral history interviews are only available for use when the University of Houston Libraries is in possession of a release form signed by both interviewee and interviewer allowing for such access.


From the Collection: 25.0 linear feet

Repository Details

Part of the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections Repository

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
MD Anderson Library
4333 University Drive
Houston TX 77204-2000 USA