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.

Willard's World - 5

Willard's World - 5

BY Tim Barger / /

Deflating the tires of a Dodge Power Wagon for driving through soft sand. Painted cherry red, this crew cab wagon was, even then, rare in Aramco’s fleet. In today’s most complimentary sense of the word … it’s one cherry ride.

Willard's World - 4

Willard's World - 4

BY Tim Barger / /

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.

Willard's World - 3

Willard's World - 3

BY Tim Barger / /

In 1958 Willard flew over the countless dunes of the Rub’ Al-Khali to visit the preparations for the company’s first drill site right in the middle of this enormous desert known as The Empty Quarter.

Willard's World - 2

Willard's World - 2

BY Tim Barger / /

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.

Willard's World - 1

Willard's World - 1

BY Tim Barger / /

Willard Drumm was a senior Aramco executive through the 50s into the 60s. In his work he travelled to most of the company’s sites and installations in the kingdom, ranging from the Rub Al-Khali to the offshore field at Sufaniya.

"Dear Folks": Chapter 17

"Dear Folks": Chapter 17

BY Ken Slavin / /

Midway through the 1950s, Aramco continues to flourish, achieving the distinction of becoming the world’s largest oil company. In 1955 the company reaches a milestone by pumping out barrel number 2 billion of Saudi Arabian crude.

"Dear Folks": Chapter 16

"Dear Folks": Chapter 16

BY Ken Slavin / /

The second half of 1954 is a time of great change for the Webster family as younger daughter Susan leaves Dhahran at the tender age of 13 to attend boarding school in Switzerland. With older daughter Judy still at the American Community School in Beirut, it is Ken and Mildred’s first taste of “empty nest syndrome” and they have decidedly mixed feelings about it.

"Dear Folks": Chapter 14

"Dear Folks": Chapter 14

BY Ken Slavin / /

1953 is a memorable year in the history books. Most notably for Aramcons, it is the year when King Ibn Saud, the founder of Saudi Arabia, dies in the fall at the age of 73. His son, Crown Prince Saud, is named the new king by the royal family and another son, Faisal, is named crown prince.