At the Shannon International Airport as we were leaving Ireland I made a purchase that well you couldn’t today in the way I did. My father and I went into the duty free shop and I purchased a Victronox Champion Swiss Army knife and put that in my carryon bag. We left Ireland in December 1971 and flew to Paris. I had a long list of places I wanted to go to once we got to Paris. From Napoleon’s tomb to the Museum de la Armee it was a loaded list. We landed late in the evening and took a taxi from Charles De Gaulle Airport and into Paris. The cab driver had the most beautiful dog that sat in the front seat with him. We had left Phoebe at home at our house in Bloomington Indiana. The taxi was a Citron. What a cool car at the time one of the safest cars in the world.
My parents (and my sisters and I) were starving so we went to a restaurant. My father was told “we don’t serve them here” by the maître de. He was tired so the man repeated it several times. In the end my dad got that he meant us (my sisters and I) so we went to another restaurant. Dad was offended at first but realized it was a different world and he relaxed. We had a wonderful first meal in Paris. That incident has shaped my impression of France ever since.
Dad went off to meetings preparing for Thailand. We went off to see Paris. We had so much fun that week. We saw things that I had read in history books. Napoleon’s tomb was the coolest thing I had ever seen – a massive marble tomb that filled an entire room. Dad was ecstatic when we got to Paris as he found multiple uses for my Swiss Army knife. It had a bottle opener and a knife blade that we used to open wine and cut cheese and bread in the room.
Dad and I shared a room – mom and the girls shared the other room. Dad said I slept like a “helicopter.” Each morning he and I went down to the restaurant and got warm milk and croissants to share. Warm milk was required because they did not pasteurize the mile. (Louis Pasteur was French and I never really got a straight answer on that one from my dad). We walked to the bakery around the corner for fresh baguettes. Sitting in the little sitting area of our hotel room that had a view of the Tour Eiffel.
I think we were there for two weeks. It may have been more or less. In the end it was a great family trip.
My mom and dad always encouraged me to read. I read Papillion while we were in Paris. It seemed someone the perfect thing to be reading. I don’t remember any of the other books but I am sure we had many books. Finding bathrooms while we were out and about in Paris was also an adventure.
Dad would often discuss the books with me (if he had read them). He wasn’t interested in Science Fiction that became my passion after Thailand but back then Mom and Dad would read a book and then offer me a chance to read it next (hence Papillion). To this day I love reading – my Kindle always has at least three books in progress at any time.
In the Thai Buddhist tradition we have passed the 15 days of family remembrance. If my father touched or changed your life in some way and you would like to remember him please consider donating to his favorite educational place. On the donation please note that you are donating in his name.
In honor of Dr. Hans O. Andersen
The WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology
308 W. Fourth St.
PO Box 996
Bloomington, IN 47402-0996
.your loving son