The Story of My Life so Far - Part 49 - 1974-1975 in Saint-MandriersteemCreated with Sketch.

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This is the story of my life so far: 68 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France

The story starts here
Previous episode: Part 48


Geneviève and I stayed for 10 months in Saint-Mandrier.

Aerial view of Saint-Mandrier

On weekdays, I would drive Geneviève to her high school in La Seyne-sur-Mer. She was 22 years old, that is 5 years older than all the other students . In the afternoon, either I would go get her with my car, or she would take the bus back to Saint-Mandrier. I was a student at the "École des Officiers Détecteurs" (School of Radar and Electronic Warfare Officers) at the CIN Saint-Mandrier.

Contrarily to most of my colleagues, I was more interested in technical stuff than in operations. In the French Navy, the radar officers (officiers détecteurs) are the one that help the Commanding Officer of a ship to conduct naval operations. My comrades either did not like to study the technical stuff or were thinking that it was better for their naval career to not be know as too technical. My position was that to conduct successful operations, you need to have good equipments, so the technical aspect was at least as important.

During the weekends, we would visit various parts of the Côte d'Azur, known in English as the "French Riviera". For example, we went several times to Saint-Tropez during the spring when there are not too many tourists.

At this time, when you were an officer in the French armed forces, if you wanted to marry a foreigner, you had to ask for permission. So, I did ask for permission to marry Geneviève. She was interviewed by the gendarmes. They realized that she was not a spy and I got the requested permission.

However, as I knew that marrying Geneviève would greatly damage the relationship with my parents and part of my close family, I did not follow through.

At the end of the school year, in June 1975, Geneviève wrote the Baccalauréat, the exam at the end of high school in France and succeeded with an average mark of 12.5/20.

As for me, after the "École des Officiers Détecteurs", I was to become the computer officer for a new ship, first of its class, the Georges Leygues, that was being built in Brest. However, before moving to Brest, I was to be trained in Paris about the computers that were going to be installed on the ship. As the instruction was starting in January 1976, I would stay temporarily in the CIN Saint-Mandrier to be the boss of the "Cours des Électroniciens de la Marine".

During the summer of 1975, Geneviève moved to Paris and in September she started nursing school. And I stayed in Saint-Mandrier.

Continue to Part 50

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Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8
Part 9 - Part 10 - Part 11 - Part 12 - Part 13 - Part 14 - Part 15 - Part 16
Part 17 - Part 18 - Part 19 - Part 20 - Part 21 - Part 22 - Part 23 - Part 24
Part 25 - Part 26 - Part 27 - Part 28 - Part 29 - Part 30 - Part 31 - Part 32
Part 33 - Part 34 - Part 35 - Part 36 - Part 37 - Part 38 - Part 39 - Part 40
Part 41 - Part 42 - Part 43 - Part 44 - Part 45 - Part 46 - Part 47 - Part 48

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As a person who loves to read, this is very fascinating to me. I am going to start with part 1 and will come back to post more. Thank you for this.

Geez you have some of the best stories going and have been to such great places.

I knew when you told me another episode was coming, it would be another beaut LOL.

The main picture here is just beautiful, things I am aiming for in my life but not sure how it is going to pan out with the challenges on my end.

We have some history together then because I was a Camp X advocate, fundraiser and donater and activist for years, along with Lynn Philip Hodgson, the world authority on the spy training centre in my town, not enough people know about.

Nor the Camp 30 post, 20 mins east of me.

When this story will be com

cool! i love it

Thats a really good story for your life @vcelier

Interesting, that some professions require permission to marry. Do exist some professions that require permission to sex?

good info

You sure have done a lot of interesting things!

nice to read all those detailed memories. It was a good part of yoir life. You did a lot and if we read this; we feel that you liked it much.

Lovely story, it was nice to read.

Why i'm so fascinated with this kind of story especially love story. I don't know why.. but the thing is i'm eager to know someone elses life story to told especially yours. Kinda excited for the next chapter of your life:)

I bet those computers were quite something, punchcard ones?


Had to be. I've got a photo of my husband, the computer geek, proudly sitting in front of his university's monsterous computer where his job was to feed cards into the machine. That was back in the very early 80's.


Hehe, yeah. My boss in the last place I worked used to tell me about the punch card mainframes he worked in for the ministry of defense. And I think that was back in the eighties.

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