Tuesday, April 28, 2009
france - 1969

For a long time I have been thinking about writing about my trip to France. My one trip. This summer, it will be forty years since I was there.....And it was a truly memorable trip in so very many ways....So, here goes......!My father had a house in Cap D'antibes....He had bought it some time in the mid to 1950's. He had never invited me there and so, I had never seen it. He would spend most of the Summers there.....By this time he was married to wife number four---his last wife, Olga, and they decided that maybe it was a good time to invite me to come. It was the summer of 1969.....This turned out to be a very traveling spring and summer filled with some very rich experiences.....I had gone to Montgomery, Alabama to visit my dear sweet friend and soul mate, Sammy Reese. (The picture above is the State House in Montgomery)
That was an incredibly memorable five days, mostly because of Sammy's unique view of everything---ALL of which he shared with me, and also because of the graciousness of his friends and his family. They took me in like I was family because that is how Sammy and I felt about each other, and dear Sammy showed me so very many wonderful and enlightening things in those few days---it was quite extraordinary.....I also visited my dear friend Betty Garrett and her husband Larry Parks, in Chicago....where Betty was doing a play. Again, there were many wonderful experiences. I saw the great George Seurat's most famous painting for the very first time---the one that sparked Stephen Sondheim's musical many years later, "Sunday In The Park With George". It hangs in one of the great Museums of America, The Art Institute of Chicago....This was a really fun trip and as always, it was a joy to be with Betty and Larry. And then I went on to Manhattan to visit my sister and lots of old friends and see lots of Broadway shows and plays---all things that feed my soul....Then, in July....The South Of France. I traveled more that early Spring and Summer of 1969 than I ever had before or since, in just a few short months.....and all of it was memorable.
I flew to Paris on Air France, my father having sent me a First Class round trip ticket from Los Angeles to Paris to Nice....I had my passport and everything was a 'go'.....!.The flight going over was just perfect with a fabulous and huge dinner. And it was a smooth ride and uneventful, except for the gentleman sitting next to me, a movie producer, who got a little drunk and made a rather overt pass, suggesting I do something to him right there in our seats---which was kind of shocking to me but also it sort of amused me, too. I turned him down, I might add, and later, I did wonder how many times he and/or other men making this kind of pass, actually "scored" with a stranger on a long flight!

We arrived in Paris in the late morning. There was a short wait between landing in Paris and then taking a little plane to Nice. That same gentleman who had been sitting next to me, was on that flight to Nice, too....Now sober, having slept off his drunkenness he didn't even give me a second look. He had told me that he and some other friends, who were on the flight from L.A., were all meeting in Nice, where his wife awaited him, and they were getting on a yacht and cruising around the Med for the next three weeks.....I always wondered what I had possibly done or had said in my conversation with him that made him feel he could make such a pass.....I think I have always been rather naive and kind of stupid where men are concerned....I only bring this up because of a later encounter during the three weeks I spent there in the South of France. We landed in Nice, and I could hardly believe I was actually there.....It looked so very beautiful from the air.....This was pretty exciting stuff for me.Daddy and Olga picked me up at the Nice airport and we then drove back to Cap Antibes and their home, which was called Lou Miradou.....I remember that I was terribly tired, but very excited, too....And I have no idea what time my body thought it was....As I recall, we had an early dinner and I unpacked and we talked for a while and then I tried to go to sleep. My room was actually Daddy's Office/Study and was on the ground floor---in the photo it is om the right hand side.....Daddy and Olga's Bedroom was on the second floor, which is not visible in the picture above---it was on the front side of the house. They always locked their bedroom door---which I found rather peculiar. Closing it, I understand---But locking it? I never could figure out who they were worried would be trying to come in..... There bedroom window is over on the upper right in this picture above....the front door to the house being over there on the ground floor on the left.....The house sat on this bluff above the main Highway that was a very well traveled noisy street, right next to the Mediterranean......Luckily, I had my little sound machine with me so the noise of all the sports cars and trucks, etc, was kind of drowned out by that.....I could see the Med looking out the window on one side and I could see the Garden of the house looking out the window on the other side....there was also a door to the outside from my room, so if I wanted to go in and out, I could.....Somewhere along the way, the strap of my purse had broken and so after a nice leisurely breakfast upstairs on the little outdoor patio, (picture. below) that was right above my room, we went into the town if Antibes.I really felt like now, I was really in France....Antibes was so quaint and lovely with these open areas where there were shops and cafes....We took my purse to be fixed and went to another shop where I was able to by another purse. My first 'French' purchase, (though not by any means, my last). I ended up using this 'new' purse day and night for that next three weeks---the whole time I was there, in the South Of France!I don't remember much of the rest of that day....I was pretty Jet lagged and unfortunately, my worst fear started to take place.....I began having a rather gnawingly painful toothache......It was a tooth that my dentist and I had been rather concerned about before I left on this trip......







