Pirate Chat-as a teen in France

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02/01/23 12:17 PM #161    


Michael Oberbeck (1967)


I've enjoyed all the comments about Garmisch in the Winter. Anyone go in the Summer? I remember, probably Summer of '65, catching a 6# Northern Pike on the Eibsee in Summer. Beautiful place.

02/02/23 08:14 AM #162    


Robert Allen (1957)

Yes Michael, early July.  My brother John hooked up with a water skiing group and I did my daily swim. 




02/02/23 10:03 AM #163    


John (Jack) Florio (1966)

Since it's been mentioned a couple of times, here's a pic of troop 125 from 1961...

02/02/23 07:27 PM #164    

Henry Brown (1966)

Re: John Wayne ... my mother, Thelma Brown, was the director of the AYA "Teen Center".  I was in the lobby there the evening that Mr. Wayne arrived for the staging and AFN broadcast of "What WAS My Line".  It was a takeoff of "What's My Line" but it featured service personel as guests and the panel was tasked with figuring out what they did professionally prior to their military duty.  Each episode of the show would feature some movie star or other VIP (they were making the most of all the glitterati in-country shooting The Longest Day).  I remember another episode featured Sal Mineo ... but, as I recall, that was staged over at Camp Voluceau.  We lived in De Grasse Village from '60 to '63.

02/10/23 04:44 PM #165    


Tom Trout (1966)

Were you in the music appreciation class when our teacher (name?) gave us a break from learning to conduct Dvorak's 5th Symphony in E minor.....and pulled out a new LP and introduced us to Bob Dylan!

I was hooked. 

Still remember when LIKE A ROLLING STONE showed up in the juke box! I took a lot of flack for stuffing my dimes in there! Still getting flack in his name's sake!

That was an unforgettable day.

that's all i got....



02/11/23 10:24 AM #166    


Brant Weatherford (1966)


Those were all unforettable days!

Also,  I have a vague (as is normal) memory of a day (Saturday?) at the Bel Manor Teen club that a guy bedecked in Dylanesque garb got up on stage and began to play in a folkish style.  It was a late(?) afternoon and it was some sort of "open mic" affair.  Don't remember who it was or much of anything else that day - it just stayed with me for all these years.  Any thoughts or recollections?

On another note, in September I acquired a Custom Shop 00028 Martin from The Guitar Emproium in Lexington, MA to ease my new found shoulder pain from the dreadnaughts for lo these many years.  What a wondeful little guitar it is!  My new go to guitar.  Still have my original '66 D28 (and others) for fun and recollections.  Play on Until the Fingers Wear Out!  - Brant

02/12/23 08:14 AM #167    

Michael Moody (1966)

Lost but not forgotten .... my Conn Alto Sax was a dream machine.  I went often with my girlfriend Isabel to the jazz caves.  Sadly,  someone stole it a few years later while at college.   

02/13/23 02:05 PM #168    

E. Franklin Dukes (1969)

hi all - my first post I think, although I have been enjoying yours. I attended 5-8th grades 1961-65 but played in the high school band in the 8th grade. I was motivated to post by people reminiscing about Garmisch and Berchtesgaden.

On Dec. 18, 1963, when I was 12 years old, my parents took my 3 siblings and me from our home in Paris to Garmisch, Germany to ski; as I recall we stayed at the General Patton hotel but my memory could be wrong. This was our second visit. My third day of fearless skiing, wearing bindings my father had newly tightened, I hit a patch of ice and suffered a grotesquely broken leg. It was set in a clinic in Garmisch but I was sent to an American (Army?) hospital in Munich, in terrible pain, away from my family. One evening, a few days before Christmas, I heard the faintest sounds of music from somewhere in the hospital. An orderly told me that it was the world-famous Vienna Boys Choir, whose singing I had recently heard featured in a Disney movie (Almost Angels). To my delight, he promised me that they would be coming down our hallway! I became so excited as the angelic, ethereal sounds grew louder and the words more distinct. But the visit was not to be; I recall my bitter disappointment as the music simply faded away, without explanation, like so much else for me that winter.

