A Real Big Meeting

photo, pat, beth, kathi, george, robin, samatha, eric Most of today's 'Group of the Week.'

For a Change

Paris:– Thursday, 16. March 2006:– The sky was flat, blank, almost white, and the air felt damp. Overnight was about freezing and it was supposed to go up to 8 degrees this afternoon, but it felt like it was stuck on 3 or 4 and the sun was trying to break out but it didn't make it all the way except for during the 'Group Photo of the Week.'

For February it would have been pretty good. For four days until spring it's hard to be optimistic about it but I will try and talk it up, psych it warmer.

The most common aspect forecast for the next few days is a down–Channel wind of about 60 clicks, but pay no attention to it because it isn't anywhere around here.

In the immediate area, like right directly over the Ile de la Cité, it should be mostly sunny tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday. On Friday there may be some little, white, friendly clouds, just the give the rest of the sky some perspective. For Saturday I have noted 'mostly sunny' and for Sunday just plain vanilla 'sunny.'

photo, institut de france View from the Corona today was fuzzy.

According to tonight TV–weather news forecast and animation, the temperatures are predicted to be 9, 10 and 11 degrees. If any of these are like today it will feel cooler, as in, 'it may be 9 but it feels like a cool 9.' When we look back and remember these days fondly, we'll say they were the 'cool 9s.'

Acquaintances will ask, "Do you remember those cool 9s we had in March?" Yeah, and about six weeks until the timid first yellow daffodil.

A Real Big Meeting Was had by All

Everybody is asking about the students. The radio said they were gathering at Place d'Italie for a march towards Sèvre–Babylon this afternoon. They are avoiding the Sorbonne because of some broken plates around it as a result of the marches and demos there over the past few days.

I figure I'm going to cross their path this afternoon on the way to the club but if my timing is right they will be on the surface and I'll be undeground in the Métro. This is basically how Paris coexists with itself.

As it was there were more riders than usual but we all coexisted peacefully between Raspail and Odéon and after that it was the old routine of darting down a dim cobbled alley and hooking around to Dauphine and plugging down the narrow pavement to the bridge, where the sky opened up over the river and all the world was at peace, except for the usual herd of racing drivers battling for pole positions on the quays.

photo, george's tieGeorge's Tie of the Week.

Arriving at the café Corona the first thing I noticed was painters outside, looking perplexed. Hardly a surprise that they aren't finished and inside Madame Naudan has an upsidedown frown, but Patrick the 'Waiter of the Week' said le monde was waiting. "Dix," he added.

I let my eyeballs scan the ceiling going into the grande salle but I couldn't see what has been painted. They must have decided to pain it the same colors or the painters haven't arrived here, yet.

Further in I found a pair of members at a non–club table and a couple more holding on in a booth. At the back the red bankette was gone, replaced with nice chairs, with the wall behind unfinished. I should have worn my overalls if I had any.

Here I will skip the exciting assemblage of the members, going straight to today's line–up. Member Eric Rathbone from Flint, Texas was here together with new member Samantha Dwight, also from Flint, Texas. Eric says Flint was supposed to be 'Flynt' but when incorporated by the Texas Rangers back in the olden days, somebody couldn't spell in English.

Then we had Pat Virgil from Buffalo, New York and Beth Crawford from Columbia, South Carolina. She said, "Buffalo is not as cold as here." Every place has a true 'first' some time every century and this was probably Buffalo's.

Then, coming along a few minutes later, came George Broadhead, a long–time member who joined the club during its meeting in Manhattan in December of 2001. George has travelled the world but he started out in Gerrison Beach, which I believe is in Brooklyn, New York, and this is where he lives now, again. He says some folks there still call him 'Georgie' when he's going down the street.

photo, croque monsieurYummy–looking Food of the Week.

Well, and then Robin Bennett drifts in and sits down. Robin is from Montrose, Pennsylvania and it becomes the 'City of the Week' because it is close to Scranton, although I forget to announce this to all present, and Beth, who has read the rules that no longer are, gives me a prompt.

Kathy Bahri, a multiple–visit member, contestant, and resident of Nutley, New Jersey – which other members agreed some years ago is a fine place not to be confused with Blue Bell even if its name is just as unlikely.

At this point we are all here except for the members who have not yet arrived, but nobody has waited for the formalities to finish – for the good reason that there are no formalities and if there were, the club's secretary couldn't remember them.

