Patterson Family
Scotland United Kingdom
Chevron Overseas Petroleum Company in San Francisco had been on my case to skip my daughters graduation so I could get to Aberdeen as soon as possible. I declined their kind request as I was rather pissed with everything. When we did arrive in London I found that Chevron United Kingdom had not finalized my work permit. When I walked into the company office on Portman Street in London Don McFain, my boss, got rather concerned that we were all in trouble with immigrations. I told him I came in on a visitors visa which seemed to calm him down a little. He insisted that I should get out of the country post haste. We decided to go over to Paris for a week or two. I enjoyed Paris because it gave me time to do things with my daughter. Cassandra tried out her high school French on the cab driver who got a kick out of how she was talking. French tend to like it when you try to speak their language.

We finally got to Aberdeen in June 1985. You can see above where all the granite came from when you fly into Aberdeen, that is if the sun is shining. Aberdeen is know as the Granite City or Silver City because most of the houses were made from granite taking from this hole. We were met at the Dyce Airport by Oran Hebert and Paul Vita who took us to our apartment on Garin Road. It was small and the only food place nearby was a fish and chip place that had the greasiest chip in the whole world, and my mother didn't know how to cook unless she had a pound of lard. I did finally find a very good Indian restaurant that wasn't to far. There were no McDonalds, Burger King or Kentucky Fried Chicken in Aberdeen at this time. Yvonne and Cassandra started searching the area for permanent residence. They finally found a house at 14 Louisville Avenue, which Yvonne tactfully told me that it had a slight problem, it was a house of ill repute. I told her that some of the best place that I have stayed were whore houses. That was something that I really should of thought through before opening my mouth. After looking things over I saw that it would make a real nice house, but would require a lot of work. We got a contractor and made him a deal on getting the changes made so we would be in the house by 2 December. I paid a little extra, but I did not have to deal with tradesmen directly. I designed the kitchen, laundry room, and closets and Yvonne decorated everything. It turned out to be a great house. As it turned out, the contractor would have met the deadline, but the paper hangers ran out of paper. Everything was ready except for one strip of wall paper. We had purchased American washer, dryer, and refrigerator that were made to run on 220 volts. This really was a great investment and most British products were very small. They tend to shop for groceries every day and us tiny refrigerators. When we left that sold very quickly to expats just arriving. Everything else was purchased locally.

In August I took a leave to put Cassandra in college. She wanted to be a dancer, but while we were in Grenada Mississippi she was diagnosed as having a shredded knee cap which precluded a dance career. I will always thank God that she did not become a dancer. As a result, she enrolled at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. She was only 50 miles from her grandparents in Grenada, Mississippi. It was a hard thing for Yvonne and I to board the plane and leave Cassandra in the USA. This was an experience that I don't think I got over. No time in my life had anything caused me so much pain. I have been under pressure more times than I care to remember, but never did it cause stress like this. After this experience I really feel for people that go through this type stress on a daily basis.

Everything had shifted into high gear for Cassandra's Christmas visit to Aberdeen.
I had this feeling of doom that the house would not be ready for her when she arrived. I could not think of anything but when she would arrive. As it turned out I made a big mistake in the travel arrangements. I thought that COPI would handle the travel arrangements in a professional manner. I was wrong. Carol Chin routed her on a very bad route. After this I told COPI that Cassandra would handle all of her travel arrangements in the future. This fiasco changed me in dealing with COPI travel, don't have anything to do with them worked ok. I was high enough in the company that they did not challenge my decision.

I scheduled a meeting in London to coincide with Cassandra's arrival. I went out to Heathrow Airport to pick up Cassandra. We were staying in the Portman Hotel just off Oxford Street. She liked to visit Speakers Corner at Hyde Park. Believe that the pictures below were taken in the summer.

We went down Oxford Street looking at the crowds and the stores. Vendors were roasting chestnuts on an open fire in the street. They smelled good, but I didn't care for them.

When we got to the house in Scotland Cassandra was amazed at what Yvonne had done to the house. The last thing she had seen was a rather crappy house. After settling in things started to go wrong. Apparently the gas pipes belonging to Scottish Gas failed. We were in Scotland with no heat, which is like being up that proverbial river without any visible means of navigation. The neighbors all chipped in with electrical heaters which got us through until Scottish Gas sorted out things.

During the winter there is very little sun light, only about 4 hours,which limits what you can show or do. I took a vacation over Christmas and New Year so we could do things around the area, but because of the lack of sunlight and the cold we had to put off doing a lot of things until she returned in the summer. During the summer there is very little darkness. One thing that we did start was a tradition of picking out a Christmas tree. We went to a nursery where we picked up a Norwegian Fir. The nursery made things feel a lot like Christmas with decorations and the darkness.

See Aberdeen in 1890
See Pictures of Aberdeen
See Pictures of Queens Garden Party
See Pictures of Edingburg Castle
See Pictures of Edingburg
See Balmoral Castle
See Loch Ness
See Braemar Highland Games
See Brodie Castle
See Fyvie Castle
See Crathes Castle
See Drum Castle
See Cassandra and Cindy Touring Scotland
See Fraser Castle

During the 5 years we spent in Scotland, Cassandra would come back for Christmas and summer vacation. She brought a friend one year and they traveled all over Scotland.

Initially I did not want to be in Scotland, mainly because I was trying to recapture my life with Cassandra always around. After awhile I had to admit that she was grown. Sure. Anyway I finally got serious about the job. The first task was to cut back manpower. The department was over staffed and the company needed to reduce manpower so I jumped in the deep end. The area of responsibility was any activity in Europe. The main focus was on the Ninian Field, but we were also developing a gas field and drilling wildcats in various parts of the area. I had a well test group that would go to the rigs and test the wildcat wells.

See Pictures of the Ninian Field

In 1990 I convinced everyone that Brian Smith was ready for my job. They wanted me go to London, but Yvonne's health was getting worse. In September 1990 the overseas assignment came to an end and we moved to Lafayette, Louisiana. After two years, the company offered a rather attractive package for people to take early retirement. It was attractive enough for me to take even thought I was only 56 years old. On 31 August 1992 my career with Chevron terminated. We enjoyed retirement even though Yvonne's health was failing. After 18 months in retirement Yvonne died on 20 February 1994 of pneumonia. She was cremated and her ashes were spread in the Gulf of Mexico in Galveston, Texas.

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