This episode was a hallmark of my saga, with my Christmas back at the American Hospital in Paris (sharing a room with a soldier who was a card sharp who taught me a bunch of tricks and who later ran away with a female patient),  before finally being moved to yet another army hospital, this time in Orleans. I was the youngest person by far in a ward otherwise full of soldiers. Three weeks after the initial break they re-broke it to reset it (no anasthesia!). And two weeks later I could finally go home. The missed choir also became the center of my family "sad story" of the Christmas season as my children were growing up, although the pain had long since passed. In fact, I enjoyed their anxious responses ("stop!" "no!") when I would pretend to start to tell the tale again.


That is, until one birthday, 43 years later, when the story changed. My daughter mailed me my present as a card. Inside were two tickets and the heading cut out from a promotional flyer: "If You Missed Them Once, Don't Miss Them Again"!!! Yes - the Vienna Boys Choir were coming to the United States and performing at her college! That invitation seemed written for me! It was a sublime if somewhat surreal pleasure to share with her the complete performance that I had missed so many years earlier. And they were brilliant!


I don't recall the song that echoed down the halls of that Munich hospital, but it might well have been "Es wird scho glei dumpa" ("It will soon be dark"). Certainly one portion of the song's lyrics seems appropriate for a child who longs for whatever may be missing during this season:


"Forget now, oh little child

your worries, your sorrow,

that you must suffer there."


But for me that song, and the Vienna Boys Choir, no longer evoke pain, but joy. And the story affirms that the large miracles of recovery are sometimes possible, even as the small miracle of beautiful music may be retrieved anywhere.

02/14/23 06:03 AM #169    


Randall Bowie (1962)

Thanks, E.F. 
Moving and elegant account.


02/15/23 10:52 AM #170    

David Dunn (1967)

Brant: Could the mystery folk singer have been Sam Andrew, later lead guitarist of Big Brother and the Holding Company alongside Janice Joplin? Having already finished HS, he was in Paris with his family, who lived in Bel Manoir. I was friends with his PAHS younger brothers Leland, who taught me everything I knew about motorbikes, and Danny. Sadly, Danny passed away a couple of years ago. I'm not certain, but Sam might have been attending the American College downtown. I saw him a few times on the last Etoile-Camp des Loges bus of the night, where he would sit in the back row furiously banging on his acoustic guitar. Fast forward a few years and I saw Big Brother in Santa Barbara, not knowing at the time that Sam was in the band. He, too, is now gone. 

02/16/23 10:30 AM #171    


Tom Trout (1966)


Regarding the guitar player...it wasn't Glenn Goodman was it? He was always showing me something on his guitar - but I seem to remember that it was always the Beatles, nothing folky, which was my thing. (he sent me a few tapes of his electic guitar playing. He had a rock and roll band while in the Army, after WestPoint. I used to think he'd be a General the next time I saw him. Was very surprised to learn that he really disliked the Army!)

A 66' D28!. Nice. And I looked up a youtube on the Custom Shop 00028. Handsome guitar! I had a 016-NY and then a D18. 

I carried that 016NY in my left hand all across the USA in the summer of 1967. "Left hand"?...yeah, turn and face traffic, stick your thumb out hitching for a ride. See? Guitar works best in your left hand:-) Purchased the 016-NY in Springfield Mass, Dec 1966, (Dad at Westover field)  asked shop owner to keep it until I saved enough for the hardshell case. I could still smell his pipe tobacco from the sound hole while sitting by a stream in the Big Sur:-)

Early 1967, with guitar and back-pack took a Greyhound through NYC to Florida to visit one Patty Lindahl, (FSU?) 3 days later set off hitching across 10 (?) to SanDiego, then Ensenada. Camped on the shore...and walked north. In  couple weeks got a ride with some surfers going back to the US. Washed dishes in an I-Hop, saved $, 3 weeks later started up the PCH for my original destination. The Big Sur. (a Baez album cover was my inspiration - that and teenage angst) Spent a week or so there. Tried but couldn't cook & eat shellfish I found.....back up on the PCH walked by a sign "Don't Eat Poisonous shellfish in this area!"

