Patterson Family
Being married and a father had sidetracked me from going back to Asia. I can't really say whether I was yearning to go to Asia or just go somewhere. I am fairly sure that the urge to find out what was on the other side of the hill was getting the best of me. To compound matters, the oil industry in the USA was in a down cycle. The government was creating obstacles to drilling and getting permits to build refineries. For some reason Chevron did not lay off all the excess employees or transfer them to overseas operations. At this time Chevron was not a big competitor in the world oil operation. Our foreign arm was Caltex and Aramco. Chevron Overseas Petroleum when I moved to Bahrain was only a drilling group with no production. Corporate Management seemed to concentrate only on Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. Most managers in the States thought that you were a bubble off if you wanted to go overseas. All of this combined to make working in the States as exciting as watching paint dry. The net result was that no one was empowered to do anything. There was no money to spend, so additional layers of supervision was created to slow down the spending of money. This I did not like.

The desire to travel was starting to get to me before marrying. At the time of the wedding I was considering a job in Nigeria, but a coupe put that on hold. Yvonne later admitted that she was glad that it fell through. Just before Christmas in 1972 I came home and asked Yvonne if she wanted to go to New York for a week. Being a rather astute woman, she suspected that something was afoot. She agreed to go on the job interview for Caltex Pacific Indonesia. We spent 5 days in New York learning about life and work in Indonesia. The Chief Engineer, Woody Fralein and his assistant Majadi Hassan gave us a good overview of what it would be like in the jungles of Sumatra. I was impressed over the job and I probably didn't pay that much attention to what the life would be like for the family. I only saw a chance to really get to work and accomplish something. I was bored out of my skull in the States and saw this as an opportunity. Yvonne was not really sold on the whole thing. This would manifest itself into a great big gaping sore when she arrive in Indonesia.

Caltex exploration crews in Indonesia before World War II found indications of oil potential. Several dry holes were drilled, but oil was found just before World War II at Sebanga and Duri. A rig was on location in Minas just before the Japanese and their Sphere of Influence put the whole project on hold. The Imperial Japanese Army actually drilled the first well in the Minas Field. In the early 1950's Caltex moved into the area and started developing the Minas Field. The main thrust of development started before the Indonesian Revolution in the 1960's, but during the 1970's thing really got going. That was when I got there. I arrived on the day that we produced a million barrels per day. This was the peak of production in the Caltex Pacific Indonesia operation.

Indonesia is a chain of islands that spread across a large area in Southeast Asia. Indonesia comprises 17,508 islands according to Indonesian government estimates, with about 6,000 of those inhabited. The country extends from adjacent to the Malay Peninsula in its west and into Melanesia in its east. It is the most populace Islam country in the world. About 85% of the Indonesians were Moslem, but many other religions exist. When we arrived there was no way for the Indonesia Government to communicate with all the islands. While we were there a tsunami hit an island, but no one knew about it for two months. Somebody had to get into a boat and go to the nearest island where the message was sent to the next island by boat until it finally got to Jakarta. Indonesia is located on the "ring of fire". The geology of the area is that the Pacific Plate that is colliding with the Asian Sub Continent. The Pacific Plate moving under the Sub Continent creates a lot of volcanoes and earthquakes in this area. About 25% of the active volcanoes in the world are in Indonesia. This explains why the oil was so hot in Indonesia.

