60 Years Ago Today

Tuesday, 17 June 1952:

I t was a slow start as we discovered the Louvre was not open. Wouldn’t that frost you? And that was where I had planned to spend most of the day. Instead we stopped by an oculist (ophthalmologist) shop to get the ear piece on my sunglasses fixed. Thanks to Alicia, we were successful in getting the lady to understand us.

Then we left a forwarding address at the American Express for the next mail stop. Next was the Lafeyette Department Store that was just like an opera house. It had a dome of stained glass and ornate gold railings around each floor.

We had lunch on the terrace of the Lafayette Department Store after searching four floors to find it. We had a view of the apartment roofs. There were two table cloths, cloth napkins, ice water, and bread. I ordered an omelette and ham while I ate four pieces of bread. Alice got a rare steak, but by using her French she got it recooked some more.

Then we paid the cashier and left for Printemps, another department store, and cheaper restaurant. We found the toy department and bought Kleenex for 325 francs.

Outside again, a lady surprisingly stopped and asked me “ou est la metro?” We tried to help her and then we took the metro to the Seine River. We got off near Sarah Barnhardt’s Theatre and identified the Saint Jacques Tower. We traveled to see St. Chapelle but it was closed. Tuesday’s sure seemed to be the day for everything to be closed.

Instead we strolled down by the Seine River. Here we saw another side of Paris. People lived in river boats with their wash blowing in the breeze. Others seemed to live along the banks, although we didn’t see any shelter for them. One man was washing his clothes in the river while an old beggar was eating trash out of a dirty can. Others were laying by the side of the river sleeping or unconscious. Then we took pictures of some little children and gave them some gum.

We found the Pont Marie metro station to go to the Eiffel Tower. We changed lines five times in order to get to the Eiffel Tower by the shortest route. We switched once at Franklin D. Roosevelt Station, made a mistake, and had to come back to it from Etaile.

The newest and most modern show windows on the trains were of an aluminum looking material. The walls were covered with the same thing as well. It was really smoky and stuffy in the train. I missed a few scenes resting my eyes.

Afterwards, there was one interesting scene with a Negro nanny, daddy and little baby crying. Another scene showed a spinning pool on a stage. It was quite a trick with girls coming down from the ceiling. I took several good shots from the second Etage (story). I was going to walk up to see it but I didn’t have time. The metro was jammed with people going home from work. We literally rubbed shoulders with the people of France.

I met a cute little English man coming back from the Eiffel Tower to the hotel, and he helped us cross the street. He told us he worked at the auto races.

Then Dick guided us down several streets from the Montmartre metro to get to the Folles Theater at 8:30 p.m. The curtain went up just as we sat down with Dick, Henry, and about thirty women. Talk about luxurious costumes and shapely figures in the play. There were about four risque scenes, but nothing in particular happened when they were all dressed up. It was interesting.

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