Vichy

Trip Start Apr 10, 2008
1
14
31
Trip End May 12, 2008


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Flag of France  , Auvergne,
Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I turned in fairly late last night, but had to be up fairly early this morning, since I needed to make the drive to Vichy for lunch. I was on the road a little after 8:00. It rained much of the way up, but the drive was still beautiful. The route took me very near the Festival site we've used the last two years and will again this year. It also took me near several of the volcanoes in the center of France. They're easily recognizable due to their typical shapes. The rain slowed me down a bit, and I arrived about 1:00 in Vichy for lunch with a retired church couple who live here.
 
The name Vichy will long be associated with the seat of government of Philippe Pétain, who collaborated with the Germans after the fall of France in 1940, when he was 84 years old. He was arguably France's greatest hero from WWI (or as the French call it, the "14-18 war"). But as a reaction to the moral dissipation he felt he saw in his country, he agreed to head a government in "Free France" (now usually called "Vichy France") after agreeing to allow the Germans to occupy 3/5 of the nation. After the war he was sentenced to death for treason but had the punishment commuted to life in prison by Charles de Gaulle, on account of his service in WWI.  
I can't help but think about that history as I drive through Vichy. A great man, a talented, and courageous and patriotic man, who later blunders badly, betrays his country, and goes down in history as a traitor.

 
Since I only get to visit people in their homes once a year and even then not everyone, we really enjoy these moments. We had a leisurely lunch and talked about all sorts of things: the Feast of Tabernacles, the upcoming American presidential elections, the beautiful new Italian wife of French President Sarkozy, several Bible prophecies (not about Mrs. Sarkozy), health concerns and a host of other things. It was very enjoyable and lasted through the middle of the afternoon. 
 
Taking my leave, I drove off to find a hotel for the night, and worked for a few hours while waiting for my second visit in Vichy.
 
Hervé Dubois came by the hotel at 7:00 pm and we drove to a restaurant a ways down the road. It's a western themed restaurant called Buffalo Grill. The greeter was dressed in a long Doc Holliday style broadcloth coat; the fellow behind the bar was also in saloon-keeper western dress. But they spoke contemporary French. Hervé intends to attend the ABC program next year, so we had many things to discuss. We actually had bison for dinner, but this being France, we had bison brochettes. I'm not sure Crazy Horse would approve, but there it is. The meal was good, and we had a very pleasant and constructive visit. Tomorrow I head toward Switzerland.
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Comments

fmeeker
fmeeker on

hey dad!!
Sounds like you had a full day! But then again, when don't you? :)
Love you lots and hope you get enough sleep!

the_updys
the_updys on

Interesting!
(Sobering thoughts about the Vichy French history.) Driving in rural France, it struck me that nearly every village or town big enough for a town square, had a monument to the sons of the town who perished in the '14-'18 war. And now when I hear those beautiful 'Songs of the Auvergne,' I'll have a clue where that is. Great blogging! Thanks again. --David U

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