Remaining Poor While Living Atop a Vast Field of Wealth

MANNY FERNANDEZ and CLIFFORD KRAUSS New York Times News Service Published Jun 30, 2014 at 03:56PM
Nicole Bengiveno / The New York Times Eddy, left, the owner of the OK Corral, stands in the doorway of his former bar as an oil company worker inquires about renting the bar in Gardendale, Texas, May 20, 2014. One of the greatest oil booms the country has ever seen is turning the area, a rural patch in the brush country south of San Antonio, into a startling and incongruous mix of cascading wealth and crushing hardship.
Nicole Bengiveno / The New York Times Two children of David and Elvira Gonzalez play in the family's backyard in Gardendale, Texas, May 19, 2014. One of the greatest oil booms the country has ever seen is turning the area, a rural patch in the brush country south of San Antonio, into a startling and incongruous mix of cascading wealth and crushing hardship.
Nicole Bengiveno / The New York Times Dust is kicked up as an oil service truck rolls through a neighborhood in Gardendale, Texas, May 19, 2014. One of the greatest oil booms the country has ever seen is turning the area, a rural patch in the brush country south of San Antonio, into a startling and incongruous mix of cascading wealth and crushing hardship.
Nicole Bengiveno / The New York Times Frankie and Nora Flores at their business, the Qwik Stop, the lone store in Gardendale, Texas, May 20, 2014. One of the greatest oil booms the country has ever seen is turning the area, a rural patch in the brush country south of San Antonio, into a startling and incongruous mix of cascading wealth and crushing hardship.
Nicole Bengiveno / The New York Times Judy Vargas, right, speaks with her grandmother, Ernestina Salinas, and her cousin, Emanuel, at her home in Gardendale, Texas, May 19, 2014. One of the greatest oil booms the country has ever seen is turning the area, a rural patch in the brush country south of San Antonio, into a startling and incongruous mix of cascading wealth and crushing hardship.
Nicole Bengiveno / The New York Times Vanessa, daughter of Judy Vargas, runs to catch the school bus as an oil truck approaches in Gardendale, Texas, May 20, 2014. One of the greatest oil booms the country has ever seen is turning the area, a rural patch in the brush country south of San Antonio, into a startling and incongruous mix of cascading wealth and crushing hardship.
Nicole Bengiveno / The New York Times Judy Vargas, who shares her trailer with an ever-shifting assemblage of relatives, cleans her home in Gardendale, Texas, May 19, 2014. One of the greatest oil booms the country has ever seen is turning the area, a rural patch in the brush country south of San Antonio, into a startling and incongruous mix of cascading wealth and crushing hardship.
Nicole Bengiveno / The New York Times Judy Vargas sits on the front porch of her tin-roofed trailer with her son, Isaac, 5, in Gardendale, Texas, May 19, 2014. One of the greatest oil booms the country has ever seen is turning the area, a rural patch in the brush country south of San Antonio, into a startling and incongruous mix of cascading wealth and crushing hardship.
Nicole Bengiveno / The New York Times A welcome sign greets visitors to Judy Vargas' home in Gardendale, Texas, May 20, 2014. One of the greatest oil booms the country has ever seen is turning the area, a rural patch in the brush country south of San Antonio, into a startling and incongruous mix of cascading wealth and crushing hardship.
Nicole Bengiveno / The New York Times Tankers and trucks carrying sand for tracking pack a fast-food parking lot during lunchtime along Interstate 35 near Cotulla, Texas, May 20, 2014. One of the greatest oil booms the country has ever seen is turning the area, a rural patch in the brush country south of San Antonio, into a startling and incongruous mix of cascading wealth and crushing hardship.
Nicole Bengiveno / The New York Times Elvira Gonzalez watches with her children as an oil service truck rolls through their neighborhood near Gardendale, Texas, May 19, 2014. One of the greatest oil booms the country has ever seen is turning the area, a rural patch in the brush country south of San Antonio, into a startling and incongruous mix of cascading wealth and crushing hardship.
Nicole Bengiveno / The New York Times Judy Vargas checks on her son, Isaiah, 7, as he does his homework at their home in Gardendale, Texas, May 20, 2014. One of the greatest oil booms the country has ever seen is turning the area, a rural patch in the brush country south of San Antonio, into a startling and incongruous mix of cascading wealth and crushing hardship.