Arabian Return Chapter II

Arabian Return Chapter II

BY Colleen Wilson / /

This book contains the highlights of my return to live in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the mid-1970s after an absence of 19 years. It was written for the express purpose of recording the events of my life and those of my family and friends, during that time, as I documented and remembered them.

Arabian Return Chapter I

Arabian Return Chapter I

BY Colleen Wilson / /

As the huge plane lifted off the runway on March 20, 1975, I sat back in my seat and tried to relax. However, I did not want to dispel the excitement I felt at the prospect of going on this trip that would take me halfway around the world to start a new life.

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter XVIII

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter XVIII

BY Coleen Wilson / /

The next day, February 2, 1956, we left New York Idlewild Airport on the Aramco company plane. That flight was nice, too. We were assigned a compartment from the first, so we had privacy and extra comfort. The weather was ideal all the way, although cold in spots.

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter XVII

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter XVII

BY Coleen Wilson / /

Then, on November 11, 1955, we left Arabia again to go on our scheduled home leave after two more years with Aramco. We flew to Amsterdam, Holland, spent one night there, and then flew on to New York City. We spent another night there, then flew to Dallas, Texas, the next day and checked into the Adolphis Hotel.

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter XVI

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter XVI

BY Coleen Wilson / /

The first night we were home we had dinner with Pat & Guy who had kept our house boy, Britto, and the next day he came back to work for us again. It was good to be back “home”. However, Keith got sick again, so I took him to the doctor who said it was his throat.

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter XV

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter XV

BY Colleen Wilson / /

By the first of the new year, 1955, the company had decided on the schedule for the Refinery Hydroformer Training Program in the United States. So, for the next two weeks, we were finalizing plans for that. Both kids had to have a passport, so pictures were made (Keith had been put on mine on his earlier trip to the States).

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter XIV

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter XIV

BY Colleen Wilson / /

Activities continued with a Mexican meal cooked by Pat & Guy Smyth (always a treat for us), and to kick off the summer, Aramco gave a dance on the clubhouse patio. We went to that with Pat & Guy, Johnny & Mozelle, Ken Cobb, and Desda & Bill. Of course, everyone in camp attended that, so we all mixed & mingled, as usual.

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter XIII

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter XIII

BY Colleen Wilson / /

On the other hand, 1954 came in with a roar. It would be very active, not only with the kids, but with parties, sports activities, and friends. A number of new people would arrive in Arabia with whom we would become very social, especially three, not only for this year, but for a lifetime. However, for the first week, everyone kinda kicked back and relaxed and recuperated from the Holidays.

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter XII

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter XII

BY Colleen Wilson / /

As required by the company to go to the Mother House in Dhahran at least a week before the due date of the birth of your baby, Oran drove me to Dhahran on September 29th, and we checked in, and made all the necessary arrangements.

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter XI

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter XI

BY Colleen Wilson / /

Keith had a hard time adjusting, though, not only because of jet lag, but probably because of the confusion about everywhere we had been. That first night we put him in his room, but in about 3 hours, he woke up crying and wouldn’t go back to sleep. After trying everything we could think of, we finally put him in bed with us, and after a couple of hours of playing, he went back to sleep.

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter X

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter X

BY Colleen Wilson / /

Before we knew it, it was March 21, 1953, and we were arriving at the Dhahran Airport. To say we were excited would be an understatement. We had to bring a ton of stuff for Keith, 12 bottles of sterile water and powdered SMA milk, a supply of disposable diapers, which we could get then in our canteen, the snowsuit and a lot of changes of clothes, but it was worth it.

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter IX

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter IX

BY Colleen Wilson / /

The weather continued to be mild and pleasant, as well, in January 1953, so we took Keith outside more. The first time, we went into the front yard of the apartment, which was bigger and had small trees and plants. He was put on a blanket on the grass, but sat there only a few minutes, then crawled onto the grass.

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter VIII

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter VIII

BY Colleen Wilson / /

My roommate there (in the Mother House) was a woman from Abqaiq Camp named Rosemary Gushue (Mrs. John Gushue). When I arrived, she had been in the annex long enough to see two women, expecting their first babies, come and go.

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter VII

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter VII

BY Colleen Wilson / /

My roommate there (in the Mother House) was a woman from Abqaiq Camp named Rosemary Gushue (Mrs. John Gushue). When I arrived, she had been in the annex long enough to see two women, expecting their first babies, come and go.

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter VI

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter VI

BY Colleen Wilson / /

The company did not allow anyone but personnel to travel on their plane, but Dhahran was a commercial airport for TWA, KLM, BOAC, and several other large, well-known lines. The round trip plane ticket would average around $1000, varying with the season and place of purchase.

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter V

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter V

BY Colleen Wilson / /

All the celebrating wasn’t over yet. To start the New Year off right, we went to a dinner party for only “people from Texas” on January 1. The host & hostess were one of Oran’s bosses and his wife from Bandera, Texas, Walt & Daisy Mayfield.

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter IV

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter IV

BY Colleen Wilson / /

Oran had been back in Arabia long enough to warrant his short leave or vacation, which every employee could go on once a year. We had decided to go to Beirut, Lebanon, so at 1:30 a.m. on November 14, 1951, we flew out of the Dhahran Airport aboard a KLM airplane for a two week local vacation.

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter III

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter III

BY Colleen Wilson / /

On Saturday, July 21, 1951, Charlotte & I decided to take our first trip out of camp to Al-Khobar, the port town near the airport, where many things from other countries can be purchased.

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter II

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter II

BY Colleen Wilson / /

For the first time I was all alone the next day, Thursday, June 7, 1951, as Oran went back to work in the Refinery. He was on day shift from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m., so we were up at 6 a.m. It was like waking up in the middle of the night, but since he was home so early, we had time to eat and go someplace before going to bed.

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter I

First Trip to the K.S.A.: Chapter I

BY Colleen Wilson / /

This book contains the highlights of my first trip to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where I lived with my husband, Oran Wilson, and children, Olan Keith and Victoria for five and a half years in the early 1950’s. It was written for the express purpose of recording the events of my life and those of my family and friends, during that time, as I documented and remembered them.