Thursday, February 25


I am at the Normandy American Cemetery in Northern France peacefully reading names, observing the other visitors, and meandering between the endless white crosses and Stars of David that remind us of the tragic but necessary sacrifices of the 1940's.

I stand in front of a large relief map that takes up three walls, is raised five feet above the ground and is eight feet high, demonstrating with boats and ships, raised coasts of two countries, and blue and red arrows showing the movement of the Allies during June 6, 1944 D-Day Landings.  

Most of the other visitors look briefly at the map then move on.  I stand and stare trying to absorb the incredible plan of a dual air and water invasion, floating harbour dragged across the English Channel, and wonder at the brilliance and fortitude of Churchill and his supporters.  My thoughts are interrupted...

Male Visitor:  Excuse me please.

Me: Oh, sorry.

I turn and see a sleek, dark haired man with a camera attached to a tripod larger than most humans I know.  He plonks it down, right in the middle of the space, unconcerned about any other visitor, and begins adjusting the excessive number of knobs on the gigantor tripod.

Me:  Wow!  That is a large tripod.  Are you a professional photographer?

Male Visitor:  No. And I don't mean to insinuate anything, but I have a larger one at home.

Subtle laughter from me.

Me:  Uhhhh.....a larger one at home.  Yes, that does sound a bit suggestive.  

Male Visitor:   I am not a professional photographer but I do work for NASA.  I help create maps and we use big equipment there as well.

A sassy smile creeps across my my face.

Me:  Ah, so you enjoy big equipment.

Male Visitor:  It is important if one wants to take great photographs.

He is completely serious.  He has not had any humorous physical or facial response to my sassy comment or our bizarre conversation.  

Me:  Well, good luck and enjoy taking pictures.

I shake my head and wonder if anything we briefly talked about concerns photography.

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