The Club's First 'John Wayne Day'

photo: cissell family, richardson, texas

The Cissell family's 'last stand' at La Corona.

What Does 'Odorless' Smell Like?

Paris:- Thursday, 8. March 2001:- Since the sun is not shining and it is not snowing or raining, I think I will skip the usual weather report for the club's meeting day. It is warm for March though, but this does not mean it is exactly bikini season yet. Easter's snows are to come, as sure as taxes.

Since the sun was shining yesterday I fear the club's camera batteries may be weak, so I do not fool around taking a lot of utility shots on the way to the club - except for the nearly 'X-rated' Yves Saint-Laurent poster just outside the café.

I have a sneaking feeling that what looks like a good crop of posters early this week, will disappear by tomorrow. This has happened before, with surprise posters going up on Monday and then disappearing before I get them. Paris is full of surprises.

This is how I arrive at the club's café La Corona before any of its members. The street's other café and a lot of thephoto: alan lewis sandwich shops on the Quai du Louvre are closed, so there are more 'pilgrims' in the club's area than usual.

Alan Lewis has been eating a lot at a friendly 'duck' restaurant since arriving from Roissy.

On the dot of 15:00, Central European Time, the whole Cissell family arrives to join the club. They have come straight from Dallas in Texas, with a stopover at Roissy and another short one at their rented apartment a few blocks away.

Tim Cissell is a very long-time reader of Metropole Paris. How long he was reading it before he first wrote in October of 1997, I don't know - but when he signs the members' booklet he writes that we had another meeting set up three years ago. That was B.t.C. - 'before the club' - but it didn't happen.

Well, finally, all the Cissells are here - Amy, Caitlin and Colman, as well as Tim, and each and every one of them is jet-lagged. Tim has himself a pastis to fix this. Caitlin and Colman are too tired to have anything. Amy has - I forget - I must be métro-lagged.

When Alan Lewis arrives it is immediately apparent that we are jammed into a corner because he is closely followed by Ron Fox and Charles Eitel. We snag an unused long table, turn it around, et voilà, we have room for eight.

I know Alan because he became a member at the club's 25th meeting on 30. March of last year. Although it seems like only yesterday that I saw him last, he has to help me out with his name.

He tells me he has La Bohème Restaurant in Carmel, California - again! - and I remember this immediately but confuse it with all the club's other restaurant members and friends in Sausalito.

This is further confused by Tim saying he's played at 'The Plant' recording studio there. And while he'sphoto: ron fox still awake, Colman tells me about playing piano on a jazz tour he did in Germany.

Ron Fox is another brandnew member. He gives his hometown as Paris, with 'formerly New York City' added. When pinned down he admits this 'former' was Manhattan. I think this leaves Staten Island as the only unrepresented borough out of the five.

Ron Fox has traded Manhattan for Paris as his hometown.

Tim tells me he was worried about what sort of a response he should have to Paris' beggars. He says - this was either today or on an earlier visit - that when one approached him in the métro, he pretended to be a busy visitor with a train to catch and waved the guy off.

He now thinks it was possibly an official métro ticket-checker, in a somewhat rumpled suit. This brings out all of everybody's ticket-checker stories, and the whole Cissell family suddenly wilts.

They are out of the door before I remember I have not taken any photos of today's members. I leap up and out and catch them as they are trying to put one foot in front of the other - actually four feet in front of four others - and get them propped up on La Corona's terrace, and pop them before they fall down.

At this point today's meeting is 30 minutes old, and all that's left of it for members are four guys and the club's secretary, who is also a guy. I don't remember this happening before. I don't think this is worth any 'Something of the Week.'

For prospective lady members and all other members who are not present, I can proudly say that for the following 90 minutes we do not discuss any professionl sports, scores, hunting, fishing, or any other 'guy' stuff.

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