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MEMORIES, DOCUMENTS, PHOTOS, Asmara, 1952-55

Edition of NOVEMBER 2015

8 color photos of Asmara and the road to Massawa by Johnny Watson Photography.

University of Maryland, Asmara Center click on it for larger version.
Front row, seated Major John M. Merritt Officer in Charge, Kaspar, Andrus, Gourley, Joe Nix, Ty Curtis and Wagner
Second Row, standing; Bessette, Mack, Ray Healy, Brown and Wiesenstein. (some of us are wearing Corporal stripes on our sleeves so it had be before the Spec' insignia change.
 
 

8604 ROSTER PERSONNEL ROSTER 31 JANUARY 1952 8604 AAU FIELD STATION ASA USA RADIO STATION HTA ASMARA ERITREA
 








ads from 1952 auto
race program

 
TEATRO ASMARA, Theatre Club Production of 'All My Sons', September 30, October 1, 1954, Asmara, Eritrea

Storace seated, Goodrich standing I believe

cast & production staff

Theatre Club Membership

BIOS OF THE CAST

JOHN PAUL STORACE (Joe Keller)
Though his first appearance on the Asmara stage was as another Keller, the ruthless Ed in "The Male Animal", John claims he is not particularly partial to that name. Since his local debut, he has managed to direct and appear in such club readings as "Tea and Sympathy" and "Glass Managerie". "All My Sons" marks his second directorial assignment locally, his first being the June production, "Born Yesterday".  John's theatrical experience includes everything from Radio, on which he appeared for a number of weeks emoting the works of Poe, Alcott, Hawthorne and Dickens, to Summer Stock, in which he appeared for two seasons in such plays as "Bishop Misbehaves", "Curious Savage", "Seven Keys to Baldpate, and "Harvey". His greatest interest in the Theatre is directed toward playwriting, which he intends to make his career. To date, three of his plays have been produced in the United States: a comedy about a Broadway actress's invasion of the Ozarks, a drama about a mentally ill novelist, and a quasi-factual mood play about Eritrea (the latter, he recently learned, was given a stateside production in March). The majority of his writings, though, have gotten only as far as his desk drawer, he admits surreptitiusly.
JAMES GOODRICH (Chris Keller)
Born in Ohio and graduated from his home state's Miami University, Jim's local stage debut was in the last production, "Born Yesterday", in which he appeared as the uproarious gentleman's gentleman, Eddie Brock. Jim was introduced to the Theatre Club through his remarkable portrayal of the sarcastic Ralph in the club's reading of "Tea and Sympathy".  His experience before arriving in Asmara includes performances in such plays as "Much Ado About Nothing", "Pinafore", "Night Must Fall",  in which he played the arrogant Hubert, and a number of other plays produced in Ohio.
SALLY BIRCHER (Kate Keller)
A Philadelphia girl, Sally has been interested in the Theatre for more years than she cares to remember. However, her most distinguished performance took place 'some time before World War II',  as she so aptly puts it, when she appeared with Mae Desmond in Summer Stock at the Newfoundland Playhouse. She has also managed to find time to appear in the Musical Theatre, her favorite production being "The Old Red Mill".  "All My Sons" marks Sally's local debut.
JEAN LAHAISE (Ann Deever)
One of the most versatile players in the cast, Jean has played such widely diversified roles as Lavinia in "Mourning Becomes Electra", Daphne ib "Present Laughter", and Nancy in "Angel Street".  Born in London, England, Jean's most satisfying theatrical experience was in a prolonged Shakespearean Festival held on the South Coast of England, where she appeared in a number of the Bard's masterpieces. The role of Ann is her first stage role in Asmara.
JOSEPH MONROTUS (George Deever)
Born in St. Louis, Monty's dramatic interest started there a number of years ago when be appeared as Jose LaRondo in "Spanish Christmas". Since then he has managed to appear in a number of plays before and after his entrance into Washington University. His first local appearance was in "Born Yesterday", followed by the Club's reading of "Pajama Game".
IAN ALEXANDER (Jim Bayliss)
Though Ian's career in the British Foreign Service prevents him from devoting a great deal of time to Theatre, he has managed to find time through the years to appear in such plays as "St. Joan" and "The Ghost Train" at school; and "Ten Little Indians", "Someone at the Door", "Hay Fever", and "George and Margaret" in Milan, Italy. Tonight's performance marks his Asmara debut.
DEE DEE HOCKMAN (Sue Bayliss)
One of Asmara's most popular performers, as the result of her captivating portrayal of Billie Dawn in "Born Yesterday", Dee Dee is also one of the club's most diligent workers. She became acquainted with show business during World War II, when she appeared in a number of musical soldier shows with Special Services. Among the plays in which she has taken part, "Born Yesterday", "John Loves Mary" and "You Can't Take it With You" stand out as her favorites.

GUY HART-DYKE (Frank Lubey)
Guy holds the record of being the only performer who has been in the last three Theatre Club presentations. His local debut was as the baffled Morris Dixon in "Present Laughter", which was followed by his delightful portrayal of Senator Hedges in "Born Yesterday".

DOE MONROTUS (Lydia Lubey)
Doe is making her second performance before an Asmara audience with her part in "All My Sons". Her first was the very attractive--if voiceless--manicurist in "Born Yesterday". She has appeared in Club readings of "Glass Menagerie" and "Pajama Game", plus putting considerable backstage stints in the last major production. In St. Louis, Doe made her stage debut as the promiscuous maid "Night Must Fall".

DENNIS BOAL (Bert)
Denny's theatrical career is getting off to a fine start, considering he made his stage debut in August in the Kagnew Station Musicettes original musical production, 'Tales of the Astro Rangers".

