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Two years after their 1978 study tour of Greece (and Turkey), the Society of Architectural Historians headed for France from May 23 to June 15, 1980; and among those who went were George and Mila Jean.  This was their first trip there together, but each had been to France before: Mila Jean during her Fulbright Year Abroad in 1955, and George during his 1966 Solo Jaunt in Europe.

As they had in 1978 and also during the extended Ehrlich family trip to England in 1971, both kept a journal of their travel experiences.  Again characteristically, George began with a pocket notebook of initial impressions and then expanded and expounded on these in a bound record book; while Mila Jean filled a steno spiral with hectic observations and a large manila envelope with souvenirs, including three picture postcards sent to (and later retrieved from) my brother Matthew, who was holding down the home fort in Kansas City MO.  George painstakingly entered the date and day of the week as a header on each page of his journal; Mila Jean at one point neglected to enter any date on the minimal line breaks between her daily entries.  

One significant difference from previous trips abroad (or in the USA) is the absence of an accompanying photo album.  This was certainly not due to George's taking no pictures; part of his bound journal was devoted to a meticulous log of twenty-one film rolls lettered A through U, with twenty shots taken per roll.  But as Matthew would remark in 2022:

Those were the days when it seemed as though Dad was shooting nothing but slides, which I guess made sense from a teaching standpoint given the classroom technology of the day, but they weren't amenable to inclusion in an album.  At some point after Dad's death [in 2009] Mom and I went through his negatives and slides and donated everything that was primarily architectural to Western Historical Manuscripts.  My guess is that the images that Dad shot in France were mostly of that nature.

Indeed I recall being treated to an afterFrance slide show at 5505 Holmes (the Old Ehrlich Place) and regrettably dozing off midway through it, since KCMO had embarked on its summer-long Killer Heat Wave of 1980, and I was basking (or the cool-off equivalent) in air conditioning that didn't malfunction.

It would not be a traditional Ehrlich trek without recurrent worries about financing, aggravated by 1980's double-digit inflation rates in France as well as the United States.  Fortunately the Ehrlichs had long been accustomed to frugal habits ("We were poor but we were honest," Mila Jean would sing) and knew numerous tricks to make do and get by, such as saving part of their continental breakfasts to augment their luncheons.

Once again, counterpointing George's measured observations with Mila Jean's staccato responses is not unlike interspersing Beethoven with bursts of Broadway show tunes.  Yet they journeyed together harmoniously, arriving at the same destinations with much the same mindset.  And fortunately they both left a record of their explorations, allowing us to hear their voices speak once more.

Thanks as always to my brother Matthew for providing some of the photos, some of the copyreading, and some of the clarification.


To enhance the clarity of reading these travel journals online, I have amended punctuation, adjusted paragraph breaks, expanded most abbreviations, aimed for consistent capitalization and italicization (though not application of diacritical marks), and corrected a few misspellings, mostly of names.  Mila Jean usually referred to her husband as "Geo" and that has been left unaltered, plus one or two exceptions; ditto her ampersands and frequent tense shifts, being representative of The Mila Spiral.  (George too at times switches from past tense to present and back, perhaps with more intent.)  Question marks within brackets [?] are my editorial queries of uncertain words; those within parentheses (?) appear in the original text.

This webpage is best viewed on a device using the four fonts I employed: Courier New for the itinerary, Times New Roman for George's entries, Comic Sans for Mila Jean's, and Verdana for my own.

At the time of the 1980 trip to France, George was 55 years old and Mila Jean had just turned 48.


FRIDAY, MAY 23, 1980

ITINERARYGroup flight to Paris / Depart John F. Kennedy Airport, New York City, Air France No. 022 at 10 p.m. / Times subject to change.

GEORGESteve Gosnell drove us to the airport in our car; Matthew stayed at home.  And so we were on our way.  And on and on.  We arrived at LaGuardia and despite the jam of holiday weekend traffic, got our luggage and piled out on the sidewalk to catch the transfer bus to Kennedy.  Having received three different pieces of advice on getting complimentary transfer we ended up having to pay since our tickets did not show transfer.  As the man said, pay the two dollars (but in this case it was $3.50 each).
     It was hot (90°) in N.Y. and we crept across Long Island.  At JFK we hit every terminal.  By the time TWA hove into view, I was properly subdued.  In the terminal the crowds checking in were enormous and multilingual.  After much patient waiting, we did manage to reach the desk and completed our check-in.  Now [we are] sitting in the departure lounge for gate three, waiting for the boarding call (about ten minutes).  I guess we are about on our way.

     It turned out that Mila and I were together in adjacent seats, but not next to each other; I was in the row behind her.  I shared a three-seat unit with two girls from California on their first trip over to Europe—and they were EXCITED!  Mila shared with two lads on their way to Cairo to play at the Cairo Hilton.  One had never flown and they too were to be in Europe, etc. for the first time.  The companions were nice and one can't complain.
     We arrived about three quarters of an hour late at Charles de Gaulle Airport and stoically worked our way—in a mob scene—through passport controls.  Got our luggage, put it on a cart, and just walked past customs, since we have nothing to declare.  We then made the round (for the main terminal is circular in plan, and Brutalist in appearance) to Air France to see if Rosann Barry was there.  And she was.
     We parked by Rosann and waited on the group flight which eventually arrived.  This larger group then transferred to a bus (with no shock absorbers in the rear) and thence into the city.  Though this was technically Saturday, it seemed the end of Friday rather than a new day.  That began with our first excursion out.

MILA JEANDeparted @ 10:00 AM with Steve attempting to operate unfamiliar car: cool & overcast.  Arrive & check in with no trouble—uneventful flight to LaGuardia except for a "chatty Kathy" type who starts in aisle & talks to couple on front of us.  Had pretty good lunch—quiche, vegs (zucchini, carrots, etc.), carrot cake with filling, cookie, roll & butter, coffee, salad.
     Arrive at LaGuardia—very hot (90°), horrible mess trying to get to bus to Kennedy airport (one hour or more) in closed bus—no air conditioning—had to drag all luggage on bus with us—had to hold part of it in lap—bump, drag, crash, etc.  Equal long wait to get luggage put thru & get boarding passes, of course!  It is Memorial Day weekend & all of NYC is leaving town & all of Europe & USA are leaving USA!  Had orange juice (70¢)—tiny can.  Called home for Jane—not home—Liz answered.  Called work for Jane—no answer.  Called Pat Snyder.  Gone.  Bob answered & said she'd gone out of town to Long Island.  Am now sitting in waiting room—6:45.

     Plane late in taking off—I sit at end of row of three, the other two seats occupied by Tony and Andy—teenage musicians (in Naval ROTC), drums & bass—who are en route to Egypt to play jazz at the Casino Hilton.  It's like traveling with Wally & Beaver (Andy's never flown before!).  Geo sits with two American girls on their first trip to Europe—all very jolly.  I have a gin & tonic, chicken fromage with white wine.  We see Kramer vs. Kramer.  No sleep.  See the dawn come up.  Passport control takes half hour—walk thru enormous transparent bubble (pipes) in walking escalator to Air France over where we run into Rosann & two others of SAH tour.  We sit for hours waiting for contingent from Air France flight.  Soon we will board bus to Hotel (Le Grand).  One of my bags has tar on it, the other is ripped (umbrella stuck thru its old age).  Tour director is deaf.  (Glorioski!)  He will give us a talk tonight.
     By almost 12:00 about 25 people had assembled—great delight to see old friends—and all of our luggage was assembled into an enormous bus with apparently no shock absorbers because we jounced & jolted all the way into the Opera district.  (I gather we get another bus tomorrow.)

SATURDAY, MAY 24, 1980

ITINERARYGroup flight arrives 11 a.m. at Roissy (Charles de Gaulle) Airport, Paris / (Persons on group flight will be provided transportation from airport to hotel upon arrival in Paris) / FREE DAY / 5:30 p.m.: Introductory Lecture / Overnight: Le Grand Hotel, Paris.

GEORGE:  Professor and Mrs. G. Ehrlich were assigned to room 5207 Le Grand Hotel.  This looks over the great court and thus the sound of the streets is much dampened.  The room is no cheapie, though small by U.S. standards.  We have a double bed, two armchairs, a straight chair with arms.  The toilet is a true WC, separate from the shower, bidet and washstand, and these open off a small hall as does the bedroom.  All have doors, hence one can close off laving sounds, etc.  We freshened up, changed clothes—it is much cooler in Paris than N.Y.—and sallied forth.  Our primary aim was to find some food and to reconnoiter.
     We were out during the long afternoon "break" from commerce.  Most shops were closed.  But we did find a patisserie that sold sandwiches.  We had two
with paté that were modest in price, good to taste (on real French bread) and something to eat while walking.  And we walked and walked.  We did part of Rue de l'Opera, Rue Danielle Casanova, Rue [des] Petits Champs, the latter to the Place des Victoires.  From there, north past [Place de] La Bourse to Les Grand Boulevards: Montmartre, des Italiens, des Capucines and back to the hotel for some rest.
     The quality of the nineteenth century architecture is superb.  A lot of it is now cleaned, and I saw one unidentified 17th or 18th Century structure (it had to be late 17th) that was truly grand.  We saw the south facade of the Bibliothèque Nationale.  On Rue Réaumur just east of Rue Notre Dame des Victoires we saw an extraordinary riveted iron strapwork commercial(?) Art Nouveau facade.  It has to be early 20th Century because of the many rivets.
     Well, it is all stimulating and a bit much when one is rather weary—not too much sleep aboard l'avion.
     Now it is approaching the time to rendezvous for the first official get-together for the group.

     We have met, though not at length.  We are oriented (so to speak) and discover that we will be buying most of our dinners as well as our lunches.  Ah me!  So we had a supper in a so-so but convenient cafeteria with Jack Parker and Tom Ridington.  They and Mila headed out to walk afterwards.  I feel fatigued and am listening to the news on TV.
     As I sit in an armchair writing this, I am very tired and thus little more will be said.  A note, however, that this room is rated at 530 francs per day, that is $132.50.  That includes continental breakfast of 28 f and service, but whether it is 28 extra for another I don't know.  When I changed money at the a
irport, it was 25¢ per franc.  It would seem to me that would have to be for two, but after checking again it says per person$7!!

MILA JEAN[continuing without a break from previous entry, lacking a date heading]   Get room assignments.  Ours is charming—apparently part of old servants quarters under the mansard roof: two rooms, one whole bathroom, plus extra room for the "toilette" tiled with light mauve & white figured tile in circular pattern: tub, bidet, stool—windows look out over courtyard; central hall, even the doors are papered in floral wallpaper (gets confusing at night!).  Bedroom has double bed with brown/gold stripes, bolster & pillows—all feels soft & goosedownish.  Two side tables with lamps (mine has no bulb), two armchairs with table.  Dressing table & big mirror with TV set.  Bath has tub, big dressing table with bowl bidet.  We walk around area & buy two sandwiches stuffed with paté and pickles.
     Have session with Earl Layman showing slides with all sorts of people smoking.  Lyle sits next to me & complains about smoke (a sinus infection).  We all doze off in the darkness—everyone apparently.  (Earl Layman's remarks & Rosann's remarks about behaving sensibly & not making political remarks loudly.)  Mercifully it ends & I who have had only one donut (coffee, juice) & one sandwich all day am famished.
     Tom, Jack, Geo & I go across street to cafeteria for some rather awful fast-food stuff: "roast" chicken, pommes frites, one section leaf lettuce & tomato, one lemonade, one tart for about $8—is that really right?  Geo goes back to hotel & boys & I walk some more.  Then struggle back at 8:30.  I take bath & try to sort things out but alas, it's too confusing.  Go to bed & sleep immediately.  Geo is restless at 2:30 and we check time.  Finally to sleep.

SUNDAY, MAY 25, 1980

ITINERARYContinental breakfast: Le Grand Hotel / 8:30 a.m.—12 Noon: Bus tour to St. Denis [scored through: followed by walking tour of le Marais, Place de Vosges, Rue St. Antoine] [handwritten arrow to what was originally scheduled for 1:30—4:30 p.m.:] Bus from Le Grand to Ile de la Cité, followed by walking tour of Notre Dame, Ste. Chapelle, Conciergerie, Ile St. Louis / Lunch on own / [handwritten: Afternoon free] / 8 p.m.: Grand Banquet: Le Cercle Militaire, Place St. Augustin (participants to arrange own transportation) / Overnight: Le Grand Hotel

GEORGE:  It is late in the afternoon as I write this and this does not mean the end of the day.  There is still the Grand Banquet for the evening to go to.  Before entering the highlights of the day, it might be appropriate to comment on the Grand Banquet.  It will be, apparently, haute cuisine in a period room.  We've already had to ante up another 10 francs per, though the major part is included in the overall tariff for the tour.  We learned of that last evening at our initial assembly.  We also learned, to our dismay, that in addition to about a dozen we-pay-as-we-go lunches, there will be that many (or more) dinners.  Granted, we are in a land of great cooking, but given the size of the tour cost, I assumed that as with Greece, most evening meals were included.  WRONG!  That has a double implication.  First, we need to find suitable places.  Second, there is the cost.  Prices (for U.S. citizens) are high.  It costs a great deal to eat.  It would be very easy to spend $10 to 15 per person for the evening meal, and a lot more.  We could go broke very quickly.  And I'm not sure I want to—or even can anymore—eat food that is too rich.  So we begin to improvise.  More on that below.
     To begin then.  Sleep came quickly to us both, but then, in the deepest of dark, I awoke being hot and uncomfortable.  After fussing as quietly as I could, I opened the window a bit (happily we have a courtside room) and went as quietly as I could to relieve myself.  Nothing helped.  Mila awoke—I then checked the time—2:30 a.m.  Well, back to sleep, or to try.  Finally a noise occurred: the wakeup call at 7:00 a.m.  Obviously we had gotten to sleep.
     We leave a card for breakfast.  Apparently I was not clear in my notation and nothing was arriving as I had hoped and requested.  I braved the telephone and presto, we soon had our continental breakfast.  Orange juice, cafe au lait, and plenty of rolls/croissants and butter and jam.  We scarfed that down, but saved two hard rolls plus some jam.  That I packed in some zip-loc bags to carry with us.  Lunch perhaps or a supplement.
     We assembled at the bus at 8:30 and soon thereafter were off to St. Denis to see the abbey church.  In the best of manner there was the usual scaffold here and there and an unexpected adjustment.  An extra long high mass was being said for the first communion for a group of girls.  While it was quite entertaining to see and hear the church in use (and it was quite crowded with a working class group, with babes in arms) it/this prevented us from being able to see le
musée of tombs and thus the chevet area and crypt.  We would not benefit from a delay since another mass would soon begin.  So we did something completely different.
     A half block away was the Sunday market in full swing.  Everything was going for sale, from clothing to live critters such as rabbits and chickens.  A number of us purchased various goodies.  Mila and I restricted our purchases to four Golden Delicious apples.  Others got other fruit, nuts, and what else I know not.  Thus fortified, we turned toward the bus and then headed for L'Ile de la Cité.
     La Cité, as it is known, was also the honey that lured other visitors that morning, and in great quantity.  Patric, our driver, managed to lose his way in and alongside Notre Dame's flank (near flank) and we debarked.  We walked around the apse (we were on the north side) and along the south flank to the place in front.  There is a great construction underway, all in wood, ranging across the front of the facade.  Only a narrow lane separated the porch from it.  Red carpeting was being laid on the many stairs, etc.  It turns out that the Pope is coming!  It will be the U.S. tour all over again, with much hoopla if the temporary structure is any indication.  The size of the timbers was quite impressive.
     We went first to Ste. Chapelle.  We arrived so we could use our pass, only to find [the chapel] open (as apparently it is at that time as a matter of course) and a line of people waiting to enter.  Our pass was rejected because it said musée, not monument.  A typical rhubarb based on lower functionaries not understanding what higher functionaries mean.  Presumably this pass expressly allowed us entrance into both musées and monuments.  Tom Ridington came to our rescue.  He inquired in French if professors could not enter free?  The answer was yes.  So out came IDs from those of us so equipped.  The ticket taker was not too swift and tried to comprehend what she was shown.  If it was official it was OK.  Mila used my business card, one used his senior citizen pass (with photo); I think anything printed was acceptable because we all got in.  (Later I learned some had to pay.)
     The windows in the upper chapel, which Michelin says are the oldest in Paris (etc.), are carefully restored so as to maintain character.  From Sainte Chapelle we went to the top (west/tail) of La Cité.  From there one gets a good view of the Louvre.  It was there that Mila and I ate apples (one apiece).  We then proceeded toward Notre Dame.  Oh, I forgot to note we went through Place Dauphine on our way to Square du Vert Galant (the [
illegible]).  This is somewhat still 17th Century in appearance.
     Well, back to Notre Dame by Le Tour de L'Herbage.  We went through the Sunday bird market and the Place du Parvis.  Since this now covers a garage recently built, considerable archaeology had been possible in conjunction with its construction.  Old sites (medieval) are now outlined on the pavement indicating the rue d'eglise.  An interesting concept.
     Notre Dame's interior, as before, is less impressive than the outside.  Partly it is the darkness.  Anyway, from there we went to the Square d'Ile de France and saw but was unable to visit the Memorial de la Deportation.  We sat in the Square and ate one of our rolls.
     We then decided to walk toward Centre Georges Pompidou, better known as the Beaubourg, since the Centre (the famous/infamous modern structure) is on Plateau Beaubourg.  By this time Mila and I were on our own, by choice, since others went to the Ile St. Louis for walk and lunch.  Pompidou Centre is, in fact, really something.  I'm not sure yet of my reaction, but it wasn't really negative.  More ambiguous.  It works, Lord knows.  To add to the situation, Sundays are free days.  But that is only part of it.  The plaza in front is the site of "street entertainers" doing their thing for tossed coins.  This last was something both aural and visual.  Given the topography of the area. which slopes down to the Centre Pompidou in its inner area, surrounded by a street level walkway on the other boundaries, one has a natural "arena" for both ground level and elevated viewing.  The latter includes people on the exterior walkways of the building.
     The building is a boy's Erector Set dream come true.  Indeed, it is exaggerated but consistent.  The west facade, facing the Plateau Beaubourg, is the one always photographed, with the exterior escalator.  The elevators, also on the exterior, do not have glass doors or walls, however; only the staircases and escalator automatique.  The east side is in line with other facades, and that is, indeed, unbelievable.  It has all these pipes and vents, etc., in multiple colors, and being in line with and at the same height as the conventional Parisian six-seven-story facade, you have a startling image indeed.
     Inside, where the industrial exhibits are, is a science-technology construct.  An indoor people-space.  The bibliotheque was in use but closed to us.  The third and fourth floors were open and in Modern Art (begins with Cubists and Fauvres).  The collection is good!  A lot of American for later stuff.  The fifth floor is temporary exhibitions.  This still required admission on free days.  We did not enter, more a matter of time than money.
     Oh yes, the cafeteria (expensive) is up there too.  A 7-Up type drink they called lemonade was 3 f (75¢) per 8 oz? glass.
     From there we walked past the Les Halles site which is now called Porte Rambuteau.  Still under construction, it is apparently a combination transportation center and shopping center, largely underground.  If time permits we'll return.
     We finally headed back into the hotel, it was nearly five, or at least after four p.m.  We had started at 8:30 a.m.  We rested and then at 7:30 we walked with others (all dressed up we were) to this military club, Cercle Militaire, where we had a gala and fancy dinner.  The food was OK but messy to eat.  Elaborate service by young boys (late teens/early twenties).  Perhaps my taste buds are withering.  I found it all OK but I wasn't tempted to overeat.  I tasted the wine, but I've lost the taste for that.  In fact I refused refills (I deliberately requested a small portion first) so consistently I was nearly passed over on a refill on my water glass.
     Well, the grand affair was concluded and the retreat back to the hotel began.  It was 11:30 p.m. when finally we were in our room.  Our first full day was very full indeed.

MILA JEANPhone rings at 7:00 for wake-up.  Meal finally brought after we call at 7:45.  On bus 8:30, leave at 8:45 for Ste. Chapelle (also go to open market & Ile St. Louis, Notre Dame).  Have saved breakfast rolls, buy apples.  See concierge for arts, etc.  We shiver because it's quite cool, overcast & damp.  See mass & first communion at Ste. Chapelle—it's a working-class district, not pretty, but interesting.
     We eat apples & roll & set off alone at 2:00 for Centre Georges Pompidou—"Beaubourg"—wild avant-garde building with pipes & ducts outside—escalators are all in see-thru plastic tubes in arts de [illegible].  See modern art housed on one floor.  Have lemonade on top floor.  Rather impressive, really, though the initial shock is a bit staggering.  Public seems to love it.  Back to hotel at 4:30 to rest, wash & prepare for the Grand Banquet at Les Cercle Militaire, Place St. Augustin.  (Big formal deal—perhaps we can steal some food for the next day?)  Prices are out of sight & we have to not eat at all or use breakfast rolls & my "bird food" (health stuff with raisins, etc.) to keep us going.
     Two interesting experiences:
     1)  After Earl presented official documents to the Guard (a black woman) in charge of Ste. Chapelle, she said no, we could not be admitted free, since document admitted people to "museums," not "monuments."  (Here we go again.)  Tom interceded (charmingly), saying wouldn't our cards showing us to be professors, artistes, etc. get us in?  "Oh bon, bon," so we all tried to drag out official-looking cards (I had none so I became Professor of Art Ehrlich).  Other people used voter registration cards, senior citizen cards, architect cards, etc.
     2)  "Entertainment" of a street variety: sword swallowers, muscle-man in chains, mimes.  Huge crowds, of course, surround them.  Africans pounding on drums, dancers & do-your-own-thingers—looked like scene from Hunchback of Notre Dame.
     British & Italian architects won competition for the Centre, I suppose thus creating a big flap for not only design but non-Frenchmen winning.  All part of an overall redevelopment project incorporating Les Halles district—including much underground area: pedestrian concourse, antique center, private flats, boutiques, etc.; twelve acres in all.
     Musical Acoustic Centre (closed to public).  National Museum of Modern Art (we were in) all guards were young girls, well-dressed, some attractive & reading paperback books & not once looking up.  You could have stolen a Picasso for all they noticed!
     Jack Parker is mistily reliving his student days here in 1952—saw where his hotel was (Ile de Cité) where Antoine (of Living Theatre fame) lived across street (before Jack lived there, of course), where Simone Signoret lived/lives, where Chagall has his studio (two whole floors).  The Pope is to arrive next week: great excitement—building steps (with red carpeting yet) & viewing stand, pictures of the Pope in store windows—a whole contingent of church people, including a cardinal getting photos (& TV) taken in Notre Dame.
     Walked over to Cercle National.  Had "cocktails" (ugh) cranberry juice & Dubonnet—terribly sweet.  Mushroom, olives, "spine" pie with crust.  Roast duck with potato chips!  Lettuce.  Choice of cheese (I had camembert).  Glacé (coffee & vanilla) frozen.  Petits fours & café.  Mineral water, white wine, red wine.
     The company: Jack, Tom, George, Gary (& assorted dull women) was terrific.  The food was ostentatious and not so good.  Duck good but potato chips!  Glacé good.
     To bed at midnight.

MONDAY, MAY 26, 1980

ITINERARYContinental breakfast: Le Grand Hotel / [in handwritten brackets: 9 a.m.—12 Noon: Walking tour, including Louvre, Tuileries, and Left Bank] [handwritten: in afternoon / morning free] / Lunch on own / 1:30-4:30 p.m.: [scored through: Metro to Montmartre for walking tour] / 5:30 pm: Lecture on Mediaeval [sic] architecture / Overnight: Le Grand Hotel

GEORGE:  It has been a long day, a day filled with much walking and some Metro-riding.  As a consequence, seated now at past nine in the evening, I was at a loss to recall where I had put this journal.  I was about ready to tell the hotel management that they should be on the outlook for a small red book in which I was writing, when I tried the bags again and found it.  The Sunstream bag has a lot of compartments indeed.  Well, now I can begin to relate the day's adventures, a day which also includes our twenty-fourth wedding anniversary.
     The day began later than will be the norm, since we were to have a free day in the morning.  Mila and I toured round the Opera.  It is, on the exterior, an extraordinary and extravagant building.  The details are remarkable in their complexity and variety.  It is, as I said to some of our fellows, "a statement."
     As we completed the exterior tour, noting there was no interior tours or anything going on, we ran into Marian Davis, Blake Alexander, Mitch Yamaguchi, Katie Woodbridge and Mary Carolyn George (Gene George is ill).  We decided to join forces and headed toward St. Sulpice on the Left Bank.  So into the Metro.
     We made a detour so Mary Carolyn could see the house where an artist she is working on lived.  The artist is a Texas-connected woman I must admit I know not, and the house is clearly gone, a modern structure stands at the number.
     From there to St. Sulpice.  It is quite an impressive structure, outside as well as in.  I knew it from pictures and they don't give the scale or the sense of volumes, inside and out.  The Delacroix murals in a chapel are OK but not worth the trip in and of themselves, except as one might be on a Delacroix trip.
     From St. Sulpice we headed toward the Val de Grace via the Luxembourg and its gardens.  The latter were handsome as I remembered them from sixteen years ago, and this being a holiday (Pentecost) it was filled with people.  The Val de Grace is much smaller than the severely classical St. Sulpice, and it is a rich Jesuit-like, very Italianate structure with elaborate carvings inside and out.  I took a number of pictures, more aide de memoire than for instructional purposes.  Atmospheric photos with people as well as buildings and views.
     Well, we Metroed back to the hotel and ate the remainder of our breakfast and our other apple for lunch then marshaled ourselves for the afternoon tour of the Louvre exterior and the Left Bank walking tour.
     I'm sorry to say Earl Layman is not a good tour guide; Marian Davis (our leader in the morning) is.  I won't go through the painful details except to say we walked and walked and got strung out, etc.  By the time we reached L'Ecole des Beaux Arts, Mila and I decided to split and tour on our own.  We ambled toward her old haunts of 25 years earlier and found her old hotel, etc.
     From there she suggested we head toward the Rodin Museum, and as we started off we ran into our companions of the morning less Katie Woodbridge.  So once again we joined forces.  We were instructed by Marian and saw numerous old facades, etc.
     The 7th arrondisement is heavily 18th Century and some earlier.  There is, of course, a lot of 19th (and even 20th) Century buildings.  But the street patterns are still medieval, and there are numerous courts within, to which facades face (as we can see here and there).
     One interesting thing is that there is a lot of Art Nouveau of a form I was not up on.  It isn't continental/Horta stuff, nor Guimard, nor is it Mac[k]intosh.  Rather, it is a bit heavy, with some plastic treatment of the facade, a bit like a heavy Rococo.  There is floral work and swelling brackets etc.  I really must learn more about it.  Some buildings are original, early 20th Century before World War I.  I don't recognize the architects.
     Well, we did end at the Rodin Museum and saw the collection and the Hotel Biron, the house which is late 18th Century.  The collection was interesting but familiar.  The gardens were interesting since they also served as a public park with mommies and children sunning and playing.
     We split with our companions after after being shoved out at closing.  We two walked (oh my poor feet) back to a student-type restaurant across from L'Ecole des Beaux Arts.  We had a fixe-prix dinner, sharing long tables with others, and there with our half-liter of wine we had potage, plat de poisson avec mayonnaise, plus une pomme et fromage.  And a lot of bread, pain but not pain.  Our anniversary meal.  It was notable.  It is in the tourist guides, but no quarter is given them.  And there were "students" much in evidence.
     From there is was to Blvd. St. Germain to take the Metro back "home."  And now it is near bed time, an hour after starting this.
     Near the Metro stop, by the church of St. Germain des Pres, more street entertainers.  One was playing the flute to the accompaniment of a stereo-cassette player providing a full orchestra.

MILA JEAN Today is Pentecost which really means it's a major holiday & almost everything is closed—including cafes, WCs, drugstores, not to mention some museums.  This wasn't too bad because it was a lovely sunny day—not to mention our anniversary—but when one is desperate to eat, it's not so amusing.
     Started out with a later breakfast that usual (we can't seem to get that going somehow) & left hotel about 9:00.  Walked around Opera (closed, of course).  Coming down steps ran into Mitch, Marian, Katie, Blake & Mary Carolyn (Gene George is under the weather) who were venturing out, so we joined them.  Got into Metro & went to San [sic] Sulpice, Val de Grace & Luxembourg Gardens with all of the children, mommies, dogs, etc. running around.  Perfectly lovely time with few if any people in churches & nice, knowledgeable companions—had to rush back by Metro for 1:30 tour.  Pepsi in Metro, apples and two rolls in room.  Downstairs we found out we were to walk to Louvre—it was very disorganized & noninformative.  The group kept splitting up, couldn't hear Earl, so Geo & I left the tour on Left Bank & went on our own up & down St. Germain.  Saw my old "fleabag," the Fleurys Hotel on Rue du Bac, & Geo took photo of it.
     On way to Rodin Museum ran into Marian, Blake, Mitch & Mary Carolyn.  Had a citron ice-bar & looked around at monuments & embassies—very nice time.  Went to Rodin Museum which was interesting & gardens even better with little children & ducklings & ponds & roses.  Stayed until 5:45 when guards ran us out.  Walked some distance to restaurant at 6:15 which was closed (the help was eating).  Went & sat down at Seine bankside & watched boats, barges & dogs.  Back to restaurant—the Beaux Arts on Rue San [sic] Sebastopol—price fixe for 25 f had potage, fish with boiled potato, fromage & bottle of white wine.  Went home just before 9:00, washed hair & tried to restore feet to some semblance of order—retired romantically about 11:00.

