Thursday, October 23, 2014

Stanford Reunion Stanford en France XIII

Stanford is a great university and one of its incredible strengths is it Overseas Campuses programs. I was fortunate with only two quarters of French to attend Stanford In France XIII at Tours in 1966-67. This Saturday, France XIII will have a reunion following the Stanford Oregon State Game. This poem immediately came to me as I was packing my bags to head back to the Farm for the reunion.  Hope you enjoy it.

Stanford en France XIII, a mon plaisir rarely before seen
On the river in the heart of Vouvray--patisseries to be weaned
NAT0 was out of France beginning to leave
Hamburgers and cokes at Chinon our taste buds no longer to relieve
80 bright eyed bushy tailed students from the Farm
Some fluent and some with meager skills to raise the language alarm
Descended on a hotel on the river in le Jardin de la France
To give their various French skills a meager chance
Four days of class deadened by the Confidence Man
Then three days to explore this amazing land
An Econ professor wading through the medieval fields of war torn France
An English professor whom we would not allow a soccer playing chance
The French rugby players after Kelley Ford taught us the game
Quickly learned triskaidekaphobia was a fear they could not tame
Son et lumiere
Music floating into the chateau air
Trips to Madrid, trips to Florence and Rome
Bitten by the European bug it is a wonder we made it home
All of us will have moments of our time in France  to reflect
Images and lessons we today probably still dissect
This poet remembers the lasting chill
When a fellow student Gary Fleener meningitis chose to kill
And when in Madrid one of us Roger Fink
Was whisked away back to Palo Alto due to a decadent link
Raising money for the children with a Sangria bash
Too much celebration; too soon many of us would crash
In an era of global warming we frolicked a Tours in the snow
Chevaliers de la table ronde as a lasting glow
Friendships made, made to last and to endure
78 united on a river; great memories to insure
All of us are graying and we look over our shoulder to see the first flakes of snow
But none of us will ever forget the France XIII Winds of Freedom Blow
So young, so lucky to an experience beyond our dreams explore
Why a reunion of a very select group our youth refreshes and restores.
© October 23, 2014 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet
Alaskanpoet for Hire, Poems to Admire
Poet Extraordinaire Beyond Compare
Rhymes on the Memorable Times
The Perfect Gift, All Spirits to Receive the Perfect Lift      

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