Thursday, November 28, 2013


I thank God for my family, for my good friends , and for all the good we have received this year..... mj


Sunday, November 24, 2013

(Click on the title above to see the complete document.)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


The Night Watch by Rembrandt is at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Size:(10.9 ft by 14.3 ft) It was completed in 1642.
With much of the world preoccupied with laptops, tablets and cel phones, the great museums of the world seem to be declining in numbers of visitors. The Rijksmuseum decided to take action. They took their most famous painting to the people by recreating the scene downtown at the shopping mall. See below.

Thanks Jim Konek....

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Rochefort American High School - 2013 Reunion

October 1, 2013
Rochefort American High School was an American high school in a military facility at Rochefort, France.The School was far from the military bases, so the students lived in a dormitory.

We would stay through the week and then go home to the base on the weekends. We would commute on military buses from different military bases," Lance Burris, the group's President said. "They called us 'military brats.' It was a unique way to grow up."

The school building where we attended was once the headquarters of Napoleon before his exile. A moat is near the school building that had been blocked off so the French could build ships during World War II. "The moat had been drained but for the past five years they've been building a replica of the ship of Lafayette," Burris said. "We hope to travel to see the ship in 2015. They're going to sail the ship the path Lafayette took up the East Coast. Rochefort High School is on one of the sails of the ship." The frigate Hermione was linked to the Marquis de Lafayette. The original ship was built in 1779. It embarked on a trip from Rochefort to Boston in 1780.

Rochefort American High School was closed in 1958 when all US military bases were closed in France. Since then, every two years, those who attended the HS get together for a reunion somewhere in the United States. Theprevious reunion was held in Reno, Nev. This year it was held in the Indianapolis area.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


October 1, 2013

Plainfield man organizes special reunion

By Brenda L. Holmes
SPEEDWAY — Most people have their class reunions near their childhood home. They go back to see their old haunts and maybe a few family members after visiting with high school classmates.

Plainfield’s Lance Burris has a different experience every time his school meets for a reunion.

Burris attended Rochefort American High School, which was an American high school in a military facility at Rohefort, France. He attended the school for his freshman, sophomore, and junior years of high school.

"My dad was in the Army and was stationed at a base which was 100 miles from where I went to school,” Burris said. “Because it was so far from the base, we lived in a dormitory. We would stay through the week and then go home to the base on the weekends.”

He said the experience helped him to mature earlier and become pretty self-sufficient.

“We would commute on military buses from different military bases,” he said. “They called us ‘military brats.’ It was a unique way to grow up.”

The school building where they attended was once the headquarters of Napoleon before his exile. Near the school building there was a moat that had been blocked off so the French could build ships during World War II.

“The moat had been drained but for the past five years they've been building a replica of the ship of Lafayette,” Burris said. “We hope to travel to see the ship in 2015. They're going to sail the ship the path Lafayette took up the East Coast. Rochefort High School is on one of the sails of the ship.”

The frigate Hermione was linked to the Marquis de Lafayette. The original ship was built in 1779. It embarked on a trip from Rochefort to Boston in 1780.

“Our alumni hope to be there to greet the ship,” Burris said.

RAHS closed in 1958 when all military bases were closed in France. Every two years, those who attended the school get together for a reunion some place in the United States. The last time there was a reunion it was held in Reno, Nev. This year it was held in the Indianapolis area.

Many of the students went on to serve in the military, including Burris who served in the U.S. Army.

Burris is currently serving as president of the Rochefort American High School Alumni. He decided he wanted to invite all of his former classmates to Indiana to experience the Circle City. Planned this weekend was a golf tournament at Fort Harrison, a dinner at St. Elmo downtown, a tour of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and museum, a guided tour of Indiana War Memorial, and a Yellow Buggy Carriage tour of downtown Indianapolis.

Many of the reunion activities took place at the Hilton Indianapolis Hotel/Suites where most of the reunion attendees stayed. The RAHS alumni do several activities while they're together. One of the traditions is to donate books to a local library wherever they have their reunion. This year, the group donated books to Indianapolis Public School 34.

