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?
Brian Grogan, American, Photographer
2) Which languages do you speak, and how fluently do you speak them?
English–native, French–working proficiency
3) When was your first visit to the Meuse-Argonne?
First visit to the region was in 1972.
4) When did you really find yourself drawn to the Meuse-Argonne?
July 2016. Have been working on WW1 history of the American Battle Monuments Commission for several years.
5) What is your primary interest in the region?
Currently preparing photographic documentation of the American Battle Monuments Commission WW1 American Cemeteries and Monuments for the National Park Service–Historic American Landscapes Survey Collection at the Library of Congress.
6) Approximately how many times and/or how often do you visit the Meuse-Argonne?
July 2016, Oct. – Nov. 2016. Will visit again in Summer 2017.
7) What do you do when you visit?
Historical documentation photography
8) What research or preservation projects are you working on currently?
Currently preparing photographic documentation of the ABMC WW1 American Cemeteries and Monuments for the National Park Service–Historic American Landscapes Survey Collection at the Library of Congress.
9) What research or preservation projects have you completed in the past?
Have been doing historic documentation photography for the National Park Service for 25 years.
10) What is your favorite spot in the Meuse-Argonne, and why?
Still learning them!
11) History aside, what is your favorite thing to do in the Meuse-Argonne?
Beautiful landscape, lovely small towns, and a depth of history that goes back many centuries. Simply wandering, looking and experiencing the French life and culture of the region.
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?
14) Any other comments?