...Continued from page 1

A good part of everybody turned out to be in the Luxembourg garden, listening to some live afternoon music. After this, I decided to allow myself the luxury of a sitdown - to kind of pretend to be like everybody else.

After a while, I noticed another lounger and from the extremely relaxed posture, I wondered if it wasn't a familiar one.

On getting closer, I saw I was right. He was sitting on one of the park benches that are back-to-back. I sat down behind and quietly said, "Hey man, you wanna buy a watch?"

Dennis said, "What kind you got?"

We sat some more, with at least three palm trees in view, before deciding to go to a café, eat some free peanuts, and take a minor tour of the beachless Quartier Latin.

Café Metropole Club 'Updates'

I can't conceive of why you might have been somewhat lax about news of last Thursday's club meeting 'report.' Before doing anythingphoto: sign, interdiction absolue else, you can catch up with your club's 'news' right now by hitting this link to the "You Need To Speak Antarctican!" report - which now has Charleston placed in the correct state, thanks to Dana Shaw.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 29. August. The club's 'Saint's Day of the Week' next Thursday is Sainte-Sabine. The club's secretary intends to be at this meeting, even if this 'Sainte' isn't a lady.

Readers who want to become real club members can gloss over the meager details concerning this free club in eleven seconds by reading the large-sized Helvetica-type fine-print on the 'About the Club' page and maybe picking the virtual membership card right off the screen.

Joining the club - your club! - is almostphoto: les signaux as easy. Do it by being here! Keeping up with club 'news' is a breeze too - unless you forget. The reports about it are supposed go online right after the meetings, right after I finish writing them, slowly. If this actually happens this week, you can read the latest one in this magazine, which is online too.

Save 'Metropole Paris' as one of your favorite bookmarks to avoid mistyping its outrageously-long name every time you feel like reading a club report, or a regular edition like this one.

Metropole's Affiliates

The following product or service providers have chosen Metropole because their offers may be of value to you and I agree with them.

'Bookings' has extended their reservation service for a wide selection of Paris hotels. Check out their wider offers and make your choice long before your arrival in France. Try this one. Other Metropole readers have.

'HighwayToHealth' provides a 'city health profile' for Paris as well as travel insurance. If you have signed up for these services before you need them suddenly, you will benefit from them. I hope won't be the case, but 'Things Happen.'

'Petanque America' exports quality Obut boules from France and will ship them to you anywhere in the Americas - which will save you the effort of carrying them all the way from Paris. Be the first on your block to introduce the game of pétanque - or boules. Everybody can play this game, nearly anywhere - such as on any vacant lot covered with suitable dirt.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 6.35 - 27. Aug 2001 - The Café Metropole column began with another nearly forgotten breathless '33.7º C In Town.' The 'Au Bistro' column was skipped on account of August's boring non-news. This issue had one feature titled, 'Anyone for Tenting? Never Too Late for It.' There was a double-subject email feature called 'Killer Trees and Too Much Citron Pressé.' The update for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 30. August was called the "Walked 'Miles' To the Club" report. The two Scene columns concerned 'Final August Final' and the 'Fall Scene - from photo: sign, vins a emporterSeptember to December.' There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, "We're Camping Here!"

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 5.35 - 28. Aug 2000 - This week's Café Metropole column was titled 'Whoopee! It's 'Rentrée' Time.' What whoopee? The 'Au Bistro' column's headline was 'Sky-High Fuel Prices.' The lone feature of the week was titled, 'The Day Before the Dog-Days In the Luxembourg.' The Café Metropole Club update for this issue on 31. August, was called the 'Fifth Visit - Going On Sixth' report. The 'Scene' column's headline was 'More September Futures.' The usual four 'Posters of the Week' were on view too and Ric's Cartoon of the Week had the caption of 'Watch the Paint!' Watch the paint what? Sleep?

Countback To the Libération

General Dwight D Eisenhower sent an order to General Pierre Koenig, commander of the 'French Forces of the Interior,' known as the FFI. It said, "No armed movements are to go off in Paris or anywhere else." The commander of the Allied invasion forces did not want to get 'bogged down' in the city, or become responsible for feeding four million Parisians.

Without telling Eisenhower, General Charles de Gaulle ordered FFI General Koenig to seize the city, and told General Leclerc to ignore the Allied command, and shift his tanks toward Paris.

In Paris the police went on strike and 3000 armed gendarmes captured the Police Prefecturephoto: 25 august 1944 memorial, ffi on Saturday, 19. August. Although given an explicit order by Hitler to destroy Paris, General Dietrich von Choltitz negotiated a fragile deal to end hostilities with the FFI the next day.

This delicate transition was aided by the Swedish General Consul, Raoul Nordling, who sent emissaries through the lines to urge General Omar Bradley to divert Allied armies to Paris - so that occupying forces could surrender to regular troops.

General Bradley recognized the implications of the situation, and ordered General Leclerc to proceed to Paris. His 2nd Armored Division entered Paris early on Friday, 25. August 1944, closely followed by the US 4th Infantry Division, enabling General von Choltitz to formally surrender.

General Charles de Gaulle made his famous march down the Champs- Elysées a day later, on Saturday, 26. August - 58 years ago today. The fighting wasn't completely over, but the 'occupation' - begun on Friday, 14. June 1940 - was.
signature, regards, ric

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