Working for a large International Mining supply company can be a challenging career and it presented many memorable situations over the 35 plus years of my involvement.
Although most of these years were spent in the hard rock mining and exploration sector, I was however also involved in the oil exploration industry supplying products to companies around the world such as Halliburton, Shell Oil, and others.
Traveling to foreign countries was just a way of life for many years in the industry and as a young man full of piss and vinegar, I was never one to turn down a challenge.
I would take off to a foreign country without having much knowledge of either the geography or political situation and try to make the best of it when I got there.
Being away from home for several weeks at a time was never great for home life and raising a young family but having an understanding and hard-working wife we made out just fine.
I recall one time when I was asked to visit one or two countries in the Middle East to search out buyers for our oil field drilling products. The Persian Gulf was on my list of places to visit so I flew into Beirut and landed at Rafic Hariri International Airport, known at that time as Beirut International Airport. I had heard of Beirut but I only knew it was somewhere along the Mediterranean Sea and was known as the Paris of the middle east so it sounded ok to me. There were lots of oil drilling rigs running throughout the Persian Gulf and off I went to promote our products.
On one my earlier trips into Beirut in about 1970 (prior to the Civil war that broke out in 1973 ) the drilling industry was in full swing throughout Gulf and as a result accommodation was always difficult to come by because of the oil boom.
It didn’t matter if you had a confirmed reservation at a particular hotel and had booked well in advance and also received their confirmation via telex, many times your room was just not available when you arrived.
They always found some feeble excuse for the screw-up but nevertheless there were no rooms available for you.
If you have ever had the opportunity to travel into such countries throughout the middle east you could understand what the next best accommodation was. ( not good)
Our company at that time was called Dresser Industry with headquarters in Dallas Texas and our CEO was a chap by the name of Cheney. Dick Cheney to be precise. And yes he became the running mate of George W. Bush and served in his administration as his VP.
Well as it so happened Dick was also traveling into Beirut on company business and had a similar experience with his hotel room. I must say that it only happened to him just that once because he immediately purchased the hotel on behalf of the company and rooms were always available for us from then on.
As I mentioned earlier Beirut was known prior to the Civil war in 75 as the Paris of the Middle East and was at one time a very beautiful country to visit. I don’t however recall seeing anything such as shuffleboard over there but now that their country has settled down there is a good possibility it could become a recreation they might take to.
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Thank You So Very Much Gary for this fine story. 2020 05 17.