A young fellow driving a 1950-something red and white Ford hard-top convetrtible stopped and asked if I wanted a ride up to 'Frisco. 'A ride in a convertible up the PCH on a sunny day?' you bet! He took a hotel room near Union Square, let me sleep on the floor. (I had to come down the ledge and come in the window - bypasing the front desk) Days later he asked if I could cook. "?! Ah, sure can!"  Because he took an apt ...and I could room there if I did the cooking! He'd rented a 2nd floor apt on Haight st., like 2 blocks from GG Park. Smack in the middle of Haight/Ashbury. He was dating a stripper, he claimed to make his living as a chess hustler. Gone all hours at night. They were actaully a very nice couple. He gave me $ to buy the groceries. My specialty was jack-mackeral spaghetti with sourdough bread! I earned my own $ money with the 016-NY on Nob Hill or down at Fisherman's Wharf. Make $2 or $3 and knock off work for the day. Once got a five from a couple from Ohio on Nob Hill! Hotel doorman kept running me off.....

Saw lots musicians in GG Park or over in the Panhandle in free concerts. Never wore my soft Italan leather boots all that summer! One memory: huddled around a plastic radio in the kitchen at midnight listening to the 1st playing of "Sgt. Pepper's...." ! "Are you high?. no, me neither...but WTH!!??" We were all straight - but blown away. Actually - I rarely did anything. One trip was enough. Some pot --- hearing Whiter Shade of Pale for the 1st time while laying with friends on the hood of a car watching the morning fog dissapate at the shore... amazing

It was an amazing year! Included organizing a love-in in Covina. (near Pasadena)(kid youtubed an 8mm of it a few yrs ago) Married an 18 yr old in LA. (I was 19. and  NO.... she didn't get pregnant until I came home from 'Nam in '72) Baez concert tickets at UCLA for wedding present. Donovan at the Hollywood Bowl. Got my draft status changed to 1A-O in Mass to train & serve as a C.O. in 'Nam. (huge suprise it was granted! "I work in a hospital, I know I could be a good medic." 'you'd be going in harms way to S.E Asia w/o a weapon - you know that?' "yes sir." 'OK kid, you got it') . (I was a good medic. Most important job I've ever had - loved those guys) Drafted 13 mos after our wedding. We had 4 great kids. For various reasons went across the USA 3 times with that guitar, in my left hand. (was told that the guitar was major reason folks stopped for me)

Oh yeah....I was told that the 016-NY could be played with nylon strings or light gauge steel strings. I kept nylon on it. I quit playing in '88, after the divorce that year. Sold the Martins - as a single parent with 4 kids I needed the $.


02/16/23 09:08 PM #172    


Brant Weatherford (1966)


Good to hear from you and thanks for your reply.

Never thought the unnamed folk singer could have been Sam Andrews.  Could have been. If Leland is still on this site maybe he could give us some insight.

I saw Janis with Big Brother in Dallas in 1968.  Mind-blowing concert!  I don't think I knew of the Sam Andrews / Paris connection at the time but somehow learned of it later.  Funny how we all seem to be 7 degrees of seperation from everyone else.

Stay well and if you're ever in either of my neighborhoods, give us a shout out.