On 8 May, 1973 with my brand new passport I bid my CLP First Passport 1973family a fond adieu at the Memphis Air Port and started winging my way across the blue Pacific to Sumatra, Indonesia. I flew a Boeing 707 from Memphis to San Francisco in the middle seat. I then boarded my first 747's for the trip to Honolulu. They were playing Hawaiian music which was nice, but to look at a 747 for the first time was an experience that still leaves me in awe. In those days the airplanes were not sold out allowing you to have a lot of room. I sat near a waitress that worked for Don Ho in Hawaii. She asked me to come to their club, but I declined. I really enjoyed going for a walk on the beach at night. Hawaii had really changed since the 1950's. The Royal Hawaiian was still there. When the last cock roach is dead you will be able to get a room at the Royal Hawaiian. The lay over in Honolulu started bringing back fond memories of Asia. Granted, I did imbibe in some of the good Scotch which may have had something to do with my mellow feeling. My next stop was Hong Kong, a place that I visited in 1955. Finally, on 10 May 1973 I was on Singapore Airline headed for one of the prettiest places on earth, Singapore. I was met at the Singapore Paya Lebar Airport by American Express who took me to the Hilton Hotel on Orchard Road. At that time the American Express office was located in downtown Singapore but our office was just across the street from the Hilton. We had a contract with American Express to handle obtaining our visas and travel arrangements. They would transport us to and from the airport. Jim Hitchcock, Amoseas Manager in Singapore, and American Express both told me to make ordering food at Fitzpatrick's Cold Stores my first priority. I bought all kinds of thing and placed them in the back of the store with my name and address. I wondered if they would ever get to Indonesia. They did before my family arrived.

See more about Singapore
After a week in Singapore waiting on a visa, I boarded the Company airplane, a Forkker Friendship, for the equatorial jungles of Sumatra; the camp was about 2 degrees north of the equator. When I arrived the boss took me on a trip around the field for orientation. He had the only air-conditioned car in camp, but he chose to turn it off so I could see how hot it was. I told him I was from Louisiana where the weather was about same. With that he rolled up the windows and turned on the AC. He was from California and had never got use to the heat.
I asked him how much authority did I have to do my job. I was use to having no authority. He said that you have as much authority as you think you can handle. That really made me sit up and take notice. There was so much to be done and so few people to do it. People did not look over your shoulder and require prior approval before doing something. If a well went down over night, a rig would be moved on it and others would know about it at the morning report. It was a great feeling to be able to do things that I had trained 10 years to do without having to go through 5 levels of management just to be told no. I was now in my element. The Marines had trained me to take charge and make things happen. Now I could do just that.

Minas camp was the smallest of the four camps - Duri, Minas, Rumbai, and Dumai - and the most primitive. Very little money had been spent on improving living conditions in the camp. Most Nationals and all the expats did not like living in Minas. The company would from time to time wrestle with whether the camp should be upgraded or moved to Rumbai. Both ideas cost more money than the partners were willing to spend. We did not have a club house, pool, tennis courts, movie house or golf course. We were able to add a room to the mess hall and build a small pool using material and labor from the existing operating budget.
We had an office in an old abandoned Indonesian school. There were no walls separating the offices which created a bull pen working condition. Due to the lack of a phone system, the phones at your house could not be used during the day because it was necessary share the lines with the office. The phone would ring in both places. When I first arrived there was no desk or chair for me. I sat by the water cooler on a trash can, a rather Spartan situation. I knew one thing, this type existence could not last. I searched far and wide for a solution to my problem as no one else seemed to care. After a while I found an old abandoned Texas Hut that was originally used as temporary quarters in new fields. The picture below of the Minas Library is an example of a Texas Hut. After a little negotiating with Walter Clark I was the proud owner of a place to sit. Arrangements were made to move the hut to Minas, where I set it up behind the office and proclaimed that the New Fields Development Group was open for business. It wasn't much, but it was a hell of lot better than sitting on a trash can. I just happened to have control over 24 air-conditioners, which I “borrowed” for my new office. I had a little more trouble getting furniture. Lou Flame in Duri said that he could solve my problem if I would loan him a Reda Pump. I quickly learned that if things got done, you had to improvise. I remembered that improvise and Semper Fidelis were two of the Marine Corps most used words. Finally, a home for the New Fields Development Group, which consisted of two Indonesian Engineers, a TA and myself. No one every asked me where I got the buildings or how. That is the way to run a railroad.

