We still hadn't heard from Vicky and she was due to arrive in 4 days, so that evening the call that we had been trying to get through for three days finally made it. Everything was fine, so we were relieved about that.
Over the years, we have featured a variety of stories concerning retired Aramcons from around the world. Hardly ever have we had a chance to feature a current Aramcon in a profile.
Oran flew back to 'Udhailiyah the next morning, Saturday, April 5, 1975. I was called again by Ruth Cumings to play duplicate bridge, so decided to go.
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! The long-awaited, much anticipated Sun and Flare archives are once again available on AramcoExPats.com. Take a trip down memory lane beginning with the Dust Rag in 1945 then leading into Sun and Flare through 1970.
The next morning, Saturday, March 29, 1975, Oran flew back to 'Udhailiyah, and I started calling airlines and travel agents, when I could get a line through.
Oran flew back to Udhailiyah again the next day, Tuesday, March 25, 1975, with the intention of spending the night there for the first time. I made some business calls in connection with bringing Vicky and Keith over for the summer, wrote some letters, then went to visit Jeanine awhile.
Daylight brought its own reward - the first real look at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia again and our camp. It dawned bright, sunny and cloudless, as it usually did, with a perfect temperature in the low 80's for now.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.