Paris again, very briefly again

Paris again, very briefly again June 8, 2019


A night view of Notre Dame
We drove briefly by the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris in early January of this year, on our way back home from Egypt.. It was evening, and the Cathedral was closed, but we had precisely this view of the façade.  In some ways, I’m not unhappy that our short layover here won’t permit us to do so again; seeing what has happened to Notre Dame in the interim would, I think, be pretty painful.
(Wikimedia Commons public domain image)


“The new country lay open before me: there were no fences in those days, and I could choose my own way over the grass uplands, trusting the pony to get me home again. Sometimes I followed the sunflower-bordered roads. Fuchs told me that the sunflowers were introduced into that country by the Mormons; that at the time of the persecution when they left Missouri and struck out into the wilderness to find a place where they could worship God in their own way, the members of the first exploring party, crossing the plains to Utah, scattered sunflower seeds as they went. The next summer, when the long trains of wagons came through with all the women and children, they had a sunflower trail to follow. I believe that botanists do not confirm Jake’s story but, insist that the sunflower was native to those plains. Nevertheless, that legend has stuck in my mind, and sunflower-bordered roads always seem to me the roads to freedom.” 

Willa Cather, My Ántonia (1918)




Densley and Dan at Dan
The president and the executive vice president of the Interpreter Foundation in the extreme north of Israel
(Photo courtesy of Steve Densley)


One of the nicer aspects of the Israel tour that just concluded was the chance to get to know Michael Ballam and Laurie Ballam a bit better.  We’ve had some very slight contact with them in the past, but have mostly admired them and the remarkable Utah Festival Opera from afar.  Remarkable achievements, but no pretense or pomposity.


We also enjoyed touching bases again with a few long-time friends.  Mostly, though, these were people who were new to us.  But they’re interesting and accomplished and pleasant, and it was good to travel with them.  Jack Welch and Kent Jackson and I, with our wives, rotated through the three buses on the trip, so we had at least some minimal contact with all 140 people involved.


One more thing:  I liked having Steve Densley on the trip.  He is the executive vice president of the Interpreter Foundation — though our being in Israel had absolutely no direct connection with Interpreter and (for my obsessive and conspiracy-minded critics out there) was neither funded nor sponsored in any way by the Interpreter Foundation.


Posted from Paris, France



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