Etain, France

June 1965 - November 1966

MELC65zoom.JPG (34382 bytes)

Lori Colley (niece) & Midge England

France July 1965

Jane, Mike, Richard, Buddy & Dean Feehan

France 1965

D1melc65.jpg (76490 bytes)

 

Lived in Etain, France from July 1965 to June 1966. My father was a drummer in the Army band in Verdun. Attended 4th grade in Etain. Only during this year did I go by the nickname of Lisa. My half sister's husband was stationed in Nancy, France but her family was living in a small French village.

Some of the friends in Etain were the Feehans: Dean, Michael and Richard. Their father was a Ham radio enthusiast. Also Susan Violet, Charles Barnes, Alan Bushnell, Richard (Ford?), Peter, Grace are some names I remember. Interestingly enough, Dean and I both ended up living in the same metro area.

We put on some class plays: Elves & the Shoemaker which I brought in some gold elf shoes. Also one which included a princess where I brought in my mother's wedding gown with a long train which we had to go outside to have enough room. One of the few sunny days I remember. I also used to bring my accordion to school. Mike Feehan remembers his 5th grade teacher, a redhead named Mrs Ungashick. He also remembers two brothers Danny and Pat with two older sisters who were his neighbors. His best friend was Joe (Possibly Wood). A reddish blond bully named Sam. Mike also remembers the Violets' father Kenneth -- he
thinks he was an E-6 at the time. Mike also remembers my mother Peggy and my father, Bill England. He remembers borrowing a small snare drum from him to play in the 5th grade Christmas pageant, for his class to sing the Little Drummer Boy. His class also did a play called "The Falconer's Christmas", and Mike was the Falconer (with a cotton "beard", held on by Vaseline - a wonderful memory).
Susan Violet, the Feehan family and I sometimes went on trips with our parents and the Army band and saw many French villages and parades.

Susan and I were in the girl scouts. My mother was the neighborhood chairman. One scout trip I remember was when we went to the birthplace of Joan D' Arc. Another was a trip to Metz, France. There was a large church there with a small room in the back closed off to visitors where I saw the cape of King Charlemagne and a stuffed dragon from 400 years previous... no kidding. It looked like a 3 foot alligator with bat wings.

I also remember doing some practice pitches for the boys baseball practice and cheerleading for the elementary teams. King of the hill was a game we often played. The play grounds were designed like a sci-fi movie set on Mars.

The mosquitoes were the size of large grasshoppers. Snails as big as Softballs. Overcast skies and rainy all year long.

French villages had 3 foot long bread and sausages hanging in the windows with bees and flies crawling on them. They served only liquor during the 7 course, 2 hour meals because the water and milk were filled with bacteria. Children drank liquor with their meals and it was served to us when we were on trips with the band. French children graduated high school at 12 years old and then a few went on to college which was closer to the equivalent of our Junior high schools.