A Lesson in Acceptance

Michelle, Cat, Jared, Washington DC

Hi there, thank you for stopping by. I would like to share a memorable family outing, involving my family and several work related visitors from Beijing, China who helped teach us a lesson in acceptance.

It was 1991 and I worked for TREMA North America, Inc., based in Reisterstown, MD. Trema was in the business of the design and supply of industrial chemical processing equipment. After supporting the hiring my Father, remember I was the 1st US based employee, we began selling Spray Dryers, which was a lucrative niche market. It’s what we sold as Bayliss Industries in Flemington, NJ in the 1980’s.

A Customer from China

The China Petrochemical Corporation, of The People’s Republic of China, was a new customer and obtained permission to send a group of engineers to visit us for a project review and kick-off meeting. Pretty amazing for our little company of seven or eight people!

China Petrochemical Company visits Reisterstown, MD.
Ronald Bayliss stands with the team of engineers from China. Sep. 1991

After a couple of days of meetings, and before they had to travel home, they were hopeful to do some sightseeing. Michelle & I were happy to oblige.

A Trip to Washington, DC

To cure their desire to see some of the US, me, Michelle, Catherine and Jared took our visitors on a road trip to see Washington DC. I rented a van, hired a tour guide, picked up my family and off to Washington, DC with our new friends.  Note there four professional engineers, who did not speak a word of English, their interpreter and our tour guide. Ten off us in all!

A boat ride on the Potomac river in Washington, DC. 9/22/1991

What ensued was a relaxing day of fun, education, and smiles. We stopped and walked a few attractions, and drove by many more. Everybody was asking questions, learning, joking and laughing. 

Jared with a new friend from Beijing, China.
Our tour guide snapped a picture of the whole gang with a statute of Albert Einstein.

Another highlight of this adventure was when our visitors, while riding around in the van, took note paper and made different Origami. Catherine and Jared were awestruck.

A few months after the visit, we received a letter stating how much they enjoyed their visit with us and their trip to Washington, DC. This many years later I still recall how we, from completely different cultures (and generations), without even thinking about it, displayed acceptance of each other and had a very enjoyable day.

A Welcome Dinner

Not the same day, but a few photos over dinner with my mom and dad at the Harryman House in Reisterstown, MD.

Dinner with visitor from China
Chinese interpreter with Ruth Bayliss and Catherine.
Engineers visitng from China
Young woman on left was a Chemical Engineer. The two men I recall were Mechanical Engineers.
Ron Bayliss, Jared, Michelle, and our interpreter.
These guys really hit it off!

An Acceptable Surprise

Although we didn’t know it t the time, Michelle was about one month pregnant with Erica during the time of this visit! Talk about a lesson in acceptance! We were on our way to child #3!

The FBI Pays a Visit

Imagine my surprise when an FBI agent came by the office one day a few months later. He was inquiring about our guests and what business they had here in the US. So who exactly was our new customer?

China Petrochemical Corporation (Chinese: 中国石油化工集团公司) or Sinopec Group is the world’s largest oil refining, gas and petrochemical conglomerate, administered by SASAC for the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. Sinopec Group ranked the 2nd in the Fortune Global 500 List in 2019, with revenue over US$414 billion. It is the second largest company in the world in terms of revenue.

The Spray Dryer design we sold them is used to manufacture a chemical agent (in the form of a fine powder) used in breaking down crude oil into different grades of petroleum products such as gasoline and kerosene.

We sold similar manufacturing dryers to WR Grace in Baltimore, MD and Lake Charles, LA.

I miss this fascinating work. FYI, I managed all of the purchasing and shipping on many international projects.

Doug Bayliss