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The Fab Seven

photo, group, tomoko, renaud, priscilla, bob, rita, don, dennis

Our fab seven, from left, Tomoko, Renaud, Priscilla,
Bob, Rita, Don and Dennis.

Masterpiece of the Week

Paris:– Thursday, 2. December 2004:– Before getting to the forecast let's look back at the prediction in the 'Café' column made on Monday for this week. This included –

"After plumbing the depths down to 3 degrees overnight the mercury will bound up to seven degrees tomorrow sometime, possibly in the afternoon. Since it will be mostly cloudy in the morning you might not notice it becoming afternoon, when it will be almost as cloudy, with maybe some feeble attempts at semi–bright periods."

At noon on Tuesday, even Radio France–Info was saying more or less the same thing. But at the same time outside my big window overlooking the Montparnasse cemetery the sky was blue from bottom to top, from edge to edge. There wasn't one cloud visible anywhere.

I had a feeling on Monday night that the forecast was too miserable to be true. But how would it be – if I substituted my inexpert 'feelings' for the official TV–weather news forecast? I don't even have one of those glass half–spheres with the golden snowflakes fallingphoto, beer of the week on the bear. At least, a correction here, for the weather slur made for Tuesday.

Returning to the regular program we have, based on tonight's TV–weather prediction, a rewind to Tuesday. Say there's a tiny bit of sunshine in the morning and less in the afternoon, give us an overnight low of 2 degrees, and top it off with a miserable high on Friday of 5 degrees.

As our low–hanging clouds head for the southeast, Saturday might let us see some blue skies and sunshine during the daylight hours, when it will not get to more than 5 degrees again. Then on Sunday the muck descends once more to give Paris a bad reputation for December, along with a high of 4 degrees for the day.

As Le Parisien says for Sunday, "Beurk!" This is a word kindergarten teachers are always telling their small charges not to say, because they love to say it.

A 'Fab Four' Club Report of the Week

Today has light too lousy for photos. Everything is a shade of gray and there's hardly any contrast. The camera will see black but nothing in it and it won't see any white because there isn't any. All the same I quit riding my second favorite Métro at Odéon and walk the rest of the way to the club, taking a glance at the Place Dauphine on the way.

Unlike last week the Quai du Louvre is plugged with traffic, and a riot must be happening somewhere because sirens are howling all over. Or maybe it's siren test day. Staying outside seems like a loser but I do a tour behind Samaritaine anyway, to burn off a couple of minutes.

In the club's area in the café La Corona the waiter of the week gives me a grim look when I say Iphoto, cafe of the week will order the 'Café of the Week' later. He keeps an eye on me from the front of the 'grande salle,' which does not have many paying customers.

Beautiful enough to swim in.

After doing the necessaries I watch the traffic outside. The red and the yellow double–decker tour buses pass. Nobody sits on their open top decks. City buses, with bikini ads, pass. The breeze ripples the city flags advertising the Paris candidature for the Olympics. Rumble noises come from the floor from the Métro trains passing underground. The bikes, scooters and motorcycles outside do not have steel wheels.

Priscilla Pointer and Bob Symonds accuse me of being alone at the club when they arrive. They don't know how the lurking waiter has been keeping me company. Priscilla has an old photo of herself that she wants to turn into a card. She knows it was taken 59 years ago but doesn't remember where.

None of us can figure it out. If the Ile de la Cité is in the distance it is too small to identify with precision. Dennis Moyer, another member in good standing, arrives. Although he has probably never sampled La Corona's café, he says, "I'm replacing every cup of café with alcohol," and orders a pastis.

Great shouts go up when Tomoko Yokomitsu comes in because Dennis ran into her yesterday. On the six days a week when there are no club meetings, members creep around the city having unofficial meetings with no 'notes,' no 'reports.'

Dennis, by supreme fluke of coincidence,photo, pastis of the week also has a pack of old photos. He says he is making a calendar. "That's a gingerbread house," he says, while musing, "In another life."

So far, four fourths of the members are in the theatre business, so all is theatre talk. Seasons – fall is better because all the theatres have full programs. In spring some are finishing their seasonal offerings.

Dennis' substitute for café.

Tomoko promotes a show she is in tomorrow. This is an evening showcasing the 'Naissance des Musiques Afro–Américaines,' featuring Manda Djinn, the 'Diva du Gospel.' Tomoko has a part in 'Séisme,' third on the bill, with her name spelt 'Thomako.' The buffet is Suédo–Américain.

Priscilla says,"Surviving in the theatre is a feat." Tomoko agrees, says, "If I don't volunteer, this year I have no work."

Song–writer Rita Martinson pulls up and takes a seat in the conversation. The club secretary flubs the introduction with Dennis. Tomoko explains why she left Japan to seek fame a fortune in Paris. "It's a true story," she says.

"It was a dream I had when I was 22," Dennis says. It's the first time he's ever admitted being 22. But it's true – it only took Dennis 40 years to get installed here.

Don Smith floats in under his pwn steam.photo, where, 59 years ago He sent me a photo of his foie gras expedition that didn't make in through the Internet. "He could hav smiled if he had teeth," Don says about a chicken dealer he wants me to see. "At the marché au gras," he adds.

We're told it's Priscilla 59 years ago. But where?
Continued on page 2...
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