Thursday, February 11, 2010

42 / Revisiting 1962

I lived in Tours, France from the Fall of 1962 to the Spring of 1963. During that time, I was a student at the Stanford Overseas Campus then located in Tours. I hadn't exactly forgotten that part of my life, but I must say that I never would have thought to revisit Tours in connection with my recent trip to France. I was in France to visit my sister Nancy, and her husband Rick, and to see for myself if their bed and breakfast hotel and art studio, Maison Conti, was as beautiful in real life as it appears on the Internet. (My conclusion, incidentally: it is).

My plan for France was simply to hang around Montmirail, relaxing at Maison Conti and visiting with my expatriate family members.

Nancy, however, had other ideas. For her, my time in Tour was vivid, since she quite clearly remembered the many letters I sent home from France. She thought I should go back to Tours, and recapture"les temps perdu," as Marcel Proust might have said.

I remembered my time in Tours as a difficult and rather unhappy period. I was a lonely college sophomore, missing home, and trying rather unsuccessfully to turn my high school and college French into real communication. That was not, apparently, the way Nancy remembered the experience (as she saw it in my letters). Therefore, Nancy decided on a trip to Tours.

I am happy that Nancy did take me back to Tours. Forty-eight years after the last time I was in Tours, I was able to guide our group directly to the former Stanford Campus, now a different school, the Universite Francois Rabelais. The statue of Rabelais is still across the street, right next to the River Loire, and the picturesque streets of the old part of town were just as I recalled them.

Tours is a much bigger place, now, and there is actually a subway stop at Place Anatole France, where the Stanford campus was located. My perspectives have grown, too. From my current perspective in this present time, my past experiences now seem happy ones.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!