A month after arriving, I sent a telex to Yvonne and Cassandra to get on Clyde and ride. This was the beginning of an experience they would remember along with Pearl Harbor and other natural disasters of our times. Yvonne chose to fly non-stop to Singapore from Memphis, which was not the best decision of our time. Communication was a major problem in Indonesia. The government was paranoid about their people being able to communicate. The revolution had used the communication system to coordinate the junta. The only way we could communicate was by a telex to Kuala Lumpur to Singapore to New York. This combined with the fact that we were 24 hours behind New York made rapid communication next to impossible. Since I did not have the ability to argue the point with her, I could only hope for the best. When I got her itinerary, it looked like a catastrophe looking for a place to happen. I figured that if this happened without a hitch the Pope would turn Protestant. As Robert Burns said “best laid plans of men and mice” and a young redhead did not happen as originally conceived. Things started to unravel when they were late getting to Hawaii, causing them to miss the Philippines Air Lines flight to Manila. A later flight got them to Manila, which was where the fun really began. In those days flights to Singapore only flew every third day. Meanwhile, I was stranding around the Singapore Airport pondering the fate of my family. That is one of the worst feeling a young lad could experience. I went back to the company office and with the aid of Caltex and American Express a search was initiated from Singapore to Memphis. The first thing we found when we got hold of Caltex Manila was that it was Philippines Independence Day in Manila, which would make the search somewhat difficult. Caltex NY confirmed that they left on schedule, so they were stranded somewhere between Honolulu and Singapore. Fortunately, when Yvonne got to the hotel she had the foresight to call the Caltex office in Singapore to let everyone know how her first experience in Asia was unfolding. Cassandra still vividly remembers the confusion and chaos of this trip. She reflects on how her mother just sat down and cried. I always wonder about the life that I chose for my family. I really believe that a lot of what Cassandra learned made the rest of her life easier to handle. I was very happy with nothing to do for three days. However, having three day with nothing to do in Singapore isn't exactly what you would classify as a hardship. I spent the time searching the nooks and crannies of Singapore and shopping at Fitzpatrick's Cold Stores for groceries. I always like to go to places where the average tourist would not venture. This resulted in my visiting a lot of the sections of Singapore that most people fail to see. I guarantee that this is where the best food is located. I never got over the fact that I grew up on the lowest scale of existence. That made me seek out the poorer sections of the world. I met a lot of really nice people that way.

All our food was purchased in Singapore and sent up the Siak River to Rumbai on the Caltex Boat. Everyone told me that you can't buy too much as it was not easy getting thing through customs. I was spending money like a drunken sailor after 6 months at sea. The stores would allow you to fill your shopping cart, put a piece of paper on top and walk out of the store. They would then box it and send it to our Killlney Road Warehouse (godown). When a bill finally arrived for $5000, I almost panicked, as I did not have that kind of money. The positive side was that there wasn't much to spend money on in Sumatra. One bright sunny day, American Express called me and said that my little family would be in Singapore the next day causing great jubilation on my part. A rather happy lad met Yvonne and Cassandra at customs and immigration. I knew then that my family was the most important thing in my life; my life changed that day. I now knew that my primary mission was working to provide for my family.

I spent a few days showing them the sights of Singapore while things were being processed for their visas to get into Indonesia. We were staying in a 5 star hotel, the Hyatt Hotel on Scott Road, while suffering through their first days in Asia. I felt like Asia was home, but it was foreign to Yvonne. Cassandra didn't care one way or other, it had a swimming pool. Yvonne was never classified as a path finder when we traveled and spent a lot of the time in the hotel getting over jet lag. American Express finally had all our documents and picked us up and took us to Paya Lebar Airport. In those days the airport was not air-conditioned, but it had fantastic cross ventilation which made it comfortable. We would sit in the A&W Root Beer Restaurant waiting on our flight. Yvonne complained about the heat and all I could do was smile because she was soon to be introduced to Simpang Tiga Airport in Pekanbaru.


The fateful day had arrived to start the family on the trek deep into the Sumatran jungle. We boarded the company plane and began winging our way toward Pekanbaru, a short trip of around 180 miles as the crow flies. All that they could see from the aircraft was a lush green mat as we flew over the tops of the jungle trees.