TUESDAY, MAY 27, 1980

[Starting today, George made no further handwritten corrections to the "Tentative Tour Schedule" except for one on June 10th; but Mila Jean would begin annotating her copy on June 3rd]

ITINERARYContinental breakfast: Le Grand Hotel / 8:30 a.m.: All-day bus tour to Chartres / Participants to take (or buy in Chartres) food for own picnic lunch / Overnight: Le Grand Hotel

GEORGE:  Breakfast, this time, was on time, and our routine is becoming established.  Fortunately the hotel room/area is quiet (but over-warm to my taste), and I managed a decent rest.  We were on [the] bus at 8:30 en route pour Chartres.  As noted earlier, Earl Layman is not a tour guide.  He says nothing.  While a "chatty cathy" would be a bore, there are some obvious things to tell people.  He is, perhaps, intimidated by some of the knowledgeable ones, but I doubt that is the case.
     Well, we arrive at Chartres having left in rain and finding grey skies there.  La Cath
édrale loomed up as it is supposed to, and this time was more impressive than I remembered it to be.  We hauled in at an hour that would give us about five hours to explore the cathedral and the old town at our individual pleasure.
     First inside.  It is everything and more than one remembers it to be.  Indeed, with no concerns about touring en groupe we have a sense of adventure and discovery.  In this aspect I like the low-key Layman approach.  As our eyes became accustomed to the light, and it takes about half an hour, one received the full impact of the proportions of the church.  It is proportionally quite wide and that has an important effect.  Blake Alexander feels it is the arch arrises that carry all the way down the piers that give one a sense of relating to the upper spaces.  Perhaps it is the light, modulated by the windows.  The windows themselves are, of course, very impressive.  They are also hard to read—even impossible.  Perhaps they are the heavenly host hovering.  You know they are there, but that is all one can say.
     We exited to buy some picnic
[sic] and several of us ate by the cath
édrale.  We then were going to set out to see some of the city.  I turned back to a bookstore I'd seen on our way to the cathédrale to get a good guide to France, only to arrive as it closed for lunch.  I then decided to walk around the exterior of the cathédrale, and lo and behold another bookstore across from the south porch, open.  I got the Guide Bleu France, 1980 (Hachette) and now feel I can cope with further travels.  I used the plan de ville Chartres to guide us into curious medieval byways, including the pedestrian streets with steps to manage the grade differentials.  We visited St. Aignan, a curious wood vaulted pastiche with interior polychromy, and St. Pierre, where we were the only visitors.  Numerous striking views and the like to impress one.  In the process it began to rain, but we took shelter, finally, under the south porch of the cathédrale.  Mila and I have rain gear, but others didn't.
     At 2 p.m. a number of us climbed the tower and did the walk by the roof gutter.  Being up at that level has its problems, as did climbing the spiral staircase.  But at least I did it and gained some new insights concerning architecture, gothic churches, and me.
     Afterward, back in Paris, the Greek crowd, eleven of the fourteen on this tour, journeyed to the Left Bank in search of a modest (?) restaurant.  We ended, instead, on St. Germain Blvd. at La Belle Époque.  It was medium-priced for each by the time we got through (80 f each).  We then walked back, through the Louvre, having crossed Pont Carousel.
     We are slowly getting to know some of our traveling companions.  So far our boon associates are the old Greek tour folk, Marian Davis, Blake Alexander, Mitch, Tom, Mary Carolyn and Gene (who are now married), Gary, Katie and Jack.

MILA JEAN Abruptly awakened by phone at 6:20—stumbled around making toilettes—breakfast promptly at 7:00, out to bus in rain at 8:15 with dire predictions of a truck slowdown that came true on the way back.  Nice ride to Chartres alternating looking at countryside and reading Jack Parker's written reminiscences of China visit in December.  Got to spend five hours in not only touring the Cathedral, but in prowling the little town.  Cathedral dark, Gothic, with extraordinarily beautiful stained glass windows which we looked at thru the opera glasses.  There were tons of tourists, especially notably British teenage school children (very cheeky & Teddy boyish) & hordes of well organized Germans.  Went out at 11:30-12:00 with Gary [&] Mitch to buy cheese, fruit, etc. each in individual little shops—quite charming.  Bought Granny Smith apples, Emmenthal cheese (we had rolls from breakfast).  Mitch bought a half a chicken!  Gorgeous slice of paté (I got some) & a whole bottle of mineral water.  Lovely sweets but we didn't succumb.  Ate on benches with Lyle—other couple shared their Brie—watching tourists & giggling.  Went on wonderful tour of backwoods Chartres—little corrals (saw dead bat on one bridge), two ancient churches with NO one in them, public latrines for the "necessaries."  It got darker & darker & finally let loose with steady rain up to 2:00 when we ran up to church enclosure.  Paid 3 f to climb many steps inside spiral staircase up to roof level to walk around—Jack almost had a heart attack & Mitch kept moaning all of the way up—everyone up there were SAH'rs—it had stopped raining & [there] was quite a nice, dewy look about the scene.
     Went back down into cathedral & looked at window(s)
Out to bus, buying coffee glacé bars.  Drive back, most people slept except during colossal traffic jam due to truck slowdown.
     Decided to meet at 7:00 (about an hour late) for dinner (a reunion of the Greek Gang).  Eleven (11!) showed up: Marian & Blake, Mitch, Gene & Mary Carolyn, Geo & me, Jack, Gary, Tom, Katie.  The trip in the Metro to the Left Bank was exciting with the door closing on Gene, me throwing myself into the closure.  Started to rain hard.  Ran.  The restaurant, the Vagenende (142 Blvd. St. Germaine) or Le Grand Epoque was gorgeous, turn of century, Art Nouveau, almost empty when we arrived (eventually to be filled in by horde of Danes?).  Beautiful mirrors, service, tilework.  Had fish wrapped in foil (Jack called it a "silverfish") with small new potatoes, had sorbet framboise (raspberry sherbet) for dessert (Mitch had to filet my fish).  Walked back to hotel.

Picture Postcard of Chartres Cathedral addressed to Matthew in KCMO, written by George:
     Yes, we made the crossing OK and were immediately into perambulating activities that have added numerous kilometers to my pedometer.  I'm glad I don't really have one, I'd be depressed by the knowledge of how much of Paris (and today Chartres) I've covered with your Mother being enthusiastic about almost everything—including the foot-dragging husband.  On that note, my feet are holding up—gout is at bay—and my spirits are high seeing so much.  And it has only begun, since this was only the third full day.  Our anniversary dinner was in a student restaurant on the left bank, elbow to elbow with others at "family tables."  Ah me!  Today was especially a good day at Chartres, and if you look at the other side, at the line where the green roof begins, Mom and I were up there walking along the parapet on the other side.  Hang in there, we're hanging in here and hard at it.  While we're writing to others, you might call in case cards are delayed.  /  Love, Dad and Mom


ITINERARYContinental breakfast: Le Grand Hotel / 7 a.m.: Luggage in halls / 8 a.m.: Bus departs for Poitiers / Own picnic lunch en route / Afternoon walking tour of Poitiers with historians from the University of Poitiers / 7 p.m.: Dinner: Hotel de France, Poitiers / Overnight: Hotel de France, Poitiers

GEORGEEn route pour Poitiers.  We took off early enough, though we were delayed by a missing Ben Schneider, and Ken MacInnes from Seattle who had some sort of nervous/chemical affliction that had equivalent symptoms of food poisoning.  He rode in the onboard WC for nearly an hour.  We passed through incredibly manicured rural-agricultural lands with little villages of farmers to the side, and occasionally a city near the freeway.  As we reached the Loire Valley, one could see the current prosperity of this largely agricultural land and visualize its attractiveness in medieval times.  It had to be [attractive], come to think of it, given the rise of Romanesque architecture there.  We saw large silhouette signs of the various famous chateaux, giving advance warning of later signs indicating turnoffs to them.  We, alas, had no time to visit any.
     Speaking of signs, we see none, or virtually none, advertising (other than for gas stations on the freeway).  Off freeway a very occasional small one.  Also, virtually no litter; really none for American experienced eyes.  It goes with the disciplined fields, gardens, etc.  I wonder if this is regional or national?
     We did see some modest, later chateaux from our speeding bus.  And speaking of the bus, it is worth noting that the no smoking sign seems to work on almost all who smoke about all the time.  And, as far as I can tell, there is very little smoking among the group.  Of the Greek Gang, only Rosann, Jack Parker and Mitch smoke.  Of the new acquaintances, very few do.  Hooray.
     Also speaking of the bus, we have an onboard WC that is a great advantage, except when the water pump switch for the wash basin went berserk.  It necessitated a stop at a parking (that is the word widely used along the highway instead of stationment)
area and Patric had to do an emergency repair.  The whine of the two pumps (basin and stool) are our occasional music.
     As we passed by close and above downtown Tours we saw the unusual cathédrale but little else of note.  But then we were heading for Poitiers, our principal target.  We arrived between 11:30 and 11:45 at the Hotel [de] France.  Directly across the street is a charcuterie, and someone spilled out of the bus and into it to inform the proprietor that many of us would buy our lunch there.  She [the proprietor] held open past the 11:45 hour.  We had been watching a very tiny lad try to sweep the sidewalk and a lady from the charcuterie supervising.  It was this that led some to surmise she was about to close.  We were waiting to debark after Rosann had gotten room assignments squared.  I whipped in and got two different pastries[?], one with a thin slice of ham, the other with mushrooms plus (? what) [sic].  Our extra breakfast rolls had vanished into our systems en route.  This repast with water we had in our room.
     The room is small, in the old section, and the twin beds plus the wardrobe, chairs, etc. make it very crowded.  We have a decent bain privée with a frosted glass door, but separated from the room proper by a bedroom door (as in Paris).  That enables one to use the facility at night without serious disruption for others.  Price listed is 200 f with
[illegible] 15 f each.
     Once "fed," we did a bit of sightseeing on our own and soon returned to the hotel to be led by a visiting doctoral candidate of the University of Oregon to the Medieval Center at the University of Poitiers.  There we met in a lecture room I later learned was in a 15th Century building.  The screens and blackboard are where once the fireplace and chimney were located.  We sat at metal tables, with individual chairs, and for each place there was a shielded low-intensity light.  The room, very high ceilinged, had [a] screen (double projection) above, [and a] lighted (shielded) blackboard below.  There was a lecturer's platform and desk, map rack to the side, and a portable lighted lectern in front, at the end of the aisle between the two rows of tables.  At the rear was a high platform with two 2x2 automatic cartridge Leitz [slide] projectors; two manual 3x4 plus opaque projectors by a German manufacturer.  Quite a setup, since two different voltages seemed required.
     Professor Pon, a historian, read/gave a lecture on medieval Poitiers.  I now have a confirmed stereotypical image of the French lecture, complete with small notepaper, out-of-focus slides, etc.  Our tired group dozed off, though he [Pon] did have a lot to say and did it in tolerable English.  The only problem was that at times it sounded French.  The reverse, no doubt, of my reading aloud (or trying to) French.  The Oregon lad was our guide and translator as needed.
     After this was done, Madame Camus, an art historian, guided us through Notre Dame la Grande and the Cathédrale.  She spoke in French (though she knows a fair amount of English) and Oregon translated in a rather abbreviated manner.  I know, not only because the difference in the length of the speeches, but because I was able to follow a good deal of it.  I was really understanding her clear, logical and expressive commentary.  She is, for me, a charmer.
     Notre Dame la Grande is much smaller than I expected, and weathering on the facade sculpture is bad, especially in the lower level.  It is an interesting but problematic building.  The curious truncated crossing is a case in point.  The choir is quite interesting with its ghostly fresco.  One senses the tentativeness of the solutions to the structional problems.  I must do some reading when I get home on all of this.
     Then over to the cathédrale.  It is a strange pile; all sorts of Romanesque elements, though basically Gothic.  It has a ribbed domical octite[?] vaulting.  It also has the oldest large-scale stained glass in France (though only a few windows).  But then came the unusual treat.  We got to go up on the vaults themselves.  Up a spiral staircase and into a side aisle by the choir; then into the choir, then into the higher nave.  A strange experience.  They are restoring the trusses of the roof and the roof itself, and one can see the old (last restoration was 18th Century, I understood) and the new timbers replicating the old.  It is like a wood roof supported by arcaded stone walls (over the columns).  The dust and such up there was much; but the experience was worth the trial (and later snoring).
     I should add, earlier we saw another strange two-aisle Romanesque church, that of St. Porchaire.  It, by the way, opens onto a medieval street that is now returned to its pedestrian origins, but modernized to suit contemporary facades.  It does provide lessons in such.  By the way, no food places etc.  Only shops, including at least three bookstores.  One had my newly acquired Guide Bleu for 98.50 f vs. 122 f, about $6 difference.  The medieval street pattern in old town remains very much in evidence, including widths.
     We returned to the hotel for a quick wash up and dinner in a group
—finally.  Food so-so.  Then off (by bus this time) to the lecture room for a champagne etc. reception with faculty members of the Medieval Center.  A strange experience.  Too much goodies for us—all of us bone-tired—and we were not overly involved.  I did talk haltingly in both French and English with Madame Camus.  There was champagne, Scotch, Perrier, orange juice, Cognac and Armagnac.  Little pastry things, and cigarettes (American) in opened packages, and small cigars (Havana).  We were paying for this, but apparently with a return on unopened bottles.  I was all too ready to totter in to my bed.
     And since my toe began to ache, I began the Clinoril.  What else will happen?

MILA JEAN Wake up at 6:15, breakfast at 7:00.  Supposed to leave at 8:00.  Will we?  What about truck slowdown?  Will we get out of town?  Uneventful packing, but sure enough a late start!  Dr. Ben had disappeared (presumably sightseeing) & didn't appear until 8:00, also Ken MacInnes had "food poisoning"?! & they couldn't decide whether to leave him or take him along.  They did the latter but he heaved in the john until halfway to Poitiers.  Poor fellow, locked in box.  Finally WC rebelled, sending out shrieks of complaint.  Had to stop bus (after some of us tried fixing it at "rest" stop (unfinished) & a lot of us piled out to "go" in back, which poor Patric was repairing the fuse—much hilarity.  It was cold.  Got to Poitiers about 12:30-45.  Outside the hotel was a little charcuterie where we where we bought goodies—staggered upstairs to "room" with luggage.  Went out exploring in slight rain thru streets filled with students and motorbikes on the "pedestrian mall"—went in old church.  Kept running into people we knew (ate café bars).  Ran back to hotel to meet group, only to find we were going back to same place we'd been & beyond!  Excruciatingly boring & tedious lecture by M. Pon, lecturer at U of Poitiers.  He was introduced by Mr. Deal, a young PhD exchange student from U of Oregon.  M. Pon said "My English is out of tune."  We saw slides reversed—a lighted pointer that didn't work—funny pronunciation "rue" (reminiscent of Peter Sellers) history of architecture.  We all nodded & restrained our naturally ribald giggles.  Went on with woman lecturer, a Mme Camus (blonde with chic grey suit with wine-colored high heels) to churches—very thorough description of everything in French interpreted by Mr. Deal (who was young, mustached).  Some people thought it was tedious; we found it interesting, especially germane outside of ancient Romanesque church with all of the figures explained laboriously.  Went on at 5:45 (!) to Cathedral for same thing, including an incredible climb to the vaults?!  Stairs filled with pigeon guano & skeletal remains of dead pigeons & bats crunching underfoot.  It was dusty & filled with feathers—interesting though.
     Ran back to hotel at 7:15 to dress (complete from top to bottom) for dinner and reception afterward.  To me the meal was good: potage legume, salade nicoise, roast pork & mashed potatoes, not very good ice cream.  Went on to reception at very cold university.  Formal address by some official representing the President, expressing in French his sentiments.  We drank much champagne, sweet cookies, and finally brandy (SAH members took rest of bottles home).  Rather hysterical leavetaking & arrival at hotel.  Wild dreams at night!

THURSDAY, MAY 29, 1980

ITINERARYContinental breakfast: Hotel de France / 8 a.m.: Bus departs for Angoulême and Périgueux / Own picnic lunch en route / [no description of afternoon activity]  /  7 p.m.: Dinner: Hotel de France / Overnight: Hotel de France

GEORGE:  Today was early rise and shine to take the bus to Angoulême and [scratched-out attempt] Périgueux (there!).  It was raining when we awoke, and it did on and off thereafter, including a real gully washer at Périgueux, and another earlier at Angoulême.
     The latter was our first port of call, and it is, in fact, an acropolis insofar as the old city is concerned.  We exited, finally, by the
cathédrale, St. Pierre.  After studying the inside, which is impressive, and the exterior, which is so crisp after the restoration of the 19th Century it doesn't look old, we began an exterior tour of the upper city by walking the ramparts.  But first we headed for Les Halles, which I saw on the way to the church.  The market hall looked 19th Century, iron and glass, and was in full swing.  We bought bread, apples and cheese.  From there we walked the ramparts.  The views are striking and one can sense how this spot, so defensible, was selected as a city.  St. Pierre is right by the ramparts.  We also saw the Hotel de Ville with its two old towers, 13th and 15th Centuries, and the theatre (exterior).  The latter was rather nice but we had no date on it.  It might have been later 18th Century.
     From there we hurried on to Périgueux.  St. Front is heavily restored, and totally disoriented inside.  St. Pierre with its domes is still a church with an axial presentation.  St. Front, with a Greek cross, and entered from a transept, is confusing.  An altar (modern) is at the crossing, and chairs face it from all four sides.  There are other altars, and these have chairs facing them.  The west front is not an entrance.
     Restoration still goes on as it does for large portions of the old city around it.  That is nice to see.  All "old towns" are not necessarily that much to look at, but with a bit of care and maintenance, with some restoration, a great deal can be done.  One annoying thing was extensive noise pollution in the old area, loudspeakers substituting for "barkers" urging that attention be paid.  That was totally annoying to me.
     Then soon it was time to return, and the long drive began.  All told, we were gone eleven hours from the hotel.  We were in truffle and foie gras country, and there is much marketing of local products.  Paté are everywhere, and featured in charcuteries.  Our dinner (yes, another one) in the hotel had soup, paté, chicken and a slice of a large tart.  Lord, I wish we had more fruit and vegetables!
     In retrospect, the domed churches are a curious manifestation of the search for structural solutions to large churches.  They are interesting, but clearly they don't give an adequate spacial treatment, through
Angoulême wasn't too bad.  The 19th Century restorations are hard to discuss as to when they start and end.  It is often new materials substituted for old and stuccoing over the old, etc.  A problem.
     I won't be sorry to leave the Hotel France in Poitiers, though I'd like to explore Poitiers more, as I would other of the old cities.  It isn't just the matter of the plans or the oldest buildings, but the way various generations and styles of buildings coexist.  Rarely does a modern structure fit in.  The better 19th [Century] and even Art Nouveau (French heavy style) does.  There are lessons in that.  Also, there are lessons in how space is used, and how courtyards open up otherwise tight, convoluted "thorough"fares
     Oh yes, we stopped at Brantome briefly on the way back; very picturesque!

MILA JEAN Wake up at 6:15, breakfast at 7:00, out at 8:10 in rain!  Angoulême—more "rugged country" (note: one of the strangest sights yesterday was Dr. Ben in his impeccable business suit, scrambling over guano-crusted scaffolding).  Off reasonably on time after running across street to get mushroom quiche.
     Raining in Angoulême—see cathedral, walk in rain to City Market—an incredible experience—beautiful displays of fruits, vegs, flowers, bread, meat (whole lamb's heads), each place had a bouquet of flowers on counter.  Bought bread, cheese, apples (later ate in bus).  See beautiful theatre there.
     On to Périgueux—hard rain, squall, hail, twisty road at breakneck pace, driver seems to be outdoing himself—get to feeling nauseated—take Dramamine, which makes whole town experience seem dreamlike.
     Stop several times by river to take shots of almost 19th Century Romantic views—really slows us up.  We don't get back until 7:10!  (Dinner at 7:30.)  Rush up & change.  Dinner: veg soup, paté, roast chicken with new potatoes, sweet (apple?) tart with Jack Parker.  Have brandy in lobby with "Greek" crowd.  Pack.

FRIDAY, MAY 30, 1980

ITINERARYContinental breakfast: Hotel de France / 7 a.m.: Luggage in halls / 8 a.m.: Bus departs for Toulouse, via Limoges and Cahors / Own picnic lunch en route / [no description of afternoon activity or dinner]  /  Overnight: Hotel Frantel Wilson, Toulouse

GEORGE:  Once again, up and at 'em early.  We have luggage in the halls by 7:00 and we are ready to depart at 8:00.  It is a long ride to Toulouse, and through rugged country.
     We begin by going to St. Savin, a very early Romanesque church with a simple barrel vault and remnants of the original frescoes (other paintings of a decorative nature restored).  A striking building.  Pseudo Corinthian columns in the choir.  Rather thick coarse plaster (stucco) on walls. etc.  I wonder if that replicates original interior finishes?
     After St. Savin, it is a rugged drive.  We go up and up, and then down into valleys.  Many curves.  It is like being on a ship on a stormy sea instead of a bus.  We are in sheep and cattle country, mostly sheep.  In St. Savin I bought a baguette (bread) before boarding the bus.  That plus apples and cheese left from yesterday will be lunch.
     It is interesting to see changes in rural and village architecture.  Towers (dovecotes?) appear; roof slopes change.
     We stop in Brive, at a park, to picnic.  Nearby is a Chalet de Necessité, 1 f.  They even give receipts.  At least a colleague shows us.
     We reach Cahors.  A curious city.  We are in the old town, a sort of peninsula flanked on three sides by an oxbow bend of a river.  We see the
Cathédrale, a peculiar church with domes and what all.  It really doesn't illuminate except perhaps Muslim influences.  A portion of the church was screened off with a plastic curtain; restorations going on inside.
     We wandered by the river and the old medieval streets, than back to the bus.  Men were playing a form of bocce!  We are nearing the Mediterranean and this must be some influence.
     Then on to Toulouse, a large city.  We are in the heart of the older town.  The hotel is tres moderne inside, but curious in its appointments.  Mila and I strike out to seek food.  We had seen a cafeteria near the hotel as the bus came in for a landing.  Lo and behold, it was open and we had choices (so to speak).  We had fish, I with spinach, she with rice (which we shared), and a nice bottle of house rosé and she a yogurt.  There was water, etc.  The whole thing was (for France) modest, a bit over 23 f.  One could even hot up [sic] things with a microwave oven!  We need to keep that in mind for later.  It is very near the hotel.
     Then from there to St. Sernin.  While it was closed (inside) when we got there, and restoration was in evidence, the exterior radiated in the late sunlight.  It was really impressive.  It has a lot of brick which is red, and in combination with the stone it is "colorful" somehow.  It is big and proud.  I was impressed.
     From there to the Capitolium, to arrive as a military band was assembling in the plaza.  Then costumed people, in various ethnic(?) dress.  Needless to say, Mila and I stayed to watch.  We thought it was for some sort of festival for which we saw a posted sign (and earlier people with kids heading for).  But no, it was some sort of awards ceremony in the old court of the Hotel de Ville.  What it was I know not, but there was a broaching of a cask of wine (by the mayor!) and a cake, and a spray of flowers for the winner(?) , a young girl.  Was it some sort of competition of folk dancers and such, and one group had won the prize?  Before the goodies, one group danced.  The military band played on for entertainment.
     But soon we really had to get back, unpack, do laundry, bring the journal up to date, and sleep.  Tomorrow is Carcassonne!

MILA JEAN Early call.  On to Toulouse via (Limoges) Cahors.  A long, long drive.  In bus with some short stops for ten hours.  We all got punchy & the WC's sink started acting up—shrieking again toward the end of the trip.  The bus is alternatingly cold (with air conditioning blowing in our ears or on legs) or hot with sun streaming in.  The bus has blinds, though, & Patric obliges us.  He's even beginning to joke a bit—playing his tapes, etc.
     We have some leftover cheese, bread Geo bought in an outdoor market, apples, a few shreds of Mitch's half-chicken & Rosann's leftover cookies out in a beautiful park somewhere in SW France.  Sat on bench with Mitch, Jack, Gary, Lyle.  Saw a beautiful cathedral that Marian recommended seeing—all with interior painted domes & pillars called _________ [sic]  It's exquisite—all faded earth colors, pinkish marbleish—with vases of pink carnations & white lilies.  Glad we stopped.
     I could have lived without Cahors though it was great to get off the bus so late, but people tend to disappear, not only to photograph but to buy ice cream, beer & whatnot.  The couple from New Orleans opposite us have enough food to feed an army: beer, two flutes of bread, three huge chunks of cheese, meat, cherries—they are both "plump" and no wonder!
     Driving into Toulouse is a real thrill during 6 o'clock rush hour, traffic jams, etc. but the check in to the hotel was easy & the wait was worth it, after the last two nights in a rather smelly hotel.
     Hotel Frantel-Wilson, Toulouse.  What a surprise!  Sort of Art Deco: entry hall—walls covered with cocoa-colored fuzzy fabric.  One tasteful print "Musée des Augustins"—Toulouse cubists exhibition poster.  Luggage rack—desk—two bedside tables, white moderne.  Small white direction lights on either side of bed.  Grey headboard with separate radio panels, white and blue fuzzy Irish bedspread, cocoa-colored wall-to-wall carpeting, central air, white translucent drapes with red/white/black almost a Marimekko print—silver-based modern lamp with square white shade—color TV.  Bathroom unbelievable—grey bidet, toilet (with white wood ashtray by it), sink, tub.  It has perfume for man & lady, and toothpaste.  It's probably more schlocky & pseudo-modern & non-sound-absorbent & on the street, but it's clean & fun for three nights!
     Unpacked almost everything.  Should be interesting repacking.  Went out for a wonderfully cheap meal (23 f for two!) at a beautiful cafeteria, Flunch: chicken, rice, spinach, lemon yogurt, & a little bottle of wine.
     Walked around—looked at church from outside, and ran into wonderful folk festival complete with band of army reserves?  Hundreds of people in folk costumes, the mayor?
[sic] & his wife & observers witnessing some kind of ceremony awarding prizes?!  Much fun—lots of people laughing—one group danced—band played loudly, including drum & bugle corps.  Back to hotel 9:30, washed undies & caught up on journal.

SATURDAY, MAY 31, 1980

ITINERARYContinental breakfast: Hotel Frantel Wilson / 8:30 a.m.: Bus departs for Carcassonne via Cordes / Lunch on own in Carcassonne / [no description of afternoon activity or dinner]  /  Overnight: Hotel Frantel Wilson, Toulouse

GEORGE:  A number of us descend to the breakfast room only to discover we should have ordered breakfast served in the room.  It isn't worth sorting out the confusion, and I was trying my best to explain we were not the groupe touristes who were gathering and getting ready to leave at eight, we were part of a groupe touristes of La Societé d'Architectur, etc.  Some were having petit déjeuner continental dans ses chambres, etc.  Tomorrow in the room, despite having only one chair.
     It was raining a bit today, but we were nearly all hot to trot/ride.  Two or three stayed back (why I don't know), but that is their business.  And off we went.  We approached the medieval city called La Cité shrouded in mist and clouds.  Carcassonne may be elaborately restored, much more so than than is Monemvasia in Greece, but it had much the same flavor.  Many souvenir shops (mostly junk as far as I could see) and restaurants.
     There was a bit of confusion, and Earl decided to lecture us as we stood outside (instead of during the nearly two-hour drive there).  Earl is, as I've said, not really a guide.  I have no quarrel with what he is showing us, but he could do more with the interior details of the trip.  I'll write a separate commentary on that.
     Carcassonne in the rain, and then under scudding clouds, then under sun and clouds, and then repeat.  The wind was blowing up a fierce gale that damn near sent us off the ramparts.  It did my chronic
[two scratched-out attempts] catarrh no good at all.  (I note my spelling is disintegrating under the bilingual assault.)  But it was picturesque.  The outer works, rather than the inner buildings, are the truly picturesque views.  It is something of a challenge to try to decide what is "original" and what is restoration.  Since there are, in fact, levels of "original" stuff, one is indeed challenged.  I will need to read on Viollet le Duc when I get home.  Perhaps I shall find a book in Paris before we leave.
     Mila and I had omelettes for lunch with tea.  I made numerous photos, and perhaps some of the quality of the place is captured.  Before leaving, we visited the cemetery and saw what is perhaps a regional type, but so different from the U.S., even the old ones.  The family tombs in streets are really rather ancient in feeling, the sense of a necropolis.  We, on the other hand, have our individ
ual plots—suburbia—rather than the congested family tenements.  It might be worth making an observation on this in greater length at a later time.
     On our way back to Toulouse, we stopped briefly at Avignonet.  Presumably this was to make photos.  Other than the church tower, there wasn't much.  Then back into Toulouse at the height of the traffic.  It did give me a chance to look at Toulouse along some new streets.  As a largely brick city (red, and rather Roman brick in shape) one is struck by how different it is from the more northern cities we've seen so far.  It reminds Mila and me of Thessaloniki in its flavor (when the latter was compared to Athens).  Toulouse is #4 in size in France, and it has a different flavor.  Much of the older brick is very soft, poorly fired and disintegrating.  The petrol pollution doesn't help.
     We leaped from the bus on arrival, and headed for St. Sernin.  It was a jam of people to get through but it was worth it.  The exterior was solemn and majestic in its salmon-colored brick over pierre, but the interior surprised me.  Restoration is underway, and the inside has been cleaned, I guess, and is quite light, as if whitewashed and then washed again.  I wasn't prepared for the amount of brick inside.  It is hard to estimate, but clearly the vast majority of the fabric is brick.  The transverse ribs are brick.  Most of the light in the nave at this hour, late afternoon, came through the west window, despite a large organ that obscured much of it.  Some [light] enters gallery windows (not accessible).  It was, being cleaned, not as dark as it seems in photos, and there is interaction with the aisles.  The glare of the light from the apse windows makes it hard to see the apse.  That is part of the problem.  There are a few minuscule windows at the crossing, peeping through the panels between the ribs that cross in that space, but they do little.  The tower is not a lantern, and it appears that these southern towers at crossings are not.  The choir and the ambulatory were closed.  Nevertheless, one can see something of the spaces (as at St. Denis).  Some frescoes were in evidence.
     Altogether a most satisfying experience.  Afterwards we had oranges, purchased in Cahors.  Sitting on a very ancient, decrepit bench on the north side of the cathedral, in the sun.
     From there we went to the Jacobin, a brick two-aisle Gothic church built for Dominicans in the 13th and 14th Centuries.  Extensively restored inside and out, though the attached buildings are largely gone, it is a surprising space.  The two-aisle plan (we saw a Romanesque one is Poitiers) is a strange experience.  There is a very new cloister, though not overly fancy.  It was a serene way to conclude the looking of the day.
     We returned to the hotel and rested for awhile.  We then went to "our" cafeteria again: Flunch.  We had small hamburger steak (virtually uncooked) and got boiled potatoes and mixed vegs which we shared with each other.  I heated mine 1½ times in the microwave, but the meat was still red.  But it was satisfying and cheap.  By the time we added a pitcher of wine and a Yoplait au lait avec fraises we paid 24.10 f or about $6 for the two of us.  A lot cheaper than Carcasssonne.
     I have severe catarrh, which is compounded by the cautious liquid intake during the day and the wind today.  I am well otherwise, though I still am on (half ration now) Clinoril for a toe that says I should keep remembering it.  But I [am] ready to go on to new adventures.

