Today is my grandson’s birthday. I will have to wait to call him cause he’s in school.

I am waiting to start another rehearsal here in the apartment with Daniel Bruhl and Christine Dejoux, the dialogue coach who is really wonderful. This time I’ll take a photo.

Daniel Bruhl

The dialogue coach, Christine Dejoux

Rehearsing with Daniel Bruhl who plays a young ethnology student studying the aging population in Europe

Rehearsing with Daniel Bruhl

This morning I took Tulea to the French dog groomer. Didn’t they do a terrific job? Very Francaise, n’est ce pas?

Tonight I am having dinner with Richard’s brother, Andrew. In the 1940s, their mother, the feisty Sylvia Perry, started a company called Peripole, that makes musical instruments, especially percussion instruments like drums, tambourines, triangles– for school children. I remember them well as a child growing up. Sylvia cares about young people learning music, how to play it and how to appreciate it. She is 91 now and still runs the company out of her office which she created in the garage of her cottage in the retirement home outside of Portland, Oregon, where she lives. Andrew, one of her four sons, now lives close by and helps her run the company. The factory that makes many of the specialized instruments, Bergerault, is in France, in the Loire Valley. They have been partners for 37 years . Every year for many decades Sylvia would come to visit the Bergerault factory and it’s owners—Colette and Gilbert Fergeau. Colette’s father founded the company and was a hero when, while a prisoner in a Nazi camp during WWII, made his unique percussion instrument out of cans and rubber. She will receive the French Légion d’honneur in August for her work in protecting the ‘patrimoine’—the family name and skills. Now Andrew Perry comes each year to visit the factory. This year he comes with his daughter Erin, 16 years old (and featured previously in my blog), and Cak Marshall, the educational director for Peripole . We all had dinner tonight at Brasserie Lipp.

We had a good dinner and a good time.

Colette and Andrew

Colette and Gilbert Fergeau

Me, Tulea, Erin and Cak

See you next time.

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  1. We was the table near you in the restaurant, you gave me an autograph to wish an happy birthday for my cousin julie I thank you very much, that’s an honnor for me to meet you. You are very beautifull and sweet.

  2. Mlle jane & tulea ~ the pup looks ready for her eyeshades after parisian grooming. BUT! Isn’t she funny how perky she looks at table! Can you order foods for her too? What’s her favorite french dish? Has she made friends with any others? When I paris, it seemed everyone had a doxie.

  3. We was the table near you in the restaurant, you gave me an autograph to wish an happy birthday for my cousin julie I thank you very much, that’s an honnor for me to meet you. You are very beautifull and sweet.
    merci Raphael

  4. Great little story about the unique percussion instrument out of cans and rubber. Erin has that Bridget Fonda look about her.Interesting that they want to make a film concerning aging population in Europe . In my film I have a 99 year old man living a normal like and a mature woman and deaf woman as friends, mybe that is to much for the US market. The use of real aging people living a normal life , world seem strange to a film going US public, used to a dream world.

  5. Dear Jane,

    I think in the going back and forth between English and French something got lost and I would like to make a small correction.

    The cans and rubber were the first instrument my parents, Mack and Sylvia Perry made in their apartment in Brooklyn during World War II when all materials were being mandatorily recycled. The only materials that they were able to purchase to make their Tym-tone Drums (still in our catalog) were #2 cans from hospitals and rubber sheets made from recycled tires. Later the business grew, of course, and moved into larger buildings.

    Colette’s father Albert Bergerault, had another story, however. While in a German Prisoner of War Camp, during WW II, he made a wooden xylophone from lumber that he scrounged from available scraps. It can be seen in a photograph in the family archives that survived the war. He later went on to make world class professional xylophones that are known throughout the world.

  6. C’est vrai. Tulea est tres mignon!

  7. I hope your movie makes it to US. A funny note: When you were married to Ted, I remade all your Christmas stockings, the ones that were sent through a store in BH to me in SF for refinishing. Also, I remember a needlepoint pillow that said “home sweet home”…it had feathers…we slipped our business card inside the pillow for posterity. Such strange 6 degrees. In college in the early 70’s you came to my college with your film on the war. 30 years later, I am redoing your Christmas stockings. 40 years later I am reading your blog from Paris. Enjoy!

    • Yes, Mark, isn’t life wonderfully circular. Actually those pillows said “Homes Sweet Homes.” Plural, since Ted had 23 homes–none especially grand, some very modest, in fact. I thought it would make a nice Xmas gift.

  8. Heh! Tulea looks sweet, but she doesn’t look impressed!

  9. I love YOUR new haircut….and Tulea’s! 🙂

  10. Love the photos of Daniel Bruhl! He’s got such an interesting face…handsome and intelligent looking….very appealing! I think he will be good in this movie!