Burris said he can remember traveling to France when the family was stationed there.

“We went on a ship out of New York,” he said. “It took eight days to cross. The ship we went on was a converted Army transfer ship.”

His parents were Avis and Ruth Burris. His father served in WW II and Korea.

Even though Burris spent most of his high school days in France, he ended up graduating from Horace Mann High School in 1957.

Burris was born in Kannapolis, N.C., and lived in several other places while growing up. He lived in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, and California.

After serving in the military, he went on to serve 23 years in law enforcement with the Hobart Police Department. He retired as the chief of detectives there in 1988.

He and his family moved to Plainfield in 1993 so he could become an instructor at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.

“I still work there as a master instructor,” Burris said.

He and his wife, Nancy, have two grown children, Brad and Brian Burris.

The Rochefort American High School Alumni Association has its own website where they share information on alumni and upcoming events. The website is

- See more at:

Friday, September 13, 2013

Saturday, August 31, 2013


Long Friendships Despite a Short Existence
This was published on Nov 2012...

Monday, August 5, 2013


Revivez cet instant magique de la première sortie de la frégate
Hermione : revivez l'émotion ! by France3PoitouCharentes

Si 2012 aura été pour l'hermione l'année de la mise à l'eau, 2013 sera celle de son ascension vers le ciel avec la pose du 3ème et dernier étage de la mature dit mât de Perroquet. Dans la plus pure tradition, le hissage des vergues et des pièces de mats s'est effectué au cabestan manuel. Une performance quand on sait que la grande vergue pèse 3 tonne et demi pour 25m de long. L'hermione affiche désormais 47m de tirant d'air, l'équivalent d'un immeuble de 16 étages.
Un reportage de Jean-Marc Chauvet et Didier Gomez
Published on May 18, 2013

L'Hermione côtoie les sommets avec la fin de la pose de ses mâts


Première Sortie De L'Hermione Sur La Charente

La Mise En Eau De l'Hermione

Saturday, August 3, 2013

VJ Day, Honolulu Hawaii, August 14, 1945


Great video of a spontaneous victory parade in Honolulu in 1945. Take a look at this video. Absolutely fabulous! Notice the cars and jeeps, youth. The guys in khaki or gray shirts and black ties are Navy officers or chiefs.
The rest are Army or Marines. How young they all were to do what they did.

This guy really captured a moment in history! (You can hear Jimmy Durante singing "I'll be Seeing You" in the background too.) This is a super video of a time past. We need to remember and be grateful. Check out the color fidelity. It's not bad for 1945. Nothing will ever compare with Kodak film.

VJ Day, Honolulu Hawaii, August 14, 1945 from Richard Sullivan on Vimeo.
I have over an hour of beautiful Kodachome 16mm movie footage filmed by my Dad on VJ Day and the three weeks following, which was always intended to be expanded into a documentary about The Day World War II Ended, if funding could be found. Recently I discovered Kickstarter, a crowd sourcing website that provides a platform for raising the funding necessary to accomplish this end.

Monday, July 8, 2013



Message from the President

Dear reunion friends,There are two issues that need to be addressed during this note I write to you:

First: In going over the business meeting agenda there is a point I want to make: The committee appointed to research and revise, if needed, the issue on “Alumni Group Guidelines” is hereby disbanded and the topic will be “tabled indefinitely.” We will continue to use an abbreviated version of Roberts Rules of Order at our business meetings.

Second: Plans for the Indianapolis Reunion 2013 are in place and waiting for your Conference and Hotel registrations. 

Please get you Conference Fee sent to:
Clara Dostal Reynolds, 
418 Playa Blanca, 
Santa Maria, CA 93455 

... and put “2013 Conference Fee” on the memo line. 

You can register at the hotel online at :

or call 317-972-0680. Hilton Hotel and Suites.

In order to arrange transportation, meal, tours and dance considerations you should make your hotel reservations by the dead line of August 26th.

