"Dear Folks": Chapter 13

"Dear Folks": Chapter 13

BY Ken Slavin / /

Ken and Mildred Webster presented their younger daughter, Susan, with her own horse for her 12th birthday in January 1953. This was truly a momentous occasion in Susan’s childhood, as she was “horse crazy” from an early age and spent most of her free time riding and honing her horsemanship at The Hobby Farm for years prior to this special gift.

"Dear Folks": Chapter 12

"Dear Folks": Chapter 12

BY Ken Slavin / /

During the first week of 1952, Dhahran District Manager Ken Webster receives official word that he will attend Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program beginning in February.

"Dear Folks": Chapter 11

"Dear Folks": Chapter 11

BY Ken Slavin / /

1951 is a year of great change in the world, continued conflict in Korea and the Middle East (punctuated by the assassination of King Abdullah of Jordan, who is killed by a Palestinian extremist while praying at the Al Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem), and great economic and social recovery in Western Europe under the nearly completed U.S.-led Marshall Plan.

"Dear Folks": Chapter 9

"Dear Folks": Chapter 9

BY Ken Slavin / /

As Acting Manager of Aramco’s Transportation Department, Ken Webster embarks on many travels throughout Saudi Arabia in 1950 and describes them in detail to the folks back home in the States.

"Dear Folks": Chapter 8

"Dear Folks": Chapter 8

BY Ken Slavin / /

Ken Webster’s personal stationery, with a stylized color motif of a Bedouin and a camel caravan. 

"Dear Folks": Chapter 7

"Dear Folks": Chapter 7

BY Ken Slavin / /

The remainder of 1948 is full of exponential growth for Aramco (more than 4,000 American and 17,000 Arab employees by mid-year), royal and military visits, and a social schedule that would cripple most.

"Dear Folks": Chapter 6

"Dear Folks": Chapter 6

BY Ken Slavin / /

1948 shapes up to be another boom year for the Aramco. Mildred Webster continues to chronicle her family's lives and interesting tales from Arabia. Ken Webster even manages to augment her faithful correspondence with a letter about some of his responsibilities as manager of Aramco's construction department.

"Dear Folks": Chapter 5

"Dear Folks": Chapter 5

BY Ken Slavin / /

Mildred Webster continues to be a faithful correspondent as she settles into the new house in Dhahran, works on committees and keeps up with the increasing “social whirl” that is expected of the wife of an up-and-coming Aramco executive. 

"Dear Folks": Chapter 10

"Dear Folks": Chapter 10

BY Ken Slavin / /

Mildred Webster continues to be a faithful correspondent as she settles into the new house in Dhahran, works on committees and keeps up with the increasing “social whirl” that is expected of the wife of an up-and-coming Aramco executive.

"Dear Folks": Chapter 4

"Dear Folks": Chapter 4

BY Ken Slavin / /

Mildred Webster, the official family “correspondent,” starts off the New Year of 1947 with a full report on Christmas activities in the camps, hopes for the family’s first home leave later in the year, and observations about her husband’s “playing” the Roupee market in Bahrain.

"Dear Folks": Chapter 3

"Dear Folks": Chapter 3

BY Ken Slavin / /

The summer and fall of 1946 turn out to be eventful times for Aramcons. Mildred Webster reports on a polio scare and resulting quarantine in Dhahran; Fourth of July celebrations in the camps; the continued arrival of wives and children from America; Arabia’s first American schoolhouse and the formation of the first Girl Scout troop in the Kingdom; and the growing sense of “family” among the Aramcons in Ras Tanura and Dhahran.

"Dear Folks": Chapter 2

"Dear Folks": Chapter 2

BY Ken Slavin / /

“It seems like we’ve always been here…” Mildred Webster (known to family and friends as “Mimi”) proves a very thorough, observant and entertaining correspondent.

The Webster Letters Revisited

The Webster Letters Revisited

BY Aramco ExPats / /

Every now and then, AramcoExPats.com strikes gold with one of its features. Such was the case back in 2007 when we published a series of letters written by the late Ken Webster, who began his long service with Aramco in 1944, with World War II still raging.

"Dear Folks": Chapter 1

"Dear Folks": Chapter 1

BY Ken Slavin / /

Ken Webster began his oil industry career in 1931, shortly after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

Abu Hamid

Abu Hamid

BY Tim Barger / /

It was November 18th, 1978. Two years earlier I had started a video electronics business in Jeddah that serviced video equipment, installed closed-circuit TV systems in hotels, hospitals, and compounds, and distributed the only legitimate video programming in a country awash in bootleg videos.

Tequila!

Tequila!

BY Tim Barger / /

The radio just now played the song Tequila by The Champs and carried me back to a much earlier time - 1958. The new Dhahran school had just been built on 3rd Street and I lived on 11th Street which unveiled all kinds of opportunities for an unsupervised lifestyle.

Higher Learning

Higher Learning

BY Tim Barger / /

We’ve all gone to school for endless years but it’s rare to remember a certain day when you actually learned two things. In 1952, I went to Dhahran Kindergarten in the portable that later became the infamous Teen Canteen.

The King's Man - Oil and Death

BY AramcoExPats.com / /

Never Trust a Man Until He Proves Himself Trustworthy. So went the philosophy of the mentors who tutored Ibn Saud as a child and it remained his lifelong practice to tryout the integrity of those he would rely on.

The Secret Door

The Secret Door

BY Tim Barger / /

With the end of World War II Aramco was finally able to ramp up production and start shipping a decent volume of oil after waiting a dozen years for a chance to get a return on the investment of tens of millions of dollars sunk into the Arabian venture since 1933.

The King's Man - Before Oil

BY AramcoExPats.com / /

When Ibn Saud scaled the walls of Riyadh in 1902, it began his celebrated passage to becoming King of Saudi Arabia. This story briefly describes the years when he recovered his heritage and oil was on the horizon.