As an American artist based in Paris since 1994, I am weary of hearing, “But I heard the French are rude” or “…the French hate Americans.”
These dogs on patrol turned out to be aoûtiens Photo ©2003 Ann James Massey Crates still need to be guarded in August. Photo ©2003 Ann James Massey
By French law, everyone in France gets 5 weeks minimum paid vacation on top of a myriad of holidays. The largest chunk of that vacation time is the sacrosanct 3 weeks to a month in July through August when the residents flee the heat of the cities for the countryside or the beaches. The majority of Parisians are traditionally aoûtiens (August vacationers) as opposed to juillestistes who leave in July. Not sure what they call those who are gone between the 15th of each month…the ponteurs (bridgemen)?
Also by mandate, a few of the small businesses like boulangeries (bakeries), boucheries (butcher shops) et. al, within a certain block radii must be juilletistes or have replacements so that those who stay behind can still shop in their district, besides at the local grocery…
Growing up in the wide-open spaces of the high desert city of El Paso, Texas instilled a passion in me for the sky and the stars. As a teenager, at times I would go out onto our top deck and sleep with the immense universe above me. During the peak time in August, the reliable Perseid meteor shower would offer me plenty of opportunities to wish upon those falling stars and dream.
View from Devil’s Tower of the back of our family home with the top deck on Titanic Avenue in Mountain Park, El Paso, TexasPhoto ©2018 Ann James Massey
When I designed and built my own home in Santa Teresa, New Mexico (a suburb of El Paso) in 1986, I put in all the essentials: an art studio, a library, more bookshelves in every room (one can never own too many books), and of course a 4’ x 4’ (1.2 m x 1.2 m) skylight above our bed so…
When I was growing up in El Paso, Texas, it seemed to our family as if the whole world was friends with my grandfather, Paul Orion Moore. He had been the President and then Chairman of the Board of Mutual Savings and Loan in the city and therefore had been intimately involved with a growing number of young families getting loans for their first homes after the depression and the war. Naturally, he was well known in El Paso, but we also had numerous experiences when we would be in another city or state, and someone would walk up to “Pop” and greet him enthusiastically. It became the family joke that he could walk into an igloo in the north and an Eskimo would hold out his hand and say, “Why Paul Moore, how are you?”
Opening of the Paul O. Moore branch of Mutual Savings and Loan in 1981. My grandfather is the third from the left on the…