Exciting New 'Tip of the Week'

photo: club group of 12

All of today's members, except Amber Cardone who
is behind Elizabeth Krekorian.

Bring Batteries to the Catacombs

Paris:- Thursday, 15. February 2001:- In Monday's 'Café Metropole' column I went far out on a limb to pass on a TV-weather news prediction of good weather arriving this week. All I can say now, it is pretty unusual for a three-day long-range TV-weather forecast to be correct, but it is.

We are having the 'nice weather in Paris week' today. We had it yesterday, and we might have it tomorrow. It is not the 98-percent-fine that sometimes happens in February, but it is darn close enough.

It almost seems to be a shame to hold an indoors club meeting. Fanatics of the D-rays are arrayed on the tip of the Ile de la Cité, on the Pont des Arts and below the footbridge on the right-bank quayside,photo: drink clink and they are rightly grilling themselves.

And this is what comfort-grillers are doing on the terrace of the Café Metropole Club's café La Corona, while café waiters scurry around bringing them glass-fulls of refreshments. Even though it is all too good to be true, it is true.

While I am recording this with the camera, Edgar Ladouceur from Ottawa, Ontario, catches me in the act. It is exactly 15:00, and this means it is club time again.

A spontaneous 'clink-drink' is restaged for the photo by all hands.

Edgar is in town for the Salon de l'Agriculture, a bit early, because he wants to sample some French agricultural products that are served by restaurants. He comes for this every year, and to see the beautiful cows.

We are no sooner settled than Erica Gonzalez and Al Riley are volunteering to become club members. They are from Chicago, but Al tells me he found out about the club by looking for 'pétanque.'

He found it - the pétanque club - in, "Champaign! - from Chicago it is 170 miles straight south." He says it like 'Champagne' and it is the home of the University of Illinois.

Charles Eitel has come in. He is still trying to talk his wife into getting some miniature house dog, and they went out for a walk so he could point samples out. But, "Whenever you're not looking for them, they're everywhere - but when you are -"

I might as well say right here this meeting gets out of hand quickly, because five already-members clock in, and seven brandnew members sign up for life.

Elizabeth Anne Krekorian comes from Chesterfield, Missouri - as a kind of advance scout for Shirley Lindsay, who nobody except other club members who live nearphoto: non booze, light St. Louis has met yet - but who is already semi-famous in Paris for relentlessly looking for a particular painting by Maurice Utrillo.

Since all of the following new members are all from New Jersey, I declare Chesterfield, Missouri to be the 'City of the Week' closely followed by pétanque-playing Champaign, Illinois.

One of the 'Drinks of the Week' is not Orangina.

Now, from New Jersey, the club has new members Amber Cardone from Monclair, Maryellen and Joseph Nizza from Ridgefield Park, and Chris Powers from Teaneck. Already-members Eileen De Micco and Marilyn Burke, both from New Jersey too, are responsible for this invasion from Jersey.

Another already-member arrives, who I have not met before because I was on holiday. This is Schuyler Hoffman from Seattle, who runs an outfit called SkyVue Paris Adventures, which is a tour service and not a flying club.

Before I get everybody up and squeezed into a sun-free corner of the café for today's group photo, I need to know if Charles is growing a beard - or threatening to do so as a way of getting a dog. Or instead of getting a dog, as he claims.

Charles says he can't get beyond five days, an Edgar says he's got to get over the 10-day limit. Al says he's thinking of growing one too, and while he's thinking about it thoughtfully, he counts himself and the other members and says, "You've broken the record! Thirteen members!"

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