THE FRENCH CONNECTION

The September 2002 Newsletter contained an article about Walt Young, the Narimasu, Japan, High School graduate who went on to be a DJ at the Nouasseur AFRS station 11/57-11/59.

Coincidentally, about a week after the newsletter mailing, I started receiving messages from
LES ANCIENS DE CASABLANCA ("The Old Ones of Casablanca"), a group of French people who'd been teenagers in Morocco at the time we were there.

Below you'll find excerpts from their e-mails. REALLY GREAT STUFF!!! I'm not including my responses to the messages. I think you'll be able to figure out what I might have said or asked.

Please note I've not included the writers' e-mail addresses. If you want to contact them, leave a note in our Message Board and you'll be sent their addresses.

1/6/06 Update:

The Anciens Livre d'Or website is no longer active.

Now Lili Braun brings us Casablanca Passion.

You must register to participate. If you are an experienced forum user, you should have no problem figuring out how to do that, even if your French is rusty. They'd love to have us leave entries. Try out your French, or stick to English.

You'll find at least 3500 photos of Morocco, most of them done by Lili.

 

MUSICAL MEMORIES for you and our French friends can be found on Walt Young's website. Click here and here to enter his teen club and select tunes from two different juke boxes. (Tip: Once your selected song begins to play, open another browser window and go to www.nouasseur.com in the second window. Flip between the two browser windows to select new tunes as you explore the Nouasseur site --except our Memorial and Upcoming Reunions pages which have their own music).

Sharon Ray Renno '58


Messages from Lili Braun
Updated 7/5/05

Messages from Guy Fornari

Messages from More Anciens

French visitors wishing to leave a message on this site should e-mail sharon@nouasseur.com

MESSAGES FROM LILI BRAUN

Wed 9/25/2002

Hello,

Many french teenagers who are now about 60 years old lived in Morocco in the fifties and in the sixties. They used to listen to radio Nouasseur which made them discover american pop music before everybody in France. It's now a very good souvenir, and they often speak of Nouasseur on their website, remembering the name of the tunes and the gingles. Most of all came back to France a long time ago, as the Americans working at the base came back to the USA also.

I am now 59 years old and in lived in Casablanca, I listened to radio Nouaceur, I digged the "Top of the Pops" and "Sunset Jubilee". I would like to know if some people who were at the base has kept sounds of this broadcasts.

Excuse my English.

Thank you very much, merci beaucoup.

Lili Braun

 

9/25/02

Dear Sharon,

Thanks for this email, which I liked so much.

I went back to France in 1961 when I was a graduate, then I studied architecture at the school of fine arts and got married in Paris, now I live in the south of France, in the cote d'azur near Saint Tropez: but as I go to Paris by train tomorrow, I will write more next week when I will be home in the south again, next to my computer.

My father was not in the French army, he had a cloths' shop, now he is dead.

Thank you so much for the contact with Walt Young. My friends of the website of "civil veterans of Casablanca" found so amazing I would have find again the DJ!! I bluff them! :-))))

You cannot fancy what Radio Nouasseur meant to us, the French teenagers living in Casablanca, and now in our Website we talk about all could be heard at the radio, like "Poison Ivy".

When we spent our holidays in the summer in our country (France) we would snob all the folks for being so "out" in the pops' culture, as we were so "in" cause of Nouasseur and what we listened there, unfortunately, I would have liked to visit the base but it was forbiden, and when my mother bought a Westinghouse refrigerator from a man from Nouasseur who went back to America, I found an army pin in it, and showed it to my friends who would give anything to have it!

A bientot j'espere,

Cordialement

Lili

[P.S.] This sounds like the movie Good Morning Vietnam!

 

10/1/02

Hello Sharon, Hello Walt,

I am back from Paris, the life there is very tremendous and it will take a few days
before I am back to my usual country rythm, I am not yet a retired person but Paris is too speedy for me, I cannot imagine I lived there for 30 years!
Thank you for your so kind and interesting emails.
Sharon's idea of making a page "The French Connection" is very good!

I have published your emails on the website "Les anciens de Casa", so as people like Guy could read it and contact you, that's exactly what he made; he sent me a copy of the email he sent you, with a smart explaination of the mood where the French teenagers lived in in the late fiftees and early sixties in Morocco, and with the historical reasons of ours lacks of medias in those times. I can say that many young ones planed to go to the US after , because they enjoyed the music they listened to, and made there minds with an idea of your country.

I travelled to NY in August 66, with friends from the Paris school of fine Arts (I studied architecture there). In 1966 my boyfriend was studiing cinema, and he would become ten years after a welknown film director: his name is Alain Corneau, and we both talked of the American bases near our hometown: Nouasseur for Casa and me, and the US airforce base near Orleans for Alain: we found plenty of similar things ; the difference is that he made in the 90's an autobiographic movie , the title was "Le nouveau monde" (the new world) When the movie was on the advertisements, I did not see Alain anymore but I recognized in it things we said, and a special mood, a special way of life, spenting ours youth in the shade of the Americans bases...


