Fast Changing Times

I met Marcy late one weekend night after a dance at the Uptown Ballroom. Pete Zanetos, still playing trumpet with Binford, introduced us. The three of us sat in a booth in the cafe downstairs, sipping icy lemon Cokes laced with rum from Pete’s secreted pint of Bacardi. Marcy said little. But she was lovely to look at, And we off-handedly stared at each other.

In the weeks ahead, we had a few after-dates and then we fell clumsily into a short, absorbing and deeply irrational affair. By the end of summer, we were bored with each other. I quit my job at M&F at that point and went on to the University of Oregon in Eugene. Marcy went on to farther success with the “Babe” and somewhere down the line, she married the clarinet player.


The flames of war spread furiously across Europe, By the following spring, Poland, Denmark, Norway—one by one—had fallen to the Nazis. German armies then launched a swift, blitzkrieg assault on the Western front. They tore through Holland and Belgium and surged across France like a tidal wave.

The powerful German Wermacht seemed invincible. The French collapse came surprisingly quick.

On June 14, 1940, victorious Nazi troops surged into Paris. The great city, the glory of France, was occupied by the German army.

There were tears in the theatre that weekend in Portland as we viewed the newsreels, transfixed at the sight of German troops marching triumphantly down des Champs Elyses—and the swastika unfurled from the top of the Eiffel Tower.


The last time I saw Paris,
Her heart was warm and gay,
I heard the laughter of her heart,
In every street cafe.
The last time I saw Paris,
Her heart was young and gay ,
No matter how they change her
I’ll remember her that way


Chapter  Thirteen : On the Horizon

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