I cannot recall “honouring” anyone by accepting an invite; we were certain this one had not been extended due to our family’s singing at a fête the previous evening hosted by the person extending said invite. In fact, it is André Leboucher, patriarch of vacation homes (gÎtes) on his Normandy farm, who “honoured” us, the only Canadians among his 20-plus British, American and French invited guests. All of us had booked “chez les Lebouchers” for the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings the previous day— 06/06/2004—commemorating the decisive invasion that breached Hitler’s Atlantic Wall 60 years prior. Observations were held along the 80-kilometre expanse of all five landing beaches: There were attendees by the thousands—veterans and families and masses of grateful French, most unborn on D-Day. We came to honour our three uncles who landed on Juno Beach, assigned to the Canadian Army.
The next day, the Leboucher family hosted a fête of their own for their guests. After canapés and flutes of champagne— the French do have style!—guests were commanded to sing for their fare; in turn, the national anthems of France, the U.S., and U.K. were sung, leaving our tiny family coterie to render our version of O Canada. Double-duty ensued as we were then compelled to warble it “en français,” too. I suppose we had become conspicuous for our lusty, if atonal, joining in for every anthem sung, the only ones to do so. Regardless, our two renditions got the loudest applause. Then soon after came André’s invite to his study the following afternoon. There, pouring generous doses of Calvados (on empty stomachs!), he related his meeting with his first “Canadien.”
STRANGER IN THE NIGHT
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A VISIT TO THE SISTER NATIONS
An inter-country trek uncovers medieval history, majestic landscapes and age-old stories
This lifelong romance was meant to be from the very beginning
Dean McLeod of Saskatoon embraces the challenges of winter photography
NIAGARA'S FROZEN TUNDRA
Breathtaking winter vistas from one of Canada’s natural wonders
Appreciating the calm beauty of a misty winter day
The Secret Life of a Fern
A touching tale of a special fern, true love and a favourite record album
Try these ooey, gooey, rich and chewy treats!
A childhood fascination with horses led to an amazing life— and a unique collection
SUSAN MURAR A JOURNEY OF MIND AND SOUL
One of Canada’s leading sculptors continues to live for, with and through her art
ONE AVID KNITTER!
Sharing her admiration for her multi-talented mom
Playoff glories of yesteryear
It is January, which can only mean one thing: post season football is near. Some of the greatest performances in NFL playoff history have occurred right here in New York and New Jersey. Let’s take a look back at some of them
CLOONEY HITS THE REFRESH BUTTON
Aging hunk gets an overhaul
The man who built the foundation
Perkins will always be remembered for ending the dark era
LOADS FOR THE 6MM GT
Schlock to Remember
If you can’t wait to relive last year, Netflix has a special for you.
CHARLOTTEANS OF THE YEAR
More than any year before it, 2020 made demands of us. Our nine Charlotteans of the Year responded by breaking through boundaries. A doctor informed a confused, frightened public. A globally recognized superstar stepped out, finally, on racial injustice. Here are their stories, and ours.
GEORGE CLOONEY CHEATS DEATH!
Hospital drama after losing terrifying 28 lbs.
George Martin: The Giants' underrated leader
In this issue we reflect on one of the most underrated leaders in the 96-year history of the New York Football Giants, defensive end George Martin.
Q & A: WHAT'S NEXT FOR FACEBOOK IN THE ANTITRUST CASE?
Could Facebook be forced to spin off WhatsApp and Instagram?
The Time Is Now
Writing Prompts and Exercises