horz line

Past Kodachrome

photo: group, ron bristol, don smith

All of the 'Group of the Week,' Ron and all of Don's hat.

Hard Rock 'Shirt of the Week'

Paris:– Thursday, 17. June 2004:– Turmoil continues in the weather prediction department while the football tournament grinds on in far–off and sunny Portugal. Down there, as the longest day and the shortest night approach, all evenings are spent in half–shadowed football stadiums, with scant thought of what the skies may promise.

All well and good, I think. It has been an miss–forecasted fine day here with a very blue sky and fair breezes and as far as I'm concerned it should keep it up, but this is not to be the case. By jetting around various TV channels I have learned that hard times are – yes! – on the horizon.

There is, according to one of TV's forecasters, a big twirly swamp out in the Atlantic. The way it's going to hit France is going to cause a change, and this is to start tomorrow. But I have a big window to look out right now, and it looks like it isn't waiting.

Cold air is going to wreck our transition from spring into summer. If tomorrow's temperature manages to be its forecast 24 degrees, then a severe tumble to 18 is expected for Saturday. On this day there will be unstable clouds. Some of these may swoop low. Some of these may get in your eyes, in the form of rain. It will not be pretty.

Then on Sunday there should be a return to something of a calm, and it may even be partly sunny. The temperature is expected to remain low, getting no higher than 17 degrees. Yes, you can believe your eyes. The day before summer starts the temperature will be just 'right' for April. On Monday, for summer's begin, we might have 20 degrees. Dress warmly for the Fête de la Musique!

The Abbreviated 'Club Report of the Week'

For the occasion of this special day I decide to forego the usual routine and approach today's club meeting from the trusty old Louvre. I haven't been near it in a long while and for all I know it has been turned into a Renault showroom.

There isn't anything really 'special' about the day except for it being sunny and breezy, and I'm hoping that maybe I'll see some culture pilgrims doing some illegal bathing in the Louvre's pools, somewhat before the hottest day of the year.

This isn't happening though. There are some water jets jetting water high enough for there to be downwind sprays. I guess if people want to wade, all they have to do is sit in the right places. There are a lot of people sitting in any–old places instead.

The sun is hitting the pyramid in the Louvre's courtyard just right. Light reflections are splashed over parts of thephoto: shirt, hard rock cafe, ron museum's south wing in unusual patterns. They make me think that the Louvre is somewhat dirty where the light splashes are not. The whole thing makes me think it is a really big pile, with dirty windows. There must be a couple thousand of them.

This week's 'Shirt of the Week' has never been worn.

The nicest part of the Louvre is the little Carrousel arch. It's a good thing it's outside where you can see it for free. The arch is kind of pink, and it looks light and a bit floaty – unlike any other part of the Louvre, looking heavy, and dirty, in the shade.

I pass through the east arch into the Cour Carrée. Here the fountain's jet isn't turned on, but people are sitting around it, waiting. I don't think much ever happens in the Cour Carrée. It is the Louvre's oldest part, and its dullest. The best part of it is leaving by the south arch, and getting a spacy view across the Seine of the Quartier Latin beyond the Pont des Arts.

Of course the Quai du Louvre is in between, and today it is full of shiny tin, plastic, glass, and hot rubber. It is full of the stinking metal monster. It hardly matters if they are SUVs or kiddie cars, because they fill the whole thing.

The 'grande salle' in the club's café is dim and empty. Most of the windows are open and the palms are flailing around. Waiters, including the club's 'Waiter of the Week,' are zipping outside to take care of the terracians, who are darned thirsty.

I have been sitting only a couple of minutes before Don Smith shows up. Don think up themes to discuss on his way to the club. Today it is about 8 mm movie film that was all Kodachrome. Don says everybody's old home movies show the world only in sunshine because the film was so slow it was the only time anybody could use it. There's no rain, no sundowns and no winter in anybody's old home movies, Don claims.

I can't argue with Don because I haven't seen anybody's old home movies lately. People use those little digital video cameras these days, but I haven't seen any of these either. My guess is, people still don't wait for rain to shoot.

Ron Bristol is next to arrive. He comes from Austin in Texas, because it is getting hot and humid there like it doesphoto: don smith every year at the same time. "I have a reason for coming to Paris," he says. He also says he has been shopping for a friend – for t–shirts at the Hard Rock Café.

Don sports last week's 'Hat of the Week,' again.

According to both Ron and Don people collect these things. They don't always have time to come to Paris, but they sure like to be able to wear their Paris Hard Rock Café t–shirts wherever it is they are. It's a bit like the Toronto police chief cap I never wear, or my Hawaiian shirts that don't have 'Hawaii' written on them.

Anyhow, this Hard Rock Café shirt is a 'classic' one. Ron says he has a shopping list of the stuff he's supposed to get for people who are too busy to come to Paris.

Besides getting away from Austin's climate, Ron is on his way to the Euro Foot thing in Portugal. He says he and his brother have been coming to the World Cup and other big sports events in Europe for several years. "The tickets are easy to get," he says.

This is turning into a perfect club meeting. Nobody can remember anything completely. Ron asks, "Have you noticed the bus campaign? The 'Easter Egg,'" he adds, to jog our memories.

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