Winter Walk; Friends Leaving - Jan. 1961

    When life in the desert of Saudi Arabia is mentioned, everyone's first thought usually is of the blistering heat of the desert.  Winter does come to the desert however.  While the temperature does not dip to that of more northern winters, the Saudi winter is experienced as cold if one has become adjusted to the summer's much higher temperatures.  This collection of photos might give a flavor of our off-duty desert life in mid winter.

In front of our VW combie transporter we find Bill Cathcart in a jacket on right. Four of our Saudi houseboys are tightly bundled up against the winter chill.

The next several photos were taken while Keith, his roommate Bill, & houseboy/friend Mousa took a winter walk out from our residential compound.

With so much rubble in our north of Riyadh neighborhood, it was often difficult to tell whether tearing down or building up was going on. 

With the guys waving, behind them is our neighborhood mosque which functioned as a useful landmark.

More construction in progress.

This reinforcing steel makes for good exercise equipment.

Not sure what this sign says ... ? - but it doesn't take us long to be out in the open barrenness north of Riyadh.

We were told that those short square pillars seen in this & other photos were put there by Bedu who received some sort of government support for starting a permanent residence.  Of course nothing more was ever built. 

A good place to pitch rocks - a guy thing.

This fence goes on and on, but its purpose seems unclear.

Mousa finds beauty in the winter desert.

Mousa & Bill examine debris left around some old mud brick ruins. 

We were never sure what kind of place this was.

Some civilization is not too far off from here.

A clear sign of "civilization" is the trash discarded in this area.

Bill poses with a dramatic winter desert sky for a backdrop.

On another winter day, many of us venture up to the recently rain soaked airport to bid some friends goodbye as they head home.

Underneath the protective wing of the "Gooney," Bill says farewell to his immediate boss & a good friend, MSgt Joe Hutnick.

Joe also bids adieu to the always smiling Louie Prima.

It seems that other Mission members were shipping home that day, but Joe is the only one clearly shown in these old slides.

As the door gets secured, the Goony is ready to taxi off on the wet runway.

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