Memories of my cassette tape recorder.

Les mémoires de mon magnétophone à cassette
Memories of my cassette tape recorder.

English version below the pictures

Comment les idées vous  surgissent dans l’esprit ? Je me le demande. C est ainsi que ce matin je repensais soudainement que j’ avais enregistré des audio cassettes en 1969 avec mon tout neuf magnétophone à cassette Radiola acheté en 1968. Je me suis souvenu avoir  enregistré la voix de ma grand-mère en février 1969.  Elle mourut la même année et sa voix n’était déjà plus comme d’habitude. Cependant, j’avais réussi à lui faire chanter deux ou trois chansons . C’était la première fois que je l’entendais chanter. Ma grand-mère (du côté maternel) était une femme forte de la campagne qui avait élevé avec son mari, ouvrier de carrière, huit enfants et aussi deux de ses  frères. (Elle était orpheline)..
Sur la même cassette  j’avais enregistré en connectant le magnétophone à  la télévision le dernier discours du général de Gaulle à Quimper (Bretagne) en Février 1969. Il a été très émouvant d’entendre le dernier grand homme de la France. (décédé en 1970 )

magnétophone à cassette 1968
magnétophone détail

My 1968 cassette tape recorder . ( the dust is 53 year old )
Mon magnetophone à cassette de 1968 ( la poussière est vieille de 53 ans )

Gand'mère Levisse année 1960

Ma grand-mère Levisse   My maternal grand-mother in the mid 1960’s

General de Gaulle

    How do the ideas come in your mind ? I am wondering . So this morning I thought all of a sudden I had recorded in 1969 some audio cassettes with my brand new Radiola cassette tape recorder bought in 1968. I remembered I had recorded the voice of my grand mother in february 1969 , . She died the same year and her voice already was not like usual. However,  I had succeeded to make her sing . It was the first time I heard her sing . My grandmother (my  mother ‘ s side ) was a strong country woman who had brought up with her husband who was a quarry worker, eight children and also two brothers .( she was an orphan) 

     On the same cassette I had recorded in connecting the recorder the TV the last public speech  of the General de Gaulle in Quimper (Brittany ) in February 1969. It was very moving to hear the last grand Man of France .( who died en 1970).



Que se passait-il pour Janine et moi en 1969 ? Nous étions mariés depuis 1961 et en 1969 nous avions quatre enfants ; Carole ( 1962), Thierry(1964), Véronique (1966) et Pierre ( 1968) . Nous avions aussi un chien , Netta . Les deux derniers enfants  Isabelle et Jean-Baptiste sont nés en 1971 et 74. Nous étions très heureux en dépit des évènements de 1968 , une sorte de révolution culturelle de riches , faite par des jeunes privilégiés qui n’ avaient pas connu les temps durs de la guerre et d’avant  ,  . Cette cassette video est en quelque sorte un ultime témoin de ce que fut la France .

cayeux juillet 69

                                    At the sea side 1969 Janine holding Pierre . Foreground : Carole with a doll,Véronique and Thierry
Au bord de mer 1969 : Janine tenant Pierre . Au pemier plan Carole avec une poupée, Véronique et Thierry.

  What was happening to Janine and me  in 1969? We were married since 1961 and in 1969 we had four children, Carole (1962), Thierry (1964), Véronique (1966) and Pierre (1968). We also had a dog, Netta. The last two children Isabelle and Jean-Baptiste came in 1971 and 74. We were very happy despite the events of 1968, a kind of cultural revolution, made ​​by privileged youth who had no known hard times of the  war and before.
This video tape is a kind of ultimate witness of what France was..


