Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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May 01, 2008
paving stones

From the wall text & booklet accompanying Martha H. Carroll's recent photo exhibition, "Mai 68: Les Manifs":

In May of 1968 I was living smack dab behind the Sorbonne, so naturally I heard right then and there about the demonstrations. . . .

They pried up the granite cubes of the streets' paving stones, seemingly made just to size for their hands.

To me, it seemed they could heave them an astonishingly long way. I never knew whether they were real students or just guys who liked to throw things. The granite cubes that composed the beautiful fan-shaped patterns radiating through the streets were potentially lethal.

Granite is very heavy, extremely hard, and every stone's corners and edges were sharp. It seemed not one single molecule had been carried away by tire traffic over the years. . . .

[V]ery late in the game, I plundered a few paving stones before they could be trucked off. . . .

One day when I woke up, I immediately sensed something was wrong. It took a minute. It was the quiet. Rubber tires on nubby granite make noise. I very distinctive noise. To this day I would recognize it instantly. It was gone. I looked out my bedroom window at the rue St. Jacques. It was covered with a sea of omniously black smooth tarry asphalt.

It seemed to spell the end.

The exhibition featured a nice, small pile of granite paving stones.

Her on-line exhibition of 1968 Les Halles photos were linked to, among other places no doubt, four years ago, here.