Thought for the day:
Has it occurred to you that every year we are reduces in numbers by the ageing process? It pulls at my heart every time we lose one of our classmates as well as that of our classmate spouses. That is why I keep on harping about making it to the reunions. It is every other year and in this time frame of our lives that is a long period of time in which some of us
will be called away.

I am attaching the reunion registration for your convenience.

I would protect you with my life.”
     Lance M. Burris     RAHS President
     Class of 1957

“See you at the reunion, don’t make me come looking for you!”

Monday, June 17, 2013

Indianapolis Reunion - Sept 26-29, 2013

Click on the link below to see attached Docs from RAHSA President, Lance Burris
Send your application and check to Clara Dostal Reynolds, with RAHS 2013 Reunion on the memo line. Clara's address is: 418 Playa Blanca, Santa Maria, CA 93455.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Great Dance Routine: James Cagney and Bob Hope


James Cagney and Bob Hope at a Friar's Club Meeting back when actors were real performers. Bob Hope was 52 and James Cagney was 56. 
The year was 1955.

For the young folks, here is something you’ve probably never seen before and,
unfortunately, you may never see again.

For us older folks, this is the best of the best, and we had it for many years! This is a side of these two entertainers you hardly ever saw, but it shows you their enormous talent. Bob Hope, the best of comedians, and James Cagney, mostly cast as the bad guy, a gangster in the movies.

Monday, June 10, 2013

From the desk of the RAHSA President

It has occurred to me that I wonder if you are thinking the same thing I am. If our minds are running in the same direction since we lived and went to school together in Rochefort? 

I wonder if because we were such a close knit group of classmates whether we commuted to the school every day or if we were staying in the dorm and going home on the weekends; Sharing clothes, love and laughter in the spirit of youth; I just wonder if being exposed to life on our own at such an early age had anything to do with what we have become today. 

If being rotated back to the states after spending those learning years in a foreign country was a shock to our future endeavors. For some of us it was the most time we had lived in one spot in our parent’s military careers. I believe “You are where you’ve been.” Yes, it’s true I am a realist, but not to the point of incompetency. I realize our lives and society has changed since Rochefort. However, shades of purple and white and a rocket’s trail still hang loose in my mind and heart and that can be as real as life. Once a Rocket, always a Rocket.

By this time I know you are wondering; what is Lance getting to; in what direction is this conversation headed? Well, here it is;

I had a close friend several years ago and at Christmas time he would always say to me, “I don’t know how many Christmas’ I have left.” In the month following Christmas and after one of those statements………he died. Bob left behind so many memories that would never be shared again with anyone. I am just so thankful that I had the fortune of spending his last Christmas with him. Others were not so fortunate as they didn’t take the time to spend with him before he passed away.

And so it goes my friends and classmates; People with whom I have amassed so many lasting memories; people whom I shall never forget and hope not to be forgotten. How many Christmas’ do we have? How many reunions do we pass up until it is too late. Why do we procrastinate and say, “I’ll try to make it next year when next year may never come?

Don’t pass up this opportunity to meet again with your friends, some that you may only see once in two years or perhaps have not seen since leaving Rochefort. You can take many trips around the world; to far away places with strange sounding names, but I dare say that none will be so delightful and fulfilling than to re-visit a part of your youth that remembers you. 

I know that Rochefort is not the only place you have amassed memories of, but it has to be right up there with some of the best. Please take the time to come to the 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana reunion because we don’t know how many Christmas’ we have left……………..only God does. Date: 26-28 September

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Photography by Bill Meserve


       VOLUME 18  ISSUE 2  -  MAY 2013                                                              

From the desk of the President

Classmates and friends, 

I heard a couple of songs the other day straight from the days at Rochefort and the rec-room. A couple of songs that brought memories to the forefront. I found myself mesmerized from the sounds of the 50’s. Suspended in today’s world with visions of the past. Reliving some of those good times and trying to rationalize some of the event that should have been handled differently. I have to admit to you that I drifted off into the past with thoughts of wishing I could return to those days; so carefree, so innocent yet responsible for my actions.

