Wednesday, August 24, 2016

La traversee de Paris estivale 2016...

The Association Vincennes en Ancienne was able to run it's traversee de Paris estivale before the authorities could get the word out that big crowd filled events should be cancelled if there was insufficient security.  Such has been the general state of concern over continued terrorist attacks.

la traversee de Paris estivale 2016

For those who don't already know, la traversee is run twice a year, once in January and once on the weekend start of les vacances.  The event involves the running of 700+ old vehicles on the streets of Paris.  Normally one of the major gathering points is la place de la Concorde.  It's there that I've headed the past two years to see fun and wonderful things.

It seems as if Asian tourists can't help themselves.  All too many times I've watched as someone climbs into a car to have their picture taken.  This year was no different.  So when someone got into an old old voiture to have his picture taken, I snapped.  I knew the owner wasn't asked permission and couldn't stand the idea that someone's pride and joy was under siege.  In anger I told him to get out.  He smiled broadly and noded "yes", but he kept his face toward the camera.  So I forcefully reiterated that it was time for him to get out!  He must've heard the edge in my voice.  He jumped out and walked away.

A Frenchmen (not the sullied car's owner) watching the commotion I created struck up a conversation.  I told him that foreigners are crazy and said I should know as I'm American.  We laughed and I felt my anger instantly drain away.

la traversee de Paris estivale 2016

The conversation led the man to telling me about the old cars he owns.  Here they are known as les voitures de collection.  As the man listed all the fun old things in his garage I stopped him to ask about his 1931 Ford Model A Deluxe.  I'm told it's deep blue with yellow rims.  It's a roadster convertible that was originally sold by a dealership in Bordeaux.  The man is the second owner and it rather proud of this car.  I told him about my father's automobile.  The same exact car (year and everything) but in robin's egg blue.

Later as I walked down the line of parked voitures I felt someone jostling me.  It was the Ford Model A owner.  He said "here, look at this" and showed me a photo on his cell phone.  I swear on a stack of well worn Avons that it was a near perfect match for my father's own car.

If I get the chance the next time they run la traversee I'll try to show him the video my father made recently of my great uncle's car that's still in the family.

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