horz line

Where's the Other Moyer?

photo: group, part one

The first of two less than full 'Group of the Week' photos.

"Einstein is Worried About Us"

Paris:- Thursday, 16. October 2003:- A terrible mistake has been made today, and it is entirely the club secretary's fault. If the Café Metropole Club had a way of giving members or its secretary the heave-ho - then out he would go to land smack on his dumb head.

Here it is, today's meeting and there are four new members, and the secretary shows them the club'sphoto: allan pangborn, cafe metropole wine out-of-rules questionnaire, and never looks at the opposite page one of the first members' booklet. What does it say? The very top line, the first thing written in it?

It says the first meeting of the Café Metropole Club was held in the café La Corona on Thursday, 14. October 1999. It means your club's secretary has completely blown the club's fourth birthday! He 'thought' it was - maybe - the meeting after next.

Winemaker Allan Pangborn, behind a bottle of Café Metropole Blanc de Blanc.

No excuse that he has been bringing the members' list up-to-date, and knows that members' numbers and meeting numbers are wrong. There is no excuse for this either! The club has 'no rules' as everybody knows, but if it had only one, there would be a strict rule forbidding blind and bungling club secretaries.

And Now for the Weather

Here is good news. The secretary can't flub this. Contrary to thousands of years of recorded weather 'usual for the time of year,' Paris is defying the statistics and is giving us pure blue skies and the forecast is to keep on doing it until Sunday.

The predicted daily highs of 14 degrees are normal enough and maybe even a degree or two low, but if you find a stone wall facing the afternoon sun and a free garden chair to park in front of it, it will feel warmer, mellow and really comfy - possibly all three at once.

Today's Club Meeting 'Report' Might be Its 207th

The weather is so good I feel really featherheaded as I make my way to today's meeting. I successfully get on the Métro and I get out of it just as successfully at Châtelet. Passing through the habitual 600-year old alleys to the club, I drop a quick 'hiya' on Helga, the 'Stern' lady. She is cutting sad stories out of French newspapers to send to Hamburg. 'Stern' is a pro- republican magazine, like France is supposed to be a republic.

Out on the Quai du Louvre the sunlight is nearly blinding. Word must be out because there are a fair number of people about who appear to be jobless, or are ignoring them by idly walking around in the sunshine.

In the 'grande salle' of the café La Corona I find member Dennis Moyer, together with newphoto: croque monsieur member Herb Finch, sitting in the café's smoking section because several groups of civilians are having leisurely lunches in the club's 'no smoking' area.

The 'Food of the Week' was a Croque Monsieur because there were two.

We try a table and a half next to the diners, but so many members arrive, that it becomes ridiculous within a few minutes. We move to a long bank of tables below a mirrored wall in the 'smoking' section. I sit down and begin to enter the statistics in the club's booklets but have to get up for a minute, and my chair gets swiped.

Dennis tells me that Herb is an explorer, but before either can tell me anything about Mongolia, club member and Café Metropole sparkling wine maker Allan Pangborn arrives. He has brought a bottle of the club's own brand of wine with him - and it's cold.

"There's no ice here, so I put it in the fridge," he says. While I go off to the bar to ask Monsieur Naudan for some glasses - six - seven or eight more club members arrive.

Hardly before I can note down any names, Tomoko Yokomitsu says, "It's sparkling wine, like champagne."

Allan, never knowing who will read this, says, "We're supposed to call it sparkling wine even if it is made with the 'methode champenoise.'"

By before now, also present are Laurel Avery, Barry Wright and Laurel Robinson. I have called for extra glasses and Laurel number one has ordered a croque monsieur. Barry gets literary and says, "I am in despair. I am reading a book that makes me realize I'm never going to write a book like this."

He has this huge book, titled 'The Unicorn Hunt, by Dorothy Dunnett. He spells the names for me several times, from the opposite end of the table. He says Dunnett's husband was really secret agent '007,' but co-agent Ian Flemming got write trashy books about it.

Herb says, "Mongolia is twice the size of Texas but has only one city - Ulan Bator." I know this too because I have atlases so old they show the British Empire in pink and the Reds' Empire in red. Dennis says, "I am a refugee from the United States."

Yolanda and Richard Massie, fromphoto: wine, glasses Brooklyn, New York, make an elegant entrance and get installed at my end of the line of tables. Richard is a photographer and is always coming to Paris to look at photos here.

The first time I met the couple, Richard had a standard-issue, well-used, Leica M3. Last time he was at a club meeting he still had it, plus something spiffy and new. This time he has a new, monster 6x4.5 rangefinder camera. He also has a tiny, silver, new digital camera that he says is magical, even though it has no phone.

A bit of club table landscape today.

He has a fairly standard, large-size, camera bag. In it he has a second monster 6x4.5 rangefinder camera, or maybe it's a 6x9 - another film camera and another digital camera. Is he smuggling cameras?

"No," he says. "This year we're going to Venice and Rome. These places require wider cameras. I don't change film, I just change cameras."

Halfway into the meeting there are ten members present, including Donna Norris from Evanston, Illinois. At the far end of the tables Philip Bentley is sitting beside Herb, and Lauren Camera-Murray is at the end, next to Dennis.