Those two songs were “Goodnight My Love” and “Teach Me Tonight.” My mind flipped to the rec-room and those songs and how you would walk your girl friend to your favorite spot to say goodnight knowing that you would see them the next morning.

You might be asking yourself at this time, “Why is he telling me this?” Simply answer is, we have an opportunity at the 2013 Indianapolis Reunion to relive some of those days, tell some funny and not so funny stories of things that happened during our Rochefort years plus update each other on what is going on in our present lives, our children and grandchildren. I would like to encourage everyone to bring pictures of their children and grandchildren and share them with everyone. We have grown a lot since Rochefort and it is my belief that lessons learned from those days are part of who and what we are today. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to know and grow with each of my classmates and wish I could have become acquainted with those who came after me; just another plus for the reunions.

The scene is set and arrangements made for you to have a great time in the Hoosier State with Midwest hospitality. I look forward to welcoming you to Indiana and hope that you will take the time to make arrangement to attend. We are located in a central part of the United States and easy to get to by air or personal transportation.

See you then.
Lance M. Burris
RAHS Alumni President
Class of 1957

                       INDIANA WANTS YOU!

Read the complete DEJA VU by clicking on this link: 

Reunion Information
Date: Sept 26-29, 2013 (early arrivals on Sept 25th)
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Registration fee: $150.00 per attendee
Mail with registration form (on last page) to and payable to:
Clara Dostal Reynolds
418 Playa Blanca
Santa Maria, CA 93455
Hotel: Indianapolis Hilton Hotel and Suites
120 Market Street
Indianapolis, Indiana

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The KFPS Royal Friesian Horse

Sent by  DAVID HILL :
These horses were originally bred as "war horses" in the days of knights and armor. As armour got heavier, bigger horses were needed and the Friesians almost became extinct. They are back and are one of the prettiest horses in stature as well as gait. What gorgeous animals! Just watching them becomes an emotional experience. Can you imagine what it would be like to ride one?

Their manes and tails are the longest that I have seen and I noticed that when performing on grass, their hoofs do not kick up a divot (they land flat footed). Creatures such as these are what makes this world so special. These horses are native to the Netherlands.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

ROCHEFORT AMERICAN HS - The 2013 Indianapolis Reunion

Indianapolis - A Video Tour Of The City

Dear Alumni Friends,

As the winds  of March (snow and all) begin to give way to the rains of 
April and the outlook for spring, I send to you another Indianapolis “teaser.”  This video come from and was created by the Indianapolis Visitors Bureau.  

It will expose you to some of the sights of downtown Indianapolis and there is so much more.  I wish that I could arrange to take you to every wonderful site of the city, but hope that you will come and enjoy what time we have together and the adventures I have arranged for you at the 2013 Indianapolis Reunion.  It is my hopes that you will enjoy your stay and the Hoosier Country hospitality in a city fashion and I do not think you will be disappointed.  

So, come by car, plane, bus, train, RV or Trailer because all roads and air-space leads to Indianapolis i.e. “The Crossroads of America.”

  Get those hotel reservations in to the Hilton Hotel and Suites on Market 
Street (317-972-0600) in downtown Indianapolis.  And get your reunion fees to Clara Dostal Reynolds, 418 Playa Blanca, Santa Maria, CA 93455 (put 2013 reunion fee on the memo line).

  Stay safe my friends and may good health be your companion.
Lance M. Burris
President-RAHS Alumni
Class of 1957


Published on Mar 12, 2013 
À l'époque où le débat fait rage entre les prescripteurs du « tout numérique », et les irréductibles défenseurs du papier, Le Trèfle prend position avec son nouveau spot TV intitulé « Emma ».

