Tag Archives: Meuse

La Vie en France #8: It Takes a Team Part 2–Language Lessons

    The Webmaster has just returned from tracking down a difficult “Then and Now” photo with extreme gratitude for his language tutor, Alexis P. Miller!  After fifteen months of language lessons, 2x per week more or less, the Webmaster can at least express himself and explain what he is doing:  Even if he doesn’t understand everything that others say.   On today’s search the Webmaster thought it best to ask a farm family before driving off into their field in search of the site of an airplane crash landing.  He Continue reading →

La Vie en France #7: Welcome to the Punch Bowl

La Vie en France #6 proved to be quite popular, as there seems to be a good bit of interest in seeing where the Webmaster is living during his six months in France.  Le Vie en France #7 shows a panoramic view of the “Punch Bowl” encircling Doulcon.  It is taken from a hillside along the D164 perhaps a kilometer West of Doulcon.     Western portion of the punch bowl.     Eastern portion showing Doulcon and Dun-sur-Meuse.  The church on the Hillside at Continue reading →

La Vie en France #6: An Evening Walk in Doulcon

Situated in the Department of the Meuse and the Region of Lorraine, Doulcon has  a population of around 430 inhabitants.  As travelers to the region know, this is not a wealthy port city along the coast.  Rather, Doulcon is situated in the heart of farming country; and its houses and streets reflect the increasing difficulties of farming–even in the heart of France with all its farm subsidies.  Luckily, the region also attracts thousands of tourists a year:  Tourists, such as the Dutch, who love the natural beauty Continue reading →

La Vie en France: Post #4. Eight Weeks Holiday Before France.

Friday, May 12, 2017 excerpt from my diary… So, two days prior to departure, how did I do regarding using my eight weeks to prepare for the trip?  Answer, pretty poorly in most categories; but strongest in the category that counts the most—spending quality time with my wife (who will be alone for several months.) o   Walking / hiking to get in shape:  2/3 (out of 10.)  Didn’t do often enough and didn’t really exert myself; largely because most walks were with Laurie. o   Reading Continue reading →

Research Tips: The “Griffin Group” Photos in the National Archives

A special shout-out is due to Marc Romanych of Digital History Archive who introduced the Webmaster to the Griffin Group photos!!!  As a result, the Webmaster spent the last two days in the National Archives “walking” the Western Front shortly after war’s end.   National Archives record group 120-G is a collection of 2,262 photographs of the American battlefields of the Western Front taken in early 1919 under the direction of Major T. H. Griffin of G-2.  His team of photographers was tasked with taking Continue reading →

Join the Friends of Romagne and Support the Romagne 14-18 Museum

  Jean-Paul de Vries’ Romagne 14-18 Museum one of the best known museums / attractions in the Meuse-Argonne, and it is visited by thousands each year.  (The Webmaster first visited the museum in 2004, right before it moved to its current location.)  However, as with most museums it takes a tremendous amount of work and funds to operate.  In order to ensure adequate financial support for the museum, the foundation “Friends of Romagne” has been established.  Below is a letter from the foundation’s Chairman encouraging visitors Continue reading →

La Vie en France: Post #3. Skills and Talent Residence Permit Visa Obtained!!!

A key part of the Webmaster’s plan to work in France as a freelance battlefield tour guide was obtaining the “Skills and Talent” residence permit visa.  Per the France in New York website: “If you have a project, the three-year, renewable “Compétences et Talents” card allows you to exercise the professional activity of your choice in connection with your project.” However, at the Visa Section of the French Consulate-General one will not find a life coach who will guide one through the process.  Rather, one Continue reading →

Twist on a Famous Poster: Do You Know What Your Daddy (or Grandfather or Great Uncle) did in the War?

April 6, 2017 marked the beginning of the Centennial of U.S. involvement in World War 1; and yet many U.S. families know much less about the activities of their ancestors during 1917-1919 than during other time periods.  It’s not too late to correct that deficiency; and it’s also not too late to plan a customized battlefield tour following in the footsteps of your relative! Webmaster Randal Gaulke is making plans to live in France for several months in 2017.  During that period he will be working Continue reading →

La Vie en France: Post #2. Time is not on my Side!

  15 March, 2017 was the Webmaster’s last day at work.  Eight weeks seemed to be more than enough time to get everything done before moving to France for six months on 15 May.  Well, four weeks have passed, and the Webmaster still has an unbelievable do list to accomplish over the next month!!!   To be sure, he did accomplish some major home projects–including renovating an office and the guest bedroom.  He also has spent quality time with the family; and he was able to participate Continue reading →

We Forget Today: April 6, 1917–America Joins the Allies

The Webmaster has been awaiting this day for the last few years.  Funny, now that it has arrived he has no brilliant speeches / no words to say; except for the line he uses to being a “We Forget Today” blog post:  “We forget today just what an impact World War I had on the lives of its participants and their families.”  It took months to mobilize and train Pershing’s Army and to ship it overseas, but the impact was already being felt across the U.S. and Continue reading →