All photos by Willard Drumm
©Aramco Expats 2016
Willard Drumm was a senior Aramco executive through the 50s into the 60s. In his work he traveled to most of the company’s sites and installations in the kingdom, ranging from the Rub Al-Khali to the offshore field at Sufaniya. At home in Dhahran he and his wife hosted sumptuous parties – by Dhahran standards, enjoyed the beach, the town’s big events like the Nativity Pageant, the annual County Fair and mostly the company of good friends.
Fortunately for us, Willard was an enthusiastic, accomplished photographer. Thanks to him we have this fine collection of color pictures that truly capture the people of Aramco and the places of Arabia from 60 years ago. Much of this world has vanished and most of the people have long since passed away, but these photographs remain as a testament to their spirit and a sense of place that we all share.
It’s not a parade without a marching band and majorettes high stepping down King’s Road. After WW II, the camp put on a parade and big event every 4th of July.
However, it is well known that in July it’s as hot as the hinges of hell, as my mother used to say, and maybe celebrating American independence in Saudi Arabia was a bit politically sensitive, so the celebration became the County Fair which was scheduled in the Fall.
The 40 piece band marching down the asphalt.
Troops of Brownies, Girl Scouts and moms wearing a variety of sunglasses follow the band.
The Cub Scouts lead the way for the fire truck and the floats.
Aramco’s finest – the firefighters in their white trucks.
The square dancers throw a hoe down on wheels.
Dozens of riders from the Hobby Farm represent to the crowd’s delight.
The vintage Rolls Royce brings a touch of class to the parade.
The Art Club’s “Poseidon and His Mermaids” entry is definitely a crowd pleaser.
I have no idea who sponsored this float. But it looks as if the princess and her court are having a tea party.
Bringing up the rear of the parade, the QuadraCycle is catching up with the parked car.
The destination is the King’s Road ball field transformed into a fairground.
With its free key chains and flight bags the Lufthansa booth is a big hit.
Babe with her friends waiting for the main event.
The finest racing donkeys in Al Hasa stand by in the paddock.
The track starts at home base and ends somewhere in left field.
The woman in the red and blue racing silks is behind by a nose or two.
The guy on the left exhibits poor form but seems to be having a great time anyway.
She may have come in last, but this woman is having a lot of fun doing it.
In the final installment of this series, Babe will take us to see more people and places in Willard’s World.
Tim Barger is the editor and co-author of the international bestseller, Out in the Blue: Letters from Arabia 1937-1940 by Tom Barger, the former President and CEO of Aramco.
It is now available as an e-book as well as print. Click here for more information.
AVAILABLE AT AMAZON.COM