MILA JEAN Slept hard.  Difficult to wake up.  Staggered to breakfast room to find four of our party unable to make people realize what we were there for—Geo interceded.  It was frustratingly slow & we're going to try room service tomorrow.  Some members of our group are beginning to get me down (ninth day syndrome?).  Bus chaos with Patric trying to explain that the WC had no water, due to yesterday's breakdown.  We end up opposite WC in a terrible draft.  It is (guess what?) raining & cold.  We are on our way to Carcassonne—arrive & begin to notice terrific wind.  Dreadful delays while Earl tries to get official papers cleared.  Geo & I begin to cut out for cathedral alone.  Only join group once & it is part of a huge group with guide giving lecture in French!  Do everything alone, eat lovely omelette (cheese) with another couple with hot tea (tay).  Geo's throat is beginning to bother him due to extremely high (40 knots?) wind & blowing dust, especially up high on the ramparts.  The food is good & there is an adorable dachshund dog in restaurant.  Walk through cemetery—quite interesting.  Most sites have pictures of the deceased, whole families together.  Back on bus, some tensions are beginning to develop.  Unfortunately, Tom feels that someone "insulted" him.  We jump off bus to walk on our own to two churches.  Quite nice, though traffic & crowds of people are impossible on this Saturday.  Stagger back to hotel & collapse about an hour.  Out to Flunch for hamburger steak, new potatoes, mixed vegs for about 2.00, plus wine & a yogurt for me.  Nice atmosphere.  Back to hotel to wash hair (me), clothes (Geo) & journals (us).


     What can one say about the tour itself?  As a group and as a program?  For one thing, this tour has fewer obvious academics, that is art and architectural historians who teach at the college and university level.  There is Tom Ridington, Mary Carolyn George, Blake Alexander, Marian Davis (now retired), and us.  If there are others, I am unaware of them (Harry Schalck is another).  There are some librarians, active and retired, I know of: Gary Menges, Margaret Nicholsen (retired), Lyle Perusse (retired).  At least one museum person, Jack Parker.  Ben Schneider is a doctor (or was).  Architects include Michio Yamaguchi, Gene George and Trudy Berson (who does not practice).  There are a number of couples, seven in all counting us.  The Georges and we may be the only professionals; the others seem rolling
in dough—or is it my imagination?  Regardless, I intend to speak with them one by one and eventually learn more about them.
     As for the tour, it is going to good places, and by and large the amounts of time are within reason.  The guidance, whether in the matter of what we are about to see or in the mechanics of in-out, on-off, etc. are not handled well.  I don't want to be over-guided or over-protected, and I want time to do my own thing, but some advance alerting is useful, especially in areas where one finds much and might be looking out the wrong window and miss a notable view, monument, whatever.  We are presumed to be armed with guidebooks and maps, but let's face it, not all of us have been that well prepared that we could guide a group.  Also, there are differing interests, and some are better prepared on some aspects than others.  I believe this lack of guidance is making people restless, especially when it comes to having our leader lead.  His French is not that good, and he wears a hearing aid.  It seems to me others are doing more in asking and answering questions in French than he is.  Fortunately, we have some along who are secure in French, and at least a dozen, perhaps more, have my level of competency.  But there are those moments when Earl should be there to care for us in a matter of admissions, or in informing people as to who and what we are.
     But if people seemed cranky on Saturday, May 31, Sunday the first of June made a lot of difference.  It was a splendid day and part of it was the fact (at least so I believe) that Earl has been asked to be in tighter control and to exercise some leadership!

MILA JEAN Tomorrow is Sunday June 1st & we go off to Moissac, Albi & Cordes.  We note more & more Spanish & Italian names now, palm trees.  Toulouse reminds us of Thessaloniki—one thing is much emphasis on university students (much writing on walls, including churches!), congestion, conglomerate of people.  Hotel, though principal hotel in city, no one speaks English & they seem a bit out of it.  I do hope—as we move into June—that our little factions calm down.  Tom complains of his hurt feelings & hurt kidney.  Some people are fuming about Earl & his ineffectuality, others talk about snobs—ah, well.
     Observations about France: everyone smokes, men, women, seemingly children.  Lots & lots of dogs, lots of dog crap on sidewalk.  (Small dogs.)  Cars very aggressive—all small, mostly French, some Italian & a few VWs; no Japanese, no American big cars.  (We noticed Renaults for $11,000, $8,000 & $5,500.)  Everything growing beautifully—gorgeous neat farms with neat crops—not as much litter in cities as in USA.  Romantic vistas: canals, drooping trees, lovely flower arrangements; the French all seem to have good manners, are polite & little real rudeness—seem to be neat, smart & semi-amused at things, clean, organized & prompt.

SUNDAY, JUNE 1, 1980

ITINERARYContinental breakfast: Hotel Frantel Wilson / 8:30 a.m.: Bus departs for tour of Albi / Box lunch (from Hotel) en route / [no description of afternoon activity or dinner]  /  Overnight: Hotel Frantel Wilson

GEORGE:  We totter down to meet the bus.  Mila and I slept very soundly and felt we should be early on the bus, an interesting combination of unfocused but determined.  In the lobby we saw a magnificent stack of boxes—OUR LUNCH, already paid for—and I peeked inside as did others.  A tray with bean salad, slice of tuscany [bread?], a small pizza, cheese, a custard with flake pastry, a roll, and a little bottle of wine.  Also a real knife and fork and serviettes.  Believe me, that improved tempers; and the weather was crisp and clear, another plus.
     Off we went to Moissac.  The church is a strange conglomerate, basically Gothic, and there is the deep narthex-type hall before it.  To the side, facing and immediately on traffic arteries, is the famous portal.  There is restoration, of course, and horrible disintegration of stone.  My!  St. Peter was there, looking a bit weatherbeaten but there.  The other things were fine, but that was my goal about 33(?) years since first I made his acquaintance.  The sad thing is that one can see contemporary damage as well as very ancient losses.  How much longer can it last?  The cloister is nice, but it is the capitals rather than the total ensemble.  And some capitals are more exciting than others.  One interesting thing is a giant tree in the cloister.  Very large and thus quite old.
     While in Moissac we heard music, and lo and behold a parade of people in costumes, including shepherds(?) on stilts.  It was market morning, and the parade (why, we don't know) went there and did a performance.  Later, they were seen on buses heading out of town.  We wandered the market a bit and then we also departed.
     When we got to Guillac, which has a handsome formal park, we picnicked with our fancy box lunches on the benches.  A pleasant interlude.
     From there it was to Albi, a place I was not prepared for and quite delighted with.  The cathedral is in a warm, brownish brick, and quite tall.  It soars.  The entrance is on the side, in the middle, and it is a flamboyant soaring thing that is in stone, contrasting most interestingly with the basic fabric of the church.  And the tower simply soars even higher.  The church is on a promontory to boot.  It, the church, is accessible on three sides, with the fourth side obscured in part by the bishop's palace, now the Toulouse Lautrec museum; more on that later.  The area surrounding the cathedral (St. Cecilia) is medieval, in brick, with some half-timbering.  The whole thing looks like an opera set, as one of our colleagues noted.  Obviously, Albi deserves more attention than we can give it.  I'd say a half-day would be the absolute minimum, especially if one wanted to look at the museum and to explore a bit.
     The cathedral inside is a surprise.  Elaborately and completely frescoed (by Italians of modest late Mannerist skills).  The church is divided into halves.  The "open" half faces the town and has an altar.  The choir is the other end, and it is totally enclosed by a jube of flamboyant style, including polychromed sculpture.  And with the stained glass, the interior is a total contrast with the exterior.  One should add that it is a single aisle church with deep chapels between the buttresses, which are internal.
     Then over to the museum.  A few "other" things, but it is mostly Toulouse-Lautrec.  From childhood things to mature works, there are gobs of drawings as well as paintings.  One doesn't need to comment on T-L and his work, but the early manipulation of his talent is very evident in what one can see here.  There are several examples of one subject, preliminaries and the like to provide additional insight.  I was quite taken with that was there to see.  And then it was time to reboard the bus, for there was yet another stop to make.
     We then went to Cordes, a medieval hill town that is surrounded, below, by the newer town.  We, of course, piled out to see the old town, and scampered(?) up the steep winding streets, oohing and ahhing at picturesque views and dramatic vistas.  Except for the inevitable and insistent little automobiles, the visit was indeed a pleasure.
     Finally back on the bus and back to Toulouse.  We went to eat (again) at Flunch, but this time with Ken LaBudde.  It was our first sit-down together and we had a pleasant conversation over our quiches.  Then back to the hotel to pack our bags for the morrow,.  I'm beginning to routinize packing so that I know, more or less, where everything is.  By the time I master this, it will be home again and a skill of no value.
     Tomorrow we go to Nîmes, where we will be four nights.

MILA JEAN Very good day—Mére Day.  Began by breakfast at 7:00 with only three rolls, out on street at 8:00 AM (Patric did not arrive until 8:30!).  Fought for front seats on bus.  We all signed a "card" for Rosann for Mother's Day.  Interesting ride to Moissac—beautiful Gothic cathedral.  They were beginning mass, so most of us left to go to cloisters (gorgeous capitals on pillars—Daniel in the Lions Den, etc.) when I heard bagpipes—ran out to see a parade of young people in wild native costumes dancing & playing instruments like bagpipes.  Last in procession were boys & men on high stilts.  Imaging walking/dancing all thru town to the marketplace on stilts!  We followed them to where Sunday market had been set up & wandered thru it—everything was being sold including rugs (Gene Gorge bought a Basque beret), baskets, live rabbits, chickens, meats, cheeses, etc.  Lots of people.  Was this a festival for Mother's Day? or of growing things or what?
     Ate box lunch at Gaillac in a park (nice enough but cold).  Sat on bench with [the] Georges & ate: pizza quiche, small bottle of red wine, huge hunk of turkey, little French roll, cheese (wonderful), gateau, cold green beans—a real feast!  After lunch we discovered magnificent formal garden with an old summerhouse & river in back—straight out of John Fowles's Ebony Tower.  Was so enchanted that Mary Carolyn & I & Jack Holden were fifteen minutes late getting back on bus.
     Trip to Albi uneventful.  It is an incredible church—a huge medieval fortress—almost [the size of the?] two churches we were allowed to go into Saturday.  Quite baroque & spectacular.  Went into museum which is mostly all Toulouse-Lautrec works—quite interesting & almost exhausting.  By now it's almost 4:00—we go to Cordes, a medieval walled city.  Have to walk a lot to get to uphill climb, then climb, climb for spectacular views (in sun!) over parapets—walled garden, flowers, & lots of tourist shops & cafés.  Geo buys "illumination."
     Tiring ride to Toulouse—going-home mobs of traffic.  Arrive at hotel at 7:10—go out with Ken for dinner at Flunch at 7:30—quiche, green salad & fruit cocktail.  Back to pack & take bath.

Picture Postcard of Notre-Dame-La-Grande Church in Poitiers addressed to Matthew in KCMO, written by George:
     Dear Matthew / I hope our earlier card reached you; one never knows.  We are both well and hard at it.  There is much to see and do, and never enough time or energy.  We are in the south of France now, and going farther down tomorrow.  It is a beautiful country and very diverse.  My French is improving very slowly; the reading is best and useful, but my rehearsed speeches are tangled under pressure.  Alas!  Call others to tell them all is well.  /  Love, Dad and Mom

MONDAY, JUNE 2, 1980

ITINERARYContinental breakfast: Hotel Frantel Wilson / 7 a.m.: Luggage in halls / 8:30 a.m.: Bus departs for Nîmes, via Beziers and Aigues-Mortes / Box lunch (from Hotel) en route / Dinner: Hotel Sofitel, Nîmes / Overnight: Hotel Sofitel, Nîmes

GEORGE:  A slow day today.  The only interruption to driving to Nîmes was a brief stop on the road to photograph Carcassonne in good light at a distance.  We also could see the Pyrenees in the opposite direction at a distance.  They were snowcapped.
     We then stopped at Béziers.  Some changed money, some of us went to see a rather dusty and unimpressive cathedral.  We then sat in a park-like/promenade/parking setting to have our box lunches.  [scratched out: Suddenly,] Then it was off to Nîmes by way of a road by the Mediterranean Sea.  Lovely, including a drive through Sete, a fishing village with other improvements.  The restaurants lining the main street were filled with luncheoneers as we passed.
     We arrived at the très moderne hotel in mid-afternoon.  We are not in town but in Nîmes-Ouest.  Mila and I took advantage of the non-schedule to relax and do laundry.
     Rosann called me.  As a director of SAH, I'm asked to inscribe suitably the gift book for Earl, and to get the others to sign it.  It is Paris: A Century of Change, 1878-1978 by Norma Evenson.  An obviously suitable book.
     For reasons not clear to me today, I feel loggy and out of it.  I think I shall have to take it easy on the food, perhaps it is a little too rich for me.

MILA JEAN Strange day.  Breakfast late due to maids taking bags down early.  Leave even before 8:30.  Sit fairly far up front for longish & bumpy drive.  Beziers—strange Met [sic: Meditteranean] city [where] we walked to an exceedingly dusty church with a beggar (legless?) in doorway, lots of wash hanging out facing narrow streets.  We eat box lunch in town's central park: chicken breast in jelly (looked more like lard with flower design), potato salad, cauliflower in oil, bread, cheese, chocolate éclair, tomato stuffed with rice & crabmeat? [sic] & bottle of wine.  Depart for Nîmes via Montpellier & Met Sea.  When we arrive at Sofitel Motel [sic] the natives are definitely getting restless—don't like kitsch hotel way out from nowhere, etc. etc.  I gather some have set off on foot for Nîmes.  Some of us sit around pool in bright sunshine & high wind.  Up to room for a rest & wash.  Large room with two large double beds, beige carpeting, gold covers, white walls, orange drapes & chairs, pseudo wood luggage holder & table, bright orange bathroom with extra bowl near main door—color TV.  Strange futuristic lamp on wall & by each bed like blown-up flowers [tiny sketch] (one doesn't go on).  Dinner: two eggs, mayonnaise, chicken provencale with onions & mushrooms, pommes fritte, fromage (choice of four), glacé with strawberry sauce, with Blake & Marian.  Speech(?) by Earl changing itinerary for next few days.  People keep "escaping" across highway or into town by taxi.  I & assorted "men" stay by pool & watch sunset.  To bed early.


[Starting today, Mila Jean makes numerous handwritten corrections to her copy of the "Tentative Tour Schedule"]

ITINERARYContinental breakfast: Hotel Sofitel [past recept 2nd door to R] / [heavily scored through: FREE DAY / Shuttle trips of bus from Hotel to Nîmes and return throughout the day (optional walking tour witll be scheduled of Roman structures in Nîmes) / Lunch on own handwritten: Leave at 9:00-12:15 Walking tour of Roman ruins in Nîmes.  Mme Cynthia Laffauve [sic].  Return to hotel—lunch at 1:00 at hotel (prepaid) informal.  Bring sweaters.  Leave at] 3 p.m.: Bus to St. Laurent for visit to village and wine cellars / Reception given by Mayor and citizens, followed by country buffet / Overnight: Hotel Sofitel

GEORGE:  Starting late this morning helped.  The beds are comfortable and the room is big and quiet.  I for one benefitted by this.
     Our bus schedule was a couple-three hours in Nîmes, basically on our own.  We began with the arena, which is now used for bullfights French style.  There are wooden bleachers erected in the lower half of the arena to accommodate people, since so much of the surface has vanished (into the fabric of Middle Ages houses and churches no doubt).  But it is surprising how much still stands.  It is one of the best-preserved according to the Guide Bleu (or rather the local handout).  It is an impressive structure.  I wasn't prepared for the scale of the steps; the risers are rather tall and so are the seat risers.  We explored the several levels and the passageways (whose technical name I've forgotten as I write this).  It is two-tier, with plain pilasters on the lower level, rather bold in relief, and engaged Tuscan columns in the upper tier.
     From the arena we went to the Maison Carrée.  While there is a little space around it, it sort of sits at a busy intersection with a street going around the side and back not on the corner.  In fact, there is no sidewalk in front, making that approach rather hazardous.  The excavations have reached down to the old level of the bottom step leading to the temple (and the podium), but in front there are further steps down in each corner.  Was the street level even lower?  I don't know.  I haven't been buying the guidebooks to cities and monuments in part because of the cost and part the contents.  But they probably wouldn't tell me.
     Anyway, the Maison
Carrée reaches up, when you are near it.  The steps in front have tall risers.  The cella interior is rather small and is now a museum.  The cella is all later restoration with a skylight.  The quality of the carving outside varies insofar as condition goes, but overall it is in good shape.  One can see why Jefferson was enamored of it.  The proportions are graceful and there is a statement of purpose in its appearance.
     From there we headed, I thought, to the Roman baths, but instead got turned around.  Finally corrected our error after seeing a street map posted with vous êtes ici.  We then reached, tardily, the gardens and began climbing upwards, and upwards, and upwards to the old Roman tower.  I did not then climb the tower (as did some of our colleagues).  From there, a lovely spot, we descended to the baths, including the "Temple of Diana."  This is not a temple, but part of the Roman fountain and baths.  Interesting details, but very much a ruin.  Then I scurried back to look closely at the
Maison Carrée, then back to the bus.  We probably needed more time in Nîmes, but I saw the things I needed to see.
     After a large lunch at the hotel, we went to St. Laurent des Arbres, near the town of Lirac.  St. Laurent has perhaps 2,000 inhabitants and has an important cooperative cave et cru, which is a cooperative winery for about 120 people with vineyards.  By the way, Remoulins is the largest near town (in the map sense).  At the cave we met [Mme.] Jacques (Cynthia) Lasserre, a woman from Boston now 25 years married to a Frenchman.  She was right out of the Junior League and quite charming.  She was our hostess.  Soon M. Marcel Chevalier, a person of some importance, drove up.  M. Chevalier reminded me of Henry Scott in his late years, perhaps a little stouter.  M. Chevalier was the head (?) of the cooperative and, we soon learned, former mayor of St. Laurent for 25 years.  Mme. Lasserre translated for us.  She now has a summer (?) home in St. Laurent, and she and her husband plan to retire there.  More on that later.
     Chevalier explained how the winery works, their appellation wine is called Lirac, and it apparently has some reputation.  Some [on the tour] got bored with the explanation.  I found it fascinating, simply because of Chevalier.  He seemed très amiable and very knowledgeable, and in love with his subject.  Or, perhaps I should say two subjects.  The second is the history of St. Laurent.
     We then went into the village.  It is quite old, with a Romanesque church that was made part of a fortification during the Gothic period
—during the Babylonian captivity of the Pope.  There, in the church, we saw a young man in mufti arranging things.  It turned out he was the priest getting things ready for some children to rehearse their first communion.  The kids were outside making a great deal of noise as we had a very brief lecture on the town from M. Chevalier and a woman who spoke quite good English.  More on that later.
     We were given the privilege of climbing the church's tower (there are two other towers) and that had its moments.  I bumped my head only once going from the roof up the stairs/ladder and into the tower where the bells were.  Then we had an opportunity to go with the "other woman" to visit her house.  It was once one of three mills outside of town.  Her house has a 16th Century courtyard, and this we visited, plus a vaulted section (now used as a storage basement) and the principal chambre.  It had the souvenirs of several generations of her family (mother's side) and visible damage done by Directoire soldiers during the Revolution, when they were being anticlerical.  A mass was being said in the room when the soldiers arrived.  The cupboard in which the priest hid is still in the room!  All in all, it was quite a treat.  The lady is only now the "new" owner, and they plan restoration in time.
     We saw, from the outside, another of the mills, beautifully converted to a house.  It was reminiscent of the Monemvasia experience or that of places like Arrow Rock or Boonville.  Apparently this sort of finding old houses, in historic villages or towns or in picturesque settings, for retirement homes is universal (or at least French as well as American).  And rehabbing them with restoration is a basic activity.
     We walked out and while walking back we saw the town's skyline with its three towers and the remnants of its ramparts.  Quite interesting.  We then assembled in the courtyard of Mme. Lasserre's house.  The former mayor was there, and the new mayor's assistant
(?).  I'm not sure but what he is something more like a city manager, and perhaps for several towns.  It was not clear and I did not talk with him.  His English was excellent (he had been in the U.S.) and he welcomed us.  This time (after discussion of failure to respond in Poitiers, at the reception, by Earl) I acted; I spoke up, and on behalf of the directors of the SAH who were there, I thanked him, M. Chevalier and Mme. Lasserre.  Apparently my tour colleagues thought highly of that gesture.
     There was wine!!!
[sic] here, of course.  This was an occasion where I felt I had to break my near-total abstinence on this trip.  They are noted for their rosé, so I had that.  It was good.  Dinner was a rather elaborate picnic-type repast which I sampled sparingly, since we['d] had a rather comprehensive four-course luncheon.  The supper's dessert was Bing cherries.  This is vinyard and orchard country, and they are noted for their cherries, which have suffered this year due to excessive rain and cold.  Even so, they were delicious.
     Today was a good day.  Everyone was mellow and content on the way back to Nîmes.  Unfortunately, there is a serious problem with the WC on the bus, due to a broken pump (to pump out water) and a bum switch
[sic] for another pump.  Parts from Germany are needed.  This is not a pleasant prospect.
     But at least the evening was a delight, the village historic and picturesque, and the hospitality grand.

MILA JEAN Walking tour of Roman ruins/amphitheatre monumental & huge, gorgeous gardens & baths high tiered to tower (did not go up to top), beautiful sky, trees, flowers.  Home to wonderful lunch: salad [of] lettuce, shredded carrots, cabbage, tomato, cucumber.  Ratatouille, pork, cheese, crême caramel.  Out to St. Laurent to visit village & wine cellars!  A wonderful enchanted day—St. Laurent & its inhabitants are straight out of central casting: Spanish-looking children—all local people stared at us amused-like, children waiting for first communion all wanted to have their pictures taken, the young priest in mufti, the Boston matron named Cynthia who had been married to a Frenchman for 25 years & had a "summer home" at St. Laurent they were remodeling, the glamorous brunette widow in pale beige tissue-thin dress with lovely perfume, the country wife with five children (ranging from fifteen to ten months) whose family owned a Renaissance house that originally had been a mill who led us on a quarter of a mile walking trip down a country lane to visit the courtyard and to see one summer room filled with curios & souvenirs of her family & the fireplace where revolutionaries had decapitated Cupid because they thought it was Jesus.  It was all so picturesque: the cornfields (shades of Van Gogh), the swaying grass & wildflowers, snarling huge (usually black) dogs (Mme had two), the accompanying blonde plump Mme in high heels with a soldier son named Yves—and above all the mayor—Marcel Chevalier—straight out of central casting—tall, blue-eyed, big-nosed (Henry Scott), explaining the wine factory, welcoming the group, describing the church (with the priest patiently waiting for communion), holding the statue of the Virgin (with her tulle skirt & voluptuous body), singing, sharing the wine from the keg, Jack passionately kissing him goodbye (after having read the mayor his poetry), my spilling rosé wine on Mitch & his genial response, the drunken ride home thru the gorgeous sunset (at 10 p.m.!).  The WC has been declared très mal & needs a part from Germany.  Patric seems to be getting increasingly well-attuned to the group.


ITINERARYContinental breakfast: Hotel Sofitel / 8:30 a.m.: Bus departs for Pont du Gard, Avignon and Arles / Box lunch (from Hotel) en route / [scored through: 7 p.m. handwritten: 7:30] : Dinner: Hotel Sofitel / Overnight: Hotel Sofitel

GEORGE:  If yesterday was grand, today was less so, even though we saw interesting things: Pont du Gard, Avignon, and St. Gilles.  We had been noting the steady wind ever since arriving at Nîmes, or in the surrounding area.  Yesterday at St. Laurent, we learned that is was the MISTRAL.  Yes, we were experiencing the famous mistral.  With it, the sky is absolutely clear, a cold/hot blue, and the sun is very bright.  The famous sun of the Midi, the sun of Vincent van Gogh.  Toward the end of this day's travels, on our leg from St. Gilles to Nîmes, I saw how the cypresses (and all other tress) whipped and writhed.  I actually saw waves progressing across the fields with grain in them.  I am now certain in my mind that what Vincent was trying to show [was] the wind and its effects when he developed that curved short brush stroke.  I will have to reexamine his work in this context.  I wonder if anyone has even written on this?
     Well, back to the day's adventures.  This was day thirteen.  Not a matter of superstition, but rather the start of the second half of our tour.  It had some weak links in the chain of events.
     First, the bus was late.  Not by much, but we were ready to board around 8:15/8:20.  Patric didn't arrive until 8:35/8:40.  But once aboard, all seemed OK.  We went to the Pont du Gard (very near Remoulins I discovered).  It is impressive.  A narrow one-lane road has been constructed along the lower arcade on the east side with the same construction methodology and stone as the old.  It is really well done (18th Century) and not obtrusive since the upper two arcades are not changed.  The stone is a warm honey color.  The condition is remarkably good.  I chose not to cross on foot, thought I did go out a piece on the lower level, and I did walk a piece into the water channel on the upper level.  I then clambered up to a vista vantage point to look at the pont and the view of the Gard.
     From there it was off to Avignon.  That was not well handled, partly because Patric and Earl were not communicating today, or something.  Instead of being let out in town, we ended up at a bus park just inside the walls.  That was so we would know how to get to the bus for our sack lunches.  There is a lot of new construction and various building and street repairs underway between the bus park and the Palais des Papes.  The result was total and understandable confusion getting up to the Palais.  This we did at 11:00 or later.  The Palais closed for two hours, 12 to 2 (like a museum).  So we moved through it with a guide who simply kept us from getting lost.  Here too there is much reconstruction.  What we saw was quite interesting except that the great court was filled with what appeared to be rather permanent bleachers with shaped seats (that tilted forward to keep clean?).  That was a peculiar first sight, to say the least, of this 14th Century structure.  We were actually locked in at noon, but our guide had a key and we exited safely.  It is hard to decide what to say about the Palais.  It is as much a fort as a palace, and we saw primarily "state chambers."
     So we returned to the bus and boarded it to have lunch by the Rhône River.  We were halfway there when it was discovered that Ken LaBudde was missing.  Someone spotted him going to the bus park as we were tooling along on the peripheral road by the walls.  There was no way to stop, and our "leaders" were quite concerned (Rosann was not with us and Genevieve was supposed to be the shepherd).  Patric pulled into a sandy median strip that was more a car park than a park.  This had some stone slabs (benches?).  The mistral was creating a dust storm.  Most of us finally scrambled across the road and its traffic to sit on the uninspiring bank of the Rhône.  Lunch was OK but too much food.  There was a piece of a baguette, a chicken breast, an egg, two pieces of cheese, salami, butter, a tomato, an orange and an apple.  No utensils, no seasoning, no liquids (though we brought water).  I ate sparingly and I believe wisely.
     Adding to the confusion was the time for reassembly.  We had been given an hour and a half at this forsaken spot
—hardly what we required—and there was the problem of Ken still missing.  Then, half an hour before he was supposed to appear, Patric appeared.  Had I missed something?  Everyone was now confused.  We tooled back into town and got off at the major square near the Palais.  Why couldn't we do this before??  We were now told we had until 3 p.m. (75 minutes free time).
     At first I thought I'd wait until 2 and visit the museum.  Then, instead, Mila, Gene George (Mary Carolyn was in Nîmes recovering from a bout with flu or something) and I went up to the garden of the Palais.  What a lovely spot.  There was, however, exposure to an exaggerated mistral effect.  As a lookout point over the Rhône, I was hard pressed to stay standing without leaning into the wind, literally leaning.  But what a view: Cezanne colors everywhere.  It was from there that I saw the waves in the grain.  The three of us had a limonade naturelle (a fizzy colorless lemonade made with real lemon juice).  That was a charming place.  The public WC was not.  I can see the role for the attendant, but even then the public facility is extremely fundamental.  (While drinking our limonade, we saw a young mother washing her child's behind in a decorative fountain—a stream of water coming from the beak of a goose.  Ah me.)
     We descended, somewhat bedraggled and begrimed by wind, dirt, and experience to see the bus waiting.  So we boarded and there was Ken LaBudde.  Exactly how the contact was made I know not, but I suspect people will be more cautious in the future about seat partners, etc.
     We then plowed off to St. Gilles.  We now discovered that the bus air conditioning was made for Germany and not the Midi.  Frankly, the bus isn't all that good or comfortable.  A messed up WC and inadequate ventilation, both things we have paid for to be in satisfactory condition.  Rosann, of course, will be burdened by all of this since I'm sure the complaints are coming in to her.  Yet everyone seems determined to be reasonable—even the genetically-imprinted bitchers (we have at least one obvious case).
     We go to St. Gilles through Arles (which we visit tomorrow).  It is hot and we track through Arles on a busy narrow road which shows us nothing.  But after leaving it, one begins to see Van Gogh paintings.  This was when I see the movement in the cypresses in Van Gogh terms.  At St. Gilles we park by a WC in a place for tourists to park.  Tom Ridington and some others set off like they knew where they are going when we are told we have half an hour for the church.  And we are led wrong!  We ask directions in a curious place with people lounging on their stoops in the narrow medieval street.  We get some gauches et droits and eventually we reach it.  A funeral is in process!  But we study the facade (the nave is Gothic).  It has curious pieces of restoration, but on the whole a coherent arrangement and truly different.  It was worth even the few moments we had.  It was, after all, an add-on to the schedule.
     I track over to the Bureau de Tourisme up a short street (there was a banner over it) to find it closed!  But there was a map and the Romanesque house.  I figured our path back (incorrectly the first time, correctly the second with Earl) to the bus.  I deciphered the bus location by a WC on the map!  And we descended, quickly and directly, to the area of the bus.  We clambered aboard and got back to Nîmes quickly, though Patric missed his turn off and had to turn around.
     It was necessary showers and such before we could descend for dinner, which was outdoors.  There is another group or two in the hotel and we have to maneuver carefully.  The waiters seemed less with it tonight (too many people?).  I think if less [time] was put on plate shuffling and all that, and more on moving things in and out, it would be easier all around.  Granted, one is served, but I wonder how a convention meal for several hundred would be handled?
     Well enough of that, and this, for tonight.