I was the first to have the idea to find people from Nouasseur on the web, (Thanks Google!) but I began to set "Nouaceur" (as the arabs write it) so it did not work, after that I used the keywords "overseas, Morocco, american bases" etc and I found.. NouaSSeur! and you!

The adresse of the site is ( already maybe now somebody gave it to you):
http://les.anciens.de.casa.free.fr/ You can go there and sign , for example you could give there the URL of the "French Connection " webpage.


You will see there the copy of the emails you both sent me, so that everybody
can read it, find souvenirs, and write you. All my texts in the guestbook are signed "Lili" at the begining. You will see a photo where my son dances with a "gnawa" playing in the streets, he was a baby, now he is 33 years old, and he is a musician and he lives in Paris. His band is "a classical string quatuor with a bar's singer" : he is the bar singer, and he writes the scores for the 4 strings of the quatuor.

I can see that our generation is still very busy and creative, from both parts of the Atlantic ocean!

Kindest regards

Lili

 

10/25/02

I am glad to see that 2 Websites from both part of the atlantic ocean communicate, sharing memories of those great times, when we were teenagers in Morocco.
Do you remember the tunes "Twinkle, twinkle little star" and "Born to late". I would listen to them at night near the huge radio set, when my parents were asleep and I was supposed to sleep too, but I listened to radio Nouasseur untill 1 or 2 in the morning, and after I could'nt wake up to go to school!!!
Do you know who were the singers of those tunes?
I would also listen at "Tempo for teens", in the afternoon at Radio Nouasseur: do you remember? Tab Hunter and "Red sails in the sunset" was often on the waves, I loved it so much.
I hope you and Walt are fine, so are we.
We are always glad to hear from you, and to see your messages on Toinou and Jane's website!

Kindest regards
a bientot

Lili Braun

Sharon replied with some links Lili and others might enjoy. If you are interested in the URLs that have "oldies" lyrics and downloadable midi files e-mail me.


7/5/05

Bonjour,

The Anciens de Casa's Website has closed, and the members had been dispatched in many little websites, by friendness and affinities between them

I am the godmother of Charly's friends Forum

To enter, you must register. I wish you would go there and let a little speech, telling who you are and you could put the link for them to visit nouasseur.com
The URL is:

http://charly.xooit.com/index.php

There is also another place where 2 hundred photos of Casa are. (As we had not enough room in the 1st forum)

http://charly-amitie-2.forumactif.com/index.forum

Hoping you to come and see us, register and write some words there :-)


Bien amicalement

Liliane BRAUN

 

 

 

MESSAGES FROM GUY FORNARI

9/25/02
Subject: happy days!

Hi Sharon,
I'm Guy FORNARI. I was born in 1949 in Casablanca.
I lived close to the AFB of Nouasseur from 1958 to 1963.
The café-restautant called "L'Hacienda" with the "Esso"gas station belonged to my parents. Remember, it was located between the villages of Médiouna and Déroua, at km 24 on the road to Marrakech. Just in front of the french air force base (BA 154) withdrawn in 1960.

Though quite young, I discovered with the AFRS of Nouasseur, the Rock'n'roll of Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Bill Halley, Elvis ....and many more, but also The Platters, Paul Anka (...When, when you smile..), Ricky Nelson, ... and someone who sang "Sixteen tons"?

As my father had many american friends, I went into the base many times. For my two sisters, Catherine born in 1944, and Jaqueline born in 1947, .. and also for me, going into the base was like to be in America !! I visited the famous PX , the pool, the theater, the church, and the radio station , I remember the big recording tapes on the shelves. I appreciated the ice creams in summer, and the plastic models for christmas. My sisters were more interested by single records (with kraft paper sleeves) and were quite proud to feel musicaly in advance compared to their school friends.

We left the place in 1963, and Morocco in 1964.

You may certainly know,that Nouasseur is now the international airport of Casablanca. And as many projects of extension are under progress, the remaining of the american period are less and less visible. For professionnal purpose, I go at least, three times per year to Morrocco. This since 1978.
In the mid eighties, I took pictures (slides) of what was the church, the pool, the NCO club, the theater, the garage, and so on.. At the moment, I'm not fit yet to send you slides by internet, but in a near future if you like, no problem.
As your a part of the USAF family, could you tell me how I could get name of the squadrons and the types of the planes based in Nouasseur from 1952 to 1963 ?
One of my dream is, while retiring, to visit the USAF planes cemetery in Arizona and found again planes which made me dream .... B36, B47, B52, C130, F100, DC3, ....

I had your address through the website "les.anciens.de.casa.free.fr" and the letter you sent to Lili ... what a girl! Among the last messages of this site, they talk about radio Nouasseur, I was of course interested, but when they mentioned
www.nouasseur.com ..... I thought it was a joke! A kind of www.pompei.com!
What a surprise, what a thrill when I saw the pictures of the visit of president Eisenhower in 1959... I was there too, I remember this huge crowd from the airport to down town Casablanca. Thousands of moroccan cavaliers, dancers, bands. Unfortunately this visit settled the end of Nouasseur AFB and a certain period.

