Bastille Day in the Audubon Garden District celebrated all things French. Falling on a weeknight this year, it was a much smaller event than last year. I went to Stardust Video & Coffee right after work to meet Terry. There was no hint of Bastille Day, or the romance of Paris, so I ordered a Coke and asked where the French might be found. I was told to look at a poster on the door. The poster offered no other clue. I was in the right neighborhood on the right day but other than that, I was lost. After Terry arrived we were finally directed to go across Corrine Drive to Bikes, Beans & Bordeaux. It was a hot muggy night. There were a few tents set up in the parking lot. In Brighton Boutique there was a black and white film being shown. Bonnie Sprung had a tent full of her French themed paintings. There was also chocolates and fine wines.
Amanda Chadwick, Sarah Austin and Wendy Wallenberg started chatting with Terry. When those women start talking, the conversation heats up like an episode of "Sex in the City." I wandered off to sketch. A live band caught my attention but they stopped playing the second I put a line to paper. I shifted my attention to the people sipping wine and talking at the tables. One woman wore a dark beret. Night settled in quickly. When I finished my sketch, I re-joined Terry. She was seated in a lone chair and I sat beside her in my camping stool. Amanda convinced me I had to try the wine. When I got to the wine table I glanced back and saw that she had decided to occupy my stool. The wine required tickets. The guy standing next to me offered me his ticket since he had to drive home. He offered me a second ticket and I told him to offer it to Amanda. I asked him to have her get up to accept it and I would steal my seat back. He offered her the ticket. She hesitated at first, then when she reached out, he backed up. She caught on fast shouting, "You're trying to get me out of this seat aren't you!" What is the world coming to when we can't accept the kindness of strangers?