MILA JEAN Forgot to mention meal last night: ham, veal, paté, salami (sausage), olives rolled in oregano or rosemary, two kinds of salad (green & potato), bread, four kinds of cheese, three kinds of local wine (the rosé was superb), cherries.
     Today was a washout.  Patric was thirty minutes late.  Not only is the [bus] john non-functioning, but so is the air conditioning.  Earl seemed to lose total control of group & was particularly inept (does he turn his hearing aid off on purpose?).  Ken LaBudde wandered off by himself & got left behind.  I used the public WC in a beautiful park in Avignon & it was so incredibly filthy I couldn't even stand in the footholds & wet all over myself; the ride home was hot; Patric kept missing signs.  But Pont du Gard was cool, a magnificent Roman bridge in a scenic setting—walked in front & looked at view; we & Gene George (Mary Carolyn still ill) found some lovely public gardens [in Avignon] & had limonade at a little outdoor spot overlooking pond with ducks, swans & geese—the French do such wonderful things with flowers—whole banks of pansies: purple, violet, fuchsia—fountains (this one with a graceful female nude), ferns, places to sit & face scenic views, etc.  We came home hot & surly about 5:30 to wash up & completely cleanse selves.  Thirteenth day!
     Saw rice fields today (Mitch got excited), all sorts of Van Gogh-type landscapes, banks of cypresses whipping in wind, wheat fields waving (like his curly lines) in the mistral wind.  (Saw a street called Place Frederic Mistral with WC etc.)  We're sure part of Van Gogh's problem stemmed from the wind; we all start to feel crazy too!  That, plus the sun & it's only early June—what must it be like in July & August?  The people in general seem really very nice, accommodating—around here they look Basque—hooked noses, straight black hair, black eyes (Hemingway's bullfighter).  This hotel's motif is bulls—one dining room is dominated by huge paintings of bulls, matadors, matador killing bulls (not appetizing)—all bright colors—this hotel capitalizes on bright colors: orange, red, gold especially.  Evening meal out by pool consisted of two kinds of ham, lettuce, pickles, rosé wine, large whitefish with spinach & baked potatoes & tiny croissant, green salad, & glacé with stawberry sauce.  Went across highway (!!) with Tom, Mitch & Jack to this supermarché (French version of Venture) & bought grapefruit for Mary Carolyn, Guide Bleu [for] Mitch, cassis for Jack—got "caught" by Roseann majestically surveying our return from her hotel window.  Had cassis in Room 403 until 11:00.  We hope for better things tomorrow—


ITINERARYContinental breakfast: Hotel Sofitel / [scored through: 8:30 a.m. handwritten: Bus leaves at 9:00-2:30-(3:30)] : Bus departs for [scored through: le Puy handwritten: Arles  Aigues-Mortes] / Box lunch (from Hotel) en route / [handwritten: 6 p.m. Cocktails at Room #317 BYOB] / [scored through: 7 p.m. handwritten: 7:30]: Dinner: Hotel Sofitel / Overnight: Hotel Sofitel

GEORGE:  We enjoyed a late start (9:00 am) this morning, and we noticed another interesting change.  The wind had died down.  The change was quite noticeable.  There was a haze as well.  Today was going to be different.
     Out first stop was Arles.  We arrived OK, but Earl managed to take us by a rather indirect way to the arena.  The advantage was we saw it first with the sun-struck portion of the exterior.  Then we learned that the ticket sellers were on strike!  Entrance to every monument other than the churches themselves was interdict today.  We toured the exterior of the arena, and it did appear to be more capacious insofar as the transverse vaults seemed deeper.  Perhaps the slant of the seats is less steep than in Nîmes.  Here too, bleachers were created within, and there are bullfights.
     We went by the theatre.  We peeped through the fence, here and there.  It too is used
[today], but with a heavily reconstructed seating area.  Then we went over to St. Trophime.  We could see the portal (very dirty and in the shade at this hour), the interior of the church, but not the cloister.  Inside the entrance there is a very nice explanatory plan with illustrations pointing out features of interest  That, I thought, was quite a good idea but not typically done, however.  What remains most fixed in my memory of St. Trophime are three things.  For whatever reason, I don't know what, it doesn't look like the pictures (even though it does, of course).  I recognized it, but not in that sense of: Hey, there it is.  It isn't like at St. Gilles, where I was surprised by the size of the portals; it is much bigger than St. Trophime and my imagination.  Second was a 4th Century sarcophagus; it was much like that of Junius Bassus.  Third was a display (unlighted and behind a gull in a chapel) of reliquaries.  The plan by the door said they were 19th Century, though the reliquaries looked older.  One could see bones in the larger ones with glass covers.
     Our plans were modified at Arles due to the strike, and we were scheduled to leave at 11:00 instead of 12:00.  I took advantage of the time to break a 500 f note in a bank, and as we wended our way down to the bus we were held up by a demonstration-parade with banners.  The handouts informed us that it was over a revision(?) or some changes in health coverage.  It seemed much like in England, or in the U.S. with their charity hospitals.  People can't get comprehensive care and treatment and medicines at no cost to them or at low cost.  I kept the handout to read later on in greater detail.
     So off we went to Les Saintes Maries de la Mer.  This small town is literally on the Mediterranean Sea, by the mouth of the Little Rhône River.  It is in the delta area, and there we saw salt marshes, rice fields and ponds.  It is a place they raise a special breed of bulls, and horses.  The latter are very much in evidence and are grey.  In town we sat on some quarried rocks just above the sand by the sea and ate our sack lunches (once again I was sparing in my intake).  There is little else in town (it is a resort town now in a modest way) other than an old fortified church.  It opened at two and one could see a very dark interior.  In the crypt there was a vending machine for small jar-type votive candles!
     Oh my, I forgot an episode between Arles and Saintes Maries.  We went to the ruined abbey of Montmajour.  Some restorations have taken place.  It was open (briefly before closing) and we saw the church, cloister, crypt, and some other structures.  The early part is Romanesque.  I did not climb a tower there, nor at Stes. Maries.  It was mostly a matter of time.  I'm sure the views would have been worth it.
     Well, then it was on to Aigues-Mortes.  This is a rectangular walled city with a gridiron plan built in the 13th Century!  Frankly it was not overly interesting except for the walls and the plan.  We did not spend much time there and soon headed back to Nîmes.
     There was a BYOB party before dinner and a fairly decent dinner.  I've inscribed the commemorative book with a suitably positive yet neutral statement, as follows: "This book is presented to Earl D. Layman to commemorate a memorable trip to France.  We now understand Earl's love for LA BELLE FRANCE.  The 1980 SAH Tour of France."
     I am sitting in the room writing this as people come up from supper.  The book is open, and so is the door to the room.  I've begun to snare people [in] to sign it.
     And tomorrow is a brute of a day.  We have to get up [at] 5:45 and luggage has to be in the halls by 6:30.  We leave at 7:30.  Phooey.  But so be it!

MILA JEANA hot ride to Arles, Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer, etc.  A much better day, though hot in the sun—also we grabbed seats high up to the front in the bus.  Started at 9:45 in Arles to find out that there was a municipal workers strike, ticket sellers included.  So we couldn't get in to see inside of amphitheatre or regular theatres—finally found an area where we could peer thru the bars & take photos of "orchestra" area.  Went thru church & used public WC & went on to another Romanesque church only about five minutes away—it was interestingly rustic, had dark crypt & light cloisters.  Best part of day was spent eating picnic lunch by the sea with all of the surfers, bikini-clad nymphets & others cavorting about.  The sea was beautiful but cold with a stiff wind blowing—made eating a real challenge but it beat that mess in the mistral yesterday.  Rest of town looked like a set from MGM technicolor extravaganza in a Mexican tourist town.  Tom & I spent some time hunting for a WC—he settled on a pissoir & I eventually found a private one in a café while Geo quaffed a limonade.  Back on bus & on to Aigues-Mortes (a fortified town that seemed to have died years ago) which featured lots of medium-sized dogs that either fought or slept in the middle of the road.
     Tonight is Earl's cocktail party—to which I'm not panting to go—poor Earl, he seems to live in another world (maybe he's been deaf too long?).

     It really was rather frenetic: first with no air & tons of cigarette smoke, then with confusion of everyone coming in with his/her bottle, except Patric—the people who had gone on to Aix-en-Provence even brought cut-up melons.  We are with Jack & Mitch in a very hot dining room: fish & veg soup, some meat Provençal with onions.  It was jolly but we were relieved to go out by pool only to be attacked by mosquitoes—had hot tea (a mistake?) with Mitch etc.  Geo had asked some people to come to our room to sign book for Earl.  I finally washed hair at 10:30!

Picture Postcard of Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer addressed to Matthew in KCMO, written by George (text partly obscured by postmark):
     (We were here today)  /  I realize that we still [...] days to go, but since th[...] mailed until tomorrow [...] won't reach you until [..] before we return.  So this [...] postcard.  The days vary in activity and adventure.  The mistral of the past three days finally quit, creating a significant change.  The mistral is a non-storm, high-velocity, constant wind.  We are both holding up quite well and are reasonably attuned to the routine of travel.  Happily, I don't have to do the driving.  I won't bore you now with listing all we have seen.  Just give folks a call to tell them we're doing all right.  Even financially!  Take care, see you soon.  /  Love, Dad and Mom

FRIDAY, JUNE 6, 1980

ITINERARYContinental breakfast: Hotel Sofitel / 7 a.m.: Luggage in halls. / [scored through: 8 a.m. handwritten: 7:30]: Bus departs for Clemont-Ferrand, via Issoire and Chaise Dieu [handwritten: le Puy] / Box lunch (from Hotel) en route / 7 p.m.: Dinner: Hotel Frantel, Clermont-Ferrand / Overnight: Hotel Frantel, Clermont-Ferrand

GEORGE:  We start out very early, on the bus before 7:30 a.m.  Even so, all of the better seats (those toward the front) are taken.  We head into the centre de ville and see several ancient monuments as we head for our secondary "direct" road to Le Puy.  We pan by the arena and we see a portico passing down another; it is the Maison Carrée.  The light is just right, at that early hour, for the portico.  Then we sweep by the baths and soon are out of town.
     The day is mostly mountain driving.  This is extremely fatiguing on all, especially those of us in the rear, on the sunny side.  Our target is Le Puy, which we reach at near noon.  The scenery on the way is quite impressive, with only small communities along the way, often at considerable distances from each other.  Very different from the Loire.  A lot of rock houses, very simple, though stucco is a rather common finish material.  Seeing ruined fortifications on a hill, surrounded by a small town (the uniform tile roofs with occasional slate) has become commonplace!  The Middle Ages, at least back to the 12th and 13th Centuries, are rather evident.  That I hadn't expected
—the quantity!
     We reached Le Puy and parked by a park.  We took our sack lunches over to the park, and finally found an adequate place on a bench with others.  Scenic it wasn't.  Then we discovered there was no bread in the sacks, we had departed too early!  Furthermore, the usual was less usual.  Instead of ham or chicken or veal, we had a slice of terribly rare beef.  The salami and unrecognizable cheese I skipped.  Well, to summarize, I had a tomato and an apple, saving my orange for later.
     We began the walk-climb up to the church.  It was an interesting climb since this is a pilgrimage church.  We decided to do the 102 steps in front, which really were quite easy; and it was worth it.  Not only is the approach fascinating, but the view from above back down is worth the experience.  Inside, the church is quite interesting.  It isn't simply the domes.  There is a different quality in the furnishing, paintings, etc.  This is somewhat off the foreign tourist track in contrast to some other places we've been, though they do get tourists.  While we were there, we were really the only group.  While in the church, there was an organ recital—very nice to hear that sound in such a place.  The pilgrimage has to do with the plague and the original miracle dates back to the early 5th Century.  This was the 1550th anniversary year!  The cloister is very nice indeed.  There were two demi-Corinthian columns with flutes in a dark corner, plus the more usual medieval ones.  The multicolored stone used in the church is more evident in the cloister area than on the grimy facade of the church.  Another influence on H.H. Richardson perhaps.  Also, the Pont du Gard's superimposed arcade?
     From the church, we wended back to the bus by a different path.  There are old-style wooden shopfronts.  We stopped at a patisserie for a little sweet before reaching "bus-level."

     The hotel is a strange one in Clermont-Ferrand.  The reason for this abrupt shift is simply that we went direct from Le Puy to Clermont-Ferrand.  We arrived shortly after 5 p.m.  The group straggled off the bus "in fragments."  The rooms are strange and non-rectangular: F.L. Wright misunderstood hexagrams.  The street noise is intense and constant.  To breathe we must open windows: a no-win situation.
     But dinner is good.  Afterwards, though I'm really too tired to go walking, several decide to do so, including Mila.  So I figure I better go too.  We visit the cathedral exterior at night.  It is an imposing volume with the west front by Viollet le Duc soaring up into the dark sky.  Gargoyles loom way out over our heads, grotesques to frighten one if one weren't too tired to be imprinted.
     We return to the hotel.  I fall into bed and sleep better than Mila.  We have to keep some window open and the street noise is formidable, especially motor bikes and other such sputtering creatures of the automotive/internal combustion world.

MILA JEANUp at 5:30 AM, a no-fun trip on June 6th, though Alpine scenery was spectacular—too much so with twisty turns & precipitous drops.  Finally took a Dramamine which helped, though made me punchy (we were in back of bus!).  Stopped after two hours in little village to use public toilet ([illegible]!) & buy sweets (not us).  On to Le Puy for picnic lunch in park (by zoo)—same old lunch.  On for an interesting trek to Notre Dame de Puy, a very holy pilgrim church (102 steps up to cathedral door on knees!) in Middle Ages.  We investigated most of it by ourselves—the organist was practicing quite beautifully & it rang thru the domes—the cloisters were particularly interesting, with wonderful grinning or grimacing capitals of animals & "men"—also went to winter chapel.  Staggered down steps to Square & some cholatal [?] raspberry sweets.
     Ride to Clermont-Ferrand [was] a bit steep but we all seemed to sleep.  The hotel is plastic with huge windows looking out over what is seemingly the center of town—sounds like NYC.  We had to open windows to get any air & then the noise is staggering.  This Clouseau place sports a faucet that takes a genius to run & then it leaks over the sink.  We have to keep window open because of no air circulation.  However, there are compensations: the serving staff (one pale girl who seems to do everything & a "head" waiter) is pleasant & the food well prepared (fresh ham & scalloped potatoes, wonderful salad with carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms etc. in vinaigrette sauce, cheese & an elaborate dessert with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge sauce on a shell of hard sweet).
     Walked out to cathedral after dinner (at 10:00) with Katie, Tom, Jack, Mitch & Yona.  On to bed & the traffic.


ITINERARYContinental breakfast: Hotel Frantel / 8:30 a.m.: Bus departs for tour of Nevers-Vezelay area / Box lunch (from Hotel) en route / 7 p.m.: Dinner: Hotel Frantel / Overnight: Hotel Frantel

GEORGE:  We start out by taking the bus in a most circuitous route to the cathedral.  For various logistical reasons not clear to me, we start late.  That is unusual.  Are we getting a little punch drunk?
     We arrive at the cathedral and we spend time there before going over to Notre Dame du Port.  Then we return to the cathedral to get back on the bus.  As for this last, more on that later.
     The cathedral, basically a 13th Century Gothic work, is impressive inside.  We tour it slowly and after a while go to Notre Dame, a Romanesque church.  It too is impressive.  We see the basic Auvergne-type church with its multicolor stone in patterns and complex crossing.  Also the elaborate chevet and crypt are visited.  After due admiration for the apse end and the tower and such, we return to the Gothic cathedral.  It makes an interesting contrast.  The light and space are so different
—as well as the size.  As we look and study, we notice a great crowd gathering within.  There are young children, mostly girls, in white religious-type habits.  Some sort of ceremony is to begin and the orderly French are clearly being overwhelmed by more people than they planned for.  Is it a first communion, confirmation, or a graduation of some sort?  We never learn.  They are still sorting people out when it is time to leave to board the bus.
     The plan is to return to the hotel and drop off those who wish to remain in town.  At the hotel we learn there is a fuel leak on the bus and repairs are needed.  Off we pile, toting our sack lunches.  Mila and I adjourn to the room to eat some of it and wait for our repaired bus.  We assemble on the appointed hour and no bus.  More time drags by and finally the bus reappears repaired.  Plans must be revised.  By now our company is reduced.
     We head for Issoire for the church there.  It is a fine example and much appreciated with its historical capitals, splendid chevet exterior, etc.  Then we head for Brioude.  This church is a surprise.  Excavations or restoration or something is taking place near the choir and it is a partial shambles.  It was so strange to walk in the transept and find all the chairs facing west with an altar set up before the locked west doors.  The floor consists of a stone mosaic pattern in two colors (at least).  This ia very "untouched"-looking church in contrast to Issoire with its 19th Century paint job.  There are even, still, ancient doors.
     Then it is off to St. Nectaire [le] Haut, up in the high country.  That is a small but charmingly situated church at a picturesque location.  It too is of the Auvergne type.  The use of two colors (at least) of stone is logical, since the area abounds in rocks of multicolor.  I noticed old houses with a random use of such found stones in walls.  No photographs are allowed inside St. Nectaire, and a crisp business in cards and prepackaged slides is quite active.  Also, to see the treasures, one must insert one-franc coins to activate the light (eerie filtered light).  Same is true for the dome.  A guard in the choir has a mike to alert people as to dos and don'ts.  How commercial, but this is the big business besides the medicinal waters below.
     In contrast, at Brioude we interacted with a wedding party heading in a little parade to the church after the tolling of a bell.  A street bazaar of the traveling kind was just shutting down by the chevet exterior.  We were simply part of it all.
     From St. Nectaire, Patric took us over a most scenic road to Le Mont Dore and then back to Clermont.  It is wild, scenic, Alpine (kind of) country.  The winter snows were in the final stages of meltdown (I'd seen the rushing brooks elsewhere—now I saw the cause).  We moved back in time to the lilacs and eventually to trees just budding, then above the tree line.  It was really quite dramatic here in the Central Massif.  It is ski country—we saw one very large and long lift.  We also saw a car over the side, down the mountain.  It was an exhilarating ride though a bit hair-raising at times.  The scenery is spectacular, but not in the Rockies or the Mani sense.  Rather, it was the rapid changes in character and kind.
     Soon we were back in Clermont-Ferrand.  This country is about an hour's drive from the city.  We had a nice supper.  I made my little talk* and then Blake Alexander [made his].  Then others spoke. And then I was in the room writing this.  And now, it is time for bed.

* I was coordinated with Blake to discuss [the] need for support for SAH.  I am becoming the SAH rep on the tour whether I like it or not.  Blake is too shy and Earl too not with it!

MILA JEAN Hotel Frantel, Clermont-Ferrand.  8:30 leave (pardon, 9:00)/  Went thru both churches in Clermont-Ferrand (Earl, per usual, ineffectual).  Geo & I mostly on own—in the big cathedral they are preparing for first communion of seemingly hundreds of white-clad girls (brides of Christ?) with thousands of proud parents with cameras & grandmamas—the priests kept trying to clear the aisles to no avail.
     Found out (after all this & after handing out box lunches—ugh!) that something (leak in diesel fuel pump) needed repair and Patric intensely rushed into the hotel, only to stand at the desk going thru the Yellow Pages for repair shops!  So all of us had to pile out solemnly (and rather surly) up to rooms to eat one more box (sack) lunch in room.  We are getting so sick of them!  French bread, chicken, ham, cheese, hardboiled egg, etc.  Most of us throw a lot of it away by now.  More's the pity.  We had been told to assemble by 11:45 which gradually (and even painfully) lengthened until 1-1:30, with little knots of disconsolate people sitting (some on floor) of lobby looking like displaced persons. There was talk of mutiny, threats against Patric (sure, he was OK out there somewhere eating his hot lunch while we scattered crumbs in lowly hotel rooms, etc.).  Soon, however, he arrived & was avalanched by a group of some 35 people (some stayed back) eager to so somewhere.
     We did.  In fact it was even a good afternoon (we didn't get back until 7 PM!) and included churches (I can't begin to describe them, except [that] some are Romanesque & attempts to repaint them with earth colors on the columns etc. are interesting & that one had [an] intriguing stone-patterned floor).  More interesting to me are the sights, sounds, & smells of the local color—and apparently Patric, in an effort to reingratiate [himself with] us, took us on a path of his own devising up into the mountains (luckily I was up in front) into some spectacular scenery: wild mountain flowers, glaciers, volcanic mountains, snow & mist surrounding the top of the ski lifts (at 4,000 feet), fir trees, rustic people (a hunchback dwarf) in village (all looking like an opening scene of an operetta featuring an Alpine village)—the people going to the "sacred" church & to the "waters."  The only thing detracting from the view is Elaine Loudmouth who sits next to me and talks a blue streak the entire afternoon.
     We arrive back at hotel late, mildly hysterical from the "highs" of the trip and the further adventures of the Clouseau security.  Had nice dinner (Prosciutto with olives, chicken with Creole rice, cheese & floating white fluff pudding).  Walked out with Jack after dinner but there is next to nothing to see in this city.  It apparently was badly bombed in the war & all of the new buildings are schlocky.  To bed to combat traffic noise & Geo's snoring.

SUNDAY, JUNE 8, 1980

ITINERARYContinental breakfast: Hotel Frantel / 7 a.m.: Luggage in halls / 8 a.m.: Bus departs for Bourges / Box lunch (from Hotel) en route / [no description of afternoon activity or dinner]  / Overnight: Hotel Christina, Bourges

GEORGE:  As I write this, a church bell is tolling.  It is 6:00 p.m. in Bourges.  I'm lying/sitting up in a double bed in a small but utterly charming room at the Hotel Christina.  The wallpaper consists of extraordinarily large flowers of several sorts on vines.  At home I'd be ill; here it relates to the Louis Quinze replica furniture that occupies the room.  There is a double bed, as mentioned, an armchair, a straight back chair, a table (for two), a two-drawer chest with desk (slant top above), and two small end tables by each side of the head of the bed.  No wardrobe.  There is a fairly ample built-in closet, a WC (a real water closet) and a bathroom (with the bidet).
     It has been a long day, and we are resting before going out to dinner.  Mila is in a similar position next to me, writing in her journal.  So what happened till now?
     Up early to load bus, etc.  The group is very good about being ready and willing.  We head out of Clermont for Nevers.  It is an easy ride through placid agricultural scenery.  At Nevers there is a bit of the usual confusion as to how, what, when, etc.  There are two churches, a Romanesque one and a Gothic one.  We are also to eat in the park.  Some are gung-ho to do everything and at full tilt.  I am not.  I do not wish to run, climb, or tear around.  I've reached the point where quiet contemplation is needed.  The group heads off in two or three directions.  Mila and I (she concurs in my wish for a slow pace) walk over to the ?(arch)ducal [sic] palace, a fine mix of late Gothic chateau and the early French Renaissance.  Next to it, a charming theatre.  The chateau is now the law courts.  It looks over a formal walk with formal, austere plantings, and we walk on it.
     We finally go over to the Gothic church, the cathedral. There are services under way, and a sign requests visitors to hold off during same.  This we honor, thus seeing only a portion of the interior before seeing the sign and retreating.  Later there will be christenings, and people are arriving in groups with tiny babes all dressed up.  We are seeing non-Parisian France's activities in a variety of ways.
     Soon it is time to claim our sack lunches and we do so and sit on a bench in the park.  I eat sparingly and so does Mila now.  Sack lunches of the oddment sort are not satisfying.
     A carnival (closed at the time) flanks the park.  It is rather elaborate and reminds me of some I saw in country fairs, etc., so long ago.
     On to Bourges.  We arrive soon after one p.m. and porter our own bags.  Only women are in evidence checking us in.  Everyone seems in a good humor.  Mila and I love our quarters (for one night anyway) and hope traffic noise is less.  But now as I lie here writing I realize I hear cars rumble by.  But perhaps it will be less noisy in the night.  It is a far cry from the constant roar of Clermont.
     We assemble in front of the hotel at 2 p.m. and head a hop skip and a little jump over to the Palais of Jacques Coeur.  Our hotel is on a street next to Les Halles (a really big one) but just beyond that 19th(?) Century structure (that must be a regional market) is the incredible house of Jacques Coeur.  We are admitted as a group and we are given a conducted tour in French.  One does not do it on one's own.  I could follow about one-third of what was said.  I might have done even better except for the chattering in the group.  The house is truly impressive.  Really knock-out in some aspects.  And far bigger than I anticipated.  This was one time I felt a guidebook was useful.  I made my transactions all in French; but that wasn't terribly difficult to do, given the simplicity of the task.  Nevertheless, no English was spoken on either side!
     Then Mila and I set out on our own.  The Guide Bleu is useful!  I choose streets I'm sure contain historic stuff.  And as we wander we discover the Georges behind us.  We don't really do this as a quartet, but sort of in parallel.  [Bourges] is extraordinarily picturesque without sham medievalism.  The buildings are often medieval (late 15th Century half-timber) but fixtures, signs, etc. are not.  But still picturesque.  We work our way to the cathedral.  That is one impressive building.  I deliberately approach it from the apse end and intended to do the circuit, but Mila wants to go inside.  This we do.  The inside soars.  The five aisles are part of it, because the inner aisles have such high arcades.  The nave appears quite wide and the vaulting is a curious sexpartite form.
     Later we exit, tour the outside, have some ice cream.  We go back inside.  Then we go over to the nearby park.  It is very formal in its arrangement.  And there, lined up in neat rows to orient to the best view, that of the choir and apse of the church, there are benches.  We join the locals and sit.  People promenade and greet each other.  Babies in strollers and the venerable with canes are seen.  And the inevitable little dogs.  It is really very refreshing.
     We eventually pull ourselves together and head back to the hotel.  Near the theatre (an inevitable feature of these cities) we run into Elaine and Jack Holden.  She of the ex-Junior League, etc. Eastern quality; he of the skiing, tennis, yacht club, merry exterior demeanor.  She structured and organized; he appearing to be happy go lucky (now 60 years [old]).  She is interested in art history and preservation; he is along for the ride.  OK folks but they operate on a different level.  Anyway, I had earlier advised them of our "old streets," and they had just completed some.  We go back to the hotel together.  And we ready ourselves for dinner.  About 34 of us have elected to eat en groupe at the restaurant (50 f each).