Before leaving, I would like to say also, that on the air of AFRS Nouasseur the DJ used to say "Oh gentilement!" (sic) Do you remember?

Kind regards,

Guy FORNARI

Note: Sharon has asked for the Nouasseur images when Guy is able to scan the slides. Maybe some of you fellows can talk airplanes with him:)

9/30/02
Back to the future

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for your quick answer, all your information, and ... Ernie Ford.

Concerning my message, no problem, you may put it on the website. It's a real pride for me.

This afternoon, I found out the slides I told you before. Among them, there are also aerial views of the area.

From october 14, to 31, I plan a professional trip to Morocco. I intend to take pictures, may be the white duplexes, we called "les villas américaines". But, as I used to see them frequently, they are not as tidy as they were in the 50' and 60', the american flavor is gone away... Yes! Nouasseur AFR was really something in these times.

Remember, just after 56 and the independance of Morocco, TV broadcasting had stopped till 62! For French listeners, there was only RADIO MAROC, and after ... sunset, RADIO MONTE CARLO was badly caught on AM. But, both of them were quite poor in good music, and THE reference was Nouasseur AFR ... the voice of Rock'n'roll and american dream.

As I like to show you where I lived exactly, you will find attached:
- Map of the area of Casablanca, mentioning "L'Hacienda", Nouasseur AFB, and others military spots.
- Picture of the house we lived in, just beside "L'Hacienda", from 60 to 63.

Cheers,

Guy FORNARI

 

10/8/02
Ghost town Nouasseur AFB

Here are the slides, sad pictures taken almost 20 years ago.
Strange feeling.."as time goes by!" as we used to say in Casablanca. ...

 
I'll tell you more next time, I go to Morocco from october 14 till 31, and back home on november 5.

Thanks for your kind message,

Thanks also to Walt Young "Papy from Pinchem" former DJ but still fluent speaker, I'll reply very soon.

Cheers,

Guy





MESSAGES FROM MORE VISITORS



Date: 10/18/2002
From: Toinou et Jane
Subject: CASABLANCA NOUASSEUR LES RETROUVAILLES !
[Casablanca/Nouasseur Reunion]

Dears Walt Young and Sharon,

HELLO,

Nous sommes TOINOU et JANE. C' est un reel Plaisir et un Honneur d ' avoir votre signature sur notre LIVRE D'OR et de savoir que notre site, les.anciens., estapprécié et visité par les Anciens de la Base Américaine de NOUASSEUR.
LILI est une amie ainsi que PIERROT et GUY FORNARI.
Nous sommes tous de CASA et CASA est NOTRE PATRIE DE COEUR.
LA MUSIQUE N' A PAS DE FRONTIERES.
Avec nos plus SINCERES SALUTATIONS. Et continuez à nous faire réver et danser sur toute LA MUSIQUE que l'ON AIME.

[Translation credited mostly to Google.com, not to Sharon who took first year French twice and still didn't get much out of it!

We are TOINOU and JANE. It is a real pleasure and an honor to have your signature on our BOOK Of GOLD and knowing that our site, les.anciens, is appreciated and visited by the Old ones of the American Base of NOUASSEUR. LILI is a friend like PIERROT and GUY FORNARI. We are all of CASA and CASA is OUR FATHERLAND OF HEART. MUSIC HAS NO BORDERS. With our MOST SINCERE GREETINGS. And continue to make us dream and dance to all the MUSIC which one LIKES.]


Date: 10/18/2002
From: Albert "Toto" Mechali
Subject: Mehdia NTC base,Morocco

Hello Sharon,
I currently reside in Baltimore, a frenchie, from Morocco who has made his
home in Maryland since 1974. Unlike the other french people on the the
Casablanca site, I was born in Port-Lyautey, now named Kenitra, where we used to tune into the"Base", our only radio station for good music where I
picked up my first word of English. My Dad had clearance to get on base since
he was doing business with the base and he would pack my brothers and I in a
1953 Chevy Bel-Air and take us in where we fell in love with everything
american from ice-cream to the Marines and the military personel. My father
used to buy gas on base for 14 cents a gallon!
But the best part was the music! Even though we lived in town (a typical
french city) we would always listen to the Base radio station. Every saturday
afternoon was party day into the night and the base provided the music. Then
we would congregate at the Triangle Fleet Club and learn the new dance steps
imported from the US. I would listen to the radio every day. But I do not
remember call letters for the station or any of the names of the people on
the air! Do you have any knowledge of Medhia Base? Is there any link to it or
any way of making a connection with any of the people on the air....fifty
years later!!!
Thanks


Date: 10/17/02
From: Pierrot De Casa

Hi all of you from Nouasseur USAF in Morocco

I was so pleased to see that we have not been forgotten in your site (the
French Connection!)
Big thanks to Lili Braun for making that initial contact and to Sharon and
Walt for their kind answers. I really hope that many people will be able to
write some memory from these days on your site
I was unable in the late fifties to speak English but I tell you Radio Nouasseur was my favorite station

Bye for now

Pierrot


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