My first trip abroad took place when war was already in the wings. The crew of the Europa was polite, but let us know that we were inferiors. In Paris posters Achetez les bons du Ligne Maginot!were everywhere. I had my first taste of La vie parisienne at the Casino de Paris where Maurice Chevalier was the star and bare-breasted beauties paraded into a pool holding lighted candelabra. When asking directions to the theater I tried my best French on a gendarme with cloak and white bâton and got a reply in authentic Brooklynese,"Bud, go down the street two blocks and turn to the right." So much for a college education! Champagne cocktails at Toot's Bar next to the office of the Herald Tribune cost the equivalent of twenty-five cents.
After Trieste, the finger nails and aprons of the waiters in the restaurant car of the Orient Express (the crew changed with each country) became progressively more grimy. The Taurus Express that we boarded after ferrying across the Bosphorus was nine wooden cars at least twenty years old but it ran, albeit with many stops. I don't remember dining facilities on it.
"Khobar Pier" is included to give an idea of the greeting reserved for new or returning Aramco hands. When our group arrived in December 1938, we were met, along with a crowd of well-wishers, by the Chief Geologist, Max Steineke, and the Senior Paleontologist Richard (Dick) Bramkamp. Bramkamp is his usual lean self in the photo. Tom Barger became President of ARAMCO. Unlike most of us he learned Arabic well. Charlie Homewood was a radio operator, and the man in the felt hat is probably my colleague, Fred Waldron. We worked together in the field. Ruel Gierhart headed a mapping party. He and his partner Lloyd Owens gave us a new-born gazelle that they brought to Dhahran wrapped in a blanket in a 200-mile race against time. "Plume" lived to become adolescent, but she would still jump high to land with legs folded on Georgia's lap to be fed condensed milk from an eye-dropper.