I have had the privilege to travel a lot not only because of previous jobs at Six Flags but also the latest job, FEMA. Even with those two, I still have a couple of states and countries to visit and they are on my bucket list. My passport is updated just in case I get a hankering to get on a boat, plane or train, I have proof of COVID vaccination, suitcases cleaned out and Tull and Our Rose are ready to see me hit the road.
I haven’t actually packed but have decided for the time being to reminisce about where I have been, specifically Europe and more specifically France.
Just in case you didn’t remember and since there was not a whole lot of hoopla, this past Sunday, June 6, was the 77th anniversary of D-Day, when Allied forces began the invasion of Nazi-occupied France starting the long march into Nazi Germany and eventually ending WWII.
Now back to where I started. In 1989 I toured France with Ron and the late Susan Conner, then a French history professor at Tift College. She was fluent in French and became a noted French historian, specifically writing about Napoleon and his escapades. Even while on vacation Susan studied at some institute that I called a library in downtown Paris but she called The National Bibliotique.
While planning our itinerary I really wanted to go to the Normandy Coast to see where the invasion started. Susan was most accommodating. We saw all four assault beaches and several of the adjoining villages. Standing on the cliffs overlooking the beaches and then walking on the assault beaches, there was a certain aura of awe, amazement and reverence.
The sacrifices made on that day, even standing there, were hard to comprehend. It was early morning when we visited and the ghosts of all the ships crossing the English Channel, the roaring of cannons, rifle fire, exploding bombs and the death screams of those rushing into a curtain of bullets still seemed to be in the air. Bowed heads and a prayer were a propos when seeing the massive graves at Flanders Field. A WWI cemetery in Waregem, Belgium was just as moving and reverent. Seeing the many, many cemeteries all over France was a constant reminder of the battles that freedom was waging.
Visiting small towns in France, even in 1989, there were buildings still pock marked with bullets. Tributes to soldiers who sacrificed with their lives were all over France, in big and small towns, plaques and statues.
In one small town, Beaugency, while walking around the village, we noticed smoke coming out of the top of a castle. Susan went inside to the restaurant to report the fire and sure enough the village fire department immediately responded, dressed/outfitted in the most elaborate uniforms right out of El, the French fashion magazine.
One of these days, before my passport expires, I just might go back to France. Nah! Been there, done that. Norway is in my hankering.
NOW TO get back home to here in Forsyth and Monroe County. Forsyth’s Planning and Zoning Board turning down a request for an Italian restaurant based on the location wouldn’t have enough parking places. Really. Now they have “proven” their micro-managing includes how many parking places a business must need to open a business. Really!
Of course the city council can uphold or reject the planning board. Reminds me of how the county knows more about beef processing than the owner.
And writing of parking spaces, it is obvious the Forsyth City Council has no idea how to manage parking, particularly downtown. Many days, even when court is not in session, there are limited if any parking places downtown.
I’ll bring it up again, what happened to plans for alleviating parking downtown? At one of the city’s “annual retreats” and a CVB retreat, parking was discussed and even discussion of a downtown parking deck. Oops, forgot that was “elect me” political talking. As the Mayor brags, we’ve got 66 parking spaces downtown. Just no room for tourist parking.
I’ve heard the mayor several times bragging how people like to walk around downtown and with those filled beer cups. I assume downtown has burgeoned with tourists walking around town drinking beer out of the $2 cups the city sells. Not without parking available.
THE DESIGN for the bicentennial t-shirt was by Jordan McCord and he was at the cake-cutting this past Saturday at the art studio in downtown Forsyth. There were no correct answers so here’s the question for this week: name the former MP Bulldog baseball player who made his debut with the Macon Bacon baseball team. First correct answer after 12 noon on Thursday, gets a certificate for a slice of Shoney’s strawberry pie, Whistle Stop fried green tomato appetizer, single dip at Scoops, slice of Jonah’s Pizza, Dairy Queen Blizzard, Forsyth Main Street t-shirt and a Reporter
HERE’S A friendly recommendation: Dentists have recommended storing a tooth brush at least six feet away from a toilet to avoid contact with airborne particles resulting from the flush. Remember, I told you first.
GOT a comment or want to answer The Question? Contact Don Daniel at email@example.com. Don Daniel founded the Reporter in 1972.