April 17, 2012

Sandy Adams' memories of being an Air Force wife living in primitive Jaulny, France in 1963

Click on photos to enlarge

Sandy Adams in 2007 with her grandsons Liam and Tristan


Class of 1960

My lunch for my first several weeks in France was a loaf of ‘French’ bread, a variety of cheeses and a glass or two of wine from the local shops. Stores in the town opened early in the morning before breakfast, again from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and then from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Homes didn’t have refrigeration units.

The top photo is of me coming down to street level from a friend’s home. This area of France, Metz to the north and Nancy to the south, saw very heavy fighting during WW2 and damaged parts of the towns were never repaired. The area near our base, Chambley Air Force Base, was farm country. As evident in the top photo, walls were still in a crumbled state from nearby bombings and machine gun fire.

The second photo was taken in our apartment. The ‘heating system’ was a coal-burning firebox. The fire was first started with kindling and newspapers, What fun (not)! My stove was two burners with a propane tank underneath. The sink was made of cement and ground stone and only had cold running water. Note the glass of wine on the table.

The photos are from May 1963, three years after my high school graduation. This stay in France was certainly not what I’d imagined when we (Eddie Fink and I) learned we were being assigned there. One of my first thoughts was that I wished I’d taken French with Mr. Kalinowski at Division Avenue High School in Levittown rather than my four years of Latin.

I was pregnant with my twins and am so thankful that General Charles de Gaulle kicked us (NATO and American Forces) out of France a month later and we were evacuated back to the States (Holloman AFB, New Mexico) before the twins were born.


Marilyn Monsrud Frese DAHS '63 said...

Marilyn Monsrud Frese DAHS '63 said...
What a wonderful story of your early marrried adventures! And what a blessing it must have been to come back to the USA! Did you come back to LI when you left New Mexico?

You look so much like Sarah Palin in the 2nd photo!! Beautiful! And that same confident look showing the world that you can handle ANYTHING!

I can't imagine having had your twins there in France! Glad you got back to the US before that!

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