Record New 'Charter' Member Day

photo: l->r: paul, joanne, bertha, scoop, doug, susan, kathleen

Light-deprived photo shows only six of ten
new club members.

News from the 'Café Metropole Club'

Paris:- Thursday, 23. December 1999:- I come huff-puffing into the café La Corona from the Quai du Louvre about five minutes late. No time for café shots today so I pop off at the expresso machine a couple of times. I think this is full of symbolism. La Corona is a café which is also French for coffee.

Monsieur Ferrat is dealing with the machine, but is blurred by the slow shutter speed, ending up as an express-phantom. Club members are waiting for the meeting to start, he says.

The café is busy today, with the entrance to the small 'salle' blocked off. In the club's area at the rear of the big 'salle' I find the Maginniss family waiting; Bertha, L. W. aka 'Scoop' and their son, James. James is from Los Angeles, and his parents live in Aldie, Virginia.

I perform the usual ceremony and induct Aldie into thephoto: l-> kathleen, malou, marc club's growing list of - no, not city, but - 'Village of the Week,' after Bertha tells me it has 389 inhabitants. The 'ceremony' involved is getting the spelling right.

On the right, two more new club members. Sylvan Suskin not shown on account of blur or over-blitz.

Savannah, Georgia does not make it. Frankly, I do not remember why Savannah is in my notes and I have nothing against Savannah, but if we have a 'Village of the Week' we are not going to have a 'City of the Week' too no matter how much merit it has.

Oh. Here it is. This is where Susan and Doug Fuss come from - when they aren't living in Paris; where they live for a part of each year. Savannah is only part-time, so Aldie gets it.

Susan and Doug Fuss live in Paris part-time because they lived here full-time for a long time, and after a time they decided to come back, possibly because living the other part-time in Savannah, Georgia is close enough to Florida to not want to live there.

After giving the club a skip last week, Kathleen Bouvier zooms into the club's area. You may remember she lives in Paris, and sad as I am to write it, Paris is not going to get to be 'City of the Week.' Savannah will get another chance though.

Whoeee! Joanne Fischer and Paul Smith arrive from Houston, Texas.

Metropole has had a lot to do with Beaumont, Texas lately - with Jerry Stopher writing inphoto: gumby and pokey this issue about riding around Paris in a 'Traction' without a gas cap, Harry 'finding' one, Adrian Leeds bringing up 'N'Awlins' gumbo last week, and a friend of Jerry's being a Jay who knows Adrian, and pretty near the whole lot of them are now exchanging Louisiana-Texas hot food email recipes, which may not be strictly legal in certain states..

The club's 'Animals of the Week' - Gumby and Pokey live it up in Paris.

This is not exactly off the point, because today Jan and Dana Shaw, who were not just club members but very regular ones, are not with us so there is no club 'Food of the Week' and La Corona - which is not named after a Mexican beer - does not have any gumbo other than onion soup.

Joanne tells me she lived in Houston for months before meeting anybody who was born there. While I'm trying to think up a snappy answer to this news, she hauls out her travelling companions, Gumby and Pokey, for everybody to admire.

Although these two are inedible, they become the club's 'Animals of the Week.' Don't ask me what kind of animals they are, other than plastic. They have a 'story' but since I am US-TV-deprived, I don't follow it.

'Scoop' Maginniss and Doug Fuss exchange tips on how to hook up a US-origin laptop to a France Télécom line. Doug says Tandy out at La Défense has a 'fiche' - which may be true except that Tandy isn't there anymore, and exotic bits-and-pieces seekers are flat out of luck these days.

'Scoop' Maginniss then shows us his PMU wagering tickets and the issue of 'Paris-Turf' that hephoto: scoop and paris turf used for picking today's 'lucky' horses. Not many members come to the club with a valid issue of this world-famous horse-picking racing paper and I wonder if this will become a trend. Maybe next spring we can hold club meeting out at Longchamp, which is a fine racetrack.

I am running on pure memory now because I can't get all this and write it down too. This is when the Suskin family shows up - with city names in Belgium, France, and Oberlin, Ohio as well as Boulogne-Billancourt.

Scoop does not tell us the horses' names on his lucky betting tickets.

This last is because Sylvan Suskin is a Professor in the music business, Malou is from France - to which they've returned every year for the last 30 or more - and they have an apartment in Boulogne. Their son Marc is learning the international lawyer business in - oh, I forget.

The weather outside is not pouring overbright sunspots inside to wreck the photos, but the camera is dubious about La Corona's slightly dim inside light. The ten brand-new 'charter' club members will not fit into its viewfinder anyway, so there is no group-shot of this session.

But - alors! - ten new club members all at once! Who is it - even has their 'virtual' membershipphoto: today's cafe day card turned into a really one, via the good offices of a color printer. Another first! A membership card - in color! - at the club.

I am staggered with joy. What a present for the day before Christmas Eve in Paris!

One last item: today's La Corona waiter has been Patrick who has returned from his vacation. He says that La Corona expects to be pretty full of civilians next week, so the club's reserved space may be reduced a bit.

Near the meeting's end, a horde of big but empty café cups.

Now that I've seen 11 members in it, another 20 will easily fit in - minus maybe ten next week on account of the big crush in town to see the big 2000 in Paris, in person.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

Next Thursday, 30. December, is a not-quite perfectly ordinary Thursday because it is the day before New Years Eve - meaning it is the next-to-last chance for possible late-night anything - in France, in Europe, in this millennium.

The café La Corona meeting place will be as open as usual, so the time for your club's meeting still is from 15:00 to 17:00. Be sure to come extra early. If there are civilians among us, we will make them club members too, thus maybe having a full-house. The place is:

Café-Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral Coligny
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre-Rivoli or Pont-Neuf

A bientôt à Paris,
signature, regards, ric

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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