Birthday Party of the Week

photo: 1st club birthday cake

Blowing out one 'bougie' was easy; cutting the rose
into 16 slices wasn't.

Next Year: the Club's 2nd Birthday

Paris:- Thursday, 5. October 2000:- For the grand occasion of your club's first birthday, I've gotten Claudio to give me a whisker-trim on the cuff. He's an avid club fan, but he can't come to meetings because he has to stay in his hair salon, serenading the ladies under the hair dryers.

The boulangerie ladies have concocted a birthday cake for the club and toss in one blue 'bougie' for free. They gave me a choice of four colors to choose from. La Corona's management has said it will provide plates; as a gift to the club.

Yes! Club members! It is the big day; the one for the meeting that marks the first birthday of your own Café Metropole Club - the only 'real' club in Paris for the readers of this online magazine, Metropole Paris.

So today I am not going to bother with the weather, which is not worth talking about anyway. In mounting excitement I ride the métro down to Châtelet, just bursting to tell other passengers I'm carrying a birthday cake made especially for club members.

I think I should get to the club a bit early and I do this. Club members must be even more excited, becausephoto: group one nearly a half-dozen have already taken over the club's area in the café - which is a good sign.

Non-panoramic view of some of the members present today; partying.

However this does not allow me time to arrange tables and get the vital date facts into the member's and the 'report' booklets. All I can say is 'to heck' with the regular setup, and since it appears as if 15 or 16 members are present, the party never gets organized in its usual PiPaPo fashion. 'To heck,' I say.

First there are Natalia and Tom Yanul from Chicago. They are early because they are early because they are with Irina and Valery Stevenet and they have an early train to catch to get back to Boulogne-sur-Mer early.

Tom has brought his big home-made panoramic camera, which is the one he parks at Paris' Bibliothèque Historique, which is the same as the big home-made one he parks in Chicago. As America's Last Banquet Photographer, he is naturally interested in 'big affairs' - such as this first birthday party for your club.

As I am sorting this out, all the other party people arrive pretty quickly; so I'm not sure of their order because there's no place for me to sit down and observe the proceedings. At the same time, the new members do not fill in the member's booklet in order, so it's no help.

Robert von Maier is from San Diego. He has converted himself from being an writer on underwater affairs into writing about cars, and there just happens to be a very big International Auto Salon on in Paris right now.

Richard Miller says he's in Paris to see the new Porsche at the auto show too, while Cheryl Sylvester says she merely intends to play and eat and see museums and look at antiques andphoto: club party table all the rest of the stuff she "hasn't done yet." She has already noticed that Paris is not like Fairfax, Virginia, for example.

I should mention here that I've drawn a sketch of a 'portrait' gallery with everybody's name under their sketch faces. When this is pretty accurate, more people come, and the people who were sitting at one end of the tables, move to the other end.

Today's meeting set Guinness' record for most tables in use.

At the same time the member's booklet is moving slowly from south to north. The server-lady Linda Thalman and her side-kick, Adrian Leeds, do not lessen the confusion much. Luckily I know who they are. Quite a bit later, long-time member Doug Fuss drops by too, but not from inspecting Polish salt mines.

Cheryl Sylvester says she comes to Paris for 'U. T. T. P.' And, she adds, "L. B. F." This comes out as 'Usual Trip To Paris' and 'La Belle France,' and then she continues with the subject of 'vice.'

At the other end of the table Jude Wood has sneaked in from New Zealand by way of Paris. Before I can find out more about this, Betty and Jerry Blizin - 'I'm not Greek' - tell me all about the Greek sponge divers who used to operate in their home town of Tarpon Springs, Florida.

In memory of other east Florida members, Tarpon Springs becomes today's 'City of the Week' because it is somewhere near Pompano Beach.

Shirley and Walter Pappas totally upset my applecart by not being Greek either, but by being from Falls Church, Virginia. This I confirm from the few notes I've made, because the members' booklet never gets close enough for them to write anything in it.

Walter knows the origin of the name of the 'Kir' apéros he and Shirley are havig. "Named after the deputy mayor of Cassis during the war, because he hid all of the Cassis vital for 'Kir' apéros somewhere near Dijon. His name was 'Kir.'"

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