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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 whol 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.


Continued on page 2...
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