J ‘ ai retrouvé aujourd’hui cette photo dans un coffret qui me vient de mes parents. Elle représente le Général de Gaulle en 1945 en visite dans ma ville natale une petite ville du Nord de la France nommée Marquise. Il est accompagnée du maire de l’ époque : Louis Le Senechal

De Gaulle à marquise 1945

De Gaulle in Marquise 1945

Finally I found again this photo: General de Gaulle visiting my hometown, a small town in northern France named Marquise. This photo taken in 1945 is more personal and has more value in my eyes. In this photo General is accompanied by the mayor of the city, Louis Le Sénéchal. If you do not know who was Charles de Gaule and what he did during the WW II , please type his name on Google.
I have found today  this photo in a box that comes from my parents ;

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110 Responses to Memories of my cassette tape recorder.

  1. calmkate says:

    What absolutely delightful memories to record Michel! I recognised the General immediately 🙂

    You reminded me when I first travelled overland, Kathmandu to London, we recorded so much for my travel companions blind brother. Our descriptions of so much, local music, traffic and bird sounds … I wonder if he kept them?

    Might be a great idea to get them digitally recorded to preserve them for your grandchildren ❤

  2. Wow. So much history. It is wonderful that you have access to this tape recorder and photographs, so that you have all these amazing memories to listen to and look at.

  3. Touchante mémoire, Michel ! Belle journée à toi et à Janine.

  4. mrswrangler says:

    I did a report in high school on the great depression with my grandpa as the person I interviewed. I wish I had tape recorded it because it was on one of his few good days with Alzheimer.

    • My grandmother that I recorded started an Alzheimer. Her voice had changed but at last I have a memorie from her. Your grandfather meomorie is in your report.

      • mrswrangler says:

        Yes it is. I heard stories my dad did not even know.

      • From a generation to the following one many events or people are forgotten

      • mrswrangler says:

        Yes they are. I wonder what all four of my grandparents who lived through the Great Depression and World War II would think of today’s events.

      • –Your grand-parents should memory the Spannish flu(1918-1920)that killed Much more people then the first world War .( USA, Canada, France , Germany etc…)

      • onedanyankee says:

        My grandmother had the Spanish flu as a young child. She would have been 7 or 8. They even built a casket for her, but she made it through. She survived until she was 102. She lived with us for a while, in the early 2000s. My kids were young, but were always amazed she had experienced a lot of the things they learned in their history classes.

      • your grandmother was solid for having beaten this terrible plague of the spanish flu of 1918

      • onedanyankee says:

        She was a tough woman. She lived ’til 2013. After she retired in her late 60s, from bring a nurses aide, she went to serve at a hospital in Sierra Leone. When she realized it was beyond her skills, she came back to the US and took two years of school to be a registered nurse, then went back to serve again. When she came back home, she took a job as a private, live in nurse for a terminal patient. She continued staying at home with patients until their deaths, extending their lives, some for years, by providing excellent care, until she was 89. If only I can be half the person she was, I’ll be an exceptional man. I hope you’re well, Michel.

      • Your grandmother had the love of his work in herself . What a model for the family!

  5. atagrandma says:

    These days of isolation because of the virus are giving us time to do things we should have done a long time ago. My brother is going through boxes of old photos also. He sometimes sends them to me via e-mail or What’sApp to help identify the people. Meanwhile I am listening to the CDs of my Grandmother (paternal) telling her story of escaping from Turkey in 1904. My husband had recorded her story in 1971 on our cassette tape recorder. Some years ago when my brother was visiting I gave the tapes to him. (You may recall he has a recording studio in Madrid, Spain.) He cleaned up the old tapes, added a bit of fitting music to cover up the planes overhead, as the taping was done at my aunt’s house near an airport, and made 3 CDs. I treasure them. I doubt any of my children have ever listened to them all. The original recording was not real good, and Grandma had a heavy accent which she kept all her life. Of course, my brother and I didn’t and don’t have any trouble understanding her. Still, I have to listen carefully to the CDs even though I already know the story. Of course it is written in book form too All of my children have read the books and now my grandchildren are reading them.
    I love the picture of Janine and the children. Our first 4 children were in that same order: girl, boy, girl, boy. Love to you and Janine and your family, Gracia

  6. blb1 says:

    What an interesting post. I know of the General but not as much as I should know about him. I understand the feelings hearing your Grandma sing, I have cassettes of my mom and dad talking when I once ‘interviewed’ them. I only have one place to play them back on my big set in the living room. Not sure I know how to work that now.

  7. Lavinia Ross says:

    I enjoyed this walk through your history, Michel, and loved seeing the pictures of your family from another day and age. Yes, I too can understand what it felt like to hear your grandmother sing. A beautiful post, Michel!

  8. So interesting 👏❤

  9. Michel, it is so nice to read your words, again. Welcome back! You have been missed. How are you feeling? Is your family all safe and well from this pandemic?

    I wish I could hear your grandmother’s voice. What a treasure you have there. God bless you and yours!

    Caroline ❤

  10. puffpop says:

    This was such an interesting and filled with history. Oh yes, I do remember Charles DeGaule, such a very strong and influential leader. I guess the relationship between the Great General and our own Roosevelt was not so very cordial since they both had such strong egos.

    France suffered greatly during WWII

    I guess De Gaule wasn’t invited to the Yalta or Potsdam meetings. I find that interesting and will look into it. I just looked it up on Google.

    You have such a beautiful family and Janine is so very beautiful and still beautiful…You take good care of each other.
    I am thrilled that prayers were answered and you can write of your fascinating background…That is a miracle because I know how sick you were and we worried about you! Just thankful that God is a healing God and is allowing you to be with us and write.

    votre amie,

  11. Doug Thomas says:

    I bought a BIC pen that was in the shape of General de Gaulle when I visited friends in Paris in 1970. Later, back in Germany (Kaiserslautern), my company had to stand an inspection formation for the battalion commander. I forgot I had the de Gaulle pen in my pocket, and the battalion commander had to mention it as a strike against me. Once I explained to him the pen was modeled after Charles de Gaulle, who should have been a well known WWII military figure to a US Army officer, he eased off on me. I had another BIC pen modeled in the shape of Georges Pompidou that I bought at the same time. Fortunately, that pen was back in the barracks. If he didn’t recognize de Gaulle, there was no hope he’d recognize (and forgive me having “him” in my pocket) the pen version of the then current President of France! Incidentally, the Kaserne where I lived while in the US Army was named after Jean-Baptiste Kléber, another French military hero.

  12. judyrutrider says:

    I remember wondering, when I was young, at how “old” people loved to remember their history. Because I had very little history, it seemed uninteresting. Now that I have the perspective of time, my own story, and the story of those who lived before me, is infinitely absorbing. When I hear of young and ignorant people talking of initiating war in the name of some silly nationalistic idea, I pray that they read the stories of the devastation and loss caused by war. What they fail to appreciate is that only the very wealthy benefit from war. The common man suffers losses beyond any benefit. Now I must research the cultural revolution of 1968.

  13. What a wonderful valuable treasure, Michel! 🙂 You have family history and your country’s history!
    It’s seems sometimes after people are gone for so long from us, we forget their voices. So, it is so nice to hear them on tape (or video) today. 🙂
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

  14. What a wonderful treasure trove of memories. The recording of your grandmother singing is priceless. I loved this post. Hope all is okay with you and you remain healthy and safe. Hugs

  15. Rachel says:

    So good to hear from you.
    When I was younger, I used to follow Charles De Gaulle on the news. Even then, I tried to keep up on world events.
    Love the pictures! Take care! 🌹

  16. What wonderful memories, Michel. I do hope you are able to digitally preserve your grandmother’s voice for your children and grandchildren.

    Blessings to you. Stay well.


  17. I remember seeing De Gaulle in the news and in photos when I was a child. I didn’t know much about him except that he seemed to be admired. I knew a bit more about Eisenhower because we had his autobiography.
    That cassette recorder seems to be in excellent shape! My first experience with one was in 1970-1971, making silly tapes with a neighbor’s recorder. Later in 1973 I got my own, which I used for music. I used it for several years and gave it to my brother.
    Blessings to you! I hope you are well.

