The Club's 'First' Ladies Day

photo: part group, patricia, terrie, linda

Of four 'in focus' group photos, this fifth one
suits today's meeting best.

"Hah Hah, Heh Heh, HA HAR HAR!"

Paris:- Thursday, 24. January 2002:- Since it is a Thursday teachers are gathered at Châtelet for a march to the Opéra. On the kids' half day off yesterday, teachers were in their classes - because doctors has taken over the streets to celebrate the 'Journée Sans Toubib.'

It is fairly breezy today and the low clouds will drop some rain soon. It is a perfect day for letting parents look after their kids, while their regular minders lark about Paris with a 'militant' parade to the Opéra.

Before I leave this colorful scene I manage to buy 1euro 3 sign-worth of Léon Trotsky's thoughts on the subject, containing 'Toute la Vérité' no less, from a guy retired from La Poste, who is here in solidarity with the teachers.

This gathering of 'protesting workers' is causing a traffic shambles on the Boulevard Sébasto, in the Rue de Rivoli and on the Seine quays and drivers are behaving like New York drivers, by leaning on their hooters, hard and steadily.

I escape this by taking my usual back streets to the club just as rain makes its first attempts tophoto: purple nails glisten the sidewalks. At the Pont Neuf corner, helpless cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles and scooters are in a hopeless tangle, all criss-crossed.

A truely purple club meeting, with dress and accessories to match.

In the café La Corona I find last week's new member, Terrie Blazek, just finishing up a tureen of onion soup. This is in a non- clubland part of the café's 'Grand Salle,' so we scoot over to the club's home banquettes before some civilians can install themselves.

We barely have our coats arranged when the server-lady, Linda Thalman, arrives draped in a shawl she picked up at a flea market in Oman. She also has fingernails to match, and this makes her exceedingly chipper.

Chipper enough to drop a kilo of keys on a table with a crash, almost into her balloon of rouge. "Guess where I'm having a holiday," she teases. "These keys are for a three-day holiday in Paris!"

Then she adds, "Don't put this in," while she also drops her latest book find on the table. It is 'La Chute' by Albert Camus. "I just bopped in," she adds, somewhat needlessly.

I am not sure what it is I'm 'not supposed to put in,' so here is all of it. Linda meets Terrie whophoto: sancerre has been thinking Linda works as a waitress in La Corona - the 'server-lady' title - and they both find out they are 'cat ladies.'

Terrie says she has a French-speaking Siamese. Linda asks her if she looks at 'Cat of the Day' too. This reminds Linda that Berta Maginniss also has a thing with cats.

They compare cat numbers and Terrie has three to Linda's two, plus a horse and 'hundreds of geese.' Linda does things with her Omani scarf, which she says cost her 20 'old francs.' We admire her colored nails.

At one point Linda is shocked when Terrie tells her that there are people who 'do not like Paris.' Linda cannot believe this. She intends to 'go on vacation' in Paris real soon - the Cadillac Ranch is kind of dreary in winter I guess, but this may be another thing I'm 'not supposed to put in.'

Terrie tells us about the adventure she had in a taxi that helped make her decide to move into the hotel where shephoto: lindas paris keys usually stays in the 7th arrondissement. It is a good thing she used to be a nurse she thinks, but the taxi driver didn't reduce her fare by one new 'cent' after she fixed him up.

The kilo of keys to the server-lady's 'holiday' in Paris.

It is an interesting meeting - between cats, geese, 'open spaces' in architecture, and taxi stories - until 16:30 when Patricia Philbin arrives - which Linda thinks is a co-incidence because she's brought the book by Camus, which Patricia suggested.

Patricia joined the club in Paris during the dual meetings in New York and Paris on Thursday, 27. December, so I ask her to sign the members' booklet, rectificationly.

After some discussion of the Seine's postal services during France's 1871 disagreement with Germany, Linda suggests holding a club meeting at the racetrack at Longchamp. I am all for this if races featuring horses happen to be on a Thursday.

Terrie discovers she has a cigarette lighter the same color as Linda's fingernails, so they make a trade. Linda's looks it was designed by a ladybug in a bad mood, but Terrie's is kid-proof. It's also perfect for non-smokers, because it requires rocket-science to operate.

At the stroke of 17:00 Dinny Moyer arrives. The group photo has already been taken, and wen I try to get the four ladies on their feet again, there is overt rebellion which amounts to outright refusal.

Continued on page 2...
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