Hear Lorraine Tell A Story
Before Lorraine Newton died, she created a series of tapes about her family. Many of the stories on the tapes are found in the book A Candle for My Mother. But it ended up that there were some fun ones that were not included. We thought you might like to hear Lorraine's voice as she tells some of her stories. These stories take place in Kirkuk, Iraq, in the mid-1950's. Lorraine's husband, Don, was an oil driller working for the company that controlled the oil production in Iraq called Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC). The Newton Family (Don called "Sahb" by the servants and workers, Lorraine called "Memsaab, the daughters - Barbara, Deedee / Donna, Kathy and Pammy / Pam) and their Persian houseboy, Hassan, are the principal individuals in the stories you are about to hear.
Kirkuk Oil Fields are the most important in Northern Iraq and some of largest proved oil reserves in the world. Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC) was primarily owned by Western interests and ran a camp for their employees and families that included many British, American, and other nationalities. The book gives details on the environment and culture the Newton family found itself in, but just for the purpose of better understanding of these taped snippets, you should know, things were not as they existed in the States. Lorraine Newton did much of her shopping in the souk, the local market place, comprised of vendor stalls and unhygienic conditions. Food and cooking were one of the biggest challenges Lorraine faced on a daily basis, so much of her time and many of her stories revolved around food. We hope you enjoy these anecdotes.