More To Come........







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35 Comments:
had this to say:

Oh, how lovely to get to go to France with you! Your pictures are beautiful, Naomi.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 6:18:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I love the photo with the flowers and the house in France in the background (office/study on the ground floor shot). Beautiful!

I wonder why your father and Olga locked their bedroom door. Interesting...and interesting that you remember this.

All the photos are wonderful. Thanks for the story...and I love your memorable 5 days with Sammy. Sounds like you had quite a connection with him!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 6:47:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

A toothache is horrible at any time, but on a trip - just awful!! Love seeing the photos, Naomi. That looks like a wonderful trip (except for the guy on the plane...LOL)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 6:47:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Ah the dreaded ..... However I know that only means more good stuff to come. Thanks for taking us on a trip I know I could never make my self and introducing us to such interesting people.
You did nothing to the guy wanting to join the "mile high club", alcohol did it for him.
One sneaky question. And you knew the door was locked how???

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 6:57:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I eagerly await the next entry in this series.

My wife and I did the Paris thing for our honeymoon, but didn't get south. It's on our "Things To Do When We Finally Get Rid Of The Kids" list.

Cheers.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 7:12:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh Naomi what fond memories there in 1969 :) Lots and lots of changes now in France.

Imagine all these years in photos now and I've enjoyed your sharing of this trip. You were travelling alone???

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 7:14:00 AM PDT 

Blogger PI
had this to say:

What a lovely surprise - both for you all those years ago, and now for me - always a francophile. It must have been wonderful.
I hope you kept your room locked being on the ground floor- the south of France has housed a few criminals in its time. The house and its setting looks amazing.
Teeth can be a liability when you are far from home. I had a dental abscess in Australia which rather spoilt the Great Barrier Reef for me.
That ghastly man on the plane. Fancy having to be in close proximity to such an oaf. But you dealt with it with your usual sang froid.
BTW Linda Evans of Dynasty fame has just won the prize in 'Hell's Kitchen' she behaved impeccably throughout and obviously is much loved over here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 8:04:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Some of the photos of this part of France would look remarkably similar nowadays.

I've been back and forth to Nice most years for the last few, usually on my way to various business meetings in Cannes.

The Cap is an amazing area too and rather exclusive. And by chance I was in France for a short vacation a few days ago - blogged naturally, although it was the northern side by Mont St Michele. Also idyllic!

Salut! rashbre

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 8:55:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Looks very pretty Naomi!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 9:12:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Now I want to hear the rest of the story! you left me hanging. :)

Kendra

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 10:44:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Beautiful memories. The farthest I have been from home and with my parents is Las Vegas when I was 15.. LOL..

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 11:30:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Thank you so much for sharing these lovely photos and your stories with us, Naomi. Cap d'Antibes, where David Niven, John Huston, and other greats in the film and art world had homes! How many people ever get to go there? What an interesting life you have had -- Have you ever thought about writing an autobiography?

And you know Betty Garrett! I have always been a fan of hers, ever since seeing her on All in the Family as a kid. I always wondered if she was as nice and funny in real life.

I have been to the South of France twice; loved Cannes and Nice and found St Tropez to be nothing much. What I remember most are seeing thousands of blazing red poppies in high summer and acres of lavender fields.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 3:18:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I am enjoying the experiences through your eyes. That summer was a big one to me too as I had my second child, a son, in June and the summer was so relaxing, such a good time with two small children and finally I knew what I was doing. I remember that summer also as a golden time. A toothache though would put a damper on any good time

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 3:22:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Ahhh - delish! Off to the south of France with Naomi. Can't wait to hear more..........hugs

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 4:40:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Sounds like you made some "life memories" that summer.