     It turns out to be a five-course dinner which is quite good except for the final course (a tart).  We drink house wine.  A carafe of white is 7 francs!
     That was a full and pleasant evening, and we walk "home" as a group.  All in all, a good day (ignore "lunch").

MILA JEANThe road to Bourges and Patric's dinner.  Wake up call at 6:00 AM!  Have to wait for bus to be loaded at back, but a few enterprising types hopped in early.  Stopped at Nevers for lunch & to see cathedral (it was high mass & baptismal day so we didn't go far inside but did see three babies in complete regalia arriving outside amidst tons of parents, godparents, grandparents & friends—cars screeching to a halt to take baby to doorway).  This town also sports a Ducal (Duchessal?) Hall & a theatre—all in gorgeous Renaissance style.  People are rather surly & O.D.'d on all of those bag lunches (we eat with Rosann who complains about people complaining).
     On to Bourges via country roads (Patric is from this place so consequently knows it all well—Patric is also arranging the dinner tonight—rumors abound that his aunt runs the restaurant and/or that all of its employees look like him—we shall see.
     On a very high positive note—Bourges turns out to be a delight.  We are told beforehand that the hotel is "quaint" which seemed to be the kiss of death, but it is quite the most delightful-looking place so far—small room with a "quaint" (yes!) old wallpaper (new, of course, but a copy) of flowers in pink, coral, lavender, green & blue with a floor-to-ceiling French window with dark pink drapes—windows look out over "quaint" passageway with a half-timber house on other side.  Ceiling chandelier & side lamps are in teardrop design of dark rose & clear crystal.—has an "antique" desk, table & two chairs & two bedside tables.  Each room has in-the-wall cupboard/closet—one room for toilet, one for bath—bed had blue velvet cushioned head & footboards & seems short—hot water gray metal seven foot radiator—pigeons & birds cooing outside.
     We set off to Archduke's Palace on a tour narrated by a rather hostile guide who spoke "authoritatively" in French—very interesting though—nicely restored—much original.  Geo & I go on by ourselves to visit antique streets with half-timbered houses & finally the great cathedral of Bourges—of course magnificent, but the great thing is that the stained glass windows are being restored & look truly jewel-like.  Also visited the formal park adajes ajescent next to the cathedral along with the French people promenading.  Ran into Mitch recovering from an enormous climb up to top of one tower, bought an ice cream, walked around & came back to change.  Magpies all over—made clicking noises.
     Don Holloway's flowers—had acquired small carnations, mums, other flowers which he holds on the bus (Ken says it gives him something to do) & keeps in vase in room.  He is a very strange man.
    On to dinner.  Marvelous (le François).  Patric really came thru—started with paté with pickled melon (like cantaloupe with liqueur?); some kind of bird (conjecture—partridge?) with little peas; fromage & cherry tart with two bottles of white wine ordinaire for only 14 fr!  Had a really great time in a typical family restaurant with other patrons around.  (Geo tried to keep one unfortunate type out, saying the restaurant was closed for a private party.)  Staggered back on foot with Tom leading the way—we saw the hotel where Jack Parker presumably was eating at & sure enough we turned around & here he came!  Went back to hotel & slept.

MONDAY, JUNE 9, 1980

ITINERARYContinental breakfast: Hotel Christina / 7 a.m.: Luggage in halls / 8 a.m.: Bus departs for Paris, via Auxerre, Sens, Troyes, Provins, and Rampillon / Lunch on own in Auxerre / [no description of afternoon activity or dinner]  / Overnight: Le Grand Hotel, Paris

GEORGE:  It is time to leave Bourges.  People have staked out seats in advance, to the point where there is confusion as people board who have not.  Eventually things are sorted out, but it dampens the start.  Some people mutter about preferring to stay longer in Bourges.  Others are worrying about their tally of things yet to see elsewhere.  It is time to scatter this group, if only for awhile.  Breakfast was really beyond the capacity of the one girl handling 45 people at once.  My coffee was absolutely cold.  And so forth.  Oh my.  But tempers hold.
     We head off and our first target is Vezelay.  We arrive at the bus park and then march briskly up the hill-street to the church.  It turns out to be quite impressive and quite big.  The "famous" tympanum is inside, of course, and not well lit.  Much of the key sculpture is careful replica, giving a rather clean and new look.  We see two relics of the Madeleine in a column on which a sculpture of the saint stands.  After touring the interior with some care, Mila and I go out behind the church.  There is a little park and several lookout points toward nice valley views.  From there also one gets a nice view of the church.  Then it is down the hill to the bus and to go on to Auxerre.
     Auxerre has three quite interesting churches, a nice group of domestic architecture, and it is a lunch spot.  I take off for lunch, hunting an appropriate brasserie away from the churches.  We find one, quite non-tourist, and we have omelettes.  While happy in our isolation, "we" are discovered by Harry Schalck and Don Emerich.  They are OK and they eat behind us and we all appreciate the change of pace and routine.
     Then we head for the big church, the Cathedrale of St. Etienne.  As we leave the restaurant, I turn around.  We'd been in a half-timbered oldie!
     The church is quite good Gothic.  Very little restoration in evidence, but conservation is needed.  Also there is some interesting glass.  When Mila and I entered, we were alone!  It was quite an experience.  Later Don Emerich entered.  But we were still non-en groupe.
     We return to the bus on time to discover some of our people are missing, including Earl, our leader.  Obviously they ate afterwards and that was not [well] timed.  They arrive twenty minutes late and so more tempers are short.  We had rushed for nothing.
      Then it was on the freeway back to Paris.  If people were objecting it wasn't too evident to me.  I too was ready to return to the degree of independence that the Grand Hotel and Paris provide.
     On our arrival, after Rosann and Earl go in, Blake Alexander made the announcement on the bus re: the gift of the bedspread for Earl.  At my request he also mentioned the book, of which I was in charge.  We then debarked to find the hotel was still not ready to assign rooms (despite a call five hours earlier that we were on the way).  We adjourn to the "sitting lobby" and mail is distributed.  We have a message from Joann Soulier with a telephone number.  It is as we had scripted it earlier when no calls came to us in Nîmes or Clermont-Ferrand.  We anxiously await out room assignment so Mila can call.

     We have our room, and we head for it.  As we enter and put down our hand luggage, the phone rings!  It is Joann, in Paris.  Jean has just been put on a plane to Bangkok for/on a reciprocal visit of dignitaries (or some such) to Thailand.  We are to dine together with Joann tomorrow.  She will meet us in the lobby of our hotel.  (Later I think we should have specified reception, but that seems logical.)
      Mila and I then go out.  We discover that the only billets for the performances we can see in the Opera are sans visibilité.  And for 20 f no less.  We say no thanks.  We visit Galeries Lafayette, a very large department store in three buildings (after casing Le Drugstore).  Galeries Lafayette is equipped with a central court and glass dome in its main structure.  Quite impressive.  We find cassettes of French recorded jazz for the boys.  That is an ideal gift for them.  Exiting, we hear Dixieland!  There, by the entrance of Galeries Lafayette is a quartet: banjo, cornet, clarinet and washboard (and cowbell).  They are good!  As Mila goes forward to put a franc in the banjo case, she is knocked over slowly and gracefully by a rushing pedestrian.  She is all right except for her dignity.
     From there we return to the hotel, and then excursion forward once again to have some supper.  We find an Italian restaurant/pizzeria not too far away.  We have a substantial minestrone (vegetables at last) and fettucine.  Also a small pichet of rosé.  It is really a good meal and relatively cheap by Paris costs.
     Then back to the hotel for bathing and a long sleep without a wakeup call or alarm necessary.  Our room is low in a court, and there is neither view nor much else.  But it is quiet.  To sleep and perchance not to dream.  It is R&R tomorrow plus some little chores.

MILA JEANHad trouble getting started for breakfast since maid didn't get there until 7:15 to start coffee etc.—finally ate late.  Started off after we finally found seats to sit down in back of bus.  Started off for Auxerre, got there by 10:30—had a lovely cheese omelette & limonade, saw cathedral.  Earl & Seattle party was very late coming back so we went straight back to Paris getting there about 4:15: horrible wait for rooms.  We had just got into ours when Joann called!  (She'd previously left a message.)  We're having dinner with her tomorrow night.  Checked at American Express to see if Matthew had written yet (no), went to Galeries Lafayette to buy cassettes for boys, watched Dixieland band & fell (rather, was knocked down by a running woman) in trying to give them a tip.  Ate in an Italian (yes!) restaurant—had vegetable soup & linguine & rosé wine: all very good.  The restaurant was efficient & apparently popular because it was filled by the time we left.  Tomorrow we are leaving the group (hurrah!) to "do our own thing"—check out TWA, see Eiffel Tower, tour the Opera House (we tried to get tickets for Boris Godunov but only ones available were no visibility).

TUESDAY, JUNE 10, 1980

ITINERARYContinental breakfast: Le Grand Hotel / FREE DAY [last word struck through; handwritten by George: morning: afternoon La Marais]  / [scored through: (Optional walking tour of Left Bank, including dinner on own) / Overnight: Le Grand Hotel

GEORGE:  It must be Tuesday because the museums are closed on Tuesdays in France.  If I were organizing a tour I'd worry about that, but I'm not sure Earl is a museum person.  Regardless, there are things to do.  I finally got up into/on the Eiffel Tower.  I really enjoyed the experience.  In my own way I was back in 1889 and could sense the experience of going up in an elevator which one can look out of while ascending.  And there is Paris spread out like a carpet.
     The tower is put together with simple elements and a great many bolts (rivets?).  And the work in general is quite open except at the three ėtages (complete with restaurants on the first two).  Plenty of souvenirs and other nonsense, including small Eiffel Towers with thermometers.  They cost 40 f or more, so I avoided that bit of schlock.  There are different prices for the three levels and one uses one elevator for levels one and two, and two elevators for level three.  All are staffed and the movement of people is remarkably efficient.  On the third level there is Eiffel's office, with two mannequins within.  A curious insertion.
     From the tower we descend and take a bateau.  We see the Seine operating as a major transport route, see the bridges close up, and see the architecture along the way.  It was OK and certainly worth doing, but not notable.
     In the process of doing these things, we also got our tickets reconfirmed, seats selected, and explanation of how to handle things at the airport in Boston (have the TWA agent there handle bags in the post-customs race to the next plane, etc.).  It was time well spent.  I also changed a bit more money.  The rate was OK.
     It was nearly 2:00 p.m. by the time we got back to the hotel.  I went out and got some yogurt, apples, and packages of German pumpernickel (the last an error) and we snacked.
     Then over to the Opera for a limited wander-tour.  We saw the major public places.  The lavish treatment is a bit mind-boggling.  We were able to enter one loge (box) and see the auditorium.  That is wretched.  Not only in arrangement but as a space.  It is small, crowded, and the Chagall dome is totally out of scale and inappropriate to the rest of the decor.  It isn't just a matter of style.  I think Chagall is not a muralist in any sense of the term.  Sight lines, except for the orchestra, are a disgrace for at least half the boxes.  Some visibilités indeed.
     We then walked over to the Madeleine.  It is big.  And the interior is heavy.  Napoleonic style has its limits.
     Additional walking and back through the Place Vendome.  By the time we reach the hotel it is about 5:30.  We've been at it for most of the day.  I'm tired and need some rest.  After all, we are going out again in the evening!

     We wait in the "sitting lobby" and ahead of schedule arrives Joann.  She appears unchanged since our visit eight years earlier in Cambridge.  Lovely and gracious as ever.  We head for the Metro.  I, overgallant, furnish the Metro tickets.  We exit at Palais Royal and walk through the arcades to a little (emphasis little) restaurant.  We sit outside and have a splendid dinner and chat.  Joann, spiritually, is across from me as our host.  We take two and a half hours for dinner and it is past 10 p.m. when we are through.  The dusk light is nearly gone and there is a chill in the air.  It is time to part, in the station of the Metro.  There is to be further contact by phone before Joann leaves Paris.  Mila and I finally return to the hotel.  A splendid evening to remember.

MILA JEAN Rained early this morn.  Had breakfast (on time) at 7:30—took the Metro to Left Bank—Arc de Triomphe area.  Went to TWA to confirm reservations & to reserve seats on both plane flights—had a very informative clerk who helped a great deal.  Walked over on way to Eiffel Tower—changed some money—Tower opened at 10:30—waited in line for tickets—many groups of students (the younger French types especially intrepid).  It was an interesting trip, though—there are three levels (you pay for how high you want to go—we went to highest).  You can get off at any level you wish—there was some haze reminiscent of NYC's Empire State Building, but still one could see for miles—on one level if you had trouble with heights, it would be a bit much—actually the ride up in the little car was one of the more interesting aspects.
     We came down & walked over to the Seine where we took a boat ride (had to wait another 30-40 minutes—lines & more lines).  This was a covered one & at the last minute a huge group of French schoolchildren were loaded aboard.  They got a bit frisky & had to be spoken to by the captain.  It seemed to take less than an hour.  Then staggered back to hotel by way of Metro (now 2:45) & George had to go out to the Drugstore & get some yogurt, apples & bread for a snack.  Then went out to Opera for a "you're on your own" glimpse (they let you see only isolated parts) of the inside—all a bit overwhelmingly ornate (circa 1870s), especially Grand Salon.  The theatre itself (seating around 2,000) was interesting, but has awful sight lines in many places.  I'd hate to spent $50 & see only half a set (chorus of 400).  The orchestra of Boris apparently sat up on stage in costume!  The set was thrust out over orchestra pit.  They had the grand staircase roped off but one could see all of it, etc.
     Walked on to fashionable Rue St. Honore for the high fashion shops & Place Vendome—the traffic is almost too much to bear & grates on one's nerves and one's sinuses due to exhaust fumes.  (Still no letter from Matthew.)
     We bathe & go down to meet Joann who is early too!  She has not changed in the least (though I suspect she dyes her hair since it is a lovely red again & back in 1972 it had grey in it).  She had on an exquisite silk dress of pleats—beige, etc.—which she kept adjusting the belt of, got confused in the Metro ("If there's a wrong way to do something, I'll do it"), still giggles, & is simply enchanting.  I guess she'll never be the grand dame, wife of the ambassador.  We are outside on the grounds of the Grand Palais—which was a charming vista, but eventually because cold enough to drive us away—also a black cat crept around, climbed trees, & brought a dead bird in its mouth once.  Had champagne & Armagnac omelette (Geo had spinach pie), duck frites & lemon sherbet—all delightful.  [Joann] gave us some exquisite silk pillow cases.  We parted at the Metro—she [said] she'd call.



ITINERARYContinental breakfast: Le Grand Hotel / 8:30 a.m.: Bus departs for Reims and Laön / Lunch on own in Laön / [no description of afternoon activity or dinner] / Overnight: Le Grand Hotel

GEORGE:  We assemble at 8:30.  The group, minus four or five, is quiet and somber.  We board the bus and ready ourselves for Laon and Reims.  This will take us through 1914-1918 Western Front country.  On the way to Laon we pass Soissons, and we see battlefield markers and several French military cemeteries.  But the battlefields of so long ago are verdant fields of grain.
     Laon [has] an interesting church.  It is, indeed, as if the various experiments of the Romanesque (plus a few others) were tried on for size in a new and bigger form.  It is at the edge of a promontory, and there are other old structures in varying states of repair adjacent.  One walks along a curving, medieval-sized street, dodging autos and trucks, and then there it is.  We combine our visit with lunch and some of us buy charcuterie and fruiterie stuff.  Others, of course, prefer the cafés.  I'm beginning to think that our schedule is set more and more by time for eating and drinking.  More rude comments on that later.
     We finally set off from Laon to Reims.  It is a short drive, and soon we are there.  Reims Cathedral is an interesting combination of the devastated old and the carefully restored.  The facade on the west is particularly impressive and shows this combination.  Inside, there is more of the same, but here the restorations are much more complete.  But it is all done with considerable grace.  The north transept, on the outside, was being worked on and was covered with scaffolding.  It has gotten to where I know it is old if it has some scaffolding, revival if not.  That, of course, is a dangerous generalization, but largely useful.  But that is the way of things and it must be accepted.
     Reims is a major tourist church and thus is less used-looking than some we've seen.  Usually there is one chapel, perhaps two, that shows evidence of the faithful and their activities.  One thing about Reims is the installation, here and there, of modern glass.  I've noted three general types.  One is a random pattern using much blue and red of the scale of the 12th and 13th Century work.  It reads correctly as to the color but little else.  There are also modern windows with very little of the intense colors.  These let in a lot of light and since they are reduced in chroma, the abstract pattern isn't disturbing.  There is also old pattern windows with or without imitation of old style figures.  There is only a little of that, some at Reims.
     At Reims also were some Chagall windows.  If not Chagall, than an imitator.  The scale of the figures and placement of the colors is wrong for Gothic as his painting is for the Opera dome.  Effective glass is not just color (and Chagall does have lovely color).  He fails to comprehend the rhythms and the proportions of the architecture.  Indeed, I suspect he had no awareness of other than the size and shape of the field on which he worked.  Enough of this tirade; on to another.
     Reims is champagne country, and needless to say Earl and his followers had to sample a café about fifteen minutes before we were told to assemble by the bus, promptly.  The last stragglers turned up nearly twenty minutes late and without concern for the majority sitting in the bus.  Granted, we were simply going back to Paris, and there was ample time, but it did mean that people who had rushed or not seen something they wanted to, were inconvenienced.  I lost my cool and complained.  It was to no avail and apparently misunderstood re: my wanting to do some business in Paris for which I would be late.  Ah well, I did simmer down.
     Mila and I did decide that tomorrow would be the last group tour.  That will give us Friday and Saturday to do Louvre (aspects) and whatever else we wish.
     Upon returning to the hotel, several people elected to eat together.  Katie Woodbridge had a place in mind, La Bonne Fourchette.  It was within walking distance, near the Place Vendome.  It is small, pleasant, nice atmosphere, and good food.  All told there was eight of us.  It was a pleasant evening except for a defense of Earl's "leadership" when someone complained about some decisions or non-decisions.  Happily, it was beyond my sphere of participation, and it was quickly terminated by mutual decision.
     We returned to the hotel to discover it strangely dark in the lobby.  And then when we reached our room, we heard a steady throbbing noise.  It finally dawned on me: the power employees had hit this area with their slowdown, and I was hearing the auxiliary generator(s) of the hotel.  I went rather quickly to bed since we were faced with a 7:30 bus departure in the morning.

MILA JEANOh, Lord—how long can one go on with Earl as our leader—he & his entourage, as nice as they are, spend time dining & drinking when we are all supposed to be back at the bus.  G & I are sufficiently annoyed that I can't see this going on much longer.
     We leave Paris at 8:40 amidst rain for La
ön, an interesting old medieval city—we walk to the cathedral thru crowded streets lined with small shops.  We buy some ham pies, apples & chocolate to eat later on.  It is quite cold & windy.  The cathedral is interesting & we eat facing away from the ramparts while talking to Yona.  Back in bus 1:30 for Reims—see rows upon rows of French graves from WWI (battlefield around these parts).  Arrived (presumably for 1½ [hours] which lengthened to 2) & found cathedral quite magnificent—hard to tell exactly (even with glasses) just how much has been rebuilt.  It was extensively hit during WWI from 1914 onward—[while we were there] two children were being trained as acolytes.  Outside particularly interesting with marvelous gargoyles, dogs, leering faces, angels, etc.  The church this morning had steers, oxen, etc. on top in honor of all the brute force it took to build church.
     Ride back wasn't too thrilling, though the sky was wonderful: clouds white & black over flat green fields—naturally got into a traffic jam going into Paris.  Plan to go out to dinner with assorted motley crowd, including Mitch, Yona, Jack and who?  Blake & Marian.  Electric slowdown tonight.  Big generator on full (same thing at 6:45 next morning—all lights go off.  We may never get breakfast or get off).
     Lovely dinner at Le Bonne Fourchette with heavy damask ceilings & walls—thus muffling noise.  Had crudités: cucumbers, beets, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, tomatoes.  Veal[?] with champignons & an elaborate dessert: little miniature creampuffs with chocolate sauce & lots of white wine: a very pleasant group, food & conversation.


ITINERARYContinental breakfast: Le Grand Hotel / [scored through: 8:30 a.m. handwritten by Mila Jean: 7:30]: Bus departs for Beauvais, Amiens and Arras / Box lunch (from Hotel) en route / [no description of afternoon activity or dinner] / Overnight: Le Grand Hotel

GEORGE:  The alarm was necessary.  I tottered into the bathroom and got myself pulled together.  I had asked for breakfast at 6:45.  Precisely at that time all the lights went out.  The power ploy was on again.  Within a minute at least one generator had kicked on, and within five minutes we had lights and breakfast came.  We were lucky.  We heard horror tales on the bus of people who had been "knocked up" for breakfast at 5:30 a.m.!  A not very good way to begin a long day.
     Rosann came to the room about 7:00 a.m. to sign the book.  The result of that was that I forgot to take my pills today.  I decided not to take them on my return and simply pick up on it tomorrow.  I guess I'm getting tired.  I've begun sleeping on the bus, a sign of inadequate rest, or a routine that is unsettling or something.  I guess it is about right that we go home on Sunday.
     Well, we headed off for Arras.  It does have a couple of Flemish-type places and a curiously cold 18th Century Classical cathedral.  A half hour would have sufficed, but we spent an hour.  Then on to Amiens.  We are in the Picardie battle zone and en route we were seeing military graveyards, French and English.  Looking at the "rolling" fields of grain, I tried to visualize trenches and devastated no-man lands with blasted trees and farm buildings.  I almost succeeded, but it is so pastoral now it is hard to displace the present image.
     We see Amiens.  There is scaffolding on the outside, and the cathedral is still the dirty dark grey punctuated with pigeon droppings.  The cathedral, we discover, is closed until 2:00 p.m.  We had arrived at noon, and ate a box lunch by the Somme.  It was an adequate spot but undistinguished.  The lunch is something I eat selectively
—and very little.  Why we can't have sandwiches and fruit (and sandwiches can be bought in France) is beyond me.  Enough of that.  We eat quickly to see the cathedral, hunt for places to dispose our trash (a real problem here)  and then learn we have more than an hour's wait to get inside.  More evidence of careful advance planning.  (Tut tut, I'm complaining.)  This time I really do see the outside.  Finally we get inside.  Scaffolding is up at the crossing.  There is a sense of repair rather than use.  But we can see the proportions quite well.  Also, someone is playing the organ, and that is quite impressive.
     It is time to go on to Beauvais.  We have only a half hour (but then it is only half a church—hah hah!).  The exterior is curious, needless to say.  The south transept is the entrance.  And the church is tall.  Inside, one becomes conscious of the narrow spacings on the columns, and the rather steeply pointed arches of the side aisle arcade.  There is work going forth on this church too, but it has a warmer quality than Amiens.  The latter is, I now think, more a facade.  Bourges was a grand interior.  Chartres was spiritual.  Beauvais is curious.
     But now back into the bus to continue into Paris.  I doze again.  Yes, it is time that I retreat from group activities, at least as much as I can.
     I have 23 names in the book, not quite as many as I had hoped, but this hotel (with 600 rooms) isn't conducive to this sort of activity.  And we are tired and somewhat surly on entering the bus.  No one wants to go anywhere but to his or her room.  And I can't blame them.  Well, the others will have to sign tomorrow night for our grand farewell buffet.  Wonder what that will be like?
     Dinner was once again at La Bonne Fourchette.  This, after walking here and there.  Our choice came partly from a lack of vigor to search, and also last night's pleasant experience.  This time it had some very loud-talking Americans (like we [were] last night, no doubt).  Near us was a fugitive (by voice and appearance) from New York/Las Vegas/ Miami Beach.  He was apparently meeting with two newly arrived visitors (Americans).  He also seemed knowledgeable in French on Europe.  But his whiskey gravel voice, gold chain, etc. pierced my consciousness.  On the other side was a lone, very tense man who managed to smoke three cigarettes with his three-course meal.
     These too are the realities of French travel, at least in Paris.

MILA JEAN Earl has changed schedule again & we are supposed to leave an hour early; apparently, as it turned out, some of our group had been wakened at 5:30 with breakfast(!).  The electric power went off at 6:45 & the generator had to be activated again—Rosann appeared in our room to sign Earl's book at 7:15 & they had to have the "lusty" men load the lunches on the bus.  By the way, the bus hasn't been cleaned since we set off on it almost three weeks ago, so one easily can imagine the interesting pile of dirty towels in the lav, etc.
     Arrive at Arras fairly early.  We are into the country of the Somme now, so many graves of WWI soldiers, especially British.  (There was a plaque on the outside of Town Hall in memory of the collaborators who were shot by Germans there.  Lots of memorial plaques for American, Australian, New Zealanders, British soldiers who died during the wars, especially WWI.  There was one in memory of Raymond Asquith (Cynthia's brother-in-law).  A lot of them died in the defense of Amiens in 1918.)
     Arras is an interesting, almost Northern town with two interesting squares & lots of "local color" & no real churches (hurrah)—Geo photographs two dogs on sidewalk: one tiny, one huge.  Spent hour there, then on to Amiens.  Eat lunch by River Somme, gulp smash gobble in ten or twenty minutes so we can RUN to Cathedral & be finished in an hour.  Guess what?  Earl forgot that Cathedral was closed from 12 to 2, so we had to sit, me being bilious until church opens.  It was worth it, though.  I was about the second person in (we could hear intriguing organ music inside) & lo, a huge peal of magnificent organ playing Messiah (well), later Bach & [in] this huge church.  There are extensive repairs being done on it, so much of the statuary was draped in plastic & there was a lot of scaffolding.  Still & all it was a great experience with that organ music—so much so that Earl had to drag us out on to Beauvais—by this time we are nearly gassed out by poor ventilation on bus—getting excessively hostile to one another, especially to Earl.  We are told this was the last time on this bus & we left it, mess & all.
     We got back about 5:45 to rest.  Tried calling Joann twice to no avail.  Out at 7:00 to hunt for new restaurant but ended up in the one from the night before, but all the magic had gone due to 1) warmth & humidity, 2) seated elbow-to-elbow on both sides to smokers (including pipe & cigar!) & everyone seemed to be loudmouthed Americans who wouldn't/couldn't speak French.  I felt decidedly insincere, so went home early—washed hair which would NOT dry & put it up wet & went to bed at 11:00—pretty good sleep.

FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 1980

ITINERARYContinental breakfast: Le Grand Hotel / [scored through: 8:30 a.m.: Bus departs for Meaux, Senlis and Pierrefords / Own picnic lunch (or lunch on own in Senlis) handwritten by Mila Jean: Free day] / 8 p.m.: Bus departs for Club Boule de Golfe, Versailles / Cocktails on own / Grand buffet and farewell party (with music) / Overnight: Le Grand Hotel

GEORGE:  We are independent of the group today, and so have breakfast at 8 a.m. and are out on the street after the bus has left with some but hardly all of the troops.  We check first at American Express and find three letters: from Matthew, my mother and Mila's.  All, apparently, are well at home except the weather has gotten hot, etc.  (It is warming up here too.)  My mother's letter and Matthew's convey an address for a shop for Charles Schwartz, Ily's husband.  However, we are on our way to the Louvre and will investigate the address once I can locate it on a map.
     We arrive at the Louvre a few minutes before it opens.  We enter in the first group and thus do not fight crowds until later [when] there are a lot of Japanese tourists who have "creative" cameras and take each other's picture in front of the Venus de Milo, etc.  It was actually unwatched by anyone but me when I saw it the first time.
     Parts of the Louvre are closed, so I saw no Ancient Near East, limited Roman, no Etruscan.  A reasonable amount of Greek.  Part of Egypt is closed, but I do see Sepa and Nesa, who were more impressive and bigger than I expected.  The Seated Scribe is exquisite and smaller than I recalled.  There were fragments, painted not carved, from Methethi's tomb.  I was surprised by two very large wooden sculptures from the early Middle Kingdom.  Some great quality Sesostris III fragments.  Of the Greek things, the Lady of Auxerre was there.  Quite small but powerful.  Venus from Milos and the Nike of Samothrace are not different from my expectations or memory.  The Apollo Piombino is smaller and more delicate than I anticipated.  No indication of cultural origin.  In fact a lot of works do not have labels or rather sparse labels.
     At some points I am reminded to look at the architecture of the Louvre.  Some areas are powerful and deserve more attention than I've been giving them.  The Galerie d'Apollon is an attraction in itself and we get there just before it is closed f
or 1½ hours for lunch.
     We turn to French 19th Century painting, particularly the big Deleacroix, Davids, etc.  They are impressive.  I see Raphael's Belle Jardiniere and Leonardo's work.  The Mona Lisa is in a case and dark (to protect it).  We see Poussin's Rape of the Sabine Women which really ought to have David's Sabine Women as a companion.  We review Rubens's Marie de' Medici cycle, a truly powerful grouping.
     We have a yogurt snack and sit down and then survey the sculpture galleries.  This is all newly installed and really quite impressive.  I pay special attention to Houdon.
     We have been at it for close to four hours.  It is time to retreat.  We check at the Comedie Française and learn there are no tickets left, no surprise.  We have a spot of lumch (so-so but not too expensive) and walk back to the hotel by way of other streets and shops.  Everything is so incredibly expensive in contrast to costs in the U.S. that one is not tempted to buy.  The Guide Bleu to the U.S. is 110 f; it is half the size of the Guide to France.  110 f = $27.50.  It would be a curiosity but not worth it to me at that price.  We are spending less than I expected, but that is because I see little to buy at the prices quoted.  Well, I have one more day to face that choice.
     We finally assemble for our grand farewell buffet and party.  Everyone is all dressed up and seem determined to have a good time and end the official aspect of the tour on a most positive note.  This even though I hear that the bus excursion was, in the words of one, "the worst yet."
     There is some delay re: the bus, but finally we are on our way along an industrial side of the Seine I had not seen before.  We even see the equivalent of slums, collapsed stuff in a backwater behind Ile St. Germain, etc.  We even see, before all of that, a section of absolutely new architecture of all sorts.  This is in the southwest corner of the Paris.  The architectural complex of both low and high rise is genuinely interesting, but seen too fleetingly.  We pan by the Sevres works and museum.
     We arrive not at Versailles Palace, but out in that general direction at a very elaborate country club.  Our host and hostess, Earl's friends, of the opening dinner are our "hosts," though we of course will be paying the principal tab.  The grounds are truly beautiful, and there is an elegant buffet and wine.  At what I feel is the appropriate moment I call for attention and act like a Director of the Society of Architectural Historians.  I begin by thanking our host and hostess on behalf of the Society and the other directors on the trip.  Then I make my presentation of the book with appropriate and hopefully witty comments re: the lack of all signatures, etc.  I believe it is carried off adequately.  Then there are other presentations and we head for our dessert.  Our host and hostess then go table to table, passing out perfumes for the men and women (samples to be sure, but a generous thought).  Then the champagne comes in, another gift of Earl's friends, and there is recorded music to dance to.  Many of us retreat to the terrace for air and final (?) conversations, since Saturday is free of any formal activities.
     We finally are able to board the bus past midnight, and it is about 1 a.m. when my head touches the pillow.  The ride home was more attractive than the ride out, including our use of the Seine-side (rive droit) road.  I do believe we made the transition back to a congenial group, now remembering the best of our experiences, talking about seeing each other at the annual meeting, etc.
     I've given some thought to the problems of this trip, and without rehashing or second-guessing the details, I've come to the conclusion that the slowdown at Nîmes came too early, and there are problems re: the Paris aspect due to the conflict of attractions.  The Greek trip was two intense, pressure-filled weeks and one week on the ship.  That helped.
     We had Paris again on day/evening #19 (counting the flying day as day #1).  I see no ready alternative to the schedule, but if I had to generalize, the role of the schedule is number one.  A benign but present authority of a leader is second.  What we see is third.  The schedule clearly relates to what we see, but one can try to do too much with a real potential for lousing [up] any schedule.  Therefore, I'd recommend making a list of things to do and then working out a schedule.  Based on the schedule, one then deletes or substitutes things to see.  Where it must be a fleeting stop, there must be time to explore on one's own or in small groups.  In large cities, walking tours have to be linked to bus transportation (as in U.S. annual meeting tours) to avoid logistical problems.  But enough of that.

MILA JEAN Friday the 13th: in spite of some humdinger cramps both digestive and menstrual, this day was pretty good.  We started out at 9:00 at American Express to get mail (three letters: Matt, Grandmas Ehrlich & Smith) & ran into Don Emerich & Gary (neither of whom went with the tour today—Don said he'd seen the bus leave half-full but with Elaine up front, hunting for pastries no doubt).  Walked out to Louvre (looked in at Comedie Française—noticed they were doing Tartuffe tomorrow matinee—later tried to get tickets but complét).  In spite of noise level of some groups, especially French schoolchildren & Japanese, Louvre not bad at all.  We actually had some rooms to ourselves briefly, especially Egyptian.  Quite interesting objects.  Louvre in process (as with everything) of being remodeled or something.  Large section closed, unfortunately much of what Geo wanted to see, but rest of its (in spite of or maybe because of?) vastness seemed civilized & beautiful.  Salon of Apollo (originally a state room) quite ornate & gilded, houses "royal jewels," crowns of Napoleon, Josephine's earrings, etc.  Each door had emblem of one of the Muses.  Had a yogurt & fizzy in lunchroom looking over Tuileries??  Proceeded thru much of painting section (mammoth paintings in some rooms) ending with early 19th Century.  Finally at end of Grand Salon found small WC (three stalls) & no attendant.
     Stagged out at 1:30 in humidity, over to Comedie Française to find out no tickets; hunted for restaurant, found small brasserie for omelet (me), quiche (burned—Geo) & much-needed tea.  Walked back (long way) to Galeries-Lafayette to price candy.  Reasonable but huge packages not attractively presented.  Will try tomorrow when we go out hunting for the "whatever happened to Aunt Ily" caper.  We have address of her husband's bag shop, but there is no record (address or phone number) of it in phone book.  So now two people are missing: Joann & Aunt Ily.
     Back to hotel 3:30 to rest my aching back.  After all, tonight is the big party at the Tennis Club at Versailles (naturally Earl doesn't know the way).  Geo alternates between watching a TV show of soccer (they just used tear gas on the spectators to break up a fight) and snoozing.  I am trying to pull together my belongings & decide what to throw away.  It is distinctly warmer & muggier.  It's about time to go home to the same.  Hearing[?] lots of police sirens—is it the weather or the strikes?
     Notable things: washing down & sweeping off streets in mornings.  Girls with high heels (especially ankle straps or sandals).  Girls holding hands & kissing each other; everyone shakes hands or kisses when meeting & leaving one another.  Pigeons (I've never seen a squirrel but Geo did: grey).  Motor scooters (or cycles) on sidewalks mowing one down (ditto cars in streets), exhaust fumes, cigarette (or whatever) smoke!  Stuffy inside unless windows or doors open.
     Apparently the group's Friday tour was another Earl-fiasco—I was alternately intrigued & appalled to hear of the various nightmarish events, fights among the factions, etc.  Even Mitch was less than enthusiastic.
     We joined the group all gussied up in surprising costumes (Mrs. Kent in a mohair stole & rust lace—Harriet in a white wedding gown); to supposedly get on the bus at 7:45.  It didn't arrive until 8:00—no doubt no one had bothered to tell the driver of changes in plans.  (Previous to this, George had watched TV—a pelvic & breast exam & Sesame Street1, Rue Sesame).  We got aboard the smelly bus & sat for another ten minutes—then set off for the Versailles Golf Club.  It started to rain; but the setting was gorgeous with green grass & lovely flowers (huge roses).
     Menu I saved.  The same two "host & hostess" (she very vivacious & [both] apparently old—since age 17—friends of Earl) who had sangria cocktails & huge buffet including all sorts of salads: cold tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, corn, rice, cold lamb (and beef?), eggs.  Red wine thruout from a keg.  Cheese, strawberry tart (on fresh baked shell) & at the end they brought out champagne!  That was wild enough, but it had followed the series of presentations of gifts—Geo presented Earl his book in a plastic Sofitel bag as a "memorial" (whoops) sorry, memento of our trip (some people found it hard to applaud), then Blake (thru pursed lips) presented the bedspread in an old pasteboard box, then Earl presented the hostess with a painting of her & Rosann too.  Then Jack Holden presented Rosann with a Chanel scarf & Dr. Ben [Schneider] with a piece of chocolate (for taking care of the sick people).  Due to the repressed (suppressed?) emotions, I was eating too fast (or something) so by the time the champagne came out & the disco lights went on & Jack [Parker] kept wanting to dance, I was feeling definitely bilious.  Went out to outer terrace while people from our group waltzed, tangoed, discoed & generally tore the place up.  Yona, in her backless & nearly frontless dress, was much observed but alas not much admired.  Too much breast isn't that intriguing.  I think Geo had OD'd on mammary glands by the close of the evening.
     By 1:00(?) or so they managed to drag hysterically back on the bus & go back to Paris in the rain (saw an accident with many police) & to bed late.  But I did sleep well until after 8:00.


ITINERARYContinental breakfast: Le Grand Hotel / [circled:] FREE DAY / (Optional guided tour to Versailles or Fountainbleau — transportation, entry fees and lunch on own) / Overnight: Le Grand Hotel

GEORGE:  We slept late.  We do some shopping, this time in the Printemps Department Store.  I find it less elegant than Galeries Lafayette, but it is large and diverse, also in several buildings.  I've decided to buy a number of Michelin Green Guides, which will help me recall what we saw south of Paris.  It is about the best price, and for once cheaper than in the U.S.
     The grands magasins are in typical Parisian structures and they are crowded and to my eye chock-jammed with displays and people.  There are smaller shops, and except for the tiny ones (and even some of them) they are jammed with stock.  American-type interiors, with a low density of display in fairly large space, may not be too common.  There was no attempt to look at this fully, and I may be in error.  It would be interesting to have seen the interiors of the magasins at a complete imitation of an American shopping mall on our way to the buffet last night.  Two grands magasins enclosed either end, and the entire [mall] was in a sea of parking (little cars however).  But if the exterior is imitated, the people are different and probably the interiors reflect that.  Well, that is rather off the track of today's events and activities.
     After returning to the hotel for a brief rest, we set out the scout the address my mother send me for Charles Schwartz (Swartz?).  It is raining slightly and we wend our way with umbrellas father away from the tourist areas than ever before.  We pass through a street of stamp vendors (philately).  We are among the furriers (suppliers, etc.).  We see kosher meat and wine shops.  We see some spray printing [graffiti] which I read as mild antisemitism.  And then suddenly a lot of blacks and others who are swarthy.  This area must have Tunisians, Moroccans, etc., hence Muslims, hence the spray paint?  Some of the "fast food" places sell sandwiches labeled Tunisian.  They are on round buns and have goop and stuff jammed into them.  This rather different from French sandwiches which use baguettes.  Though I must admit I saw American type sandwiches on sliced bread here and there.
     We are finally at this address.  It looks totally abandoned on the outside.  Certainly there was never a shop there.  We enter the court and it too is largely ster
ile—no shops.  After some snooping we gather some visual evidence that a Schwartz had a parking place.  Also we saw a sign for Charles Maroquinerie.  But it is barely visible, almost as if it is ancient, and as we look upward at windows we see neither light nor activity.  It is, after all, Saturday and if this is a manufacturing or a wholesale place, it could well be closed on the weekend.  I hesitate to start interrogating people on the street or in nearby establishments, given my limited capacity at speaking French.
     We move on and eventually find a Self Service Cafeteria (that is what they are called: service and cafeteria are French, but this is pure Franglais, based on American).  It is, however, a non-tourist place in every sense of the word.  There is curiously however a carafe of water on every table.  And in Toulouse, there was water also available from the tap!  Bottled water is purchasable everywhere, but this is a curious variant.  We buy ready plates: steak dinners[?], pommes frites, and haricots verts.  Mila also has a yogurt.  Our lunch is 33.40 f, which seems much in U.S. (a bit over $8), but rather cheap for a plat chaud in Paris.
     We start down Rue du Faubourg St. Denis toward Porte St. Denis and we are on a fascinating street of food shops of all sorts and sizes.  Butchers, practically on the street at their chopping blocks; fruits and legumes and fish places, etc.  It is extremely active and curiously attractive in its crowded and non-antiseptic fashion.
     As I write this, I realize we walked the street before eating, which was in a place [on] Boulevard St. Denis.  This put us by a Metro stop, so after concluding our so-so lunch, we went underground and reappeared at the Place Concorde and the Rue de Rivoli.  We did the Jeu de Paume as our museum for the day.  I paid particular attention to Manet, and I saw Gauguin to advantage.  I found the early Cezannes without a hint of the later artist, in contrast to the early Delacroix, Ingres, etc.  I watched Japanese tourists photographing each other in front of paintings.  The rain made things a bit heavy in the museum.  There was air conditioning upstairs, for Monet, Van Gogh, etc., but not evident downstairs for Degas and Manet.  A curious situation.  We are allowed to walk in with bags, coats and umbrellas.  There is however a guard rail in front of paintings.
     Suddenly I am tired!  We walk the Rue de Rivoli to Rue Castiglione, Place Vendome and Rue de la Paix to the hotel.  I then rest in a chair so as not to conk out.  Mila rests, then packs.  After all, tomorrow morning is our day for departure.  Perhaps I should do the same.  Later, we will go out to eat.
     While I've been writing this, there was a short intense shower.  It is one of those days.  The umbrella is still needed.
     So we go off by Metro to Rue de Bac and St. Germain.  We begin walking east on St. Germain and there are drops of rain.  We are equipped with umbrellas and walk or stand under awnings when it gets a bit heavy.  There are huge crowds out.  It [the rain] eases up and we start across St. Germain and as we are caught by the lights on an island in the middle, the heavens open up and it pours!  Well, on and off it rains and we go looking for a place to eat.  We are fairly far along and we see a small, narrow street with some restaurant signs.  We enter the street, which I believe is Rue Gregoire de Tours.  It has miscellaneous places.  One looks possible.  A modest prix fixe, small rows of tables, and Mila says it is a Greek restaurant.  As we enter, we hear that unmistakable music.  There are very few in the place—we are early, 7:30-ish.  We sit at paper-covered tables and order.  Notes are made on the table paper to record the order.
     The food is so-so, but as we eat the place fills to the gills and there is a wonderful sense of frantic behavior on the part of the male staff, "dancing" through narrows spaces to serve the people; only the girl serving us seems impassive until she cuts baguettes with what looks like a paper cutter.  I finally look up and around.  There are ancient "half timbers" in the wall by us and heavy timbers exposed in the ceiling.  By the time we leave, there is enormous bustle and people wanting in.  It is the price—not the food.  We had lamb chops, and these were broiled to a crisp on the outside and bloody inside (OK) and we had rice and pomme frites.
     But it was fun.  We wander over to Rue de Buci and then on to Rue Dauphine.  We head down it, across Pont Neuf and by the Louvre, Palais Royale and up the Boulevard de Opera.  As we enter our room, we hear music and singing from the Salon de Opera.  Mostly violins and waltzes, etc.  As I write this, the music is silent, but one can barely hear announcements and then applause.  It is 10 p.m. and I think I shall prepare for bed.  [We] will be up at 6:30 and in a cab by 8:30 I trust.  We've done most of our packing already, so it should be no hassle once we are at the Terminal Porte Maillot.  I'm ready to call it a trip!
     Unfortunately the music has switched to amplified mod.  Oh my!

MILA JEAN Went out about 9:30 in light Indian dress & Chinese shoes & no wrap (because it was warm in our room) & found it chilly & fixing to rain.  Walked around awhile & returned to hotel after going thru Printemps Department Store, buying six guidebooks & a candle for Mother—went back to room to change clothes & get rain gear.  Went out in rather heavy showers to try to discover Aunt Ily's husband's business's whereabouts.  No luck—working-class neighborhood, rather sleazy, lots of Africans—his "shop" (a factory) turned out to be in a kind of warehouse area—no sign of any businesses functioning there.  We went in & looked around courtyard, vaguely reminiscent of our Mafia area down by the KC Market.
     Went on down another street & came upon incredible area of open markets, fish & meat, vegetables & fruits, Greek olives, etc.—one after another down block after block.  Geo took pictures.  Went into a "Self" restaurant & had two steak dinners (I guess they were OK, we are still here) for 30 fr total.  I also had yogurt.
     Took subway to Concorde & went to Impressionist Gallery (near Louvre) along with hundreds of Americans (especially kids in jeans with loud voices).  It's a gorgeous collection, lots of Cezannes, Manets, Degas, Van Gogh & an interesting display of Gauguin's sculpture & paintings during Polynesian adventure.  I don't recall having seen his sculpture, ceramics, & stained glass before.
     Walked down Rue de Rivoli & because we were tired came home to rest.  I am now almost entirely packed & I think I'm ready to go home (to problems, heat/humidity or whatever).  We are going to eat final meal on Left Bank tonight.

     It's 9:35 p.m., it's light outside, I am lying in bed in my PJs while a gypsy orchestra & a soprano entertain a huge crowd of E.F. Hutton people in the Grand Ballroom (of course the porthole windows being wide open convey the sound up to us with amplification).  At least—in contrast to the HiFi amplifiers last time—this is at least pretty music: "Speak to Me of Love," "La Vie en Rose," Hungarian dances, etc., punctuated by the clink of glasses, crockery & glassware.  (Amplified jazz band took over eventually.)
     Back to tonight.  We took Metro to Rue due Bac in sunshine, walked a few short blocks onto St. Germain du Pres & the heavens opened up & there was a deluge, a short stop & then another cloudburst, us even with umbrellas getting bottoms of slacks soaked—finally turned down into tiny side street & went into little cheap Greek restaurant with loud Greek music, a frenetic waiter & a hardworking waitress.  Had salad & lamb chops & I had a creme caramel, Geo almond cake (one almond almost landed in his umbrella).  Stopped raining, sun came out, & Indian bazaar & flower market went into business again.  Walked home.  Will continue this after I get to K.C.

SUNDAY, JUNE 15, 1980

ITINERARYContinental breakfast: Le Grand Hotel / Bus transfer of persons on group flight to Roissy Airport / Group flight departs for New York City, Air France No. 017 at 5:40 p.m. / Group flight arrives JFK Airport, 7:40 p.m. / Tour ends.  Persons remaining in Paris must make own hotel reservations.

GEORGE:  We awake without need for the alarm clocks and are ready in ample time for our last petit dejeuner at Le Grand Hotel.  Finally we are ready to clear the room.
     There is no problem re: a cab; several are at the station by the hotel.  Traffic is light and we are upon our destination, the Air France Terminal at Porte Maillot, very quickly.  We pay off the driver and descend to the bus level to see one about ready to go.  We board and are whisked out to the airport also quickly.  There are advantages to early Sunday travel in and around Paris.
     At the airport there are people waiting to check in before the staff is ready to check them in.  Crazy Americans are early.  Finally that too is done and we are shed of our luggage except for our shoulder bags.  We do the circuit of shops and such on the passenger level of the central building.  We manage to spend most of our coins, but it is difficult.  We buy three packs of French gum, a paperback book (a Maigret tale by Simenon) and a box of nougat-type candy.  Everything else is too dear or inappropriate.
     We ascend the elevators to take the moving walks to the departure pods.  We meet the Holdens (who are taking the Concorde back) and then after another set of farewells, we go to our gate.  There we see Harriet Goins.  Finally we board, a little chaos instead of French orderliness.  Hmm!  We are settled and ready.  The flight leaves a bit late, and we are scheduled for about seven hours.  I make up my mind to sleep as much as I can on this flight
—and do.
     We arrive in Boston about 25 minutes later than we should.  We have just a fraction over an hour to catch our connecting flight.  The bags arrive fairly quickly, and we pick a customs line.  We have a very methodical inspector in this line.  The girl at the station is really being given the close scrutiny, opening bags, etc.  I turn to the people in line ahead of us and ask if they would object to our going to the head of the line since we now have only 45 minutes left.  They comply.  I do thank them most sincerely.  Our inspector is still methodical.  He works over the girl's companion, etc. and now it is our turn.  Mila explains that our agitation (I felt none—simply fatigue) was due to our concern over our connection.  Our inspector chats with us.  I am asked to open my shoulder bag.  He sees my medicines.  He looks at them while I tell him of my ailments.  And my profession, and the SAH Tour.  Finally we are through.  Thirty minutes left.
     We drop the bags (tagged to go to MCI) by the TWA agent and the conveyor belt.  We tell her our bags are for Flight 207 and she acknowledges this, and off we go.  We walk very rapidly toward the domestic terminal and reach TWA.  We scoot down toward their gates, whip through security and hit a check-in section to confirm seat assignments and receive boarding passes.  We have a few minutes for a WC stop, and head for the gate.  They are not yet boarding, but they are checking tickets and boarding passes.  Then it is boarding time.  Clearly, we wouldn't have made it if people ahead of us at the customs line hadn't been generous.  We settle (?) down for the three-hour flight to K.C.
     We arrive about on time.  As we exit into the terminal I see no familiar faces.  Then Mila spots Matthew heading away from the gate.  I shout softly.  He doesn't hear.  I shout loudly.  He doesn't hear.  I give out with a sharp MATT, and he turns.  Apparently he had just been dumped off by Bob Dean who went to park.  It was a fortuitous chance sighting.
     We wait for the bags—no bags.  Finally we report in to TWA baggage office.  With Mila and Bob providing comic side comments, I fear we will confuse the attendant.  I shoo them away and finish describing our bags and the circumstances of their last known status.  The fact that I finally realized that the bags had the old flight number 229 instead of 207 may have contributed to the problem.  Ah well!
     Then, once again gathered, we head for Bob's car and home.  Only we go by way of Mission, Kansas or even further.  Apparently we are going by way of a Kentucky Fried Chicken place to take advantage of a coupon.  We get a big box (fifteen pieces) of chicken and head for home.  The Deans have made a salad and some beans, we paid for most of the chicken, we eat at our place while I slowly wilt.  I make some effort to sort the mail.  Finally, at 8:00 p.m. K.C. time, which is 3:00 a.m. Monday Paris time, I beg to go to bed.  I totter up and end my long adventurous day.

MONDAY, JUNE 16, 1980

GEORGE:  I am writing this Monday morning K.C. time.  I've called TWA baggage and have learned the bags are in and on the morning delivery.  And so here I wait, the mail finally sorted, and once the bags are in the house, I can say we have indeed arrived.


MILA JEAN Back in K.C., clean, cool (I'm sure NOT for long) and semi-collected.  As luck would have it, the terrible heat (100° the day before we got back) had abated & it was only 85 or upper 80s when we arrived.  Cooled off that night & has been cool—warmish & dry ever since—a great help, considering our somewhat disconcerting tendency to drift back to Paris time—or suddenly drift off either into sleep or stare vacantly into space—a little like having a Dramamine 24 hours a day.
     Everything went very fast & smooth on Sunday the 15th.  Left hotel about 8:15 after having run into Rosann & Earl in lobby.  Went to Aerodrome & right onto bus for Airport (Genevieve was on bus), very fast since it was Sunday morning & not much traffic to fight.  Got there about 9:30—had to stand in a line alone with a lot of eager Americans (we seem to be more on time or early for things than the Europeans) in line [for] Paris-Boston.  Finally got checked in & wandered around Airport, trying to get rid of excess change: bought candy (nougats), gum, & (Hollywood) [sic].  [The airport] didn't seem too inordinately filthy (considering cleaner's strike now past a month's duration) but lots of ground-in dirt on floor.  Used WCs & ran into Holdens on way to [their] Concorde flight.  Got on TWA & seats not bad: a young intense Frenchman en route to post-doctoral work at U. of Wisconsin in window seat next to Geo.  We left 15 minutes late (an ominous sign) but all well—very smooth flight, good food—all fine except we were two rows behind smoking section of Ambassador area & about five men chain-smoked & all the fumes drifted back to us: NOT good.  Finally ate (beef) & we were starving by 2 P.M.—saw Coal Miner's Daughter—very good except for interruption of people in aisle.
     Arrived in Boston still 15 minutes late (in spite of assurances by cabin attendants that we'd "probably" make the K.C. flight) & apprehensive.  Logan Airport [has] perhaps the most streamlined, efficient customs I've seen so far.  They had everyone out & the luggage flowing very fast & without hysteria.  But we didn't get all four bags until quarter to 2:00!  Geo shouted at people in line, did any of them have connecting flights & they didn't so we got in line at head—behind a young man whose girlfriend was being "processed' SLOWLY—it was a very thorough officer—made her (and her friend) open things.  We were semi-hysterical by 2:00 (our flight to K.C. left at 2:35) knowing we still had to get rid of the bags & walk to another terminal.  He—the officer—only had one eye and was sardonic ("What's all this medication?  High blood pressure, eh?") after opening Geo's little bag.  He suggested we carry our four bags to other terminal but TWA agent said NO—bags would make it on conveyor belt (famous last words).  It was hot & muggy in Boston too as we jogged to other terminal—as it turned out we had about 20-30 minutes to spare—enough for us to go to WC & wash—apparently NOT long enough for the bags to make it, as we learned later.
     The plane to K.C. had empty spaces left & arrived on time.  We had another "snack" (not too thrilling) and I had Cokes & 7-Up to counteract my thirstiness.  Arrived in K.C. and went out into waiting room to catch sight of Matthew in peach-colored shirt rushing around looking for us.  (Apparently he & Bob Dean had just arrived & Bob was looking for a parking place.)  OK so far.  The inevitable Clouseau ending to the whole fable is that none of our four bags arrived in K.C. and the turntable did not turn for us.  As it turned out, it was just as well since Bob's car could never have accommodated us and the bags.  But it was irritating nonetheless; Bob was running around being Bob in a pair of white shorts—finally after a long time & red tape we took off in his car for Johnson Drive to get a "Bucket" of chicken—which we ate—along with baked beans & salad courtesy [of] Marilyn Dean, & Coke.  Went to bed about 10:00 after going thru piles of mail & minutiae.
     Our bags arrived around 10:00 A.M. next day & the rest of day was spent washing clothes & trying to sort thru all of the debris.  (Tim called.)
     Spent Tuesday (a lovely sunny cool-warmish day) doing "fun" things like checking mail at school, shopping on Plaza, eating a hamburger & Coke at McDonalds & all sorts of touristy but fun things, & helped clear head.  Also saw "grand meeting" of entire Mo Rep company (talked to Doug & Juliet Randall, etc.) & saw their (the company's) picture being taken—all very funny for some reason.
     Now it is time to take the yoke again—look at submissions, clean up house, process slides & generally get back into the swing of K.C. Life.


[undated, written on a loose slip of paper in different-colored ink than used in the travel journal]

MILA JEAN Such a hopeful concluding entry on June 18th would prove to be ironically inaccurate.  The rest of the summer was dreadful—unprecedented heat (17 days over 100°), no rain (predictions of another 1930s drought), Nelda's recurrence of cancer (spread to the back this time), Paul's nervous collapse (with many weeks of trying to recover)—heat, endless heat.  My final break with Gloria by resigning at the end of July from Helicon Nine & consequently severing my entire relationship with it & her and that whole experience.  Sad.



