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NewsletterNovember 2005

The Last Flight of a B-26

In November 1944 in the woods of the village of Plottes (near Tournus in Burgundy) an American B-26 crashed killing all nine crewmembers. Here is the story of that flight and how the people of Plottes never forgot.
The morning of November 13, 1944 was foggy, rainy and cold, not flying weather. Especially not for a B-26 bomber, known as a 'widowmaker'. Under certain conditions, such as icing, the plane could vibrate violently and become unstable. Bad weather was not unexpected by the crew, but it may have meant something else to the B-26's US Army pilot, Richard Hisey; A native West Virginian, Hisey was used to winter weather back home. But the Burgundy weather he was flying in, was heavy fog and zero visibility, common in late fall or early winter. Hisey keep flying his plane, despite being advised to stop in Marseille, to secure a weather update.
Continue reading.


It still amazes me how over the last few years the French have taken to celebrating Halloween. As I said last year (see - November 2004) when I first lived in France in the middle 90’s Halloween was not celebrated at all, but now it’s almost like in the states, all be it with a French twist.
My town, Reignier, held a Halloween Parade. Children were invited to parade in costumes, along with their parents. They paraded down Main Street – Grande Rue and by the retirement home. The parade was festive; one woman invited my son over after to get some candy! Then on Halloween night for the first time children did trick or treating, Children entering shops (this is the French twist) asking for goodies. I too went to a bakery with my young son and received some candy. We didn’t say trick or treat, just asked nicely for candy. After receiving our candy we went home and ate it!

Down on the (French) farm

Just got back from a weekend at the in-laws in Burgundy and partaking in some farm activities most notably picking mushrooms and helping build a barn. Barns can be built anywhere so I’ll leave that one to imagination but not the mushroom picking. There is something relaxing for the mind and fulfilling for the stomach in picking mushrooms. As I said in the September 2004 mushrooms are in season in the late summer and early fall. There is nothing nicer than going for a walk on a sunny day and picking wild mushroom then coming back and cleaning and eating your ‘catch’.
This year seems to be a bumper crop, with more mushrooms being picked than can be eaten. Many are cooked and frozen to be consumed later this winter.
Mushroom hunt photos

Hôtel Dieu

Last month I talked about the Hôtel Dieu in Tournus where my wife was born. Photos of my visit there are on line at Hôtel Dieu Tournus.

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