New, Exciting 'First of the Week'

photo: 13 members, incl 2 dogs

Today's members, not doing the club's trademarked
'yé-yé' kick.

Extinct Volcano Explains Paris Visit

Paris:- Thursday, 18. April 2002:- If it is club day for Metropole readers who are in Paris, and this is because it is Thursday again, and I don't understand why anybody would want to know what the weather is like.

However, as a responsible club secretary, and the person designated by 'Ed' to reply to letters - sample, "Tell me what the weather will be like on Thursday, 13. June, please!" - because, ha-ha, the writer intends to go to the races at Longchamp - well 'Ed' cannot reply with accuracy because today is not 13. June, is it?

No, the best that can be done is explain what the weather is doing today, even though we - if 'we' are more than just the club's secretary - will be under cover inside La Corona's 'grande salle' having a Café Metropole Club meeting.

For those who were outside in Paris today instead, or on the way to the meeting, it was about 15 degrees of the type that are common in the European area of the world, and whenever I tried to take a photo it was cloudy. When I wasn't trying, it was partly sunny. Around evening time it began to rain, weakly.

Tonight's TV-weather news has said it will be the same tomorrow too, and on Saturday, evenphoto: todays good stuff though yesterday's weather-guy was making big, and sunny promises for Saturday. It's a lucky thing the TV-weather people never run for elected office.

La Corona provides Barbara's 'Délice of the Week.'

I know about the photos and the clouds too because on the way to the club, I went two-thirds of the way across the Pont Neuf to photograph the Vert Galant park on the tip of the Ile de la Cité, and sunshine was not making its spring leaves bright green when I was ready to shoot.

This alone was probably enough to change Saturday's forecast. I'm sorry I tried to do it now. I was counting just as much as anybody on Saturday's weather being nice.

With the miserable future out of the way, I now intend to concentrate the rest of this report on today, the present, the happy here and now - more or less like any other 'club report.'

On entering La Corona, Patrick does not say 'le monde' is waiting in the club's area. Barbara and James Leighton from Portland, Oregon, had arrived at the un-club hour of 14:00 and had wisely used the time before the meeting to have lunch.

This they are finishing up with a 'délice' just as I roll up. The first thing they do, is tell me they came yesterday to the club meeting too.

And, on the way from Portland, they took advantage of a little layover between planes, to spend 12 hours in Dallas - thus making their first trip to Paris in their lifetimes about as long as it takes to get here from New Zealand.

It means, if it means anything, that Paris is worth getting to. They have come to the club meeting today after taking inventory on two of the Pompidou's many floors. They have seen all sorts of art they didn't particularly like in books, looking good in real life.

Barbara has especially appreciated the art centre's interior decor, its trick colors and its graphics - plus its artworks of course. The couple are going back there to see the rest of it.

In fact, James says, "I've invested the past five years in studying Paris for this trip." Tophoto: tea pot, cups ease this along, to get their money's worth - not just in lengthy flight times - they've got five-day museum passes and they intend to wring every cent of worth out of them, and skip all exceedingly long waiting lines in the process.

Even in Paris, some members prefer tea.

There have been so many new members from Oregon lately that I am sorry to tell them Portland isn't going to be the 'City of the Week.' But Barbara says they live on the flanks of an extinct volcano in Portland called Mont Tabor. I am sure this is good enough the become the 'Extinct Volcano of the Week,' and is a worthy major 'first' too if I'm not mistaken.

Then a gentleman joins the club by sitting down at one of the club's tables. I say 'gentleman' because he is wearing a sportjacket and a tie, which he removes when I mention it before I can photograph it. It could have been the 'Tie of the Week,' and everybody knows we have haven't had one of these for years.

Howard Simmons is from Toronto, which he does not tell me until much later, because he is waiting for his wife, Joyce, and three friends, Marie-Renée Hector, Linda Acker and Charlie the dog.

Instead he says, "Pittsburgh has a very nice airport." He probably says this because Jamesphoto: patrick, waiter of the week has claimed that Paris' Charles-de-Gaulle was not tidy or spiffy on Monday.

When I say it looked okay ten days ago, James admits not sleeping for 12 hours in a Dallas hotel on the way here, which may have affected his vision. The Leightons have since had time to see their hotel between Bastille and the Gare de Lyon, have great breakfasts in it, and walk all over the place from it.

If Patrick wasn't 'Waiter of the Week' he could become a regular club member like Dinny and Fred.

One of the Moyer mebers, the Dinny one, arrives with her friends, members Mary Kvitashvili, and Scrumpy - who became a member last year on 23. August and whose name is spelled correctly this time.

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