Thursday, June 16, 2005

La belle francais!

She's a tiny package of talents galore -- a femme petite -- if you will excuse my faulty French. She shouldn't. She's a teacher of French but speaks English perfectly but in a soft, throaty voice that belies its French origin.

The lady and I met -- yes, in the cybernetic presence of my own lovely bride -- on the Internet when it was new to me, almost a decade back.

She was a teenager, freed from the horrors of Nazi occupation as the allies swooped into the French capital. Among the heroes to the French was one of my own, newspaper columnist Ernie Pyle, who chronicled the tribulations of the GI Joes, not the generals and the admirals. So, 50 years later, I was combing the Internet for memoirs of those who shared my affection for Pyle and his work.

I had written of how I had just missed meeting Pyle at the rail depot in Albuquerque on a cold December day in 1944. I had driven my military jeep down to mail a package when I saw the train beginning to pull away. I was too late to shake his hand, but waved to him as the train left. He was on his way to the Pacific. He died on the battlefield on the isle of Ie Shima.

Newpaper friends had promised to invite me to the next party for Ernie, who had been home on leave. He'd been my role model long before he became a famous war correspondent, touring America's byways. He convinced me that I could write a story fit for publication on ANY human being I had talked with for an hour. He did it regularly.

So, yes, I met our French friend on the Internet, but not in person until a few months ago when spouse Barbara and I had the unique privilege of having a Parisienne show us her home town -- which has such marvels as the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coure, Musee d'Orsay,Arc d'Triomphe, the Moulin Rouge ad infinitum. The City of Lights. I hadn't seen it in 50 years.

Why am I blogging away today about her? She's got a notion to be a blogger herself. So, of course, she consulted an expert -- me -- who not only has just got his feet wet in the blog biz, but has plunged in so awkwardly that my survival in it is not yet assured. I told her where to inquire about it, and left her with her feet dangling in the shallows.

No, I won't divulge here who she is. She will speak for herself with aplomb, with command of the language, with her views of just about everything from the banks of the Seine. Barbara and I are eagerly looking forward to it.

And, by the way, any of you old bloggers who have any tips for beginners, send 'em along. I'll pass them on -- but pore over them myself first


Blogger Danièle Hawkins said...

I can t believe it Paul. Have just slept for about two hours, and woke up with the need to take a few steps to actovate blood circulation.. went downstairs for a glass of water and... I admit, I should'nt have but I did (love doing that, that is the kind of person I am: curious)... and did it pay.. I came across the most wonderful fund raising jazz concert, and boy, wasn't this wonderful.. Then I realized that I had no business being up at 3 30 pm; but curiosity did not kill this cat.. Curiosity led this cat to her inbox.. and to this blogger's blog.. And it felt so sad th read "o answer yet".. I could not have this... So I came into the blog for a Goodnight kiss to my friend and his Barbara, and hope I can find another way to get into the blog tomorrow.. Good night Paul.. Now I can go to sleep..

6:28 PM  
Blogger Paul Weeks said...

Thank you, Danièle. I had no doubt you would recognize the French woman, but maybe I should have posted a picture of her. Haven't learned yet how to do that. Now go back to sleep and let sugar plums dance in your head.

2:44 PM  

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