In the summer of 1982 my college friend Nick Napoli came to Paris. We were closing the Rex Club with a 24-hour marathon of new wave and ethnic bands ending Toure Lunda and Virgin Prunes. The club's manager Olivier had a family beach home on the Cote Vermillion i.e. Perpignan on the Spanish border. Nick rented a car. We greeted the next morning on the Autoroute Du Sud.
Here are fotos of my friends.
We are still good friends.
England was taking back the Falklands, Israeli was aiding massacres in Lebanon, and Roland Garros was featuring championship tennis.
It was on the TV.
Olivier told his father that I was the 17th ranked tennis player in the USA.
He believed his son.
Dodo told the entire town about his guest
To this day I am # 17 in Perpignan.
Perpignan was an old city.
Old people lived within its walls.
For drinking we drove farther down the coast to Collioure.
It was for les jeunes.
We brought two girls back to Carnet-Plage
They were good fun.
But only in a non-Biblical sense.
For some reason William Buckley, Jr. was in town. He followed us around the city. I don't think he was after me.
When he asked about wearing espadrilles, I said, "They look good on you."
It was the South of France.
Espadrilles sucked for climbing around the Templar ruins of the Langue d'Oc.
I thought it was funny.
Olivier was less amused.
But he didn't stay angry. Olivier, Walter, Nick, and I went to Collioure. The two girls were at a harborside cafe. The six of us drank pastis till sunset and switched to wine. I don't remember those girls names or the ride home to Carnet-Plage, but I woke in bed alone.
A lucky man.
We said 'au revoir' to the Brials.
And drove north to Paris.
It was a different France than Perpignan, especially for # 17.