I have a copy of the first and second pages of 'IL Quotiadiano Eritreo' (Eritrean Daily News) for Wednesday, 28 December 1955 annoucing the visit of President Tito. There are seven pictures on the front page, all taken in Massawa. I recall standing beside the 'main drag' in Asmara as he and Haile Sellassie I drove by.

Also an article from the same paper, on 12 October 1955 on the massive new school, 'un maestoso Collegio'.


Some memories of Asmara from the point of view of an imaginative ten year old, daughter of  Doe and Joe Monrotus, now Kathleen Harris.

"I remember running around the huge Teatro Asmara theatre while my parents rehearsed. I remember Joe Hamilton, a good friend of my father's and the Kirpatrick and Wood Families, friends of my parents. The two years (1954 era) I spent in Asmara are the sharpest and best of my childhood.  I remember the name of the butcher, Gola and the baker, Finelli ..our street 10 Tarentina, and our maid/babysitter, Lillebrehan.  I rember the NCO club with the recessed dance floor, the taste of cactus apples, figadindas, sold on the street, a locust invasion (they slapped into us and then slid down our plastic raincoats) going to the mess hall for dog bones, standing at attention on base at Taps, and singing "The Yellow Rose of Texas" for some visiting big shot from Texas. Thinking of Asmara recently I remembered the amazing bougainvillaea, rich purple blossoms cascading over the walls. Occasionallly I enjoy dinner at the Asmara Restaurant in Cambridge, MA.  It was a treat to eat zigini and ingira again after many years.  I also have memories of drinking hot, sweet tea from a glass.

My dad's CO was Maj.Geisler. We had a wonderful vacation in Massawa.  I thought we would all die when the train, the litterina's tracks went over the edge of the mountain side.  We've got some home movies of Asmara, Haile Selassie and Massawa with my mom swimming in the Red Sea. I'm a high school teacher in Portland, Maine and teach refugee kids from Eritrea."


Some pertinent notes on Asmara gleaned from reading 'Ethiopia and Eritrea, 1941-1952' by Slyvia Pankurst;

January 20th is the annual great festival of the Epiphany (Timkrat) of the Ethiopian Church.


MENU of 'American Bar', 'CAPRICCIO RISTORANTE
 ASMARA, ERITREA 1955

My ex-wife made a wall plaque from a menu I saved. The paper was 9 by 13 with 10 little colorful 'clip arts' showing such as a soup bowl, a hunk of cheese, etc. I've approximated the layout by using a table format. The clip art was displayed five in each column denoting main entree, side dishes, desserts, etc. I've included the mispellings, etc since they were 'colorful' and I can recall the owner or manager typing the menu in a back room. We taught each other our languages. I ate often in this restaurant.

CARTA DEL GIORNO

SPECIAL PIZZE ALLA NAPOLETANA ETH. $0.70
FRESH BUTTER AND CELERY ETH. $ .035
MENU ITEM  PRICE  MENU ITEM PRICE
SPECIAL HORS D'OEUVRES $ 1.50 COLD ROAST PORK $ 1.50
HORS D'OEUVRES VARIES  $ 1.50 COLD ROAST BEEF  $ 1.50
CAVIALE AND TOAST S.O. COLD BOILED CHICKEN $ 1.50
- - COLD MOSAICO  $ 1.50

 
THICK OR VEGETABLE SOUP $ .80 MIXED ROAST PORK  $ 1.50
SPECIAL LASAGNE $ .80 SPECIAL FLET STEAK  $1.50
SPECIAL SPAGHETTI $ .80 MIXED RAOST PORK  $ 1.50
SPECIAL RAVIOLI .80 LIVER OR KIDNEY FRIED TON  1.50
CREAM CHICKEN SOUP .80 BACON EGGS FRIED TOMATO  1,50 
CREAM TOMATO SOUP .80 PORK CHOPS FRIED POTATOES  1.50
MINESTRONE SOUP .80 SPECIAL RUMP STEAK  1.50
CONSUME' WITH PASTA .80 SAUSAGES EGGS FRIED TOMATO  1.50
CONSUME' IN CUP .80 FRIED CHICKEN  1.50
CONSUME' CELESTINE .80 MUSHROOM OMELETTE  1.50
- - FRIED CHICKEN MARYLAND STYLE 1.50
- - CURRYED CHICKEN WITH RICE  2.00
- - CHICKEN SUPREME  2.00

 
FRIED OR BOILED FISH 1.75 FRESH SPINASH & FRIED TOMATO 
COLD PRAWNS WITH MAIONESE 1.75 FRESH BEANS & FRESH FRIED POTATOES 
FRIED OR CURRYED PRAWNS 1.75 FRIED ONIONS AND FRESH PEAS 
COCKTAIL PRAWNS 1.75 -

 
STRACCHINO CHEESE 1.== FRUIT SALAD WITH CREAM  1.==
GORGONZOLA CHEESE 1.== MIXED ITALIAN FRUIT  1,==
MOZZARELLA CHEESE 1.== BANANAS WITH CREAM  1.==
CREAM CHEESE 1.== STRAWBERY WITH CREAM 1.==
- - SPECIAL ICE CREAM  1.==

 
SPECIAL CAKE CREAM 1.== SPECIAL TURKIS COFFEE  .50
BOMBA SINGAPORE 1.== SPECIAL COFFEE  .25
BOMBA CAPRICCIO 1.== COFFEE AND MILK  .35
MERINGHE CREAM 1.== -  

Copyright, 1996-2015 Joe Nix where applicable
Web pages compiled, edited and maintained by Joe Nix nixit@charter.net

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