On March 6, 1948, a U.S. military transport plane landed at Dhahran Air Base, Saudi Arabia, and Major George Trial stepped out to an overcast desert morning. What had made a young Air Force officer leave his family, a comfortable life and pending promotion in Washington D.C., to travel to a tiny airbase in an isolated desert kingdom on the other side of the world? Born in 1910, George Trial was the only son of a farming family from the tiny village of Muscotah, Kansas. His father, a successful but secretive man, insisted that George attend college and leave farming behind. Tragedy tore the family apart, but his mothers quiet strength helped George regain his bearings. Ruth Wallace was the youngest of three children growing up in placid Nevada Missouri in the 1920s. Ruth was a dreamy-eyed child, not at all like her fiery older sister Bonnie, or her happy-go-lucky brother Jack. When the family moved to Kansas City in 1929, Ruth was the most reluctant to leave life in rural Missouri behind. While attending the University of Missouri she developed a fondness for small town Columbia that would shape the rest of her life. George met Ruth in 1938 when they were both elementary school teachers in Kansas City. In May of 1940 they married, and in September of that year George reported for active duty with the Army. When the war ended, George stayed on active duty with the Army Air Force in Washington D.C. Their son, Michael was born in 1946, and Ruth and George felt they were perfectly happy. Then George was offered an assignment that would change his life and his familys life forever. Dhahran Air Base had become a strategic counter to potential Soviet expansion in the Middle East, and Major Trial was sent there with a small team of Americans to train the Saudi Arabs in airfield operations. Soon, Ruth and Michael joined George in Dhahran, and they began to explore areas of the world with history reaching back 4000 years. They lived among and learned of a culture fiercely proud, yet mindful of the ancient desert rules of hospitality to strangers and respect for family-a culture about to be impacted by the construction of the largest oil-production facilities the world has ever seen. From Kansas prairie and small town Missouri to the Arabian desert, this is Ruth and Georges story.
from Midwest to Middle East
Columbia, MO :, AKA-Publishing,, c2013.
217 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm.
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