Saturday, January 31, 2009

Autograph Books and Games

Autograph books were a big thing in grammer school. All of the kids had them but mainly girls. Some of the sayings that were written in mine were: Yours till I D K! My heart (a drawing of a heart) pants (a drawing)4 U! And my all time favorite was Yours till the ocean wears pants to keep its bottom dry!

School games were: Pile on Lumber, Hop-scotch, Tag, Red Rover and Drop the hankerchief. Jumping rope was very popular along with Double Dutch using 2 ropes and then we had singing games that went along with the jumping.

At home on Trenton Avenue, we played games outdoors until it got dark. The street was full of kids and Berger's house next door was our meeting place. Catherine Berger was our natural leader. She was about six years older than me. We played Lay-Low Sheepie, Kick the Can, Wire ball, Step ball and some of the ones from school. Among our other activites at home were climbing trees, building a tree house, trying to ride Berger's cow, going to the matinee on Saturday and playing marbles. In the evening with our parents, we would listen to the many shows on the radio, play anagrams (beginning of Scrabble), Checkers and Chinese Checkers. A lot of times, Mom and Daddy would join us. On New Year's Eve, we would go over to Berger's house and have a party. We would also write down a wish for the coming year and Cass would keep them until the following year and of course, we would open them, laugh and repeat it for the next year.

What are the games you played in grammer school and other places? Any favorite memories?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chaumont 11

We were in Chaumont from 1953-1955. Just to see how smart you are....who was the President at that time? In 1954, we could see signs and scrawls on fences and other buildings deploring the executions of the Myron & Ethel Rosenberg in the states. As May 4Th is May Day in France, we were not permitted in town as an incident may occur. A lot of demonstrations were taking place.

The base would consistently issue rules regarding our conduct, dress, etc. For instance, we were not allowed to wear jeans in town. Most of the French women wore skirts and pants/slacks of any kind were frowned on. As we were guests in their country, we had to conform or stay home. We griped a bit but stayed true.

Every Sunday, the French citizens would dress up in their best and stroll around the city/town. The church in town was only attended by a few old women. The little kids would pee in the gutter and their parents just smiled. We were aghast, of course!

We rode the bus to the base and had to get checked in at the AP gate. For some reason, I was always stopped. They thought I was French.

Have to stop here.

Monday, January 26, 2009


We were finally living in town although I didn't venture too far out in the community. There was a little bakery across the street and we loved to buy warm loaves right out of the ovens and have them with our hot coffee in the morning. Now, these loaves were about 2 ft.long and cost just a couple cents. You could buy big round ones as well. Because Joe was gone most of the day, I found myself over on the other side of the house with the Conrads. Germaine always insisted that I eat lunch with them and I learned more and more French. Lunchtime was the main meal of the day. We always started out with cold meats followed by some sort of beef, chicken, etc. with potatoes, then vegetables and finally, cheese and fruit. No wonder they needed a siesta in the afternoon. You were given a clean plate with each course, plus different wines (red or white) After dinner, you had coffee with some kind of liquer or brandy. One weekend we were all invited for dinner (lunchtime). Germaine was making escargot and of course, we had never had it. Pierre insisted that we try it. He said that the best way was to put it in bread and pop it in your mouth! Now Pierre could understand a pretty lot of English as long as you didn't speak fast. So now he turns to Joe and asks how he liked it and your Dad never at a loss for words said very rapidly that it tastes like something he would like to throw down the toilet! And kept say Bon, Bon and Pierre smiled and said that he knew he would like it. We had a private chuckle over that. Albert Lambeth would speak fast all the time but would mix in some French phrases and all would be well. Pierre & Germaine were my family away from home. They drove us everywhere and intoduced us to their friends. He showed us the wine cellar which was a large warehouse with huge barrels of wine. The wine came in by truck with long hoses attached. He also gave us keys to his cellar and told us to help ourselves which we never did. Joe would buy him cigarettes at the base and I would give Grandmere cans of fruit cocktail which she loved. Lordy, let's end this here.

Friday, January 23, 2009


We stayed in Dancevoir for three months. Joe had this old Crossley (car) that wouldn't start in the morning so more than once, one of the local farmers would pull it with his tractor to get moving. This was embarrassing to say the least. Finally, Joe decided that he could park the car up on the hill, coast down and away we go! All of our friends were scattered over the countryside and on the weekends, we would go visiting. We went to the base movies everytime the picture changed. There wasn't a whole lot to do.

In late March, we moved to a 3rd floor apartment in Chaumont. We really liked it. A friend of Joe's, Al Lambeth lived on the 2nd floor. His wife came over for the summer and when Barbara left, we moved down to their place as Albert moved back to the base. I think our rent was $28 a month. We rented from the grandmother (grandmere) who lived below us. We lived in a winery and Pierre Conrad, his wife Germaine and family lived on the other side of the building. They had 4 kids; Jean Pierre (18), Claudie (16), Francois (13) and Arlette (10). I became good friends with Claudie and loved being around the younger ones as well. We had a large bedroom-sitting room with a fireplace at one end. We shared the bathroom with Grandmere. This was a large room with a high-sided bathtub. You had to light the gas jet to heat the water and many a time, it scared the bejesus out of me when it lit because it made a loud pop! There was also a "douce bowl" and Joe used it to wash his feet until Grandmere caught him and made him stop! The "water closet" was down the hall and the toilet paper was scratchy! When Barbara was still there, we played canasta a lot in their place as it was larger. Pierre always supplied us with wine or champagne but that's another story for another chapter.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Horoscopes or Horrorscopes

My horoscope says I'm going to have a new career! Why would I want that? I really just want to focus on today and the immediate future. My lucky birthday numbers are 3, 5, 9, 15, 23, 29 and 35! Wow! I can't even remember the numbers to notice if anything happens on one of my lucky days. Do you think people believe in this crap? Just bear with me as this is one of my soap box days. It also said to plan a passionate evening for two! No comment!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Unfortunately I lost the photo!

I thought I uploaded a picture of Bill's kids but obviously, I didn't!

Monday, January 12, 2009

What did you wanna be when you were a kid?

I went up and down the scale and could never make up my mind. As I went to Catholic school, all of the girls wanted to be nuns. That didn't last long, esp. after we discovered BOYS! I guess I wanted to be a teacher for the longest time. Then, some of us in high school decided to join the Navy and become Waves, I think we liked the uniforms. LOL! Funny, I remember girl friends knowing exactly what they wanted to become and I was somewhere out in left field. Today, I think young people are more involved in decisions that affects their future. Most of the kids in high school in the 40s worked, got married and had families. We were a class of 220 and probably just a third went on to college. Hmmm! Comments?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Cooking 101

When Dad and I were first married, I knew Nada about cooking. I could bake anything but that didn't bode well for dinner. My first catastrophe was making chili. I loved it and I knew just how to make it except I bought dry kidney beans and didn't know that you had to soak and cook them. I just threw them in the pot with all the other ingredients and couldn't understand why they were like stones. Dad came home to find me crying at the stove. Needless to say, he cooked dinner and took over that chore until I learned. Another young southern bride in our squadron had a recipe that included rice. She read that it needed to be rinsed off so threw it in the sink and was horrified when it went down the drain. LOL! As most of our friends were older, I soon learned and Dad was always a good back-up if I didn't understand something. Did you ever have any like experiences?