The members are ordering drinks to accompany the sparkling wine and some are ordering food, like the croque monsieur Laurel has already had. The 'waiter of the week' is having problems. About once every ten minutes a whole tray of glasses and plates cascades to the tile floor. It is an event that is a club 'first,' even though none of these accidents involve any of our club glasses and plates.

The meeting's 'Group Photo of the Week' isn't because Dennis leaves early. The Massies are about to leave, so 'Group Photos' that aren't whole are hastily arranged. The 'Waiter of the Week' barges through one of them.

Richard and Yolanda tell me about taking Spanish lessons near Woodside, near Roosevelt Avenue in Queens, and getting discouraged when they were told that Spanish in America isn't like Spanish in Spain.

Allan recalls having a Mexican-Spanish assistant along on a champagne-tool buying trip in Spain, and findingphoto: some of richard's cameras the guy couldn't understand a word. My experience on Roosevelt Avenue was positive though, even with my learned-in-Spain Spanish - to say 'hello' and 'goodbye,' and get café-doubles and Cuban sandwiches, at least.

Four-fifths of Richard Massie's cameras for Venice and Rome.

Paula, Mrs. Pangborn arrives. The Pangborns flew from Seattle to New York and from New York to Paris yesterday, carrying half of a six-pack of Café Metropole sparkling wine. Paula's original hometown is the 'City of the Week' because it is Lahti in Finland. She met Allan, she says, "In Austria, in an old castle above the Danube."

While Allan works at riddling wine all day, Paula runs the two coffee shops she owns in Kennewick, in eastern Washington. Allan made some of the equipment in the shops before he built the Moonlight winery.

Donna is saying that she thinks it may be time to buy a bit of gold bullion when Diane Moon and Barry Black arrive. They both come from Santa Fe, and Lauren Avery tricked them into coming to the meeting to become members. They must think they are in the house of whacko, because the 'Waiter of the Week' lets another tray of glasses and plates slide to the floor, with loud results.

With my back to the room I have not been able to observe the air situation, but something flits at the corner of my vision. It is, yes! - Willy the Sparrow. Somewhat later than usual, but in high spirits he flies out of the café's front door and back in by the terrace door. Allan says it is two different birds. One of them is fatter than Willy.

Barry Black - not Barry Wright - asks, "Did he wave when he went past?"

Tomoko says, "Einstein is worried about us," or would be, if he knew how we are doing. Somephoto: group, part two club members think no one is listening, or if they are listening, will not remember anything.

The 'Waiter of the Week' tells me he hasn't forgotten the café I ordered around four. I tell him to hold it until I get back next week.

The second of two less than full 'Group of the Week' photos.

Lauren says Steve finally couldn't get out of working, in case I'm wondering where he is. She says, when I tell her that it's the club anniversary soon, "I will have something 'real' to drink then, for the club's anniversary."

After today, I think I need one too. Two Barrys, two Laurels, one Lauren, five cameras, Willy was late and Dennis left. Where's the other Moyer?

Shameless Plugs

The first is for the sparkling wine club members were drinking today. If you live in the right states you can order all you want by clicking on the Café Metropole wine mentions in either the left or right columns on this page.

Next week's meeting will not celebrate the Café Metropole Club's four years of existence, but the beginning of its fifth year. Don't miss it!

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' About Page

photo: book, the unicorn hunt, dorothy dunnettWriting a club meeting report is less fun than being any of today's 14 members, but somebody has to do it or you won't have anything to read here. Also read the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page too. It will tell you a lot less than a great deal about the club, and says how few 'rules' it has. If you feel you need to know more than this, you are flat out of luck.

The book Barry Wright isn't going to write.

One other fact - there are only about two - is worth remembering. You can become a lifetime member of this online magazine's free, live, and real club by simply attending any of its meetings in Paris. There's no point in asking about the other 'fact.'

Who, What, When, How, Where, Why Not?

The weekly club meetings start about 15:00 sharp on Thursdays and continue until about 17:00, in the European Zone of Paris Time - which is really 'CET' for short and not 'BoFaz' - and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm. Paris is the only part of the world where these meetings happen although there are lots of other cities with metrical times.

Doing anything at a meeting is usually tolerated. True 'firsts' are more than welcome though,graphic: club location map with 'first' having a higher 'report' value than 'true.' Don't get me wrong - 'true' is okay too. The 'Waiter of the Week' is an exception. This is a special-purpose case rather than a regular club ex-'rule' or French-type 'exception.'

If you prefer to be 'not found' on the Internet, please let the club's secretary know before you become mildly famous for a week. 'No rules' have ceased being an 'exception' and are still 'ex-rules.' There were some other timeless 'exceptions,' but their time is up.

Talking in multiple languages at meetings is fine. Dancing may be permitted too. Sit wherever you like. Whatever you say may be honestly appreciated by the other members present, if they are listening, which they do sometimes - and by all readers of this online magazine, if it should happen to be written here, as some of it is, sometimes, but not nearly always.*

*The above paragraphs are unchanged since last week because Dennis never intends to stay for an entire club meeting, and never has.

The café's location is:

Café-Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral de Coligny - or - 30. Quai du Louvre
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre-Rivoli, Pont-Neuf or Châtelet.
Every Thursday from 15:00 to 17:00.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

horz line
Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini