Tag Archives: World War One

News and Events–Over There: Update on Local Centennial Events in France

As anticipated, numerous individuals, associations and communities in France are planning special events and exhibits for the 2018 Centennial.  The list below provides an update.  Travelers should consider working these events into their 2018 travel plans. The events below have been added to the 2018 Centennial Events page on the website.   Harry Rupert’s Photo Exposition of Americans in Chatel-Chehery and the Argonne:     Sjoerd van der Ven’s 89th Division Tours and Living History Event in Early November:     An On-going Exhibit at Continue reading →

La Vie en France #33: Concrete Steps to Overcoming Fears of Traveling Abroad

  The Webmaster has travelled to France so often that it is second nature to him.  Yet to many readers, who have never left the United States and who do not speak a second language, the thought of travelling overseas can be quite daunting.  Consider this recent email exchange with the Webmaster: “One thing that helped make a trip by me to France more possible…  Two years ago, my oldest son, who is at the U.S. Naval Academy now, did a three month Rotary exchange Continue reading →

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 →

News & Events: Lost Battalion and I Corps Battlefield Tour, 4-7 October, 2018

  Space is still available for the Lost Battalion and I Corps Battlefield Tour, 4-7 October, that was announced in early March.  Readers should not pass up the opportunity to participate! Why?  First, Robert Laplander, author of “Finding the Lost Battalion…” will be leading the LB and 77th Division portions of this tour.  He is arguably one of the most knowledgeable people on the episode of the Lost Battalion; and he does not make it to Europe often.  This is a chance to spend quality 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 →