TESTIMONIES

A long time ago, in the past century, in the city of Quimper (southern part of France's Brittany), was a true Pilot who knew the true Aircrafts, and had probably be trained the old way.

His particularity, he always had a tube of harissa (hot red chili pepper paste) in his pocket, all restaurants did not provide such a condiment.  

He owned a Morane Rallye and ran a small air company, towing advertisement banners above the ocean beaches.

One day, flying his Rally thru a briton weather, low ceiling over the "Monts d'Arrée ( the brittany mountains), he hears a lost aircraft requesting help. He answers, they talk together calmly and our man locates the lost guy, joins him and escorts him in sight of Quiberon.

Unfortunately, he has no time to accept the survivor's invitation to land have a drink, but in return, he invited him to come and say "Hello" in Quimper when possible.

On the next day, as he was on the parking area, doing some current maintenance to his Rally, a Gardan Horizon plane stops nearby and a tall guy, looking like a tramp gets out holding a bottle of whisky  in his hand.

That's how our Briton pilot spent the evening with Jacques Brel.

(Geneviève)

Oh yes, in those years, on the Quiberon airfield, one could sometimes meet Jacques Brel and his "Gardan" or, more frequently, Loison Bobet (a french bicycle champion)  with one of his planes.

(Léon)

My personal souvenir about the "Grand Jacques" is when I refuelled his Gardan at Romans (40 miles south from Lyon France) as a small and slim kid who haunted the airfield on every saturday sunday and holidays, trying to earn a 10 minutes flight in a D112 (Jodel)    I was 17 or 18 years old.

I thought I recognized him as Iwas filling the tanks, but we had no TV set at home. My mother who was one of his fan had a few large vinyl records with pictures on the enveloppes.
 
It is only when I asked him to fill and sign the receipt that I got confirmation of his identity; as the contact had been good during the refuelling, when I mentionned the respect I had for him, he told me : "Just keep talking as before, I am a pilot, thou (familiar form for "you" in French) are passionate, let's go to the clubhouse for  a drink."
 
And that is the way I came into the clubhouse, addressing Jacques Brel as "thou" and discussing of planes......
 
Later on, when Paul, the bartender asked me about my relation with Jacques Brel, I answered that before I refuelled his plane, I only knew his songs.
 
But as we both were members of the great "airmen" family, we were "passion brothers"!!

(Titi)

© pfiquet.be 2008

.