    I enjoyed reading more about Sylvia’s company. She sounds like such a terrific person! What she’s done is quite impressive! I’m glad to know about the Bergerault factory and Collette and Gilbert Fergeau too!

    I think the French groomer did an excellent job on Tulea! She definitely has a “French look” now!! This is one of my favorite photos I’ve seen of Tulea!

    • Don’t feel too upset that we wanted a photo of Tulea for our neice and overlooked you. The english foursome sitting on the next table to you in Brasserie Lipp. It was pleasure too see you relaxed and enjoying the evening

  11. Dear Jane~

    Since I’ve been following your entries for a while now, I must finally return the generosity of your writings. At first I was certain you could not be writing the blog yourself. For heavens’ sake you’re so busy, my friend who first shared your blog with me and I agreed it might be an assistant writing your words for you as best she could while you scurry around your life. As a writer, I can now see that these are surely your words. No one else, no matter how close, could provide the insights into a life so full and so busy with humanity, humor, and hospitality. I’ve spent the weekend goofing off from my own life reading Russell Baker’s “Growing Up.” I have to say that you have a warm and engaging style in your writing that is much like his. Without wasting words you are able to pull the reader into your most delicious life. That you are so generous to do this when you could be working on the book your publisher awaits says a lot about you as someone who has taken the time and the risk over the years to share what you know and who you are with others so they might benefit. I so no reason why you would benefit from this kind of sharing other than the natural rewards from a kindness of the heart. Thank you from the Peanut Gallery of fans.

    • Camille, what an absolutely lovely letter! Thank you. This makes me very happy.

  12. Bonjour Jane,

    I am a great fan of you Jane and i’m delighted to find out that you are friends with Colette and Gilbert.
    We are close friends. I’m a percussion player and since i live in France i have always trusted them to take care of my precious mallets instruments.
    I play Bergerault instruments with Les Primitifs du Futur my French Musette / old jazz group.That band exists since 1986 and that birth is due to the meeting of the great Robert Crumb and our leader Dominique Cravic..we have 4 albums out (Frémeaux et associés and Universal Jazz).
    Please check out my web site where you will see lot’s of xylophonesas well as my world tours and musical adventures for the past ten years
    http://jeanmichel.davis.free.fr or http://www.myspace.com/jeanmicheldavis

    Enjoy your stay in Paris!Looking forward to see this coming movie.
    Regards JM Davis

  13. What an absolute joy to spend time with you, Jane, and your precious pup, Tulea.

    Thank you sooooooo much!


  14. I discover your appreciation of my friend Colette Fergeau Bergerault who had dinner with you at Brasserie Lipp.
    I am the Mayor of Loches, lovely little town in South Touraine where she lives, and I know her and her family business for musical percussion instruments. It’s a wonderful woman and this historical family company is an exemple of courage and créativity!
    As former minister of Tourism for France, I inform you that, next 29th of August, she will receive the cross of chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.And I hope it would be possible to you to be in Loches and to honour this woman , this family, and our town.
    And may I tell you also that your are for me, who loves cinema, an extraordinary good and beautiful actress!
    jean-jacques Descamps

    • Ah MOnsieur Le Mayor, Alas, I will be in New York filming all August and Sept but I do appreciate your generous invitation! Amities, jane

  15. Chère Jane,
    Nous avons été très honorés de passer une excellente soirée, en votre présence à la Brasserie LIPP à PARIS avec Andrew.
    PERRY FAMILY est notre famille américaine depuis
    40 années. Nous avons partagé ensemble bien des évènements heureux et malheureux. Bien que toujours dans nos pensées, nous regrettons beaucoup que SYLVIA ne puisse plus se déplacer en FRANCE, elle est toujours présente dans nos coeurs et j’ai beaucoup d’admiration pour sa très grande personnalité. Nous n’oublions pas les instants de bonheur passés à LOS ANGELES avec RICHARD (qui, comme SYLVIA, a une grande personnalité)
    J’étais l’invitée, hier à la radio de ” FRANCE BLEU TOURAINE”pour honorer la distinction qui m’est accordée : ” la LEGION D’HONNEUR.”
    Pendant 1 heure j’ai évoqué l’histoire, cette belle histoire ” BERGERAULT PERCUSSION FRANCE”, j’ai également parlé de notre rencontre, de ce que j’ai ressenti: votre écoute, votre sensibilité et votre gentillesse,
    j’ai évoqué votre biographie, qui ne m’a pas laissée indifférente.
    j’ai parlé de votre caractère de ” militante “,
    je suis admirative et je partage ces mêmes valeurs.
    J’aurais aimé vous recevoir en TOURAINE lors de
    la grande fête organisée le 29 AOUT pour la
    remise officielle de l’insigne de la LEGION D HONNEUR en présence de Monsieur NOVELLI Secrétaire d’Etat et de Monsieur DESCAMPS Maire de Loches mais vous m’avez dit que vous repartiez en JUILLET aux USA.
    Je vous invite à visiter la Touraine, qui est une très jolie région de France où il fait bon
    vivre, en présence de RICHARD lors d’un prochain
    voyage en FRANCE. (je serai absente tout le mois de Juillet).
    Mon mari et moi vous adressons toutes nos amitiés
    sans oublier RICHARD. COLETTE