Brant Weatherford

02/16/23 09:32 PM #173    


Brant Weatherford (1966)


Good to hear from you again.  And the tale of your adventures back in the day remind me of some of mine as well.  Nothing like traveling the roads of this county!  I did the eastern half of the country in a VW bus in the early 70's and the western half on an HD Fatboy from the middle 90's up until 2010 when my traveling partner rode off into the eternal sunset.  Kept riding the Fat until March 3, 2022 when, on a beautiful day riding through the countryside, the bottom end of the engine blew up and left me on the side of the road.  Today she still sits in my garage but I think those riding / touring days are over.  Too much bike for my aging frame.  Fortunately, I have the '63 Cushman up north to scratch that itch.

So you're not playing guitar anymore?  I just don't know what I'd do without a pickin' circle here and up north to fill that sweet spot.  I've even hand surgery on both hands over the past 6 years to keep the fingers movin' in the right directions.  Someday I'll need brain surgery to get my mind back up to speed.

You still riding your Vespa-ish type scooter?  I keep my riding around 45mph these days which also happens to be the sped limit on island.  Win-win in the wind!

Stay well my friend,



03/21/23 04:39 PM #174    

Paul Reinecke III (1961)

Yes, it's happening on March 28 ...   birthday #80

And all is well with me and family. Greetings to all that were there between the summer of '57 and the summer of '60 (my 9th-11th grade years).


07/02/23 01:51 PM #175    

Jo Anne Evans (Appel) (1963)

I was at PAHS from 1959 to 1961. We lived in Grigny which was pretty remote-we had the longest bus ride to the school. The center of our social life was the teen club. In late 1959 or1960 I remember Johnny Hallyday-the French Elvis perfroming at our teen club. He was brought there by an American girl who didn't go to PAHS. I was wondering if anyone else remembers this and maybe has more details. 










































































07/14/23 11:27 AM #176    


Peter Sadow (1958)

Vive La France!  Je manque les annees a Paris.

07/14/23 11:44 AM #177    

Albert Brown (1968)

How many of the alumni were able to capitalize on their time iin PAHS?
20 years after my time in 4th thru 7th grade at PAHS, I had graduated from Penn State (took FrenchI), and was on my second job as a consulting electrical engineer.  My employer didn't want me to know who the client was but after delivering one project using the wrong American Specifications, I insisted. 
  Turned out the client was French and located 5 miles from DeGrass Village.  I rose from Jr Engineer to General Manager in 6 years using my french language skill and my knowledge of the people and the area.
  Vive la France!

OK so it was PAGS and PAJHS but I'm a Pirate  


07/16/23 12:30 PM #178    

David Dunn (1967)

Jo Anne: Johnny Hallyday's performance at the teen club was before my time in Paris (April '63 - June '67), but it's a great story. I hope someone can provide further details.

The U.S. was always a big inspiration for 'Johnny,' and many of his hits were French covers of American songs. The only time I saw him was in the late 60's, at a summer festival at Maubeuge in northern France. He opened with "Noir C'est Noir" ("Black is Black"). His band was amazing, especially the saxophones. Toward the end of his career, a song he wrote called "Quelque Chose de Tennessee" became one of his biggest hits. When he died a few years before the pandemic, he was given a state funeral in Paris. 

07/17/23 02:09 AM #179    


Tom O'Keefe (1964)

I never 'capitalized'' on me sejours in France, but but I learned street French from my French teenage neighbors. This led me into the LA '84 Olympics where I was an ambassador to 5 French speaking countries : Zaire, Haiti. Madagascar, Djibouti and Mauritania. Best time of my life and the stories to be told!!. Because of this, the position of the chairman of the LA-Bordeaux sister city program was offered. I took it! Many of us had gone to scout camp near Bordeaux. Friends were made with the mayor of Bordeaux, Chaban Delmas who was a former prime minister, many vintners, locals, etc. They were extremely warm, welcoming and gracious. But on several formal occassions at city hall, I was asked by my counterpart to not speak colloquial French, but proper French. However all the VIPS enjoyed conversing with an American who talked like a common Frenchman albeit with a slight neutral accent. What a growing up time from age 15 to 20, Wouldn't we all do it again in a heart beat?