So just how do you have all these photos that you share with us stored? And you are really dedicated to scan these in for each post you do...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 9:07:00 PM PDT 

Blogger Mar
had this to say:

You have such a great memory (and memories!! love how you keep souvenirs and pictures!)
You were very kind to the nasty guy on the plane!
We were in Antibes 5 years ago where we chartered a catamaran, it's a lovely place.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 11:33:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

This is great! I can't wait to hear (see?) the rest.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 12:42:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Such a wonderful post today Naomi! I've spent some time in various parts of France- I like the south of France best myself. That's some story about the fella sitting next to you on the flight. Just goes to show you that there are sleazy people even in first class!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 5:47:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a great post, Naomi! Love all photos and also I love reading your memories!
Thanks for sharing your lovely moments!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 6:26:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Sound machine? A transistor? I remember my youngest sister's wedding by the bad toothache I had. Lost that one.

This is a lovely post. The photos are great. The beach looks pink and magical. I felt transported reading and looking.

I was in Paris briefly in the 70's. Still regret not going into the Louvre. We were broke and I think it cost money.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 7:06:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Okay, don't keep me hanging, what's next? The pix are great by the way. I've never been to France, but we're planning a stop over of about 3 days next summer before we take a train to Italy. It will be M's and my 10th anniversary.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 8:26:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I LOVE France, even though it was my honeymoon and he was a horrible traveler and I ended up doing alot on my own (we are now divorced). I stayed in a hotel in Nice that overlooked the Negresco, it looks like the picture you have there, that I took from our hotel balcony. I even did a watercolor of it!!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 2:24:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi,
I'm loving hearing about yuour trip to France so far, and your father locking the door as he cuddled with wife number 4, and your getting a new purse and...uh-oh - a bad toothache !
Can't wait to read more :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 3:55:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I love your photos lady! what a life you have, and how wonderfully you write about it

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 4:11:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I think it's so cool that you took so many photos during your travels! (and lucky for us too)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 5:35:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

How very lovely to share your holiday memories of the South of France! I went on a French language exchange when I was 16, and lived with a French family for 3 weeks, I learned the language quite well in that short time, but have forgotten most of it now. I was in France with my sons 3 years ago.... I loved Paris, I desperately want to go there again.... SOON!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 5:39:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh Naomi, I miss visiting your blog! I haven't blogged in awhile and I'm missed so many great posts by so many great bloggers.
I love this post. I've stood on the very street in Nice that's in your photo and loved it! Thank you for bringing back those memories for me. You've had such an incredible life and I love reading about it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 11:25:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow! What a trip down memory lane!

Sounds like a special trip.

Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 8:53:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

France looks much better than the bit of ocean called Yankee Station off the coast of North Vietnam where I was on that long ago spring. We would not have imagined a place so beautiful as where you were even in our dreams.

Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 9:45:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Funny you should mention the noise. I was also staying in Nice --probably not far from Lou Mirador. I remember the noise of the motorscooters that didn't have mufflers! It was awful, coupled with the fumes

But still, I loved Nice, loved Antibes, Grasse and everything else.

Friday, May 1, 2009 at 9:03:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a wonderful trip this must have been and thanks for sharing in all the details - and with great pics (you look great as 'the owner of the boat' :-)

Hope you'll visit Europe one day again!

Happy Weekend!

Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 1:52:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Sorry I have been away - I've been a little quiet on the blogging front lately, but here I am and what should I stumble upon but your adventure to the wonderful France in the summer of '69!

I've enjoyed reading your Part I, I shall now continue with Parts II & III...

Monday, May 4, 2009 at 10:10:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

The Summer of 1969 - can you believe it's 40 years ago;D.

No doubt you had a very exciting and memorable time - all new and "strange" to you.
I'm impressed by how well you remember even details and situations. Except, that guy on the Plane, that's for sure something one never will forget.

Considering the age of your photos, they are excellent. And they do represent an unique "Time Picture" from the near Past. At least you brought me along the memory lane. Fantastic post.

Guess who was there as well, in Southern France this very same year?

Yeah, it was me, my x-wife and Ruben 17 months and Niklas 2 months - with my Fathers Ford Taunus 17 M. It took much longer to go by Car from Norway down to the Med, than it took by Air from LA to Nice. And, we had to bring lot's of equipment, due to the age of the two young boys (one still a baby). Even a 3-room tent;)))

Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 7:15:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a great post, Naomi! I wanted to wait till I had time to come here and read all of them at once.
I wasn't aware your dad actually owned a place in the south of France. (or I forgot) It was lovely! What a spot and so typically French!
What a spring/summer that was for you. Thank God you saved all of the memories and the photos....so you could share them here with us! On to the next one.......

Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 5:13:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I've never been to the South of France, so I especially enjoy learning more in these posts. It's also nice to see how the "natives" live and not just the hotel tourists!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 8:21:00 AM PDT 

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