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Pacific Clipper, Queen of Pan American Airways

December 7, 1941. The Pacific Clipper, Queen of Pan American Airways fleet of flying boats is 6 days out of San Francisco, bound for Auckland, New Zealand. Captain Robert Ford receives a coded message:
Japanese attack Pearl Harbor...Implement War Plan A...Proceed to Auckland, NZ...Maintain radio silence...Wait for instructions...Your aircraft is a strategic resource-it must not fall into enemy hands under any circumstances

Pan American Airways bases all across the Pacific were captured. Returning to the US west coast by the Pacific Clipper did not seem possible. A week of waiting, then another coded message:
December 14, 1941:
Do not return to Hawaii. Do not return to US west coast...Strip aircraft of all markings and identification...proceed west...maintain radio silence...deliver aircraft to Marine Terminal, LaGuardia, NY. Good luck.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Horten HO 2-229

 Keep in mind, this aircraft was built in the 1940's. It resembles our Stealth bombers of today. Had Hitler got these into production sooner, the world wouldn't be what it is today.
Just a Little History:
With its smooth and elegant lines, this could be a prototype for some future successor to the stealth bomber. But this flying wing was actually designed by the Nazis 30 years before the Americans successfully developed radar-invisible technology. Now an engineering team has reconstructed the Horten Ho 2-29 from blueprints, with startling results.

This full-scale replica of the Ho 2-29 bomber was made with materials available in the 40sA full scale replica of the Ho 229 bomber made with materials available in the 1940s, at preflight The plane could have helped Adolf Hitler win the war. 

First built and tested in the air in March 1944, it was designed with a greater range and speed than any plane previously built and was the first aircraft to use the stealth technology now deployed by the U.S. in its B-2 bombers. Thankfully Hitler's engineers only made three prototypes, tested by being dragged behind a glider tow plane and were not able to build them on an industrial scale before the Allied forces invaded. 

From Panzer tanks through to the V-2 rocket, it has long been recognized that Germany 's technological expertise during the war was decades ahead of the Allies. But by 1943, Nazi high command feared that the war was beginning to turn against them and were desperate to develop new weapons to help turn the tide. 

Nazi bombers were suffering badly when faced with the speed and maneuverability of the Spitfire and other Allied fighters. Hitler was also desperate to develop a bomber with the range and capacity to reach the United States . In 1943 Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering demanded that designers come up with a bomber that would meet his requirements, one that could carry 1,000kg over 1,000km flying at 1,000km/h.
Inventors Reimar and Walter Horten were inspired to build the Ho 2-29 by the deaths of so many Luftwaffe pilots in the Battle of Britain. The 142-foot wingspan bomber was submitted for approval in 1944, and it would have been able to fly from Berlin to NYC and back without refueling, thanks to the same blended wing design and six BMW 003A, or eight Junker Jumo 004B turbojets. 

He thought the electromagnetic waves of radar would be absorbed and in conjunction with the aircraft's sculpted surfaces the craft would be rendered almost invisible to radar detectors. This was the same method eventually used by the U.S. in its first stealth aircraft in the early 1980s, the F-117A Nighthawk. The plane was covered in radar absorbent paint with a high graphite content, which has a similar chemical make-up as charcoal. 

After the war the Americans captured the prototype Ho 2-29s along with the blueprints and used some of their technological advances to aid their own designs. But experts always doubted claims that the Horten could actually function as a stealth aircraft. Now using the blueprints and the only remaining prototype craft, Northrop-Grumman (the defense firm behind the B-2) built a full-size replica of a Horten Ho 2-29. 

Luckily for Britain the Horten flying wing fighter-bomber never got much further than the blueprint stage.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

We are pleasantly surprised to occasionally receive messages from those who visit our Rochefort American High School blog.
There is a high number of people from all parts of the world who visit our site. . 

Read the most recent one:"What memories you brought back to me. While I wasn't in your school I was stationed at the Rochefort base. I was the signal officer and you showed pictures of the office just inside the arch. I hoped you might have my car in one of them but sadly no. Thanks for this site and bringing me wonderful memories. Lt George R Wallis  

To our visitors: We would like to hear from you and also let us know if you are somehow related to Rochefort. 

Miriam Ramirez - Administrator