07/18/23 11:33 AM #180    

Margo Kearns (Rockstad) (1963)

JoAnne I do remember Johnny Hallyday coming to the teen club one afternoon and singing for us.  He was really into Lonnie Donnigan as I recall.  He stayed quite awhile after, just chatting with us.  It was funny after I was back in the  states he was on Dick Clark American Bandstand and said he had learned some english just for that appearance.  He was talking to us in english a few years earlier.  I didn't realise he had become so famous until I was talking to my french professor in college and he had a french magazine with an article about Johnny and his very beautiful and famous wife.  I was totally surprised.


07/18/23 04:30 PM #181    

Carl Yorke

I don't remember Johnny Hallyday at the teen club, but I do remember John Wayne stopping by when he was shooting The Longest Day. Some of it was shot at a studio in or near Paris. My father was the Air Force liason to 20th Century Fox and took us on the set one day. 

07/19/23 04:31 PM #182    

Albert Brown (1968)

Tom O'Keef, I'd say you capitalized on your sejour.  I didn't necessarily mean $.  My French not only affected my job, my friends, but on 2 instances let me help visitors to our State.

The first was in the lobby of a hotel in Orlando.  A woman was trying to get the hotel clerk to help her.  As she was speaking French with some broken English the clerk's only response was "I can't help you." 

When I addressed her in French she asked me to help her withdraw money from the ATM.  So with my limited language skill, we proceeded to go to the ATM in the lobby where she demonstrated that the machine was acting odd.  Turned out she wanted $500 but the ATM required her to type 5 0 0 0 0 which included the cents.  Case closed and one Lady who believes Americans are good people.

The second was on the occasion of getting lost trying to get to our hotel in Orlando.  My wife complained that I just drive around afraid to ask for directions so I pulled over at at gas/convenience store somewhere south of Orlando (prior to GPS) to ask for directions.  Inside there was a line of people paying for goods.  When the lady in front of me got to the register she started talking in French to the cashier who really didn't even speak much English.  He spoke mostly Cuban or a least English with a very heavy accent.  She became exasperated
When I addressed her she was instantly relieved.  She was lost, she couldn't find her hotel.  I told her I was lost too and I asked the clerk for directions which I didn't understood.  Fortunately people in the line helped me out.  I told the lady to follow my car.  
I drove to her hotel while watching in my mirror insuring she was able to follow us.  Then I helped her (and her husband) check in.  At one point she said to me "I thought more Americans would speak French."


10/03/23 05:04 PM #183    

Robert Dingeman (1964)

Oct 2023

Among Paris' other problems, there is a reported bedbug infestation everywhere.

10/04/23 04:12 PM #184    

Margaret (Maxine) Gieselman (Mueller) (1962)

Margaret (Maxine) Gieselman Mueller -62
We are in Paris for a couple of weeks and we have yet to experience the 'bedbug" problem that everyone is talking about. No one is scratching or complaining.
Having a wonderful time renewing and revisiting all the old stomping grounds.

10/04/23 07:18 PM #185    


Marcia Amodei (Richard) (1961)

Marcia Amodei Richard 1961

Have enjoyed reading the shared memories of everyone from PAHS.  My mother taught 5th or 6th grade back in 1959.  We were lucky to be stationed in Paris for 4 years.  I did attend one reunion in Las Vegas along with Terry Kellerman.  We had the best teachers at that school.  We lived in Viroflay, and the big  Army bus would make it up the narrow street to our residence, Chateau de Gaillion,, which was divided into 4 apartments. During WWII, the chateau was occipied byt the French, the Germans, and lastly the Americans. What I most cherished is the complete independence I had on the week-ends, taking the train from Viroflay to Gare du Nord, and hoping on the Metro or taking the bus to the PX or meeting up with friends for ice skating.   

Keep those stories going.

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