There are three links to photographs on this page, house, link, and myself, all in the last three paragraphs. They were linked to avoid excessive load time.
We had arranged to take an apartment at 36 East 70th Street in New York. The building was owned by the Warburg banking family. It was across the street from the mansion of the ex-governor of the state and a block from the Frick Museum. We settled in to enjoy the amenities of the city in this small but comfortable apartment that we furnished with nice things. I worked at the Conorada offices in Rockefeller Center, a brisk twenty-minute walk. There I returned to evaluating prospective tracts. After about a year of looking at farmouts I had just finished a review of the offshore of the Trucial Coast when I was summarily discharged with the warning that if I attempted to find out why I would be blacklisted. I was crushed, but Georgia comforted me while I looked for and found work in only three weeks. My new employer was Chris Dohm, then President of the American International Oil Company (subsidiary of Standard Oil Company [Indiana]) who asked the Vice-President, Exploration, William E Humphrey, to consider hiring me. The new office was at 46th and Madison. In a year I had surpassed my former salary and gained the respect and confidence of Dr Humphrey. With little use for the Jaguar, after two years I sold it to Dick King, an employee, for $600.
In addition to preparing evaluations, visiting the research laboratory in Tulsa, and making trips to universities to look at promising candidates for employment I wrote and published in the Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists a classification of marine carbonate rocks based on my studies for ARAMCO. My scheme was not accepted by the majority of specialists but was used by company geologists in the field. At night I worked on plans for our house in Spain and made cardboard models of the rooms, all of which went to the contractor. On vacations we visited the site. Construction lagged, but as retirement was still far off I raised no objections. This pleasant interlude ended when one day in the Fall of 1966, I believe, the anouncement was made that the office was moving to Chicago. By that time Mr. Dohm had left the company and set up a small organization of his own that proved eminently successful in acquiring rights in the Gulf of Suez near tracts that found oil in quantity. In an attempt to avoid moving, I asked him to lunch where he told me that I was too expensive for his small organization. I hadn't the courage to say that I would accept a much smaller stipend in return for stock options. Tolleson had, and profited greatly.
Living in Chicago was less pleasant than in New York, although our first apartment at 1200 Lakeshore Drive was large and convenient to the temporary office space on Michigan Avenue. I began work, for three months commuting by air on alternate weekends to New York while looking for housing. At 2 AM one night, about a year after coming to Chicago, Georgia complained of a malaise and fell to the floor, unable to call out. Her left side was paralyzed. The ride in the ambulance to the hospital was a horrible experience. At irregular intervals for twelve hours thereafter the paralysis stopped and she could talk. After an initial period of uncertainty, the cause of her illness, clots in the carotid artery caused by an excess of platelets in her blood, was diagnosed and controlled, but would kill her twenty years later. The official diagnosis of the hospital was: transient ischemic anaemia. The treatment:: intravenous heparin later replaced by pills of coumadin. (dicoumarol)
The details of our life in Chicago are of no interest. They included two changes of apartments and the difficulties caused by the assimilation of my company-owned geologic library into that of AMOCO, (the new name of Standard of Indiana) along with the long walk to the entrance of the Carrara marble tower on the lake front I had some new associates on the 43rd floor, including Dr. Colin Campbell who filled a gap in my understanding of world geology through his knowledge of South America, Rodney Collomb, and Chet Baker who came back after a year's absence. He hadn't wanted to come to Chicago any more than I. Routine was interrupted by trips abroad: to Libya twice, to the Netherlands and Germany where I met 'Mike' Kozari and his Peruvian wife, to Italy to evaluate a farmout in the Adriatic, and of course vacations in Spain.
In addition to the normal evaluation of farmouts and areas considered of interest, I wrote two papers for Humphrey. One, given to the Society of Gas Engineers in London, was titled,"Why Look for Oil and Gas in the North Sea?" The other was an evaluation of the prospects of the countries of Asia on the Pacific rim, presented at the World Petroleum Congress in Tokyo. It is one of my less cogent efforts. In the Spring of 1976 Humphrey retired. As soon as he left sniping at me and my ability became bothersome, so on 1 February 1977 I too retired. The house in Spain had been ready for occupancy for almost a year. As I had vacation accumulated, Georgia and I went to Madrid to receive our effects shipped late in November by air from New York by the Seven Santini Brothers. But because the Madrid agent was lax my vacation ended well before the goods were released from Customs. His agency was later put out of business by the Santinis whom he represented only indirectly. So Georgia was left in a hotel in Madrid where she harried the agency without success until the return of the owner from a convention in Florida. But before I could return to Spain the goods were delivered and Georgia spent her days in the empty house unpacking and having furniture placed in acordance with our long-cherished plans.
We lived in that house until October 1989 with a two-year interruption when we occupied an apartment on the Rue des Anglais in Pau, southwestern France. The apartment was over the office of a veterinary and the complaints of dogs on week-ends were sometimes maddening. A tax problem came up so we returned to our home, 'Casa Hesperis' although Georgia was suffering from arthritis and could no longer keep house. We managed with the aid of a kindly woman who came nearly every day to clean and cook, Pepé. Her husband, Domingo, did yard work for us and ran errands. We at last decided that we could no longer live isolated in the mountains far from medical help. We sold the house for eighteen million pesetas in cash, but most of it I entrusted for investment to a banker in whom we had confidence, Francisco Selas Cespedes. We had recovered a little more than a third of the total before he defaulted and disappeared. I gave our large library to the English church in Madrid and abandoned quantities of movies and the Bolex camera I had used to take them as well as my Leica that had served me well since 1939. The day before we were to drive to France in our Peugot 604 the vision in half of my right eye went black. I said nothing about it to Georgia until we arrived in Pau where Dr. Piot, using silicone, pushed the retina back in place. Of course Uhel, the Irish setter, came with us, and as he was already twelve, adapted rather well to life in a tiny apartment in the Hotel Continental. On 28 January 1992 at 1030 AM just after breakfast in the room, she said,"J'étouffe." Her head fell forward on the low table and in seconds she was gone. Three weeks before we had spent the day in a hospital where she had transfusions to lessen the number of platelets in the blood. With the aid of Dr.de Guilhem we had been fighting them since our arrival in Pau.
After burying her ashes on the property of a long-time friend in Provence I went to England, invited by Dr.da Costa. There, to occupy my thoughts I began to write about the first King of Saudi Arabia whom I met in 1939. In four years I completed a book, but only after the climate of northern England sent me back to California where ice does not coat the sidewalks. Now the computer offers other distraction, but it does not dull the poignancy of memories of our life together. In this link are a few of my photos of her.
I exhaust the meager remainder of my ten megabytes with pictures of myself Their presence stems from the fact that I am frugal by nature and prefer to use all of the space allotted me. I am not narcissistic, in spite of evidence to the contrary provided by the existence of these pages . Several friends and relatives have suggested that my memoirs would be of general interest. In abbreviated form they are here.
I hope you found them worth your time. I don't plan any changes. Comments welcome.Click here.
Ibn Saud: King by Conquest is in print. Available from:Bookpublisher.com, Tucson, AZ, and from buy.com, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and others.