Walk to Paris: Day 9

Friday, November 20, 2015 – Portes to La Forêt-du-Parc

View across the yard at one of our overnight accommodations.

View across the yard at one of our overnight accommodations.

“Though she feels as if she’s in a play, she is anyway.” – from The Beatles “Penny Lane”

I have that feeling today, working my way through a pre-ordained script, walking through the part I’ve rehearsed in my head over and over. I know the beginning, and have some sense of how it ends.

The performance has its improvisational elements, even beyond the tragic terrorist attacks that no one could have predicted. The seasonally warm, sunny weather that has blessed much of our walk was not part of the original script.

A real doorbell, complete with frog.

A real doorbell, complete with frog.

But today, we’re back on the script with temperatures in the low 40s and a near constant rain.

I did not expect to have maple syrup and pancakes on this trip!

I did not expect to have maple syrup and pancakes on this trip!

We scurry through the day’s walk to land at a spacious B & B heated with a wood stove. It’s just what our wet clothes and soggy shoes need!  We can count on dry clothes tomorrow – a very good thing as temperatures are predicted to fall into the thirties.

Des Moines tea!

Des Moines tea!

I think a lot about the connections between terrorism, immigration and climate change. Understanding these links is so important, and I want to talk about it in this blog. But I need more time to process, to discuss the links with French people I meet, and to review some of the thoughtful material friends have sent me.

So, let’s switch to a lighter topic. . . football! Challenging the sanctity of football is as taboo as criticizing motherhood and apple pie. But the guest host of Monday’s Fallon Forum, Dr. Charles Goldman, is girded for battle and prepared to take on America’s golden calf.

Charles writes:

This Monday, we will take an extended look at that uniquely American sport, football. The sport has never been more popular, even as the professional version of it becomes almost unwatchable, with its laughably inept officiating, the interminable replays, and its Roman Colosseum-like atmosphere as an unending succession of injured players are carried off the field.

“But there are cracks in the façade—the CTE settlement with the former players, all sorts of off-field problems for prominent players, the faux displays of patriotism paid for with taxpayer money, Tom Brady’s ‘middle finger’ tour in the wake of Deflategate.

“For its part, college football has abandoned any pretense of it being about fostering education, either of the athletes or of their respective student bodies.

“And for how much longer are American parents going to allow their children to play high school football, from which about 100 participants die annually, where the question of long-term brain damage has led several well-known former NFL’ers and Lebron James to state their opposition to their children playing the game?

“We’ll discuss these and other topics with Jake Holmes, who played football at UNI, and Dr. Stephen Goldman, a medically-trained psychiatrist familiar with the issue of post-concussive brain injury.”

Hear the Fallon Forum live 11:00-12:00 noon CST on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. and Monday at 6:00 a.m. on WHIV 102.3 FM (New Orleans).

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

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