Last month, my husband and I met a couple with whom we are now friendly. The wife is American. The husband is French. Our young children are classmates of their children.
Before this relationship, we were unfamiliar with Bastille Day. Although I had heard of this French holiday by name, I could not have told you even approximately when it occurs. As of recently, we learned that Bastille Day falls annually on July 14th.
We want to arrange a Bastille Day celebration with our new friends. Without making a trip to France, we wondered how long we would be traveling to accomplish that?
Haley N., Sudbury, Mass.
You would be traveling less than an hour by car. From 6 to 11 p.m. on Friday, July 12 (two days before the official holiday), a Bastille Day celebration will be sponsored by your area’s Cultural Center Alliance Francaise. Its “annual street party is Boston’s biggest French fete with live music, dancing, and delicious food and drinks. All are invited to celebrate la Fete Nationale and the historic friendship between la Republique Francaise and the United States.” Tickets are inexpensive. Children under 10 are admitted free to the street party. For more information, visit www.frenchculturalcenter.org online and click “Bastille Day Celebration,” Or contact the French Cultural Center at (617) 912-0400.
As an exceptionally diverse nation, the United States celebrates popular holidays from around the world. A simple check at your favorite search engine (e.g., www.google.com) will inform you of Bastille Day celebrations in nearly all locations plus other non-American holidays throughout the year. You can also contact local embassies and consulates in various large cities. Apart from the obvious holidays like Cinco de Mayo, Greek Easter, and St. Patrick’s Day, you might be surprised how extensively and festively foreign holidays are celebrated across our eclectic country.
On the same weekend you are celebrating Bastille Day, my family will be celebrating our own holiday. That would be my mother’s 100th birthday party with a large number of sons, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren present. Given the due date of a new arrival, my mother’s next great-grandchild may be exactly 100 years (to the day) younger than my mother.
As long as I am bragging anyway, Mom still looks like a movie star. Mom plays Bridge regularly with top-notch Bridge players (one of them 108 years old). Mom gives private Bridge lessons. Among her many other assets (e.g., talented artist), Mom is alert, amusing, clever and fun. My brothers and I continue to quote her famous lines.
In the interest of full disclosure, Mom has one flaw. She refuses to identify which son is her favorite.
Jerrry Romansky is a syndicated columnist. Readers are invited to write in English or Spanish: Ask Jerry, Post Office Box 42444, Washington DC 20015. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and (because of spam situation) write the name of your newspaper in subject heading. Questions of popular interest are answered in the column. Unpublished letters cannot be answered individually.