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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

KS - transportation

Early 1961 - Before achieving personal transportation, I would come to Paris on the SHAPE bus and then get around town on the Metro – the Paris version of a subway. Another map I have is one outlining the routes of this subway. I learned to get around fairly well on this underground maze - when they were not on strike. One such work stoppage necessitated a very early morning hike of several miles back to the bus stop.

It seems that the last bus left the Paris location at about 11pm and if you missed it, there was a small bar that stayed open all night nearby. All that was required to take up their space was an occasional beverage or food purchase – otherwise they got pretty grumpy. One could nurse a ham sandwich for a long time with that hard crusty bread and hot mustard – it would also clear out the sinus very well. It was usually a tired bunch that met the early bus next morning. All that was necessary to ride the SHAPE bus was an ID that showed you worked and/or lived there.

In my military file is a highway map of the country of France printed in 1961 and the country was there for me to explore, but my choice was to lurk around the base and the environs of Paris striving to attain selfish goals. This lurking usually involved the pursuit and/or the involvement in the wonders of feminine companionship.

A large postcard of “La Cote d’Azur” is contained in my memories file, sent to me by a young friend in the summer of 1961 while on vacation with her family on the Mediterranean in southern France. She was one of only two decent girls I closely associated with while there – I assure you both were met quite by accident, as they were of much higher character than the type I was normally seeking.

Next in the time line is a bill of sale and vehicle registration dated 11 August 1961 for a 1954 Ford. This for the consideration of the huge sum of 100 dollars, paid to a fellow soldier that worked in the motor pool. This ‘tank’ was semi-dependable after we finally got the motor running right. It was evidently made of sterner stuff than the small Renault with which I had a chance meeting. This ‘meeting’ left the rear of the Renault crushed with no discernable damage to the Ford.

We were required to have insurance and they took care of my recklessness – racing another car down the Avenue des Champs Elysees – handicapped by the slow reactions of one who had consumed several “adult beverages”. It was a wake-up call for me, but I hit the “snooze” button.

TBC – ec


Blogger Merle said...

Hi Mr Eddie ~~ Sounds like you were
a crazy driver in those days.
Glad you survived and are now quite
a good driver, I presume.
Thanks for comments about children and things they say. They tell it like it is. Cheers, Merle.

4/05/2006 05:00:00 AM  
Blogger Bonita said...

I enjoyed Paris, too, but was just a grade school child when I was there. I remember the French pastries, and people sitting under umbrellas outside of little luncheonettes. There is certainly a lot of charm to Provence, too....if only we could magically spend an afternoon there, in the lavender fields.

4/05/2006 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Using up the words.... said...

hehehe... I love hearing the tales of days gone.
I'm sure you were dashing, and dangerous. :)

4/05/2006 06:48:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

merle - Actually I did quite well at driving - except for that one occasion of stupidity my record was clean.

bonita - The only food I really remember was the long, hard-crusted French bread. The flowers of all types at the palace in Versailles were the most beautiful I had seen at the time.

UUTW - Mostly only dangerous to myself - and a few others. ec

4/05/2006 10:50:00 PM  

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