Pekanbaru International Air Port at Simpang Tiga was not what Yvonne thought an International airport should look like, especially, when she saw the animals wandering around the runway. When I told her that planes had to land before 4 pm because they did not have runway lights, she looked at me like I was crazy. She started getting a look on her face when she saw the waiting room that conveyed the fact that she was rather displeased. It was crowded and was not equipped with air-conditioning. Our luggage was put on carts and hand pulled to the airport by several workers. Everyone rushed out to the carts to collect their baggage, which were then placed on a counter where customs searched them for something. To say she was going into a state of shock would be like saying that beside the ice bergs the Titanic had a wonderful trip. This was the beginning of the shock of Indonesia. Finally, I told Yvonne that we could now enter the Republic of Indonesia.

A car ride through the town of Pekanbaru was another experience that made me wonder just when she was going to kill me and how. So far she had not found anything that made her smile. That did not change as we left the airport.

The town was something that almost pushed Yvonne right off the deep end. She was rather quiet, but so is the eye of a hurricane. At times the smell emitting from Pekanbaru was a little unsettling and she was not hesitant to express her feeling on this subject. We continued on through Pekanbaru toward the point where we crossed the Siak River. There she started talking or maybe ranting would better describe it.

The town of Pekanbaru was about 250,000 with little or no electricity. To cross the Siak River, Caltex had installed a floating pontoon bridge which was only wide enough for one car. As a result one side had to pull off and wait for the oncoming traffic to cross. Yvonne was horrified when she saw people bathing, defecating, and brushing their teeth in the river near the bridge.

Finally, the car arrived at the Caltex camp of Rumbai where my boss and his wife met us. After a quick drink in the un-air-conditioned Rumbai Country Club we started a 30 km trek farther into the jungle to our new home in Minas. She seemed satisfied that Rumbai looked nice and even thought the Rumbai Catholic Church was rather quaint. For some reason I did not tell her that it did not have air conditioning; fear of retribution. The shock was ratcheted up a couple of notches when she saw the grass huts along the road. The Minas Village did nothing for her. I think she was numb or maybe plotting my demise.

When she saw her new home and met her houseboy Isa Anasman, she finally saw a positive point, as he did all the cleaning, washing and cooking. He brought her a drink and some food to snack on while she got her breath. In all of Indonesia Isa was the only thing that she could really wrap her mind around. She later said that she could not believe that I would bring Cassandra to a place like this. Cassandra was happy with her room and the big closet that she made into a playroom. She would spend hours with her dolls, books and music in this playroom.

Our house in Minas was built in 1952 from stone made at Prawang on the Siak River and brought 10 km to Minas. The blocks were 8” thick, solid. When the workmen laid the wall they did not get the bricks even. The wall would have one brick sticking out and another recessed. It looked strange, but was very functional. At this time we were in the process of increasing production and upgrading the Minas Field. As a result we had many bugs in the electric system. Our electrical system was hastily throw together and we were short on equipment and personnel. Neither Texaco or Chevron had anyone with experience with 110,000 volt transmission systems. As can be imagined, we had a lot of power failures. To compound this problem the

area had a lot of fruit bats, which had wing spans long enough to make contact with three wires when they landed on the electrical high lines. Large snakes would also get into our electrical equipment causing shorts. This all caused a chain reaction shutting down power across the area, including the houses. Since we lived in a stone house, the house would remain cool for about 3-4 hours. The people in the wooden houses were hot almost immediately.

Cassandra rode a bus 30 km to school in Rumbai. When we arrived there were several expat kids on the bus, but that soon changed to Cassandra and another girl. One day the bus broke down between Minas and Rumbai. In their great wisdom these two geniuses decided to walk home. Fortunately, one of the company workers came along and gave them a ride. Everyone in the area knew the kids and would look after them. After taking them home the worker came by and told me that he had taken them home. When I brought this up to Cassandra she couldn't figure out how I knew. All of the Indonesians would watch out for the kids. They really liked children. The bus was how we got our eggs. You would give the driver some money and a note stating how many eggs you needed when he picked up Cassandra. He would buy the eggs and deliver them on his return trip.

After about a month I got a call from Customs that our Barong had arrived. A Barong was Indonesian for shipment. I went down to Rumbai and got all the paper work cleared and headed back to Minas to get there before the truck. This day was better than Christmas because we now had some of our belongings. Everyone was on edge waiting for the truck to arrive as if Santa was coming. Finally, it was at the side of the house and the anticipation was high. Yvonne, Cassandra and the servants were on edge. It took about three days before Yvonne got her nest feathered with everything in it place. We now had our stuff and the house started looking a little like a home.

