Saturday, 30 April 2011

I declare the season opened!

With the closing of the hunting season, the season of the wreath layings is now officially opened.
My last blog on this subject goes back to July 2010, hence it is time for an update. The last Sunday in April is France’s official day to remember the deportees of the Second World War. That coincided this year with Easter Sunday, possibly the reason why, despite it being a lovely sunny day, there were not many people present. Or contrary, was it due to the blue sky and high temperatures? Whatever the reason, at 9h55, only 10 minutes later than planned, a small cortege of cars drove direction monument in Bois Dernier. It is every time a surprise what goes wrong this time, hence I was watching everything with more than the usual attention. Which amplifier was going to be used to play among others the French National anthem?
Monsieur’s P. old car was parked close to the monument, and there was no amp in sight. Was this a new attempt to force those present to sing the Marseillaise live?
The wreath was laid by Monsieur P., a survival of Buchenwald, assisted by L., whose parents were deported and never came back. After the obligatory speech, dictated by Paris, Monsieur P. walked towards the hedge that lines the monument, pressed a button of the machine hidden in the hedge, and as if it had never been away it produced the crackling version of the Marseillaise I gotten quite fond of. In the past I have been using a mock picture of this machine (actually a picture of one of my old transistor radios with built in cassette deck, positioned on the hat shelf of my car), but this time I managed to take a picture of the genuine product, hidden in the bushes.
I used my camera whilst Monsieur P. read the speech from Paris. After which everybody went back to Cormatin, to Café de la Poste for a verre d’amitié. And because there were so few people, and the wine was ordered well before hand, most of the wreath layers staggered home, not quite sober one and a half hour later ….

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