Saturday, May 14, 2005


One of my jobs in Iran was site exploration. They sent me out to future construction sites to locate and map raw materials. That meant sand, rock and water.

I would also plan where our camp would be and locate where to build an airstrip. Well, more than locate actually. On two sites I designed the strips and ran heavy equipment during their construction. On the other sites I did a complete survey and turned the notes in to our Tehran office for them to do the design.

Usually, when the first plane landed, my job would be over and I would leave on it. I did a lot of the same thing later in Viet Nam.

That kind of stuff required a lot of driving around the country. (Drive in, fly out.) Iran at that time (around 1958) did not have a lot of roadside facilities for vehicles. Gas stations were spaced just short of a full tank apart. Most towns would have just the one station. If you thought that would lead to long lines, you’d be mistaken. There weren’t many cars.

Once while driving from Tehran to Sanandaj, I had a mishap. The hood latch broke on our vehicle and the hood popped up blocking the windshield. We had nothing to fasten it down. There was no signs of civilization near us except for the road.

Luckily, I wasn’t alone this time. A little Greek engineer, a linguist, was with me. He had been in Iran many years and spoke Farsi and other languages common to the area.

It was obvious he had to go to the next town (I think it was Kermanshah), while I stayed with the vehicle, not realizing the seriousness of our situation.

My companion hitched a ride and was back in two or three hours with a mechanic.

The little Greek came up to me, his face aglow, and said, “We are saved! He is an Armenian!”


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