  18. Susan Joos says:

    Wish I had thought to do that with my grandparents and parents. Wonderful memories to have, but especially the voice recordings. It is so hard to remember what loved ones actually sounded like, although sometimes I “hear” them in my dreams. I miss them all.

  19. Carole says:

    Bonjour Papa, belle entrée et que de souvenirs…. C est émouvant. Ça passe trop vite. Je vous souhaite une bonne soirée et vous embrasse bien fort Carole

  20. murisopsis says:

    Your remembrances are wonderful – not only the photos but the recording of your Grandmother. I don’t have any recordings of my grandparents or even my father’s voice. It is so hard to recall exactly how they sound but I know that if I heard their voices I would be able to identify them immediately! I wish I had my tape recorder now. I still have some tapes I made: the audio of the news cast of the first moon landing in 1969. I had gotten a Panasonic tape recorder at the previous Christmas and this was the first time I recorded something and kept it. I recorded Pres. Richard Nixon’s resignation address as well in 1974. I still have those tapes… I think I will have them transferred to a CD.
    Hoping you are safe and feeling better! Our Priest has been doing daily videos discussing theology and also some fun things. And of course he is now taping Matins and Vespers and even the Divine Chaplet of Mercy… It keeps us connected with the church and each other.

    • We both lived the same émotion at the same time . It was a time with moderne tools like the tape recorder but it still was the time of the ancient discs.
      Love ❤

  21. Past memories of family and friends can bring such joy and a little knowledge of generations before us and the times they lived in. Michel, thank you for sharing. Wishing you a wonderful day…..Marilyn ❤

  22. Marion says:

    Thanks for sharing these wonderful memories and photos with us, Michel! 🙂 How great it would be to hear your grandmother’s voice and those from the past. How are you at the moment? I hope you’re feeling better? ❤

  23. Zakiah says:

    phenomenal treasure Michel! I remember Gen. De Gaul very well, and seen him on the television and in the various documentaries that we would watch in my father’s home. I too have some old tape recorders in the basement. I should clean the dust and take some pictures of them.
    I love the picture of your grandmother. Love it!! Really a treasure to have when you come across such vintage photos.
    I hope you are feeling good my friend. Blessings and love to you.

  24. Joyce says:

    beautiful memories, michel- thanks for sharing them with your family, and with all your extended family and friends around the world!

  25. boobledygook says:

    Hello Michel
    Its lovely to read your blog today and with this lockdown right now, its lovely to catch up on many blogs i have been following. should i start blogging ..maybe i should. Michel this blog today truly invokes so many memories. Did you capture that photo of the late President Charles De Gaulle? His name is so well known in history. I remember reading about him in one of my history lessons. Did you know that one of the streets in Siem Reap is named after him? That cassette recorder sure holds many wonderful memories, do those cassettes still play well? Janine truly looks beautiful and I love your daughter’s doll ..wonder if she still has it ..the doll has such thick hair compare to the dolls nowadays. Stay safe Michel and family.

    Love, Tima

    • I am glad to know the general de Gaulle is known in the Eastern countries.
      I encourage you to blog again , Tima. Those blogs are like alive memories.

      • CikTee says:

        You are right Michel, I will do my best to update my blog from now on. I just updated the other day. I am also using this opportunity to introduce Isabella to blogging as a platform to practise more on creative writing, De Gaulle visited Cambodia in the 60s, (then) Prince Norodom Sihanouk admired De Gaulle so his visit that year was most symbolic. Take care, stay safe Michel, Janine and family. I look forward to your next blog.

  26. guestbrief says:

    I got my first tape recorder in 1971… and I loved it, it made me feel like a reporter because it had a hand held mike and everything. I loved hearing about yours. Be well friend! ❤ love, Rhonda

  27. Yvonne says:

    These are wonderful memories to have and cherish.
    Best to you, Janine, and the rest of your family. ❤ Yvonne

  28. Cath aka Singapore Girl says:

    A joy to see your writing again!

