It's been a long time since y'all heard us hollerin' heeeeharrr. But that don't mean Team Texas 's been up to nothing at all.
Through the grapevine youse must have heard some of us have been down in southern France last August. And boy, lemme tell ya; we likes it down there. Them blue skies and Mediterranean beaches, that warm sunshine and them maddeemosels; whoaaarh. It all calls out for more. So this August we hope to be motoring down south again with a full complement of Texans and two jeeps. Intelligence has ordered Cpl. Lucky to make contact with the local resistance groups so we can link up with them. And the thorough chap that he is, he's done a very good job of it. He even fell in love with a lovely French lady so as to have the best possible communications with a group of re-enactors called Provence '44. See, that's the Texas Group for ya. The lengths we go to get it exactly right. Some of these re-enactors are interested in coming along for a few days. And it looks like they'll bring a Deuce-and-a-half. And we sure hope that our friends of old, of the Rock of the Marne will join us too.
The timing is such that our plan coincides with the annual festivities organized in Cavalaire-sur-Mer, the sunshiniest of seaside resorts on the Côte d'Azur. Each year there's a big celebrations of the fact that in the wee hours of August 15, 1944 the boys of the 7th Infantry, 3rd Division landed on those golden beaches to set out to liberate France in Operation Dragoon, and link up with the forces coming from the Normandy beaches. These days, in August of course those same beaches are occupied not by ugly Heinies and Fritzes but by bronzed damsels in scant bikinis with no less formidable defenses. As this inspires to many things but not reenactment in khaki woolens we'll have a couple of days planned as pure holidays leaving it up to the individual if he wants to tackle those beach obstacles. But few miles inland the countryside has retained a timeless quiet, with glowing hills, sun burnt earth, old wine estates with endless vineyards, picturesque villages that have changed little since 1944, the typical trees like conifers and parasol pines that one sees in original Dragoon photos, it's all there.
Cpl. Lucky has made several scouting trips to find good photo locations and we are in touch with the museum in Le Muy and the Provence '44 group, so we have a pretty good idea of what we want to do and can do. Since we plan to go for two weeks we will have time to acclimatize, do some additional reconnaissance in shorts and T-shirt, visit Camel Green beach where the 36th Division landed, dress up the 'set' perhaps with foxholes, GI garbage, period road signs, etc. Some re-enactors may dress as civilians which could get us some good 'liberation' shots. Re-enactors flock to Cavalaire each year and we plan to use that to boost our numbers for a day or two just before the big parade in the village. We will try to get some shots with a lot of GI's with the help of re-enactors 'locally drafted' out of those that will arrive early for the parade in Cavalaire.
Shots of say, a infantry company on the move along a dusty road lined with plane-trees or parasol pines. Perhaps a line of foxholes, with GI's eating their K-rations. Stuff like that. Speaking of rations: two 10-in-1 rations are planned and perhaps a crate or two of K's to liven up a scene or two. Combat is hard to re-enact if your name ain't Spielberg but the quieter scenes we can do and do well I'm sure. Now here's a couple of snaps and if they wet your appetite for coming along let us know. We can't provide transport down to France but we'll be glad to have you along if you can make your way down there. And hey think about it, two weeks of sure sunshine and some reenactment to boost.
That's S-O-U-T-H-E-R-N F-R-A-N-C-E that is.