  16. Hi Jane. I’ve always been a fan (always). A couple days ago, I saw your name in the yahoo “names in the news,” and clicked on it. We all celabrate our lives in whatever way we can; I also celebrate mine in a blog. My early years are not celebrated on my WordPress blog (I’m sure you can relate), but my break from my hometown started with hitchhiking to southern California. I had just turned twenty-one and back in ’69 it was all about California Dreaming. Upon arriving in Hollywood, one of the first celebrities I saw happened to be you, and, appropriately, you were in fine form doing what you have always done (thanks for that). Here’s a bit of the journal entry describing that encounter (take care):

    On the boulevard, the streetlights were coming on as I found
    myself trying to decide what to do next. There I was, standing on a
    street corner in Hollywood, the boulevard was beginning to fill with
    cars and I didn’t have a destination. I lifted my duffle bag to my
    shoulder, grabbed my sleeping bag, and started walking in the
    direction of the twilight left by the sunset. In didn’t matter where
    I ended up, in the city of legends, I had already arrived.

    One block turned into another until I found myself standing
    in front of the Hollywood Palladium. There were a lot of people on
    the street waiting to get inside. I stopped to read some of the
    material hanging on the building when the lady in the ticket booth
    looked at me and said, “Would you like to hear Arlo Guthrie
    sing?” “Sure,” I said, as she held out her hand with a free pass in
    it. She said, “Go around behind the theater, he’s going to give a
    concert.” I thanked her as I moved through the crowd. I didn’t find
    the concert, but I did find the back of the theater.

    The crowd in front of the theater had gathered as part of a
    rally to protest the government’s decision to build an Anti
    Ballistic Missile defense system (the ABM system). Some people were
    standing in line for tickets to see the celebrities that were
    scheduled to speak out against the ABM proposal, while others just
    walked in front of the theater carrying signs of protest to support
    the event. I guess Arlo was there to add his voice to the protest
    while, at the same time, entertaining the more financially strapped
    participants of the rally.

    I was sitting on the pavement close to the rear entrance to
    the Palladium, changing into a clean t-shirt, when a black limousine
    pulled up. With dirty clothes piled in front of me and stripped bare
    to the waist, I watched Jack Lemon step out of the limousine. Right
    behind him came Bill Cosby and the two of them walked past me on
    their way to the back entrance of the Palladium. Smoking his huge
    cigar, Cosby glanced down at me and all I could do was smile. Before
    I could find a clean shirt to put on, another limo pulled up and out
    stepped an absolutely gorgeous Raquel Welch. She also walked past
    me, but she didn’t look down. I just stared as she glided into the
    Palladium dressed in a beautiful white gown. Soaking up what had
    just happened, I sat there mesmerized until someone yelled, “Arlo’s
    not coming.” Not enough people turned out to hear him (or so it was
    rumored), so he refused to sing. Since the management of the
    Palladium gave the handful of us who gathered to hear him sing
    passes to go inside, it was a lucky break for me that he did not

    A man dressed in a suit ushered all fifteen or so
    inappropriately dressed attendees into the upper balcony of the
    Palladium. We sat in amazement as we looked down upon the
    celebrities parading across the stage. Jack, Bill, and Raquel were
    there, as was Andy Williams, James Colburn, Jane Fonda, Henry Fonda,
    Carl Riener and many more who I have forgotten. Before it was over,
    I decided the ABM system was a bad idea too. Since the closest I had
    ever come to seeing a celebrity was sitting in front of the TV, for
    me, the whole evening was magical.

  17. Hi Jane,

    I am an American living in Ibiza, Spain for thirty plus years. Just last night I met the grandson of Albert Bergerault who is here for a week with his wife on vacation. They were absolutely charming, even though my French is far from adequate, I understood that his grandfather was a brilliant musician and inventor and that his mother Colette had the privilege to share a meal with you in Paris.
    So I just googled Albert Bergeralt and arrived to your blog!
    I am originally from New Orleans and grew up immersed in Jazz, Blues, etc. and loved reading about these musical families and your connection.
    I didn´t understand if you will be participating in a film on the same subject?

    Best wishes,
    Tyke Fortier

  18. I was so pleased to discover your website and join in on the blog! I´ve eaten at Brasserie Lipp many times and could picture you all there having an exquisite meal!

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