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Irony has it that the George–V, which opened in 1929, hosted a conference the same year that sought to fix reparations by Germany for WWI. The schedule that was established by the conference would have seen Germany making payments until 1988.

At the end of August 1944, the repayments plan was in the ashcan and General Eisenhower moved into the hotel and made it his headquarters, so this weekend's reception of some of his soldiers has brought history full–circle.

Why a Secret Until Now?

According to John Negroponte, the US ambassador to the United Nations, Ronald Reagan could speak no foreign languages but knew the words to the 'Marseillaise,' and he sang the entire song for amazed guests assembled for a dinner party given in Mexico. Reagan said that he'd learned it in high school.

Headline of the Week

"Le week–end le plus long" was the Le Parisien's big headline on Saturday, printed over a black and white background photo of a landing craft with soldiers in the water headed for a beach in France. In the lower right corner in color, President Bush is shown making an 'important point.'

Inside its 'special 60th anniversary' issue the paper devotes 10 pages to the historical event, with two pages with features about veterans and survivors. There is a French paratrooper, a member of the Resistance, a French commando leader, a Canadian soldier, an American soldier, a German soldier and a resident of Tilly–sur–Seulles.

Last Week's Café Metropole Club 'Report'

When you have a spare moment take a look at the updated version of the 'Orange 'City of the Week' – D–Day II & Bis' report. The meeting's highlight was learning the Orange is a city in California as well as a state of mind, or county.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 10. June. This will be the second ofphoto: expo d day, luxembourg only four meetings in June this year. The Saint's Day of the Week will be Saint–Landry. This is a 'found' saint even though spelled wrong. Saint–Landri was the 8th archbishop of Paris until 656, and was supposed to have founded the original Hôtel–Dieu.

The D–Day expo at Luxembourg.

Hardly any very minor and unimportant details about the club can be found on the 'About the Club' page. The virtual club membership card on this page remains as free as air and continues to be worth as much, no matter how much you think it's worth.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 8.24 – 9. June 2003 – the Café Metropole column began with, ' A See–Art Week.' 'Au Bistro' was was absent, but the issue's feature was titled, 'The Real Daguerréotypes – Henri Cartier–Bresson's First Show.' There were two Scène columns, with 'The 'Classic' Version' and 'The Summer Version.' The Café Metropole Club update for 12. June was titled, 'The 'Secretary in Coma, Losesphoto: sign, rue buenos ayres Marbles' report. There were another four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's cartoon of the week was captioned as 'Plate of French Fries'.'

This Was Metropole Three Years Ago

Issue 6.24 – 11. June 2001 – this issue's Café Metropole column was headlined, 'Free Champagne & Street Eats.' The 'Au Bistro' column's headline was, 'Take the TGV–Med.' The issue's feature was about a 'Fête In Les Frigos – Art On Ice.' There were two Email features, 'The Flying Rhino' from Charles Fremont and from Al Riley there was 'The Politics of Orangina.' The Café Metropole Club update on 14. June was headlined as the "Something Pulled Us Here" report and the report for the 13. June meeting was titled as the 'When In Paris' report. There were four new 'Posters of the Week' again and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was simply about, 'Mole Art.'

'Countdowns' – the Suspension Lasts Forever

If you are really missing them, you can find the 'countdowns' in a recent issue by clicking here. Do not, I remind you yet again, forget to subtract about 25 days from all count–down dates. I know this many be confusing, but you can thank your lucky stars that the countdowns are not in your face again this week.

A Non–Countdown To Remember

On this day in 1929 the Vatican became an independent state when the Lateran treaty came into effect at 11:00. A few minutes later the 12 Swiss guards took up their new posts on the Vatican's outdoor frontiers for the first time, allowing pilgrims to photograph them with their fixed bayonets.

Once the treaty ratification were complete, Pope Pius XI inaugurated the Vatican's telegraph office by sending a telegram to the King of Italy. Before the message's transmission the text was read by Cardinal Gasparri for the Italian delegation, headed by the Premier, Signor Mussolini. The government officials then handed over a cheque for 750,000,000 lira, payable to Cardinal Gasparri. It wasn't bad pay for reading a telegram even if it was 75 years ago.

D–Day Bis

The really big show ended on Normandy's beaches yesterday, but the fête continues. See the big photos hung from the golden–tipped fence at the Luxembourg gardens along the Rue de Médicis near the Place Edmond Rostand until the end of August. Open 24 hours a day. The photos are lit at night.

For the Forgetful

photo: sign, crue janvier 1910On the first Wednesday of every month there is an unholy racket throughout France when all air–raid sirens are tested exactly at noon. The howling goes on for about a minute before peace is restored. You can tell it is a test because about five minutes later the sirens give out another wail, as a sort of all–clear signal.

One, Long, Chance Only

Tomorrow morning at 7:10 in Paris, the planet Venus will pass in front of the Sun for the first time since 1882. The celestial event, lasting about six hours, should be visible to three–fourths of the world's population that isn't asleep or watching TV. However, the last time it was visible in France was 1639. For some reason, the line–up of the two planets and the Sun will be happening again in 2012, 2117 and 2125. Solar fans are warned that viewing the event should only be done while wearing protective glasses.

This Year Is Still Barely Worth Mentioning

As of today there are still 207 days left of this year. This is more or less the same number of 'days left' as at this time last year but 25 to 28 less than were in this spot the last time the 'countdowns' were here.

I think I should quit badmouthing this year, both past and future. After all, what has it done to me? If I keep knocking it, it would seem like I've got years to burn, a surplus of them. This probably isn't the case at all. This might be the best year of my life – of your life too. Don't put off living it today.
signature, regards, ric

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