horz line

photo: susan, maureen, terry, kevin, siobban, gwen, steve, paul, tomoko, joann, wayne, linda

Most of today's members – most with their eyes wide open.

A 'No Turkey' Meeting

Paris:- Thursday, 27. November 2003:- Tonight's forecast will be a short one because it is chilly. We had a high of seven or eight today, but without yesterday's breezes. Tomorrow, if we're lucky, it will be eight degrees again.

The coming weekend will see a near heatwave with temperature numbers doubling to two digits, while the values are predicted to be merely 11, and 12 for Sunday.

Skywise things are not nearly so cheery, with some sun peeking out of the clouds tomorrow, some sun making a passing appearance on Saturday - probably before anyone is awake - and on Sunday no sun at all on account of some rain.

Regardless of Sunday's rain factor, the Seine-side roadways normally closed to motor traffic from April to mid-November, will remain closed on Sundays all through the winter, until March when they will be closed on Sundays again.

This means, thanks to Paris' faction of greenies, that strollers, bikers, rollers and other gentle souls with feet and unmotored wheels will be able to enjoy views formerly reserved for automobilistas on Sundays in winter.

However nothing good in France ever happens without 'exceptions.' These will be the three Sundays in December that stores are open for the holiday orgy of shopping frenzy. Shoppers with or without cars should note that these dates are the 7, 14 and 21 December, which are all Sundays. So far, there are no 'exceptions' noted for the Soldes d'Hiver in January.

This Year's Only Thanksgiving Day Club Meeting 'Report'

Despite rising earlier and doing various chores sooner, I am a tad late when I leave for today's clubphoto: piano, bongo meeting. I have no valid reason for mentioning this because the Métro runs on time and I get out of it at Châtelet on time and tramp through my alleys and cruise along the Quai du Louvre, to arrive at the club's café, La Corona, ahead of time.

You've met Bongo. Now here's Piano, on the left.

I could have saved my breath because member Linda Thalman is in the club's location on the café's 'grande salle' before me. It is a new trick by members - to arrive for a club meeting before the club's secretary. If I were late more than a couple of times a year it would be too easy to be a 'trick.' Members could simply show up at nine in the morning and beat me every Thursday.

So, today, before I have the members' and the reports' booklets set up, Linda is introducing me to today's first new member. This is Wayne Rosen from Brooklyn, a major New York City borough.

Shortly after the handshake, I am surprised to learn that Linda talking to Wayne at a club meeting is also a major 'first.' It was in 1973 that the two last spoke to each other, and that was in Eugene, Oregon.

Yes! Readers and club members, pay attention here! One day recently Wayne was sitting comfortably at home in downtown Brooklyn, planning a trip to Paris, when he half-kiddingly tossed Linda's name at an Internet search engine.

Wayne got a big 'bingo!' Linda's name popped up, along with about 89 citations of the Café Metropole Club in Paris. Wayne wondered, 'could it be the same Linda Thalman I last talked to in 1973 in Eugene, Oregon?'

To make a long exiting story short, Wayne sent off a cautious email asking Linda if she was Linda. Linda, sitting at the Cadillac Ranch, minding her cats Starlette and Tiger, returned a cautious reply, asking Wayne if he was Wayne. As it happened, via email, Wayne seemed to be Wayne and Linda seemed to be Linda.

But just in case they weren't Wayne or Linda, they decided to chance a meeting on the neutral territory of the Café Metropole Club, today. By the time I arrive, they have decided they are really Linda and Wayne - although when I ask Wayne, I am pretty sure he says he lives in Queens.

Well, he knows about the Cuban sandwich joint on Roosevelt Avenue, which is in Queens. Nobody who has ever been within half a block of this splendid café will ever forget the mouth-watering garlic smell of it.

Otherwise, I am vague about details because 12 other club members or new club members also arrivephoto: gumby, pokey to have part of Thanksgiving at today's club meeting without turkey, and the 'report' notes are a bit shoddy.

Gumby and Pokey, back for a triomphant return visit.

Another new member, arriving right at 15:00, is Susan Coleman from Wilmington, Delaware. I like this, getting a true 'City of the Week' before my mid-meeting double-espresso. New Wilmington, Pennsylvania was a co-'City of the Week' earlier in the year, but I'm sure everybody knows the difference between Pennsylvania and Delaware.

About less than three minutes later Maureen and Terry Cooper arrive with 'Thanksgiving.' Actually it is Piano who has joined Bongo. Maureen says the four of them are all going to take in the coming Elton John concert at the Olympia. 'Piano' is described as 'not one' of the 250 other Bongos. The Bongo here today has been in Paris 13 times before.

Susan says she rented an apartment and was somewhat dismayed to find it was located right above a Greek shish kebab joint in the 5th arrondissement. Terry says they've rented a place through Cooper Paris Apartments even though he's not related. Susan and Terry have Easton, Maryland, in common but I do not get to learn why.

The 'Waiter of the Week' recommends La Corona's Beaujolais Nouveau by saying it is not the same as the brand-name one. Some of us move over to enable new member Kevin Stanley to fit in.

Kevin lives in or near Enghien-les-Bains, after living in Britain and after growing up in Brea, California. Kevin does music - "The kind of 'folk' that 20-year olds like" – plus handles audio, and photography. "But in Paris I'll end up teaching English – everybody else does."

Shoddiness shows up. I mean in these notes. Jason Hraynyk has arrived – with Kevin, or at the same time?photo: freddy from osaka "There were silences last week and then everybody went 'singles' shopping," Jason says. Tomoko Yokomitsu has arrived too, and when ask if she met anyone interesting at Galeries Lafayette last week, she says, "I didn't carr the right-colored shopping basket."

For the first time – meet Freddy from Osaka!.
Continued on page 2...
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