Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bastille Day 1971

I've been to Paris only once, but happily was there on Bastille Day. And also happily, I still have the letter I wrote to my mother about that day. So, for today's Paris in July entry,




I give you 23-year-old me, with no corrections of spelling or grammar. I was in my ee cummings phase when I used no capital letters.

the main boulevard of paris - champs elysée was full of people cuz it was a holiday. late in the afternoon there was a ceremony where veterans put a wreath or something under the arc de triomphe. we got some movies [8 mm, with no sound]. was quite impressive. … the evening of bastille day was wonderful. we walked to a bridge to watch fireworks that didn't come at all - but we enjoyed watching the people + just being part of it all. the french people are great. really full of life. in the little square near our hotel there was a midnite celebration outdoors with a dixieland band. people were dancing in the streets. we sat at a sidewalk café for a while - was so neat to see people excited with living + not necessarily drunk. in america i would be afraid of a crowd like that but here everyone was just enjoying themselves. was a wonderful site to see. i'm so glad we were here for it cuz its the biggest french holiday.

I don't have any photos of Tom and me on July 14, but here are a couple quite near the date.



50 comments:

  1. When we were there four years ago, we hit Notre Dame the first day and I was so jet lagged that I kept dozing off in the pews, leaning against a post, etc. There was no way I could have gone up to the roof to see the gargoyles, but I wish we'd gone back another day. There's always the next trip, right?

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    1. Make sure there is a next trip! The years fly by.

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  2. I love this post! Thank you for letting us see a glimpse of you and Tom in Paris. Love your hair! Mine was long, long, long too.

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    1. Thank you! We all had that hair didn't we? I still see some women with it, and I just think what a long time it took to wash it every day. :<)

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  3. Is that you up with the gargoyles? You must have nerves steel to climb up there, but they are amazing close to.

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    1. That's the 23 y.o. me, alright. I don't remember it being any big deal climbing up. :<)

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  4. Oh how wonderful this post! I loved reading the 23-year old you.

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  5. I love your 23 year old self and the no capital letters!!! Your hair was gorgeous!!!

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    1. The no capitals went on a long time. I still like the looks. Thanks about the hair.

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  6. When I was 23 I was making 3 bucks an hour as an RN graduate from the same Mary Hitchcock School of Nursing you decided was not for you! Paris was the better choice-

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    1. Yeah, I was at Boston University by then, and much, much happier. 3/hr. Think of it!

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  7. Hello - How wonderful to have a letter from your 20's - in Paris, no less! I love the "cuz" - went through that phase for quite awhile myself :-) Even more precious are the snapshots you included. Thanks for your blog and sharing your life, those special moments, with us.

    And your beautiful blog banner photos!

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    1. What a very nice comment. Thank you very much. I'm happy you liked it.

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  8. The first (and so far only) time I've been to Paris was in 2010, when I was 42 years old. I was invited by a friend who is a true Parisian - so I could happily rely on him to show me round. We did not visit Nôtre Dame but had a most excellent dinner at the restaurant on top of the Eiffel tower. I will never forget those few days, and I think it's wonderful that you still have the letter you wrote back then!

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    1. I actually have all the letters and postcards I wrote home to my mother. We were gone two months - England for a month, and Amsterdam, Paris, and Ireland. The cost was pennies compared to now.

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  9. How brilliant is that photo of you high up near the dragons, and beautiful are your golden tresses!

    Jane

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    1. The picture doesn't show the true color. Red!

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  10. What a wonderful memory to share with everyone. I love your ee cummings style 23 year old self letter. Isn't Paris wonderful?

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  11. Oh, I love your 23-year-old journaling self! Aren't those fun to review? Well -- sometimes! But to be in Paris on Bastille Day must have been special indeed! I'm doing Paris in July over at Marmelade Gypsy -- hope you'll have time to stop by!

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  12. I had the same hair, Nan, parted in the middle and just as long. As you said above, didn't we all? All the stages in our lives that are reflected in not only our writing, but our style of writing as well. What a wonderful time of year for you to have been in Paris.

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    1. I am happy to still have the letter and the pictures.

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  13. lovely post, nan! i love that you got to share it all with tom and you still have all the mementoes to keep the memories alive. i was a student in paris, long ago, it was one of the happiest times of my life......i can still smell that particular parisian smell.
    carole.

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    1. Lucky you! Such a nice thing to do.

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  14. Hi Nan!! What a lovely post this is. By the way thanks for stopping by my blog the other day!

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  15. Love this. What a happy survival. Thanks for sharing.

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  16. Thanks for introducing us to your 23 year old self. Your hair is gorgeous! Lots of redheads in my family (including 2 of my 3 sisters)... always wished I'd been one of them!

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    1. That red has turned to white, as most of the Irish hair seems to do. :<)

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  17. I was in Paris in 1998 when France won the World Cup in soccer and the whole city erupted. I went outside in the Montmartre section of the city where people spilled out of cafes, while others tumbled out of cars in the old "Chinese fire drill" fashion whenever a light turned red. Everyone hugged everyone else, including me, an American stranger. Like you, I felt perfectly safe though I was by myself. My mother was traveling with me on this trip but she was in bed by the time the match was over. She stayed in the room, freaked out by my wandering about by myself, but no one was the least inappropriate or out of control. It was a delightful experience!

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    1. I'm so very happy to know that all those years later, it felt the same to you.

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  18. I think it's so wonderful that you still have your letters and these photos. Look at you with your long, red hair! Oh, how I'd love to see Paris someday. The "Paris in July Challenge" is making me want to pack my bags and spend a month in France!

    Love your header, as always.

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    1. Once you go, you will never forget it.

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  19. It is wonderful to have beautiful happy memories to be part of oneself forever. I'm three years older than you, but you got to Paris before me. My husband and I were there Easter weekend, 1974.

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    1. How fun for you! It probably looked much the same.

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  20. I love your 23-year-old self just like I love your writing now. So full of excitement! My 19-year-old sounds just like that. Happy Bastille Day.~~Dee

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    1. What a nice thing to say!
      I don't think we change very much as the years go on.

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  21. so cool - a wonderful keepsake. i have a few such letters that i wrote my mom as well. i think I'm still in the ee cummings stage :)

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    1. There is something stark and too bold about capitals!

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  22. Nan, forgot to tell you I just love, love the daylily on your header! I miss my lilies! They are at my daughters until we move into our house. I really miss gardening.

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    1. You'll be out in the garden before you know it!

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  23. Thank you for sharing this lovely glimpse into your past.

    The summer before I turned 9 I went to Paris. We were there on Bastille Day, and I remember a lot of noise and celebrations and police officers blocking off access to side roads and impatiently telling us to stop stepping out onto the street because parades would be coming round the corner.

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    1. Such a great memory! I think that's a good age to travel with kids.

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  24. Thanks for sharing this! I love how you went through different phases. I know I did, too. I've been very behind on reading your blog and have just finished reading over twenty back posts. You post such different things; music and poetry I never would have heard of otherwise. You've expanded my world.

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    1. So good to see you! Thank you for your very kind words.

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  25. Love your excerpt and your gargoyles photo - such a great wealth of beautiful hair, too! Sorry for the long delay in response posts, it has been a rather wearing summer.

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    1. Please don't ever feel you must respond. I know you are there. That's all that counts! Sorry it has been 'wearing.' Hope August will be more refreshing.

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