As time went on, Yvonne settled in, but was not completely happy. The turn around day was when I bought her a brand new little yellow Toyota Corolla.

Two problems existed with the car; one it was a stripped down model with standard shift and the other was the Indonesian drivers license. Subro, our Security Chief, got her a license by talking to friends. She had never driven a car with standard transmission. To solve this problem, I would take her out in the jungle on roads to various oil wells to teach her to drive a stick shift. Before long she had mastered everything except reverse. She was always like Al Unser in reverse. A new day was dawning, she could now go to Rumbai where there were a lot of other people. Minas only had 5 expat families and no children of Cassandra's age. Now Cassandra could stay after school and play with her friends. After a hard day at the bridge tables Yvonne would pick up Cassandra and head for Minas. By the time we left Indonesia the whole family agreed that this had to be one of the greatest experiences we would experience stumbling down the rocky road of life.

Every so often I would get the hair to have a Pig BBQ and invite all expats in the camp over to eat. It was an elaborate undertaking. First I would go visit the Chinese Pig Farm and pick out a nice looking pig. The farmer would kill, gut and shave it so I could pick it up the next day. I would then stop by the wood cutters shack and fill up the pick up with wood to burn. Assam would start digging a hole in the yard. As time went on I improved on the spit and set up better shelter for the cooks. It was a gala affair with everyone sitting under the mango tree drinking and talking. Everyone enjoyed this activity, even the cooks. Servants were used to turn the pig, but Assam was in charge of cooking. Squeek was allow to participate; not sure she enjoyed all the people and activity. She would not stray far from Yvonne. Cassandra would invite her friends to come up from Rumbai.

Pig BBQ Pictures

My work in Minas was the greatest experience that I had experienced since my tour with the Marines. There was more things to do than time allotted. I asked Don Tratt how much authority did I have to get things done. He said I had all I was willing to take. The prime goal was to increase the daily production in any way possible. I arrived and was given the new job of Senior Petroleum Engineer for New Field Development. This included the new field outside the Minas Field. The field names were Kotabatak, Petapahan, Lindai, Surinam, and Kasikan. At this time the only engineers assigned to the District were Petroleum Engineers. This meant that the PE was responsible for electrical, mechanical, chemical, and construction in addition to production engineering. Needless to say I had to dig deep to remember the things from college. When the boss found out that I had developed the maintenance program for a county club in Louisiana, I was assigned the task or water treatment for the camp. I worked with Sastro Periowa, who was in charge of Field Service. One of the first things he asked me to help with was the horrible smell at the mess hall. As it turned out, I found that the septic tank was plugged. We had a lot of vacuum truck that were used to supply water to the drilling and workover rig which I told him would clean out the tank. When I told Dodo Triwidacdosidi that I need one to suck crap out of a septic tank, he was skeptical to say the least. After showing him the spec on the truck that basically said that sucking crap was the original planned use of the vacuum truck he relented but, expressed rather vocal doubts. Most Indonesians were very cooperative and really wanted to get things done. A lot of expats did not grasp this. Indonesians are just like any body in the world. Sastro was soon back in my office complaining that the septic tank still didn't work. The problem this time was that the bacteria was not working. I got a can of yeast from the mess hall and dumped it in the tank. Soon the water was running clear. After that Sastro and I were friends. I suddenly realized that my courses in Chemistry was now being used. I don't really thing that I had ever had to apply my college training until I got to Indonesia. Let me tell you that is one great feeling to be able to use your prior training. I also worked with Sastro to handle our Reda Pumps. I was in charge of all of the Reda Pumps for the Minas District. I had to design the motors and pumps and to get the old pumps repaired. One day while taking an inventory in the warehouse yard, I felt that someone was watching me, but I was alone at a distance from the camp. Finally I look out into the jungle and there was a big siamung hanging by one arm looking at me. How many people can relate that kind of story.