[click on the > at the end of each Note to return to that date's entry above]

  The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) was founded in 1940; its mission is to promote "the study, interpretation, and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes, and urbanism worldwide," plus "meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national, and international programs."  >
  See Parts Four, Five, and Six of Arrived Safely No Catastrophes Yet Love Jean: The Fulbright Year AbroadMar. 30 to Apr. 4, Apr. 18-28, and June 17 through July 25, 1955.  >
  At the back of her steno spiral, Mila Jean made a list of "Character Analyses" of fellow SAH Tourists who had not gone to Greece in 1978.  Excerpts from these analyses (edited for content) are included in the Notes below.  >
  Matthew had just finished his freshman year at the University of Missouri - Columbia and was home for the summer.  "I confess to having no memory at all of holding down the fort at 5505 while they were away," he would say.  "At some point, I began working in the scene shop at the UMKC Theater to earn a few hours summer credit.  It was not the best of experiences, but then there was little about that summer that was especially pleasant.  I'm glad they [our parents] had a good time, anyway."  >
  The remainder of George's slide-and-negative collection was donated to the State Historical Society of Missouri Research Center (which in 2010 assumed management of Western Historical Manuscripts) upon Mila Jean's death in 2016.  >
  Actually a "Tentative Tour Schedule* / *Schedule changes will be announced each day for the following day (i.e. changes in itinerary, free time, special events, etc.)."  George made handwritten updates the first couple of days in France, then left the changes unnoted on the itinerary, which is presented in its original printed form.  >
  Stephen James (Steve) Gosnell (1941-2012) was a longtime friend of the Ehrlichs, their neighbor on both sides of Holmes Street, and a colleague of George's in the UMKC Art Department, to which his monumental back-patio portrait of George and Mila Jean was donated in 2016.  The Ehrlichs were also very close to Steve's wives, Nelda Gay Younger Gosnell (1938-1982) and Mary Lou Pagano (born 1951, married 1985).  Steve's obituary called him "a true Renaissance man.  He was known for his intellect, sense of humor, curiosity, storytelling and singing the blues...  In retirement, he enjoyed camping, fishing, gardening, biking, birdwatching, creating paintings and building guitars."  >
  George occasionally cited this line from a Kafkaesque vaudeville routine, originated by Willie and Eugene Howard and later filmed by Victor Moore and Edward Arnold, where a man is fined two dollars for spitting on the floor of a subway train.  His lawyer insists on contesting this fine ("I dare you to arrest my client!") and puts the man in mounting legal peril despite his hapless pleas to "Pay the two dollars!" till finally he is sentenced to death.  >
  In 1966 critic Reyner Banham associated the "New Brutalism" in postwar minimalist architecture with Le Corbusier's béton brut ("raw concrete," left unfinished and exposed as part of Structural Expressionism).  >
  Rosann S. Berry (1919-1980) was the SAH's first Executive Secretary, a position she occupied for over a quarter-century.  "She never wrote a learned article, but throughout much of the English-speaking world her name was more closely associated with architectural history than were those of many who did," commented her SAH obituary after Rosann's death on Oct. 10, 1980 (less than four months after the French tour) and a fellowship was created in her memory.  Mila Jean, who usually added an E or two and often a space to Rosann's first name, described her during the Greek trip as "big Momma—heavy, sweating, wears tenty-type clothes; super-efficient, tight permed black (dyed) hair, round face, smokes in holder, married, four kids."  >
  Mary Jane Davis was born in Chicago in 1929, raised in Kenosha, and began college at Northwestern before her family moved to Missouri.  She attended the University of Kansas for one semester, then transferred to the University of Kansas City where she became lifelong friends with Mila Jean.  After receiving her bachelor and master's degrees from KCU, Jane taught English, speech and drama in the Midwest, New England and New York; meanwhile acting in and directing many theatrical venues, including at Kansas City's Lyric Theater; she also worked as a paralegal and with the League of Women Voters.  Jane married David Findlay Dobbs in 1958 and, following their divorce, married Colin Carter whom she met while working at the Racine Theatre Guild.  She died aged 86 in Racine on Dec. 26, 2015: a sore blow to Mila Jean shortly before her own death two months later.  >
  Jane's daughter, Elizabeth Dodds Trimbach (born 1962 in New York).  >
  Le Grand Hôtel at 2 Rue Scribe, opened by Empress Eugenie in 1862, was built with four floors for guests and a fifth under the mansard roof for their servants.  In 1981 Le Grand was placed under the InterContinental Hotel chain's management; the hotel would go through major renovatations in 1985-90 and again in 2001-03.  >
  The somewhat freely translated website UnJourDePlusAParis.com calls Rue Réaumur "the most important symbol of Paris architecture in the early 20th Century, bearing the signs of a new urbanism...  [It] had above all a commercial purpose.  The buildings had to house wholesale and textiles.  The architects coped so with two challenges: design a building in which you can both produce and sell, and propose an original architecture unknown until the
n"—the modern style dubbed Art Nouveau, with "adaptation to business imperatives."  >
  John William (Jack) Parker III (1922-1981) was Assistant Director of Museum Education at the Chicago Art Institute.  During the 1978 Greek trip Mila Jean compared him to Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill: "Tall, fleshy, walks in rolling gait, glasses, gray hair ... swims & then wears white shorts.  Is really adorable—eats four kinds of cereal mixed up together for breakfast, dances at disco on ship."  >
  Thomas M. (Tom) Ridington (born 1928) taught art at La Salle College (now La Salle University) in Philadelphia.  Mila Jean's 1978 description: "Very nice, charming, aims to please, tall, black hair, mustache.  We've hit it off—[he's] Charles Nelson Reilly without frenetic quality (Billy de Wolfe in a few years)."  >
  According to USInflationCalculator.com, $7.00 in 1980 would be the equivalent of $25.41 in 2023.  >
  Chairing the SAH's 1980 French tour was Earl Drais Layman (1916-2001), graduate of the University of Oregon and then Fountainbleau's Ecole des Beaux Arts.  After teaching art, design, and architectural history at Auburn and Kansas State, he served as Seattle's first Historic Preservation Officer—the first such municipally-funded position in the United States—from 1975 to 1982, and was "instrumental in creating and protecting many historic districts of Seattle" (per his biographical note at Archive West).  "Earl Layman spoke his mind when it came to saving a good piece of architecture," remarked his obituary in the Seattle Times.  >
  In the 1950s Lyle F. Perusse (1916-2001) was head of the Pasadena Public Library's fine arts department, and wrote "The Gothic Revival in California, 1850-1890" for the Oct. 1955 Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians.  in 1978 the Mila Spiral got extra Spirally in describing him: "Librarian (ha ha
)—lives up to his name—Truman Capote—round, quiet & hideously affected way of speaking—very nice—has lots of expensive clothes & camera—swims 35 laps at home!"  >
  The Basilica of Saint-Denis is the French royal necropolis, where nearly every king for ten centuries was entombed along with relics of Saint Denis, first bishop of Paris, who (according to legend) brought his own decapitated head there for burial.  >
  Per the Encyclopedia Britannica, a chevet is the "eastern end of a church, especially of a Gothic church designed in the French manner."  >
  Île de la Cité and Île Saint-Louis are two islands in the Seine; bridges to and from them link the Left and Right Banks of Paris.  >
  Pope John Paul II's apostolic journey to Paris took place from May 30 to June 2, 1980, and included addresses to the local Polish, Jewish, and Muslim communities.  >
  The Sainte-Chapelle is a 13th Century Gothic chapel in the royal palace on the Île de la Cité.  >
  The Place Dauphine (named by Henri IV after his son, the future Louis XIII) is a public square on the west end of the Île de la Cité; the Square du Vert-Gallant is a small park on the island's western tip, next to the Pont Neuf bridge.  >
  After Pope John Paul II's death in 2005, a proposal was made to rename the Place du Parvis (a public square on the east end of the Île de la Cité) in his honor.  By way of compromise, the square is now called "Parvis Notre-Dame—Place Jean-Paul II."  >
  When George visited Notre Dame on July 19, 1966 he remarked that its interior was "very dark, so that one had to watch one's way.  Here then a different solemnity."  >
  Opened in 1962, the Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation is a tribute to the 200,000-plus people deported from Vichy France to Nazi concentration camps.  >
  The Centre national d'art et de culture Georges-Pompidou (National Georges Pompidou Centre of Art and Culture), a multicultural complex built in "inside-out" (Postmodern/High-Tech) style with exterior structural and mechanical systems, was opened in 1977.  >
  According to the Blogspot BrianGoesToTown, at the beginning of the 20th Century the Plateau Beaubourg "was much like any other large swath of working-class Paris—crowded, dense, and miserable," known as "Insalubrious Block Number 1."  Renovation was continually delayed by world wars, the Great Depression, and postwar recoveries, during which the plateau served "as an enormous surface parking lot in the heart of Paris" until construction of the Centre Pompidou began in 1971.  >
  "Les Halles" indicates each French city's fresh food market.  The Parisian Les Halles was demolished in 1973 and replaced by what the Guardian called "a grim underground shopping centre topped with mirror-glassed lumps, in one of the worst acts of urban vandalism of the century.  Nicknamed 'the hole of Les Halles', with a[n overground] park that became a magnet for drug dealing," it too was demolished in 2010.  Porte Rambuteau is a neighboring street with a Metro station.  >
  The Cercle National des Arm
ées was built in 1924 as a private club for military officers—active or retired, French or foreignand still gives them priority welcome.  > 
  André Antoine (1858-1943) founded the profoundly innovative and influential Théâtre Libre in Paris in 1887.  >
  The official May 25th menu: "Le Vol-au-Vent à la Chambord, La Canette de Challans au Citron Vert, Les Pommes Gaufrettes, Quelques Feuilles à l'Huile Douce, Les Fromages de France, Le Délice Glacé Pompadour, Les Petits Fours."  The first item is defined by The Menu Book: Fourth Edition of Practical Gastronomy (1908, viewable at Google Books) as "small fish quenelles, mushrooms, and truffles heated up in velouté sauce, filled into vol-au-vent [hollow puff pastry] cases."  The other dishes translate to "Duckling of Challans with Lime, Wafer [Potatoes], Some Leaves in Sweet Oil, Cheeses from France, Pompadour Frozen Delight, Petits Fours," with Château de Conterie and Saint-Emilion wines.  Pomme Gaufrettes are in fact thinly-sliced deep-fried "potato waffles."  >
  To spare their families and longtime friends from traveling expense, George and Mila Jean had two weddings: the first in Kansas City MO on May 26, 1956, followed by a second on June 16th in Urbana IL.  >
  During the 1978 Greek trip Mila Jean described Prof. Drury Blakeley "Blake" Alexander (1924-2011) of the University of Texas (Austin) School of Architecture as "Tall, distinguished, ... natty dresser, classic profile.  Always the companion of [arrow to next entry] (they've traveled together for years), he has pancreas problems, wears beige suits, hat, carries umbrella"—and Prof. Marian B. Davis (1911-2000) of the University of Texas (Austin) Art Department as "Older, white hair, small, quiet, apparently distinguished scholar, sharp.  [She and Blake] travel abroad together always."  In Mila Jean's 1980 "Character Analyses," Marian was called "one sweet cookie."  >
  Michio (Mitch) Yamaguchi (1943-2015), a San Francisco architect and expert on affordable housing, was eulogized in the SAH Newsletter as "a frequent SAH Study Tour participant and beloved friend to many SAH members."  In 1978 Mila Jean compared him to "Buddy Hackett ... fat & funny (in dry way) ... wears horrible T-shirts & jeans most of the time & complains that his feet hurt him.  Buys & eats copiously ... will eat anything on the menu."  >
  Catherine A. Baldwin (Katie) Woodbridge (1905-1984) of New York was headmistress of the Nightingale-Bamford School from 1958 to 1971, and the widow of Fredrick J. Woodbridge (1900-1974), consulting architect to Columbia University.  In 1978 Mila Jean called her a "very old, thin lady who turned ankle but has gone on anyway—a real trouper, head of school for exceptional(?) children in New York.  She wears strange & unusual clothes—very interesting & strangely attractive taste.  Good spirit, smart, good sense of humor."  >
  On the 1978 Greek trip Mila Jean noted "another couple who is traveling together, but not rooming together."  This was Walter Eugene (Gene) George Jr. (1922-2013), architect, educator, and a leader of the historic preservation movement in Texas: "Used to be head of School of Architecture at KU [University of Kansas, 1962-67].  Real Glenn Ford rugged Western type, tall, graying, masculine, good-looking.  Quiet, but asks knowledgeable questions.  Some people think he is 'uptight'"—and Prof. Mary Carolyn Hollers Jutson (born 1930) of the San Antonio College Art History department: "Pretty, graying, rather 'straight' & guileless—said I look like Vanessa Redgrave!"  On May 20, 1980 Gene and Mary Carolyn got married in Texas, so the SAH tour of France served as their honeymoon.  >
  The Church of Saint-Sulpice is the second-largest in Paris, edged out sizewise by Notre Dame; it was built between 1646 and 1870.  >
  The Church of the Val-de-Grâce was built as part of a royal abbey between 1645 and 1667.  During the French Revolution the church and abbey were converted into a hospital, avoiding the vandalism and destruction other Parisian churches suffered.  They continued to serve as a military hospital till a new facility was completed in 1979.  >
  Visiting the Jardin du Luxembourg on July 19, 1966, George made the Mr. Spock-like observation: "I am impressed by the formal parks and gardens I have seen everywhere in Europe.  Particularly the flowers are very impressive."  >
  During the summer of 1955 Mila Jean spent six weeks at Fleury's Hotel, 66 Rue du Bac: "This room... is very noisy, but I love it—the hotel is in between a billiard room and an ice cream parlor—I took a photo of it, but seriously doubt if any of this roll will come out, due to the fact that I took all of the shots in semi-darkness and complicated matters by dropping the camera on the floor before leaving Bristol."  Today Fleury's is the Hôtel Bac Saint Germain.  >
  Victor Horta (1861-1947) of Belgium was one of the founders of architectural Art Nouveau, influencing French architect and designer Hector Guimard (1867-1942).  Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) was a leader of the Glasgow Style, regarded as the first original Art Nouveau architecture in Great Britain.  >
  The Hôtel Biron, built between 1727 and 1737, became a boarding school for aristocratic girls in 1820 before being subdivided into lodgings in 1905.  Rodin, who rented several rooms for storage, turned them into his studio and then arranged for the entire Hotel to become a Musée of his work in 1919.  >
  Prix fixe is applied to meal of several courses served at a total fixed price.  >
  The Church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, originally part of a 6th Century Benedictine abbey, has been destroyed/damaged and rebuilt/restored numerous times over the centuries.  >
  Both George and Mila Jean favored the British English spelling "grey," as they also did ""theatre"; George later writes "spacial" rather than the American spelling "spatial."  >
  George previously visited Chartres on July 20, 1966, taking a "canned tour [that] was run with some finesse."  >
  An arris is the sharp edge formed by the intersection of two architectural surfaces, especially those found on the (so to speak) underside of a groin vault.  >
  During the 1978-80 trips to Greece and France, Gary L. Menges (born 1937, "youngish, reddish beard & hair, rather funny, always wears T-shirts & jeans") was Assistant Director for Public Services of the University of Texas at Austin's General Libraries.  He later spent over thirty years with the University of Washington Libraries, retiring as their Preservation Administrator, and would correspond with Mila Jean until her death.  >
  The Teddy Boys, so-called for their cut-rate Edwardian-style outfits, were primarily working-class teens inclined to violence—preying on immigrants, rioting during showings of The Blackboard Jungle, etc.—during the 1950s and early '60s.  >
  As of 2023, the Brasserie Vagenende is still in business at 142 Bd. Saint-Germain.  Housed in what had been a 19th Century patisserie, Vegenede opened in 1904; "a superb Belle Epoque style reigns throughout with mirrors and beautiful woodwork.  The glass roof over the terrace, the Pivain's glass panels displaying 36 different landscapes, the fruit-decorated earthenware and the bronze coat racks are not to be missed either.  But to really step back in time, simply request that they turn the handle of the old mechanical piano."  (Per the Vagenende website.)  >
  A. Benedict Schneider, Jr. MD (1914-2004) practiced medicine in Cleveland, taught at Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine, and was a leading light of the Cleveland Museums of Art and Natural History.  During the 1978 SAH Greek Tour Mila Jean described his "nice head, dark eyes, slicked back gray hair.  'Strange,' bent over, always wears gray suit, 'proper' but seedy...  Asks very knowledgeable questions in precise uptight voice.  Apparently NO humor."  >
  Seattle architect Kenneth J. MacInnes (born 1948) was Coordinator of the Seattle Historic Preservation Office from 1972 to 1975, and Chairman of the Pike Place Market History Commission after 1983.  As such he worked with Earl Layman, whom he would recall as having "a tendency to pursue his ideals sometimes when it wasn't practical.  So, he would step on toes and get the wrong people opposed to things...  There probably would have been a lot of buildings saved even if Earl had not been appointed to this job [as Preservation Officer].  But they probably would have been the wrong buildings."  Mila Jean called him "the baby of the crowd
—still in 20s, dark & bearded, very pleasant—Arne's architectural associate.  Seems to enjoy the 'good things' of life.  (The whole Seattle group spends much time in cafés & bars & Happy Hour very important.)"  >
  There is no indication that George ever smoked; during his military service he suffered when cooped up in aircraft with smoking crewmates.  Mila Jean indulged in cigarettes during her stage career but gave them up while pregnant with the present author.  During my youth, the scent of tobacco in the Ehrlich home usually indicated that a party was taking place or had recently ended.  >
  Construction of the Tours Cathedral, begun in the 12th Century, was interrupted by the Hundred Years War and didn't reach completion till 1547.  This resulted in a complex mix of architectural styles, and the local maxim "Not until the cathedral is finished."  >
  By 2023 the Hotel de France at 28 Rue Carnot in Poitiers had become the Best Western Poitiers Centre Le Grand Hôtel.  >
  Delicatessen.  >
  Probably Georges Pon (born 1938) who received his doctorate in medieval history from Poitiers in 1972.  >
  Almost certainly Marie-Thérèse Camus (born 1934), a specialist in French Romanesque art; later Deputy Director of the Center for Higher Studies in Medieval Civilization (established in Poitiers in 1953).  >
  Notre-Dame le Grande in Poitiers dates from the late 11th Century.  According to legend, a besieging English army was routed when the keys to the city miraculously appeared on a church statue of the Virgin Mary.  >
  Ribbed vaulting was a "skeleton" of arches that could bear a heavier ceiling/roof than earlier barrel or groin vaults.  Domical vaults have concave surfaces meeting at a central point; some are octagonal, which might be indicated by George's word that I have interpreted as "octite."  >
  This is the Crucifixion Window, dating from circa 1165; it includes depictions of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, who began construction of the Poitiers Cathedral.  >
  George was a champion snorer.  After my brother and I moved out of 5505 Holmes, Mila Jean took over our bedroom as her own; though I imagine the intervening wall didn't wholly muffle George's nightly serenade.  >
  The St. Porchaire church unites a Romanesque porch bell tower with a Gothic double nave and a Baroque altarpiece (per the VisitPoitiers website).  >
  George became subject to gout in middle age.  Clinoril (generic name sulindac) is, like Advil/ibuprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication; both came into general use in the 1970s.  >
  Potage de legumes is vegetable soup; salade niçoise is a classic French salad "in the style of Nice."  >
  Angoulême, located on a plateau called "the balcony of southwest France," was the fortified hub of many Ancien Régime roads and thus underwent numerous sieges.  >
  Périgueux (as George indicated) is known for its truffles and pâté de foie gras, as well as the Cathedral of Saint-Front, one of the largest in France.  (In 1954 actress Simone Mareuil of Un Chien Andalou died by autocremation in a Périgueux public square.)  >
  Besides potage de legumes/vegetable soup, the menu from the Poitiers Hotel de France lists terrine de canard, poulet à la poitevine, pommes rissoles, and tarte aux mirabelles (duck pâté, chicken Poitevine [i.e. Poitiers], hash browns, plum tart).  >
  Charlemagne founded the Benedictine Abbey of Brantôme in 769.  Twice laid waste by Viking raiders, it was rebuilt in the 15th Century.  >
  Le Théâtre d'Angoulême opened in 1870; its facade features statues of Comedy and Drama by Jules Blanchard.  A 1997 renovation was careful to preserve the 19th Century exterior, "reforming without denying, but by renewing."  >
  The well-preserved Abbey Church of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe, dating from the 11th and 12th Centuries, has been called the "Romanesque Sistine Chapel."  >
  Mila Jean saved the very official-looking Chalet de Necessite receipt from Ville de Brive-la-Gaillarde.  "En payant, réclamez ce ticket qui devre être présenté a toute réquisition" ("When paying, claim [show] this ticket which should presented on demand").  >
  Except for its portal and rose window, the Cathedral of Cahors (consecrated in 1135) looks far more like a fortified castle than a place of worship; its medieval bishops were also feudal counts and barons.  >
  Bocce developed in Italy in the 17th Century; the French variation is called pétanque>
  The Basilica of Saint-Sernin was originally part of the ancient Abbey of Saint-Saturnin, founded in the 4th Century; the surviving Basilica was largely constructed between 1080 and 1120.  >
  The first version of the Capitole de Toulouse was a 12th Century municipal palace; its current Neoclassical facade dates from the mid-18th Century.  Only a gate and courtyard remain from the medieval Capitole.  >
  Oscar McDuffie Gwin Jr. (1918-2000), Chairman of the Board of the Eureka Homestead Society, and his wife Elaine Schneider Sims Gwin (1924-2017), who'd been elected chairlady of the New Orleans Country Club Ladies Golfers for 1976-77.  (About the Gwins, Mila Jean said Elaine "must have been a pretty Southern belle... always dragging food around & invading pastry shops."  About Oscar, "the wags said he was the God-daddy of New Orleans.  Knows a lot about plumbing, cars, & diesel engines, but apparently is the manager of a Savings & Loan at home.")  >
  By 2023 the Hotel Frantel-Wilson at 7 Rue Labeda would be known as the Mercure Toulouse Centre Wilson Capitole, or "Mercure Wilson" for short.  >
  The bright bold fabrics and designs by Finnish textile manufacturer Marimekko Oyj were popularized by Jacqueline Kennedy and had a significant impact on 1960s fashion.  >
  The Flunch chain of self-service cafeterias was founded in Lille in 1971.  >
  In The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, Dorothy L. Sayers remarked that an old lady witnessing a display of fireworks "enjoyed the entertainment as heartily as the youngest child."  This was a lifelong hallmark of Mila Jean's personality—so long as the festivities were genuinely entertaining.  >
  La Cité de Carcassonne is a hilltop citadel on the River Aude in southern France.  Originally fortified by the Romans in the 4th Century, it is well-preserved from medieval times thanks to strong opposition by historians, archaeologists, and the local populace when a proposal was made in 1849 to demolish it.  >
  The Ehrlichs and their SAH colleagues had visited Monemvasia, "the Gibraltar of Greece," on May 31, 1978: precisely two years earlier.  >
  As George and Mila Jean would later note, this was the mistral that affects the Mediterranean coast of France, especially in winter and spring, and which had blown Van Gogh and Gauguin around in Arles.  >
  Mucus was so phlegmatically prevalent in the Ehrlich household that George dubbed 5505 Holmes "Catarrhal Hollow" in the mid-1970s and spelled out that title in plastic letters above the cellar door.  >
  It's mildly surprising that George had not already read up on architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc (1814-1879) who restored many French medieval landmarks beside Carcassonne, including Notre-Dame de Paris.  >
  The SAH Greek tour visited Thessaloniki June 6-8, 1978.  >
  Literally stone or rock.  >
  The Church of the Jacobins dates from the early 13th Century, when St. Dominic founded his order (nicknamed "Jacobins") in Toulouse; it is the chief shrine of St. Thomas Aquinas.  >
  Strawberry yogurt.  The Yoplait brand was launched in France in 1965 and introduced to the United States in 1974.  >
  Harry George Schalck (1926-2012) taught history at West Chester University in Pennsylvania.  Mila Jean said he had a "sunny disposition even when he's annoyed.  Quite good fun.  Balding with blue eyes & good laugh & sense of humor...  One day (a particularly irritating day) he said 'We were in & out of that church so fast, even the beggar didn't get a chance to set himself up for us at the door.'"  >
  Margaret Esther Nicholsen (1904-1999) had been Head Librarian at Evanston Township High School in Evanston IL, and was the lifelong partner of Mildred L. Batchelder (1901-1998), a foremost advocate of children's library services.  Mila Jean said Ms. Nicholsen "made a list of things we didn't see (considering our luck, it must have been an extensive list).  'Why didn't we do this?'"  >
  Gertrude Letsch (Trudy) Berson (1910-1992?) was born in Switzerland and lived in Montreal, the widow of Gordon Berson (1908-1967); she wrote the Ehrlichs a May 26 note on Le Grand Hotel stationery wishing them a happy anniversary.  Mila Jean described her as "emaciated, birdlike lady from Montreal
—speaks with accent; is often interpreter in French for group.  Eats almost nothing—often saves breakfast in perfectly kept napkin & eats some crumbs from it on bus.  Has architectural degree, hasn't used it.  Widow with money."  >
  Moissac Abbey, founded in the 7th Century, had to withstand raids from both Vikings and Moors.  The Abbey church of St. Pierre remains in active use, and the sculpture on its crenellated portico is said to be a Romanesque masterpiece.  >
  The Cathedral Basilica of St. Cecilia in Albi, constructed between 1282 and 1480, has been called the world's largest brick building.  As George notes, its lavishly colorful interior is in marked contrast with the stark fortresslike exterior.  >
  Mannerism is another term for the Late Renaissance in European art, starting in the 1520s and giving way to the Baroque two centuries later.  >
  A jube separates a church's chancel or sanctuary from the rest of the interior.  It consists of a screen and rood (crucifix) plus a loft or gallery from which "Jube, Domine, benedicere" ("Command, Lord, to bless") is pronounced.  >
  In 1993 the hilltop village of Cordes was renamed Cordes-sur-Ciel, to denote its height over clouds in the valley below.  >
  Kenneth J. LaBudde (1920-2000), an old friend and colleague of the Ehrlichs, was Director of the KCU/UMKC Libraries from 1950 to 1985 and developed its Special Collections to a level of national significance.  >
  In France, Mother's Day is the first Sunday of June if the last Sunday of May is Pentecost (as it was in 1980).  >
  John Fowles's novella The Ebony Tower, set in an enchanted domain, was published in 1974.  >
  John E. Holden (1920-2013) and Elaine Ewing Holden (1922-2003) hailed from Mount Joy PA, twenty or so miles west of Intercourse PA (where Mila Jean's ancestor Andrew Snyder lived before and after the Revolutionary War).  Jack Holden's self-composed obituary said he led "a life filled with endless laughter and debauchery," winning the Distinguished Flying Cross during World War II "and the Distinguished Fleeing Cross for avoiding numerous women who were seeking child support under unproven circumstances."  After serving as vice president of Hubley Manufacturing he became an independent toy designer, and was reputedly banned from the Mickey Mouse Club "after providing housing for a number of stray cats."  His wife Elaine's more sober epitaph said she was "dedicated to the preservation and future" of Lancaster PA.  Mila Jean compared them to "Cary Grant & Kate Hepburn...  He is a toy inventor & they appear to be loaded with money (gorgeous clothes, jewelry, suits, etc.)  He caught the 'bus plague' at end of trip.  Nice sense of humor."  >
  During my parents's first visit to Seattle in Jan. 1989, we visited the Seattle Art Museum (then in Volunteer Park) where I bought The Toulouse-Lautrec Album.  Mila Jean, with a brooding glance at its cover photo, asked me "Do you think he was happy?"  >
  The Cathédrale Saint-Nazaire-et-Saint-Celse de Béziers dates from the 13th Century.  >
  The Sofitel chain of luxury hotels was founded in Strasbourg in 1964 and entered the American market in 1975.  The SAH Tour stayed at the Nîmes-Ouest Sofitel on Boulevard Périphérique; I was unable to determine its current status in 2023.  >
  Norma Evenson (1929-2001) taught history in the Architecture Department of the College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley, from 1963 to 1993.  Besides her prizewinning book on Paris, she wrote about urban planning in Brazil and India.  >
  George presumably meant logy (logey), "slow to respond or react; lethargic"; but the clearly-written double G may have been intentional.  >
  Chicken Provencale (Provençal) is a Mediterranean dish cooked in a sauce made with plenty of garlic, herbs, tomatoes, and olive oil.  >
  Despite the dining room paintings described by Mila Jean on June 4th, the goal of a French matador (raseteur) is not to harm the bull, but to pluck a ribbon from between its horns.  >
  Tuscan columns are uncarved and have no ornamental scrolls.  >
  The Maison Carrée (Square House) i
n Nîmes is one of the best-preserved ancient Roman temples, completed in the year 2 AD.  >
  A cella or naos is the inner chamber of a classical temple.  >
  In 1787 Thomas Jefferson, then the American minister to France, wrote a friend that "Here I am, Madam, gazing whole hours at the Maison Carrée, like a lover at his mistress."  Collaborating with French architect Charles-Louis Clérisseau, Jefferson modeled the new Virginia State Capitol building after the Maison Carrée.  >
  This 1st Century building may in fact have originally been a library; it was later a medieval monastery.  >
  The village of Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres is dominated by three historic monuments: the fortified Church of Saint-Laurent, the ancient castle keep of Tour Jacques-Deuze, and the substantial Tour de Ribas.  >
  Cellar and vineyard.  A brochure boasted: "Saint-Laurent produces one of the best rosė vines [sic] of France...  The vineyards also produce excellent red and white wines, which, like the rosė, should be consumed chilled.  Rumor has it that the wine is so good that the Popes regret having lef [sic] the area."  >
  Evidently Cynthia Wright Lasserre DeVezeron (born 1931?) who graduated from the Milton (MA) Academy in 1949; by 2001-02 she lived in Paris while spending "the warmer months in her house near Avignon."  >
  Henry Edwards Scott, Jr. (1900-1990) "was an art historian, educator, portrait painter, and violinist" (as per his personal archive's biographical note).  Graduating from Harvard in 1922, he taught there and at Radcliffe (1923-26), the Universty of Rochester (1928-29), the University of Pittsburgh (1929-34), and Amherst (1935-43).  Following naval service in World War II and earning his master's from Harvard in 1946, he taught at KCU/UMKC from 1947 until retiring in 1970, and chaired the Art Department until being replaced by George in 1964.  >
  Marcel Chevalier served as Mayor of Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres from 1953 to 1977; his successor Armand DiMascio served until 1983.  >
  Viticulturally speaking, an appellation is a legally defined and protected area where wine grapes are grown.  France regulates what varieties can be used, how densely they can be planted, and how ripe they must be before harvesting.  >
  The Lirac appellation, on the western side of the Rhône River north of Avignon, mostly yields full-bodied red wines.  "The southernmost cru in the Rhône Valley and probably the least well-known, it grows in tranquil isolation, far from the beaten path" (per the website Wine-Uncovered.com).  >
  The oldest parts of the Church of Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres date from the 11th Century; the dome was added in the 12th and the entire church, with triple towers and battlements, was fortified in the 14th under the leadership of Jacques d'Euse/Duèze (1244-1344), the future Pope John XXII.  >
  After the death of Pope Benedict XI in 1304, French and Italian cardinals deadlocked for a year over his successor; the conclave finally elected Clement V, most likely at the behest of the "Iron King" of France, Philip IV.  Clement moved the papal court from Rome to Avignon, where it remained ("in Babylonian captivity") till the Western Schism of 1378 set up rival popes in both places.  An attempt to resolve this at the Council of Pisa in 1409 resulted in three claimants to the papacy until settlement was achieved in 1417.  >
  The Directory or Directorate governed Revolutionary France from the National Convention's dissolution in 1795 to Napoleon Bonaparte's coup d'état in 1799.  >
  Arrow Rock and Boonville MO are in the "Boonslick," a name derived from the salt spring ("Boone's Lick") used by Daniel Boone's sons Nathan and Daniel Morgan.  This region along the Missouri River was a major thoroughfare during western migration, and George Caleb Bingham's artworks illustrate the pioneer experience there.  Many local buildings have been preserved or restored, and are on the National Register of Historic Places.  >
  Bing cherries are in fact native to the Pacific Northwest; the website SpecialtyProduce.com says they are "believed to be an open-pollinated cross between Black Republican and Royal Ann cherries, also known as Napoleon cherries in France."  >
  The South of France is colloquially known as Le Midi.  >
  The Pont du Gard is a triple-tiered Roman aqueduct across the River Gardon, built in the 1st Century to bring water to Nemausus (Nîmes).  After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Pont remained in use as a toll bridge; its renovation began in the 18th Century.  >
  Avignon's papal palace, occupied by seven 14th Century Popes and two subsequent antipopes, is one of the largest medieval Gothic buildings in Europe.  >
  Genevieve Miller (1914-2013) was a distinguished medical historian and Director of the Dittrick Museum at Case Western University from 1967 to her retirement in 1979.  "She also traveled indefatigably, often with the Society of Architectural Historians" (per her obituary in the Goucher Quarterly).  Mila Jean called her "one of Dr. Ben's 'women'
—ex-medical librarian—white hair in bun (once was strawberry blonde?).  Very knowledgeable, but talks, asks questions, etc. all the time.  Second banana for Rosann."  >
  St. Giles the Hermit (fl. 6th Century) purportedly founded the Abbey of Saint-Gilles.  It is famed for a portal, a spiral staircase, and a shrine traditionally visited by women seeking to overcome infertility.  >
  "Lefts and rights."  >
  Frédéric Mistral (1830-1914) was awarded the 1904 Nobel Prize in Literature for his work in Provençal poetry and philology.  >
  Venture, a chain of discount department stores founded in 1968, was predominant in Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City before going bankrupt in 1998 trying to compete with KMart, Wal-Mart, and Target.  >
  Crème de cassis is a liqueur made from black currants.  >
  The Arles Amphitheatre was built in 90 AD for chariot races and gladiatorial combat.  In the 21st Century it hosts concerts and plays as well as bullfights.  >
  Only part of the Roman Theatre of Arles survives, much of its stone having been pillaged for the construction of medieval buildings.  >
  The Cathédrale Saint-Trophime d'Arles features high-quality Romanesque sculpture.  Frederick Barbarossa was crowned Holy Roman Emperor there in 1178.  >
  The 4th Century Roman prefect Junius Bassus resides in a Vatican sarcophagus famed for its elaborate relief carvings.  >
  Was this a live seagull, or perhaps a sculpted one?  >
  Though Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer has a population of barely two thousand, it can surge to half a million during summer vacations.  >
  The Church of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer is dedicated to Three Marys (identified as various New Testament women of that name) who supposedly sailed from the Holy Land to reside in Provence.  The village was previously known as Notre-Dame-de-Ratis—"Our Lady of the Boat."  >
  Van Gogh did several paintings of scenes in and around Montmajour; its abbey appeared in the 1968 film The Lion in Winter.  >
  Aigues-Mortes ("Dead Water") owes its name to the stagnancy of surrounding ponds and marshes.  Salt mining has been done here since the Stone Age.  >
  Le Puy-en-Velay was one of the most frequented destinations for medieval French pilgrims, including kings from Charlemagne to Francis I.  >
  The Le Puy Cathedral (of the Annunciation of Our Lady) crowns a steep slope, and the narrow access road used to be lined with shops selling pilgrimage souvenirs.  >
  According to legend, a feverish woman was inspired by the Virgin Mary to climb to the top of a high hill and pray there for divine intercession; this was granted, and La Puy's Bishop Scutaire (aka St. Scutarius) built a church upon the miraculous spot.  >
  Architect Henry Hobson Richardson (1838-1886) designed Boston's Trinity Church in his Richardsonian Romanesque style.  Trinity was visited by George during the First Sabbatical in 1961, and "I must confess, it is considerably more impressive than the photos suggested. The interior was also far beyond my expectations."  >
  By 2023 Clermont-Ferrand's Hotel Frantel at 82 Boulevard Gergovia would become the Hotel Mercure Centre Gergovie.  Koifaire.com ("Le guide pour savoir quoi faire près de chez vous!" / "The guide to what to do near you!") displays five stars for a 2011 review calling the Mercure Centre Gergovie a "3-star hotel."  >
  Clermont-Ferrand is the Michelin Tire company's world headquarters.  It is also home to an institute of higher education that split in two in 1976—the University of Auvergne (Clermont-Ferrand I) and Blaise Pascal University (Clermont-Ferrand II)—that would remerge in 2017 as Clermont Auvergne University.  >
  I.e., the hotel rooms were a misinterpretation of Frank Lloyd Wright's innovative hexagonal design (e.g. as used in the Hanna "Honeycomb" House on the Stanford campus).  >
  The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption of Clermont-Ferrand was built of distinctive black lava stone: a plentiful material in that volcanic region.  Construction was begun in 1248 but not completed until 1884, great care being taken to harmonize with the existing medieval structure.  >
  A short exclamation, doubtless along "Ugh!"/"Bah!"/"Feh!" lines.  >
  Presumably Mila Jean was thinking of how devout pilgrims traveled, and didn't climb the 102 steps this way herself.  >
  Chocolate?  >
  I.e. the sort of place found in an Inspector Clouseau Pink Panther movie.  >
  The official June 6 menu: Assiette de crudites, cuisseau de porc frais roti aux reinettes, gratin dauphinois, plateau de fromages, glace vanille chocolat chaud (raw vegetables, leg of fresh pork roasted with pippin apples, potatoes au gratin, cheese platter, "hot chocolate vanilla ice cream").  >
  Yona Donner Hermann (born 1936) of Ridgewood NJ graduated from Smith College in 1957; George wrote "M.A. Preservation Columbia / real estate appraiser" by her name on his copy of the SAH French Tour's participants.  Mila Jean called her "Something out of a Woody Allen film...  Geo says she could have been a model for Renoir...  Latched onto us because we're 'funny'...  40-ish, looks younger."  >
  The Basilica of Notre Dame du Port in Clermont-Ferrand dates from the 10th Century; in the 19th its Romanesque roof tiles were replaced with slabs of lava stone.  >
  No mention of whether anyone made use of a pissoir in Issoire.  >
  The Abbey-Church Saint-Austremoine is officially the largest Romanesque church in Lower Auvergne.  >
  The 6th Century historian Gregory of Tours wrote a vita of St. Julian of Brioude, whose decapitated head was washed in a local spring later venerated for miraculous healing properties.  Julian's colorful basilica was built in the 11th and 12th Centuries.  >
  St. Nectarius of Auvergne is said to be one of the seven missionaries sent by Pope Fabian (if not by St. Peter himself) to spread Christianity to Gaul.  His basilica was converted from a temple of Apollo, and nearby mineral springs would be developed as a spa.  >
  The Massif Central is a highland region separated from the Alps by the Rhône "furrow."  Many thermal springs (twelve at Mont-Dore) and volcanoes are found here, as well as an educational amusement park called Vulcania.  >
  The Mani is a "mini" peninsula extending south from the major Peloponnese peninsula, with the Messenian Gulf to its west and the Laconian Gulf to its east.  The SAH Greek Tour visited the Mani on May 30, 1978; George called it "some of the most striking country and magnificent views and hair-raising roads I've ever seen or been on.  It was at times a real white-knuckle ride."  >
  There being two different Elaines on the SAH French Tour, we are left to guess which one Mila Jean had in mind (with apologies to the other).  >
  The official June 7 menu: Jambon cru d'Auvergne, fricassee de volaille au vinaigre, riz Creole, pleateau de formages, oeufs a la neige (Auvergne cured ham, chicken fricassee in vinegar, Creole rice, cheese platter, "eggs in snow"
aka a Floating Island: meringue floating on vanilla custard).  >
  In 2023 the website of Logis Hôtel le Christina at 5 Rue de la Halle boasts of "the calm and comfort in the city center near the circuit of the Nights and Lights and pedestrian streets of the old Bourges....  Every day from 6 am 30 till 10 am 30, we propose you in the breakfast room a cold buffet breakfast."  >
  The Ducal Palace of Nevers, home of counts and dukes from the 15th through 18th Centuries, was restored in the 1980s to serve as the Nevers Town Hall (with an aquarium of fish from the River Loire).  >
  The Cathédrale Saint-Cyr-et-Sainte-Julitte de Nevers, dedicated to two different saints, is in fact a combination of a Romanesque church (west end) and a Gothic one (east end).  >
  Jacques Coeur (c.1395-1456) made a fortune by initiating regular trade between France and the Levant.  King Charles VII made him master of the mint and steward of the royal expenditure, and Coeur began construction of a flamboyant family palais in Bourges.  This was not completed till after his downfall and conviction on numerous charges, mainly bogus.  Charles VII seized his vast property but allowed Coeur's children to live in the palais, which later became a municipal courthouse >
  The "quintessentially Gothic" Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Bourges is renowned for its collection of 13th Century Gothic stained glass windows.  >
  Mila Jean would be sure to mention Porky Pig at this point.  >
  Donald P. Holloway (1929-2009) was a lifelong resident of Akron OH, working in the reference section of the public library.  He took six architectural tours in Europe as a member of the Society of Architectural Historians (rooming with Ken LaBudde in France) and left an endowment to help support the Hower House, a Victorian Italianate mansion on the University of Akron campus.  Mila Jean remarked that he "lives with aged parents who rule his life
—mother makes his clothes, they won't let him fly over water (or something) alone."  >
  Vézelay is best known for its Benedictine abbey, whose church (now the Basilica of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine) is an outstanding example of Burgundian Romanesque architecture.  >
  A tympanum is a decorative area, triangular or semicircular, between the lintel and arch above a door or window.  Tympana in Romanesque churches feature intricate relief sculpture; Vézelay's promoted and defended the Crusades.  >
  Legend has it that relics of Mary Magdalene were brought to Vézelay Abbey, making it a popular pilgrimage destination.  >
  Auxerre would be proclaimed a "Town of Art and History" in 1995; it is also famous for Burgundy wine.  >
  Allan Donald Emerich (1933-2015) of Albany would retire as Chief Technical Editor of the New York State Department of Transportation.  He was also a Shaker scholar and prominent in SAH ranks: "His architectural tours were eagerly anticipated and quickly sold-out" (per his obituary).  Mila Jean described him as "heavyset, light hair, red face, likes to eat & drink, we get along because he knows a lot about theatre & music & has a good sense of humor & is jolly...  a trifle self-important, but nice."  >
  The Cathédrale Saint-Étienne d'Auxerre is another church whose construction went on for centuries; much of it is in the Flamboyant Gothic style.  >
From college days at KCU, Joann Elizabeth Stegman Soulier (born 1931) was one of Mila Jean’s closest friends emotionally, if perhaps the most distant one geographically: leaving Kansas City for New York, France, and eventually the Far East as the wife of Jean Soulier, French ambassador to Thailand (1978-82) and Indonesia (1982-86).  Her first name was often misspelled, even (surprisingly and consistently) by George.  On May 1 she wrote Mila Jean that she and her husband would be accompanying the two daughters of Thai King Bhumibol (Rama IX), Princess Sirindhorn and Princess Chulabhorn, on a tour of France the last two weeks in May: "I shall try and track you down by telephone...  But it will be a non-stop program from dawn until dusk and perhaps not too relaxed...  I shall not give up hope that we will be able to celebrate together in France.  May is our lucky month."  (Joann and Mila Jean were both born in May.)  > 
  Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann in Paris is the flagship (with a remarkable Neo-Byzantine dome) of a chain of upmarket department stores.  >
  Sedimentblog.blogspot.com notes that a pichet of wine is a small carafe and calls it "a selfish device.  It is clearly designed for solo drinking.  It contains just 250ml of wine, a third of a bottle" (which the blogger describes as "Thanks, that sample was fine, can I have the rest now, please?").  >
  It may be noted that I was MIA correspondencewise during this trip.  Since my parents didn't comment on it, we may have arranged beforehand that Matthew would handle all communication.  Then again, when our Grandmother Smith sent a closely-packed airmail letter to Paris, she mentioned that Matthew had seen me on May 30 and said I "looked tired."
    Starting in April I had become subject to depressive spells, stemming from creative frustration and a sense (at just-turned-23) that adulthood wasn't all that it was cracked up to be.  For Mila Jean's birthday and Mother's Day (May 12-14) I did manage to produce the following "Alma Mater" poem:

