Even today French locals, other Europeans and Americans find themselves drawn to the Meuse-Argonne region of France. Once drawn there, many return time and again; often working on multi-year research or preservation projects. In this irregular interview series, the webmaster hopes to introduce readers to some of these individuals and their labors of love.
1) What are your name, nationality and occupation?
Calluy, Marc and Elfi
Webmasters note: They are Belgian and they run a Bar and Chambres et table d’Hôtes named Le Coq D’or in Montfaucon. The webmaster recently spent a wonderful afternoon at the bar with them and mutual American friends.
2) Which languages do you speak, and how fluently do you speak them?
German, Dutch, English and French
Webmasters note: They are quite proficient in all three.
3) When was your first visit to the Meuse-Argonne?
4) When did you really find yourself drawn to the Meuse-Argonne?
The same time
5) What is your primary interest in the region?
The Great war
6) Approximately how many times and/or how often do you visit the Meuse-Argonne?
7) What do you do when you visit?
Walking in the woods
8) What research or preservation projects are you working on currently?
Nothing for the moment
9) What research or preservation projects have you completed in the past?
10) What is your favorite spot in the Meuse-Argonne and why?
11) History aside, what is your favorite thing to do in the Meuse-Argonne?
Looking for unknown places
12) Schedule permitting, would you consider being a tour guide for individuals or groups traveling to the sector?
13) How can readers contact you for assistance or for more details?
Facebook: Le Coq D’Or
14) Any other comments?
Webmasters note: This is a cultural teaching moment for Americans. Don’t let Marc and Elfi’s short answers fool you. They are extremely passionate about WW1 and they love hunting for artifacts in the Argonne Forest. (See picture below.) However, in Europe relationships are built up over time. So they’re not going to promise one the moon at first meeting. This is quite different than in America; where one talks as if one has been best friends forever. “Let’s do lunch sometime soon.” But then nothing ever happens.
The webmaster first met Marc and Elfi briefly in 2012, when he and his family stopped there for lunch. It wasn’t until his August 2016 trip that he had a chance to spend a few hours with them. After that, Marc volunteered that he recognized the fence of the Crown Prince’s observatory that formed the basis for the August 2016 then and now photo. In fact, he drove the webmaster to the site.
So, if you’re looking for an English-speaking B&B in Montfaucon or nearby, this is one of three good options. The bar is also a great place to stop in at for a short battlefield break. When it’s lit up, the webmaster enjoys taking a night trip to the American Memorial at Montfaucon. If the lights are on, that’s another good time to stop in at Le Coq d’Or. Just remember to take some time to talk to Marc and Elfi. Most Americans have 500 more things to do before day’s end.