To get from the camp to my area was about 30 km. The concept of developing fields was to use a Heli Rig to drill the discovery well. We contracted Bristol Helicopter company to transport our rig to the location. Initially we would drop a crew as close to the proposed location as possible and they would hack their way into the jungle until they found the seismic line that would take them to the exact location of the proposed well.
See Helicopter Operation The crew would clear the location by hand until they had an area large enough to start dropping equipment. We broke down all the equipment in 3500 pound loads. This was the maximum slung load that our helicopter could carry. First we dropped a Caterpillar D8 on the location to aid in clearing the jungle. This crew would clear an area for the rig, living quarters, and a helipad. Once the rig was assembled drilling commenced. If the well resulted in a discovery, it was plugged for reentry. Plans were then made to develop the field. In the area I was assigned we built a road from the village of Kotagora to Kotabatak and then to Petapahan. From this area we could punch secondary road to new location instead of dropping the helirig. We would use smaller rigs to come in and drill and complete the field.

We set up a field base camp in the Petapahan Field where we had temporary living quarters, mess hall, and field maintenance. I would spend a lot of time in this camp while we developed the area. Sometimes on the weekend I would take Cassandra with me and we would eat in the mess hall. I like to think that she got something from being deep into the jungle of Indonesia. This was an area that no man had every walked until we punched the road through the forest primeval. I was awe struck with this concept. Granted she was very young, but I think that I exposed her to many more thing than the average child would ever experience. This area had several families of tigers, elephants, and all sorts of wild life. Most people never get to experience this, but I did. Generally, I did not have a fear of tigers, but elephants were another story. I could only imagine rounding a curve and hitting a herd of elephants. Ramming an elephant with a small car could result in body damage to the car and the occupant. They would migrate at night searching for something or other. One night I was waiting on Yules Hittapu to meet me but he didn't show up at the time agreed. When he finally got there he told me that he had almost run into a herd of elephants crossing the road. Fortunately, he managed to get his pickup shut down before he rammed them. The big bull elephant stopped and turned toward him with his trunk in the air and making a loud noise. We asked him what he did. His response was "I did the only thing I could think of; I blinked the head lights". Fortunately, for him it worked. Had he rammed into the elephants they would have surely done him bodily harm. One morning we went out to the new field of Suram and found nothing but wreckage. That night elephants had chose to stomped everything that we had installed. Apparently one of them had attacked some of our high voltage equipment. The voltage was 12800 volts which should cause a lot of shock to a young elephant. I guess the shock pissed him off enough to tear up everything in the area. I always wondered how the elephant survived the encounter with 12800 volts. Another time on the way to Kasikan I notice a group of people milling around the road surveying the utter destruction of their homes. I was able to ascertain that an elephant herd had came in the night and destroyed everything they had. A thing that impressed me was the fact that in the middle of all this destruction, a lady offered me a cup of tea. Tigers I could handle, but the elephants worried me.

Tigers were a subject that all expats in Indonesia talked about, but very few actually got the chance to actually see one. That was not the case if you worked in the jungle, especially in the newer areas that we were carving out of forest primeval. There was an area along the road between Kotabatak and the Duri Road that had a family of Tigers who at dawn they would come out of the jungle and warm themselves on our pipe lines. We had 36 inch lines transporting oil to Dumai Terminal. Oil in Indonesia would surface at around 200 degrees F depending on the depth of the well, which Indonesian Drying Clothes on CPI Pipelinecreated a warm pipe line. In the early morning before the sun assisted in making the pipe hot it was possible to lay on the line. The Tigers liked lie on the lines to warm up after a cold night. The Indonesians would also use these line to dry their clothes.

When we were working to punch a road through to Kasikan and Lindai I stopped to talk with a construction worker at the road intersection. Out of the corner of my eye I detected some movement. There was a mother tiger and two cubs. The three of us quickly jumped up on a Caterpillar D8. There we were out in the open with three tigers between us and the cars. A lot of things were discussed as to how to deal with the tigers. The largest thing that we could find to fight off the tiger was a screw driver. All I could think about was a cartoon the I had seen somewhere, a picture of a little mouse giving the finger to a very large cat. As it turned out she kept moving off into the jungle with her cubs.

