North Carolina, The Southern Part of Heaven
Vic and TJ Friedmann and son, Alexander, joined Aramco in 1974. Vic, a geophysicist in the Exploration Department, and family were initially assigned to the Croydon, England office in October 1974. Alexander attended the local school there.
Toni Jo writes:
"In October 1975 we moved to Dhahran where Vic and others began to establish Aramco's own exploration processing and geophysical interpretation activities over a number of years. This work was being done by contractors in Al-Khobar and London.
"Our first housing assignment, House 1075A, across from the 10th street playground, is now part of a parking lot but the tree we planted in our backyard is still thriving.
"Incidentally, our next door neighbors were Dick and Ruth Maise. Dick later became chief hydrologist. They were wonderful neighbors and helped us settle in our new environment.
"We spent 19 wonderful and exciting years in Saudi Arabia making friendships that would last a lifetime. In October 1994, Vic took early retirement and we left for the Piedmont of North Carolina.
"Here are some of our more notable highlights: visiting the Jawan tomb off the Ras Tanura road, camping in the desert off Ain Dar with Bedouin friends, traveling all over Saudi Arabia, the fish suq in Saihat, the suq in Dammam and Qatif, traveling the world, construction of the Tower building, construction of the Expec and Engineering buildings, construction of the hospital and dental clinic, sailing our Hobie 16 in the bay, picnics at the beach, weekend jaunts to Bahrain, Desert Storm and the host-a-soldier program (we still correspond with one of the marines), our final decision to retire early and all the going away parties we attended.
"We love it in North Carolina. We are just two hours from the sea (Hobies are for rent) and four hours from the mountains and the Virginia wineries and the Blue Ridge Parkway. The climate is temperate."
Wife, Toni Jo, formed TRAC, TRiangle Aramco Connection. The group is designed as a social contact for all Aramcons now living in the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill area of North Carolina. The program is so successful that Aramcons come from as far as Maryland to attend the socials. TRAC has a web site with a membership directory and photos of their events.
Vic, a computer and photographer whiz, has done a considerable amount of digital photographic work. He now specializes in photo restoration projects. His Pixel Magic service is also available through our web site listed below.
Toni continues, "With a considerable photographic library of all our travels Vic now also produces and sells professional greeting cards with inserted photographs that are suitable for framing. Email him if you are looking for a particular photo. In August he opens a one-man photographic show entitled "Faces of South East Asia" in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
We invite all our friends to come visit. We have plenty of room. Look around; you might decide to stay!
e-mail: Victor and Toni Jo Friedmann