“Some people walk their dog; I walk my camera.”
When I was a child growing up in New Orleans, my father used to tell me that the Labry family was from eastern France, Alsace Lorraine area. Mother’s family, Salaûn, was from Nantes in Western France. Brittany is the spout sticking out of the current teapot-shape of France. Both sides claim French heritage, but if you know me, you know that some mad dogs and Englishmen got into the mix as well as some German bratwurst. Well nobody is perfect!
In 2006 after I began my project on Joan of Arc, I decided that I ought to visit Joan’s home town, Domrémy now called Domrémy-La-Pucelle, (The Maid). One day in 2006 I got lost on a small back country French road in the district of Lorraine, Joan’s home province. At that time my French was only good enough for me to understand so I drove around for a while wondering if I was going to have to sleep in the thimble I was driving. A mid size car at the French car rental. Suddenly I saw my name on a road sign. What? Shortly there after I found the road I was looking for. Since it was getting late I went on to my destination. I was determined to go back to ask them what they thought they were doing putting my name on a highway sign.
The next day, I found my way back to the sign and followed the road to Labry . It is a small 900 year old village located north east corner of France near Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium. In 2007 the population of Labry was 1,670. The village is located in the district of Briey, (yeah the cheese) the department of Meurthe-et-Moselle and in the region of Lorraine. Domrémy-La-Pucelle, the home of Joan of Arc, is a mere sixty-four miles away! Six degrees of separation aficionados will not be surprised but I was!