  29. Annalisa says:

    J’aime la photo de ta grandmère! Et j’aime aussi les autres vieilles photos – un beau morceau d’histoire. Merci Michel! J’espère que vous êtes tous bien loin du coronavirus! Je vous souhaite un bon weekend en serenité et santé.

    • Il vaut mieux penser qu’on est loin du virus mais je dois passer 3 après-midis par semaine à l’hôpital (dialyse) et Janine va dans un supermarché 1 fois par semaine pour les courses de la semaine .
      Amitié à toi, Annalisa.<3

  30. in the cleaning of my house in order to be able to move – i found so many things as well
    nothing as grand as a picture of CDG (in my own town!) !!
    i love the picture of the family in 69…i was just a little older than veronique at that time
    life was simpler, i think, maybe because i was just young

    stay safe and well
    must you venture out of the house for dialysis?

    big hugs

    • Veronique is born in 1966.
      About the dialysis: three afternoons at the hopital of Amiens But out of this I stay home. Janine too except one day for the purchases for the week . ❤

  31. Isabel Capillas says:

    These memories are precious, Uncle Michel. Stay safe, stay healthy❤️

  32. marica0701 says:

    I love older photographs beyond my existence, of days and a world long gone. Thank you for sharing your stories and memories, and how precious that you have your grandmother’s voice!

  33. cocosangel says:

    You got married the year I was born. That is great. 🙂 Your 1st child is 1 year younger to me. Wonderful memories

  34. Barbara Lenhard says:

    So many memories. We have similarities in our family. We were married in 1960 and had 5 children by 1967. We lived through President Kennedy’s death while we were living in Texas. It seems like so long ago but I can remember many things like it was yesterday Love, Barbara 💕💕

  35. Michel!!!! I’ve missed you!!!!! So good to see you’re able to write. Looks like you’ve been back online for a couple months now! How different the world is nowadays! I hope you and your beloved are in good health and staying safe!

    Your cassette tape is sooo special!!!!!!!!!!! Not just any cassette! It must be preserved!!!!

  36. Dear Michel, how did I miss this? It’s absolutely fabulous, such a beautiful family, so nostalgic! Those were lovely days I’m sure , Janine is so beautiful and the children as well. Of course I know about Charles DeGaulle , a very important figure in Frances history and rep the War. Thank you for this amazing post, maybe my favorite of yours with your young family. I did she the movie about the revolution in 1968. The Dreamers. Take care dear Michel. ❤️

  37. Chocoviv says:

    This is amazing!!!

  38. kmaidy says:

    bonsoir Michel,
    merci Michel de partager tes beaux souvenirs avec nous !
    Nos grands-mères étaient des femmes très courageuses et très travailleuses !
    cela devait être un moment émouvant pour toi de réentendre ces enregistrements !
    bises et courage à vous !❤

  39. Just stopping by to say Hello, Michel and to sit here awhile and pray for you and your family.
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

  40. Anne-Marie says:

    Merci de ce post riche en souvenirs ! Ah oui les cassettes … j’en ai aussi encore quelques-unes de cette époque.

    Et puis, Janine a une coiffure à la Brigitte Bardot, et Carole est touchante d’attention à sa poupée. Suivant l’exemple de sa maman !

    Quant au Général de Gaulle, ai vu un reportage de Stéphane Bern sur sa vie dernièrement. Très intéressant et il me rappela qu’en 1965, mes parents nous avaient emmenés mes frères et moi visiter, en passant après Paris, Collombey-les-Deux-Eglises. Donc le Général faisait alors impression aussi jusqu’en Suisse ! Et je n’a pas oublié cette visite. J’avais 13 ans.

    Amitiés et beau printemps à vous malgré les difficultés de ce printemps

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