Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Carte Postale

My 2008 vide grenier finale occurred today, Sunday, in Lavelanet. Unlike the advertising protocol of most vide greniers, I never saw one leaflet or road sign announcing it. I would have been kept completely in the dark if not for the website haphazardly maintained. Sometimes there are shoe boxes of old sepia or black and white photos and post cards, usually in no particular order. This morning I flipped through a well-organized photo album of old carte postales, painstakingly arranged by village within region and department. Lo and behold, there's two from Leran! I bought the one for 2 Euro, marked down from 10 Euro because the edge had been charred (all the more character I thought). Plus, it had actually been stamped and mailed from Leran.

As we started studying the photo, Doug noticed how tall the plane trees on Cours St. Jacques were in 1915. They hadn't started pollarding them yet. We believe the perspective of the photo is looking down Cours St. Jacques to the east. The name of the recipient, Madame Laurence Labadie, rang a familiar note to Doug. He remembered seeing the name "Labadie" on the deed to our house at 14 Rue du Four. He was correct. At one time, a Labadie family owned our village house.

Could it have been that Antoinette Jeanne was also a Labadie, perhaps sitting in the the very corner where I am now, dashing off a 'souvenir de Leran' to her aunt or grandmother? She wishes her a "gros baise" (big kiss) and signs off.


Anonymous said...

How cool! I love the handwriting on the card.
You guys must be starting to get ready to come back to the good 'ol USA. Get ready, it is going to be a fun fall here with Palin oops, I mean McCain running against Obama.

Anonymous said...

Luke thinks it's really cool that you found the post card from Leran...and the fact that there's a connection to your house is almost spooky!

I have to ask what the word "pollarding"'s not in my desk dictionary?

I send you both a gros baise and a wish for a safe trip back to the "land of the contentious election"!

North of Andorra said...

Lukas, our post on 2/5/07 (Intro to Leran) has a picture of "pollarded" plane trees; and the 1/29/07 (M. & Mme. Reid: It's Official) entry has additional photos and information. The trees are routinely pruned way back, sometimes almost to the main trunk, every 4 or 5 years. It restricts and contains growth patterns of trees planted along roads and canals.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation of "pollarding" you can tell...I am not much of a horticulturist!

Anonymous said...

That is a major find, Nancy. What are the chances that you would stumble across that vide grenier and that you would find a Leran postcard and that it would have anything to do with your own house?...Peggy