We had a old Tiger that was attacking the wood cutters in the north part of the field. This Tiger was old and could not hunt pigs anymore so he turned to humans. These wood cutters would make camp at night on the area that had been cleared for the producing wells. He would jump in the middle of them and drag one of them into the jungle for his evening meal. Since the government did not allow their people the right to bear arms, they were at the mercy to the old Tiger. However, the government did allowed Caltex to possess one rifle. My neighbor Nasir, Subro, and the local police man went out the next night to try and stalk the Tiger. Around midnight they killed him and brought him back to camp. He was very old and had a lot of scars. Nasir took him to Pekanbaru and had him stuffed.

I mentioned the fact that our oil was very hot. We would separate the water and oil and pump the water into a settling tank. One of our foreman was walking along the edge of the pit and slipped. He was scaled to death.

Pictures of People From Minas
Pictures of Minas
Pictures of People From Rumbai

Pictures Rumbai School
Picture From Rumbai
Pictures From Pekanbaru
Pictures From Isa House

In 1976 I talked Barney Treadway into transferring me to Rumbai to work as the Senior Operations Engineer. When I told my little clan about the transfer, you would have thought that I had found a secret way into Heaven. Now Cassandra could get up and ride her bike to school. She would go to school listening to the birds and monkeys making noise in the jungle around the camp. She and Yvonne were so happy, I figured it was worth it. I did miss the job in the field. The good point was I had a job that kept me in the loop as to all the activities that went on in Caltex Pacific Indonesia. I made up the budget, coordinated the drilling operation, developed the exploratory projects economics and anything that did not fall under reservoir engineering. I got the opportunity to get involved in our shipping terminal at Dumai and the crude oil transmission system. It was the second best job I had in Indonesia.

I was slated to take over engineering in the Duri Area, but lost out to another person. The man making the decision was an individual that I had locked horns with when we were young engineers. I was told that he said I would get that job over his dead body. Our Chief Engineer Bob Smith told me that he wanted me to go to Bahrain and take over the Reservoir Engineering Department and our Managing Director wanted me to take over the Jambi Development Project there in Indonesia. After a lot of telexes back and forth to New York, I got my orders to go to Bahrain in the Arabian Gulf.

1979 we packed everything that we could not sell in wooden box and stenciled Bapco State of Bahrain on each box, packed our suit cases and got on an airplane

to leave the jungles of Indonesia. It was a sad day for everyone. We were leaving a place that we were all the happiest that we had ever been. We had a large argument over what to do with our monkey Squeek. We wrestled with putting her down, but could not do it. Andy Crook, an Irish Doctor friend, also agreed with us that Squeek should not be killed. He went around the camp trying to find a home for the monkey. Finally, Eubanks, a geologist, agreed to take care of the monkey. It was a sad day when were took Squeek over to their house and left her. We had had that monkey for 6 years.

In 2011 I got an email from Norman & Evelyn Eddleston who had lived in Rumbai after we left. They sent me the two pictures below. It looks like Squeek had a good life after we left.  It was great to hear about Squeek after all these years. It really moved something in both my daughter and I. We missed her.

Squeek 1985

The same was true of our servants. It was very hard to leave Isa and Asam. Before we left Isa had us over to his house for supper. I have always been proud of the fact that our servant would like us enough to invite us to dinner.

Just got to thinking about my going away party that Bahaki gave. I was given a Garuda bird with the Indonesia logos on it. I guess Bahaki knew me better than I thought. I still have it above my desk. Maybe Soemarman had something to do with this.

Vacation 1974
Vacation 1975  
Chapter 1 My Way of Thinking
Chapter 2 My Father and Mother Became Sharecroppers
Chapter 3 Conception to Awareness
Chapter 4 Now I Know That I Remember -- I Think
Chapter 5 Things That We Did on The Farm
Chapter 6 Life on Jackson's Place
Chapter 7 My Education Begins
Chapter 8 Life on the Farm

Chapter 9 Move to the Metropolis of Lubbock, Texas
Chapter 10 Marines

Chapter 11 College and New Orleans

Chapter 12 Indonesia

Chapter 13 Bahrain
Chapter 14 Scotland