(The Header picture is of more rocks in Northern Arizona.)
Way back in the years 1964-66, I was way out west, so to speak. And, this morning, eating brekfuss (as my uncle step-dad would say) at Village Inn, the background music reminded me of those years way out west - of Paris. Petula Clark was singing her number one tune, Downtown. However, what really brought it all back was the blog sauerkrautcowboys.blogspot.com,which has a short article titled, "American Journeys--First Big Festival of the Season in France."
I don't think this festival was going on in those years or I just never heard of it. Otherwise, I might have attended or might not, depending on my state of sobriety and lack of transport. Anyway, there we were, sitting at a table in the cafeteria after work, enjoying a beer (Watney's in my case) at the Almighty Military Headquarters of NATO-OTAN, alphabetically known as SHAPE, some twenty miles WSW of the beautiful metropolitan city of Paree near Versailles. There were maybe a half-dozen of us gathered around from the British Army, British Air Force, British Navy (a feller called SNOWI), U. S. Army, U. S. NAVY (myself and Tom Taylor, the Sailor and 7th degree black belt in karate, and maybe one or two more swabs). Of course, with a group of this size and stature, there must be a favorite song that one or all of us would start singing at the drop of a hat or pith helmet when we reached that point of insobriety or just plain happiness. Into the jukebox would go the coins and immediately the sound of music would begin, "When you're alone and life is making you lonely, you can always go DOWNTOWN, when you've got worries, all the noise and the hurry seems to help, I know, DOWNTOWN.....tra-la-la-la-la-la, etc., etc."
As the night wore on and the liquor and beer flowed, the singing would get louder and louder until we finally reached that point that we had to break it up and actually go DOWNTOWN (most of us, anyway). We would crawl onto the last bus of the evening and break into song anew with everyone on the bus joining in, even the driver. As the driver helped us off at the Etoile with a big smile on his face, we staggered down the Champs and headed in different directions, some still humming, singing, whistling DOWNTOWN, calling it a night and wending our way to our little apartments to wives, girlfriends, etc. Another day fighting the Cold War and Viet Nam heating up. Ah, yes.