Eric, mentioning that there are a lot of churches in east Texas, added that, "No man in my family has died at less than 87 in the past 928 years, except the ones who died in wars." Then he went on to tell us about his ancestor who bit the dust 928 years ago, at the Sherson Bridge, in Wales. "Old Rattlebones was his nickname," Eric said.

On this historical note, George decides to mention that he's wearing one of his rare Countess Mara ties, famous for being the first tie ever trademarked, in the 1940s. It is darn slick.

photo, beer of the weekThirst quenching–looking Beer of the Week.

I am so busy taking a photo of it that I do not hear the beginning of a detailed discussion about the location of the 'City of the Week' and only fixed my tuning dial when George said, "Just as I expected," as an introduction to a story of being lost in the mountains of Pennsylvania.

Immediately after I am out of the loop again when the topic shifts to folks with ashes on their foreheads, the next performance of 'Thorn of Crowns' at Notre Dame – can that be right? – and Tomoko Yokomitsu arrives and informs us that she captured her wayward mouse.

"I don't hear the noise in the night anymore," she exclaimed, but still isn't doing any cooking because of all the disorder caused by the wee beastie. "Very disgusting!" she insisted. I gather that the mouse did not bother eating the cheese and bacon she put out for it to try and entice it into a trap.

But I am before myself. Samantha and Eric were on the verge of flight so i arranged for the members to visit the café's terrace where the low sun was spraying an orange glow, and everybody held still for seven photos, all good., but again like last time there was impatience because I forgot to be professional and shout out, 'a little more leg, some high–ho and a bit of a jig, please.'

Just then George was telling us about how he's trying to recruit lady destroyer drivers in the Coast Guard to join his American Legion post in Brooklyn. This is the famous Fighting 69th Post, originally Irish volunteers from New York, back to the Revolution.

Then member, champion coder and all–round ace photographer Josef M. Schomburg arrived and it was time to fold the meet and mosey off towards the Pont des Arts and a little session of sticks and stones with some crummy files that were tearing the daylights out of the server, the one that dishes up this very magazine you have in your hands right now.

'Demo of the Week'

This is supposed to happen on Saturday when all the students are joined by all the unions and their members, professors, the unemployed, the paperless, farmers, soldiers, sailors, candlestick makes, mechanics on the run, milk truck drivers, portable phone salesmen and postal handlers as well as doctors, nurses, bird dealers and pickpockets. The march route will be announced on Radio France–Info. Wear a button, bring a flag.

photo, josef m schomburgMeet your new host.

New Ding–Dong, Bong Bong of the Week

All of this techno spaghetti has frazzled my weak nerves so I am going on a little holiday, just as soon as I fiddle another Web file or two, all weekend no doubt. While I'm under the palms the very same Josef M. Schomburg will be hosting the meetings, taking the photos with his even bigger camera and, perhaps, writing the weekly reports. His hands are capable. Josef is also a bit reserved, but he can handle moderate kidding with ease.

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

Since this so–called meeting 'report' probably leaves you perplexed, treat yourself to an explanation by reading the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page, for its worthwhile insights.

When, Who, What, Why, Where, How?

Club meetings begin at 15:00 every Thursday and continue until 17:00. These times, fixed in carbon steel, are also said to be 3 pm to 5 pm. Around somewhere else is definitely not where the next meetings will be. Despite 'Bong Bong' above is the reason for this rare change.

graphic, club location map

Pass a hour or two or a whole meeting with other club members pretty much like yourself. Real 'firsts' are welcome and true stories will get a sympathetic hearing. Other stories will depend on your skill. Attend as many club meetings as you can stand.

Caution – should you may have the personal mission of remaining unfindable via the Web, be sure to inform the club's secretary that you prefer to be '404 – not found' by Web search engines before becoming 'found' gamboling in one of these fantastic club reports.

The 'ex–rules' that the club once had are still former. Talking to other club members at meetings is kosher rather than optional. There are always some empty chairs, so sit. Lolling is okay too. Whatever you say will be truly appreciated by the other members present if there are any listening, and sometimes there are but not always – and if it should by pure rotten hazard be written here.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because of severe inertia, caused by too much spinning in circles, rectangles, triangles and left–handed reverse corkscrew twisters.

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

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