Tag Archives: Meuse

La Vie en France #32: The Big Adventure Began One Year Ago Today

One year ago today Webmaster Randy Gaulke left his New Jersey home to begin his six-month stay in France as a freelance tour guide to the battlefields of World War 1.  For those considering stepping out of “real life” to pursue their passions his message continues to be:  “Take a chance; Step out in faith; Don’t let fear control your life; and if you fail, you can always pick up the pieces.”  The message is similar for those who would like to visit the American Continue reading →

Travel Tips: Finding a Quick, Good Lunch

    For battlefield visitors, it can be difficult to find quick and tasty lunch options without spending more than an hour in a restaurant. One option is to stock up on bread, meat, cheese, etc. at a Supermarket BEFORE the 12h00 – 14h00 lunch shutdown.  In the Meuse-Argonne region, there is a Coccinelle brand store in Doulcon (by Dun-sur-Meuse) and there are Carrefour Express brand stores in Grandpre and in Varennes-en-Argonne.  The Webmaster is less familiar with other regions of France. A second and Continue reading →

The Griffin Group Photo Archive–Early Customer Feedback

In late April, 2018 Webmaster Randal Gaulke began to market copies of the Griffin Group Photo Archive, a collection of 2,300+ high-quality black and white photos that were taken by the Signal Corps in early 1919.  Details of the Griffin Group Photo Archive and a Q&A blogpost About the Griffin Group Photo Archive can be found on these links. Rather than hearing the Webmaster / Seller talk yet again about what a wonderful collection of photographs this is, readers can hear from some of the Continue reading →

La Vie en France #31: Staying Focused on Goals

    Regular readers know that the “La Vie en France” blog posts talks about the Webmaster’s cultural experiences in France and/or the process that led to his sabbatical pursue his passion as a freelance tour guide for the AEF battlefields on the Western Front.  This post covers the latter topic.  specifically, it talks about staying focused on one’s goals–whatever they are. It is all too easy to lose track of one’s goals or to lose momentum in reaching for those goals.  Sometimes life gets Continue reading →

About the Griffin Group Photo Archive: Q&A with Randal Gaulke

In early 1919 a group of professional Signal Corps photographers under the leadership of Major T.J. Griffin of the Intelligence Section <G-2> of the AEF General Staff took more than 2,300 high-quality b/w photographs of the American battlefields on the Western Front.  For years, the “Griffin Group” photo archive remained tucked away in the National Archives; known only to a handful of researchers.  In 2017 battlefield historian and tour guide Randal Gaulke viewed this photo collection and was astonished by the level of detail and Continue reading →

We Forget Today: “The Chateau-Thierry Apartments” in Madison, NJ

  We forget today just what an impact WW1 had on the lives of its participants and their families.  Perhaps a better title to this post would be “History is where you find it.”  The Webmaster was sitting in a funeral mass for a friend’s mother yesterday, but the mention of her living in the “Chateau-Thierry Apartments” in Madison caught his attention.  Where were these apartments, and how, specifically, did they get the name?  Over the last 24 hours the Webmaster found partial answers to Continue reading →

Travel Tips: Non-Driving Alternatives and Meeting Locations for Visiting the Meuse-Argonne

The best way to visit the Meuse-Argonne, Verdun, or other battlefields on the Western Front is by car; and the most convenient alternative is to rent a car from one of the well-known international rental agencies at one’s arriving Airport–generally CDG.  Period.  But, there are always those American travelers reluctant to drive overseas and/or who are arriving/have guests arriving from other locations in Europe.  This post will explore non-car travel and meeting location alternatives. Using the Meuse-Argonne as an example:  One must consider that the Continue reading →

We Forget Today: Spring 1918–Setting the Stage for American Military Action

We forget today just what an impact World War I had on the lives of its participants and their families.  Several recent events and internet posts have reminded the Webmaster of the very precarious position of the Allied powers in Spring 1918–and just how badly they needed an American Army.  (American allies might argue they needed the manpower, not an independent American Army.)     Journey’s End and the “Operation Michael” First of the German Spring Offensives The Webmaster recently attended the New York City Continue reading →

People of the Meuse-Argonne: Quentin Pasquis (aka Snafu Packman)

    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 labor of love. Quentin’s English is not perfect (like the Webmaster’s French), but he makes up for it with his enthusiasm.  The Webmaster saw him at several events in the region during Continue reading →

Business Opportunity: Two Wheel Moorings B&B, Dun-sur-Meuse

  For 14 years U.K. couple Carol and Ian Moore have run Two Wheel Moorings, a B&B in Dun-sur-Meuse that caters to motorcyclists touring the region; but they also have an interest in the First World War in the region and they have hosted many battlefield tourists over that time too!  Now, they have decided that it is time to sell the property and let someone else continue the business.  According to their website:  “What started as a ‘retirement hobby’ quickly developed into a full Continue reading →