  Why gracious me! how time does fly
   As fast as any elephant's eye
Can follow; and how times do run
   Especially when one's having fun.
(or WHOM) can hardly wait
   To have more fun
—although for eight
Years now and two score more, it's SHE
   Who's had more fun than fun can be?
You still don't know
(on this of all days)?
   Just go to concerts, films, and plays;
Whose laugh rings out above all others?
   Why gracious me!  It must be MOTHER'S.

But while the Folks were in France, I was preoccupied with the composition of a morbid blindness-and-suicide story titled "Before Your Eyes" (eventually published in 1991 in the aptly short-lived literary magazine Over the Wall Review).  >
  Presumably an error as to taste or digestion, rather than a faux pas of buying pumpernickel bread in Paris.  >
  Was this Box Five, perpetually reserved for the Opera's Phantom?  >
  During 1971-72, Jean Soulier (of the "French Foreign Ministry") was a Fellow at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs.  During the Ehrlich family's trip to New England, we stayed with the Souliers at their Cambridge sublet from July 13 to 18, 1972.  >
  On July 1 Joann wrote from Bangkok that "I tried to ring you the day I left Paris by train but the 1980 phone book in this apartment gave two numbers for your hotel, both of which were not good numbers...  I had previously rung you
—successfully—by using the number in the Michelin Guide Book, but unfortunately, at the moment I was trying to ring you, that book was traveling peacefully in the glove compartment of the car, on a train headed for Bordeaux.  So there went my last chance to communicate with you, in living liveliness, by telephone, in Paris."  >
  In Laon the Ehrlichs visited the Abbey Church of St. Martin and the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Laon, both examples of early Gothic (12th-13th Century) architecture.  >
  Notre-Dame de Reims was the site of Clovis I's baptism in 508, and of French royal coronations from Louis the Pious to Charles X.  >
  "The Good Fork" at 320 Rue Saint-Honoré; it closed on June 27, 2000.  >
  The original Gothic Cathedral of Arras was destroyed during the French Revolution, and replaced by the Neoclassical Abbey Church of Saint-Vaast (built between 1750 and 1834).  >
  The High Gothic Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Amiens was completed in a mere fifty years (1220 to c.1270), making it a standout among French churches of that period.  >
  The designers of the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Beauvais intended to make it the largest Gothic cathedral in France (if not the tallest construction in the world), but never completed it; the cathedral has a transept, choir, apse and chapels, but lacks a nave.  >
  Raymond Asquith (1878-1916), member of the socialite/intellectual Coterie and eldest son of Prime Minister H.H. Asquith, was killed at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette; Winston Churchill wrote that "he went to his fate cool, poised, resolute, matter of fact, debonair."  >
  In KCMO the killer heat wave of 1980 began on May 25, the eve of Memorial Day, and (despite a brief respite in mid-June) did not fully break until Sep. 9, a week after Labor Day.  After several attempts to replace my out-of-commission air conditioner, I got a faulty one that broke down irreparably on Aug. 18, along with all but one of my electric fans at a time when no new ones were available.  >
  Ily/Ili Kohn/Kun Szabo Schvartcz/Schwartz (c.1913-1998) was the youngest sibling of George's mother Matild/Mathilda, and evidently the only one—other than their brother Jenő—to survive the Holocaust.  Regrettably, most of Ily's life story went unrecorded and is irretrievable
including her whereabouts, and those of second husband Charles Schvartcz/Schwartz, in June 1980.  Fourteen years earlier, the Solo Jaunting George had called on Ily (then the widowed Mme. Szabo) while in Paris; surely Grandma Ehrlich, if no one else, would've pressed for a reunion—all the more so if she'd lost track of Ily in the meantime.  But there is no Schwartz (or Schvartcz) entry among the addresses in the front of Mila Jean's steno-book journal; nor do I find any comment on this mystery in Grandma Ehrlich's extant correspondence.  Eventually George did re(?)establish hailing frequencies with Ily and Charles, whose Paris address was then 21 Rue de la Vega.  >
  During his Solo Jaunt, George visited the Louvre on July 18 and 22-23, 1966.  >
  Dating from the 3rd Dynasty (2700-2620 BC), these are monumental statues of high-ranking Egyptian courtiers.  Inscriptions identify Sepa (male) as "responsible for Royal Matters" and Nesa (female) as a "Royal Acquaintance."  >
  The Seated (or, more bluntly, Squatting) Scribe is from around the 5th Dynasty (c.2450-2325 BC) and is remarkable for the realism of its hands and facial features.  >
  Methethi was Director of the Palace Tenants during the 5th Dynasty reign of Pharaoh Unas.  Methethi's mastaba or tomb (c.2371-2350 BC) has artwork of a man milking a cow.  >
  Senusret, Senwosret, or Sesostris III ruled as a powerful, prosperous Pharaoh from 1878 to 1839 BC (12th Dynasty).  >
  The Lady or Kore of Auxerre is a Greek sculpture from c.650-625 BC, sporting the "Archaic smile" of the period.  It was discovered in storage at the Auxerre Museum in 1907, with no record of how it got there.  >
  I.e. the Venus de Milo, found on the island of Milos or Melos in 1820.  >
  The Winged Victory sculpture of the goddess Nike was excavated from a ruined sanctuary on the island of Samothrace in 1863.  The Ehrlichs saw another statue of Nike in Olympia, Greece on May 29, 1978.  >
  This statuette of Apollo as a kouros (youth) was found in the harbor off Piombino in 1832.  >
  Raphael's La Belle Jardinière (1507-08) features the Madonna and Child with an infant John the Baptist, and appears to reflect the influence of Leonardo da Vinci.  >
  In the 1630s Nicolas Poussin twice painted the abduction of the Sabine Women; Jacques-Louis David painted The Sabine Women Enforcing Peace by Running Between the Combatants in the 1790s.  >
  Marie de' Medici, Queen of France (as Henri IV's second wife) from 1600 to 1610 and Regent (for her son Louis XIII) from 1610 to 1617, commissioned Rubens to produce twenty-four paintings depicting her life; these were done between 1621 and 1624.  >
  Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828) was a Neoclassical sculptor who specialized in celebrity portrait busts.  >
  Gertrude Rebecca Matthews Kent (1905-2000) of Coral Gables FL was traveling with her son Frederick James Kent (1928-2022), a Philadelphia music librarian and curator of the Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music.  Mila Jean said he "dyes his hair, has a dissipated face, complains a lot in a voice like Paul Lynde, but I found him funny (he plays organ & enjoyed going off on own to churches where famous organists played)."  As for "'Mother,'" she "talks in precise high voice, wears a hat with three long feathers that got in people's eyes, wears half boots (because of a trick ankle), tweed cape, pantsuits, etc."  >
  Harriet Emily Goins (1920-2019) of Seattle was Earl D. Layman's former secretary.  Mila Jean called her "hard to figure.  Stuck with Seattle group
—seemingly very nice—must be tough being only black person with group of 44 whites—small, pretty, packed too many clothes, is Catholic, has many children, sleeps a lot on bus."  >
  1, rue Sésame aired from 1978 to 1982.  Replacing Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch were the quasi-equivalent Toccata and Mordicus.  >
  The website Lecoingolf.fr states that the Golf de Racing Club de France La Boulie, a resort covering 106 hectares near Versailles, "reconciles both amateur game and high level, leisure and competition, training and excellence, through simple values: friendship, performance, family."  Its restaurant ("Le 1882," located in the Fitting Center) offers "elevated, seasonal dishes & wines" in a "genteel venue with a spacious terrace."  >
  The official June 13 menu: Buffet / Sangria, lieu froid a la Parisienne, salades composees, salades vertes, gigot froid & faux-filet frois, plateau de fromage, tartes aux fraises, vin rouge en fut, cafe (Sangria, Parisian-style cold place, mixed salads, green salads, cold lamb and cold sirloin, cheese platter, strawberry pies, red wine in barrels, coffee).  >
  The Printemps chain of department stores was founded in 1865 and introduced many retail innovations, such as set prices instead of haggling, discounted sales to reduce stock, and window displays of merchandise.  >
  Literally "big stores."  >
  George's father József/Joseph Ehrlich, a teacher in pre-WWI Hungary, wound up becoming a furrier in Chicago (as related in To Be Honest)
—though upon retirement in St. Petersburg FL, he always told people he was a former teacher.  >
  "Leather goods"; cf. Mila Jean's earlier mention of a "bag shop."  >
  "Hot dish."  >
  Built as a tennis court in 1861, the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume became an independent art gallery in 1922 and focused on the avant-garde starting with 1937's Exposition Internationale.  Between 1947 and 1986 it housed the Musée du Jeu de Paume, an Impressionist extension of the Louvre.  Since 1991 it has concentrated on contemporary art.  During his Solo Jaunt George visited Jeu de Paume on July 18, 1966.  >
  Meaning Le Grand Hotel's "spectacularly elegant" ballroom (itself a registered historic monument) and not the Salon du Soleil in the Paris Opera House.  >
  The original Porte Maillot was one of the ancient gates to the city of Paris.  A bus travels from the Metro station of that name to Beauvais Airport every thirty minutes.  >
  George and Mila Jean enjoyed visiting the KCMO City Market down by the Missouri River.  There the (alleged) Mafia kingpin Carl "Cork" Civella (1910-1994) could be found lounging on a lawn chair in "his second home," a City Market produce stall
—until 1984, when he was convicted of skimming Vegas casinos and sentenced to prison.  >
  Police detective Jules Maigret appeared in many novels and stories by the prolific author Georges Simenon (1903-1989).  >
  Although MCI is the designation of Kansas City International Airport, it stands for Mid-Continent International (the airport's original name).  >
  Robert L. Dean (born 1941) was a colleague of the Ehrlichs at UMKC; he and his wife Marilyn Coy Dean (1943-2020) lived with their dog Snickerdoodle (Snick for short) at 5519 Holmes,
between the Ehrlichs at 5505 and the Gosnells at 5527, from c.1978 to c.1987.  On more than one fundraising occasion Bob Dean provided commentary on "Shakespeare at the Opera" in support for the Kansas City Lyric Opera company.  >
  The June 16th Kansas City Times reported "Record heat wave cooling off...  But the nice weather may not be around long."  By June 27th KCMO would hit a record-breaking 108 degrees.  >
  I am confident my father would deny having "shouted" at the people ahead of them in the customs line, and Mila Jean's assertion that he and she were "semi-hysterical."  >
  Possibly Timothy Houfek of 4940 Baltimore, whose name and address were among those listed in the front of Mila Jean's travel journal.  A native of Nebraska (born 1954) he attended Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph MO and the UMKC Conservatory of Music, becoming a professional baritone vocalist.  >
  Two Dougs were associated with the Missouri Repertory Theatre at this time: Doug Russell the Costume Designer, and Doug Taylor the Technical Production Director.  >
  Juliet Randall, artist-in-residence at Stanford University, frequently appeared in Missouri Repertory productions; in the summer of 1980 she played the title role in Medea.  >
  Nelda Gosnell would succumb to cancer on Apr. 23, 1982, aged 43.  Her life was profiled in the May 1st Kansas City Times, and a scholarship fund in her name was established at Loretto School, where she'd taught language and arts classes for five years.  >
  On June 19 some well-intentioned coworkers, saying the best remedy for my depressive spells was to "go see a scary movie," took me to see one whose star was said to give an especially over-the-top performance.  Unfortunately this proved to be Jack Nicholson in The Shining, whose gory-apparitions-in-snowbound-isolation had a detrimental effect aggravated by the killer heat wave.  I was put on antidepressant medication, but the pharmacist
an old acquaintance of my parents—suggested that everything would've been all right if I'd accompanied them to France.  >
  In 1975 Mila Jean became close friends with Gloria Vando Peress (born 1934/36), whose husband Maurice Peress (1930-2017) had become Music Director and Conductor of the Kansas City Philharmonic the previous year.  In 1977 Gloria, a professional poet and artist, founded the Helicon Nine Editions literary press along with Philomene Bennett (born 1935), Thelma "Pinky" Kase (1926-2022), Marjorie "Merry" Prostic (born 1946), and Mila Jean.  The first issue of Helicon Nine: The Journal of Women's Arts & Letters was published in 1979; but by the end of that year the Peress marriage ended unhappily, Maurice would be fired as Music Director in Aug. 1980, and the Philharmonic itself would go out of business in 1982.  Helicon Nine marched on for a run of twenty issues, most of them without Mila Jean (whose only comment to me was "Don't work with friends"); but she would eventually reconcile with Gloria
—by then Gloria Vando Hickok—and be among those photographed at a 1991 reception celebrating Helicon Nine's move from magazine to book publishing.  >


Participants in the 1980 SAH French Tour not mentioned above

●  Ruth E. Adomeit (1910-1996) of Cleveland: a Wellesley graduate who belonged to many artistic, bibliographical, antiquarian, and archaeological societies, as well as maintaining numerous collections.  Mila Jean said she was "slightly crippled [by] bad toe (has to wear sandals), walks like I Claudius, looks like Margaret Hamilton... does needlepoint & talks incessantly."
●  John Angell: Frederick Kent's partner and fellow librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia.  Mila Jean called him "dapper, good (but subdued) sense of humor
—the sensible, 'strong' member of the team, plays piano."
●  Howard Alden Blyth (1911-1987), a longtime executive of American Cyanamid, and Serena Marshall Weld Blyth (1911-1990) of Old Greenwich CT.  Mila Jean called "Serena a dragon (whiskey voice that sounds like Lauren Bacall).  He's deaf in one ear, smokes pipe
—friends of Rosann.  No nonsense from her, but he seems rather jolly—likes to dance."
●  Carl Arnold (Arne) Bystrom (1927-2017) of Seattle: an award-winning architect active with the Seattle Planning Commission, Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board, and Pike Place Market Historical Commission.  Mila Jean: "BIG HANDS.  Hardy Norwegian... drinks beer, can't read French, very basic, has wife at home, EATS."
●  Harriet Ropes Cabot (1908-2002) of Cotuit MA: a Bryn Mawr graduate and Curator of Boston's Old State House Museum from 1957 to 1977.  Mila Jean: "Looks like a Founding Father of our Nation
—speaks in decisive terms like a female Ed Muskie...  tall & imposing, pleasant & informed, polite & knowledgeable."
●  Theodore H. (Ted) Davie (1913-2005) and Adele Hawley Keller Davie (1917-2008) of La Jolla CA.  He was a career naval officer who became the San Diego Trust and Savings Bank's historian, design coordinator, and vice president.  She studied voice at Sarah Lawrence, Mills, and St. Helens Hall College.  Mila Jean: "Beautifully dressed, seemingly intelligent (were reading a book on Eleanor of Aquitaine), lived in Italy for years with children (obviously have money).  She wore hose, pretty short dresses on days we were climbing up to church steeples.  Very quiet."
●  Marie Lucy Pugliesi Hertzberg (1915-2018) of Washington DC: a Brooklyn College graduate who was among the first women economists employed by the U.S. Commerce Department, eventually working in the Secretary's office.  Mila Jean: "Very, very short, dark & cheerful
—a real saint since she rooms with Mrs. Kent who is either losing things or getting foot trouble."
●  David Alton James (1922-2011) and Nancy Joan Barlow Carpenter James (1931-2019) of San Diego: he worked for the Richard A. Mills Insurance Company, specializing in medical malpractice.  Mila Jean: "He looks like the Van Johnson (never-age boyish kid) type, though 58
—has a penetrating voice—was in France during the War.  She talks like Florence Henderson—they've only been married four years—her daughter [from a previous marriage] joined them in Paris."
●  Donald E. Keith (1925-2000?) of Richmond CA.  Mila Jean: "An enigma... smokes constantly
—seems nice enough—has long grey hair... don't know what he does."
●  Mary Louise Johnson Knerly (1925-1993) of Willoughby OH was on the 1978 SAH Greek tour, traveling (platonically) with Dr. Ben Schneider; in 1981-82 she would preside over the SAH's Western Reserve Chapter.  During the tour of Greece Mila called her a "small fading blonde ([like] Rue McClanahan), dresses weirdly, always wears or carries a dark blue puffed raincoat & semi-high red shoes (definitely not [for] walking)."
●  Selina Little (born 1933?) of Boston.  Mila Jean: "Another enigma
—seems nice—very thin, attractive face, dyed coal black hair, thick legs, hurt her back in lifting bags but doesn't complain.  Don't know what she does.  Is friendly with Seattle crowd."

List of Illustrations

●  George and Mila Jean's passport photos (same as for the 1978 Greek Tour)
●  three views of Le Grand Hotel, Paris
●  May 25: Cercle National des Armėes
●  May 26: anniversary note from Gertrude Berson
●  May 27: postcard of Chartres
●  May 28: Notre Dame La Grande, Poitiers
●  May 28: Hotel de France, Poitiers
●  May 30: receipt from a Chalet de Necessite
●  June 1: "Ugh to Box Lunches in Parks"
●  June 1: "Oui to Eating in Carcassonne"
●  Mila Jean and George with Gary Menges and Mitch Yamaguchi
●  June 2: Nîmes: Visite des Monuments
●  June 5: postcard of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer
●  June 10: Tour Eiffel and its amenities
●  June 11: La Bonne Fourchette
●  June 13: Golf du Racing Club de France La Boulie
●  June 15: Breakfast Menu, La Grand Hotel, Paris


A Split Infinitive Production
Copyright © 2023 by P. S. Ehrlich