A notary walks down a street laden with very long ladders. And it’s not a joke. The journalist does not yet know that he is a retired notary, but he runs up to the gentleman on the ladder. Then the two talk at church with a troubled past. Thus begins a nostalgia journey, which revolves around Chateaudun, the city that votes (more or less) like the whole of France, for what it could have been and what it is now. The notary complains, “Everyone, all the young people are leaving Chateaudun”.
Let’s solve the ladder problem first. The notary, Pierre-Andre Lomme, leads the staircase of the Madeleine church, the oldest and largest in the city, to clean the upper part of the porch before Easter.
La Madeleine is an impressive church but the history of misfortune does not recommend climbing its walls. It originated in the 6th century as a Merovingian chapel. Successive expansions showed that it stood on shaky ground. It collapsed twice during the 13th century. The choir and walk-bearer collapsed in 1522. In 1692 a pillar fell on those attending a mass. The bell tower was lost in 1742. The interior decoration was destroyed during the Revolution of 1789. And in 1940 a German bombing (increased by the fact that someone had parked a fuel truck next to the door) razed the temple again.
Notaries, Catholics and journalists sit in front of the altar. “I was born in 1948 in tampes, halfway between Paris and Chateaudun. My parents were farmers. I came to this city in 1983 with my notary diploma. I stayed here and my four children were born here. One married a notary, another a nurse, another a lawyer, and a fourth became a monk. all gone. Unfortunately, Châteaudun stopped offering opportunities long ago. Everyone, all the young people are leaving.”
The argument that the notary would be valid for any vacant or vacant city in the Reel of Spain. The high-speed train that passes 20 kilometers away but does not stop, the railway to Paris that is still not electrified, the progressive disappearance of local industry, the closure of shops due to competition from some of the larger supermarkets established several kilometers away, which The youth is going…
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When the young notary Lhomé arrived at Shaitodun, the population was 18,000. The city was growing and it was taken lightly – as Paris officials had calculated – that it would reach 25,000 in a few years, but today there are barely 13,000. The arms industry and military barracks formed the economic axis of the city. “To end it all was a big mistake, the country should be able to defend itself and now, with the threat from Russia, we are investigating it,” he explains. He further added, “We felt established in eternal stability, eternal peace and progress and we took many wrong decisions.”
Post rumored to have spread in the past, the nursing home Leo Lagrange (almost adjacent to the cemetery, but very neat) stores a lot of memories. Madame Loy, who has only been in residence for two months, arrived in Chattodun in 1956, “when there was a market every day, not just on Thursdays. Madame Bazette – “I have been a customer of this house for seven years” – complains that there used to be six shoe stores, of which only one remains. “more clothes? I can’t buy clothes anymore! You have to go to the big shops that are far away, on the street, and how do I get there?” says Madam Hader.
A group of old ladies start a conversation about how lively life was and what the atmosphere was like in the various dance halls on Saturday night. “Everything got worse since 1968”, cried Madame Bazette, “it hasn’t raised its head since 1968”.
He flatly refuses to talk about politics; One, because he is not interested; The other two, “because we’ll be angry in the end”. This has been done to refer to the presidential elections and to remain silent, although soon thereafter they extend to elections the following day, in which the “governing council” of the residence would be elected (with positions for several prisoners), and They discuss their priorities. They don’t talk about politics and they don’t want pictures. “You have come earlier, young man. For example 40 years ago.
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