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Saint-Mandé 30 October 2011
message of Juliette Benzoni



photo de Juliette Benzoni 30.10.2011
 


text and design by Linda - creations by Frédérique


Let me start this narration by saying, it is sheer impossible to express our gratitude with mere words for all the stupendous support we had for our great project called:

« Happy Birthday Juliette Benzoni »

Who has ever heard of something similar so far? A call to the faithful readers and friends of Juliette Benzoni, Queen of history books! Asking of them to let themselves photographed with a book of their choice of their favorites writer! And on top of that adding a birthday message to Juliette Benzoni, the author who will celebrate her 91th birthday on 30 October at Saint-Mandé!

My friends, let me assure you, we never expected to have after almost a month 51 messages. It was a hectic month, it was an exciting month, it was a month of pleasant anticipation. New friends born out of this cause, as I loved to call it. Letters written all over the world, not really believing that there would be answers...! The first photos arrived with messages and we rejoiced in this! The "blue gallery" as we called it between us, began to take shape.

Right from the beginning Claudine Ancelot, the beautiful woman who had played "Catherine de Montsalvy" had agreed to join us in our task. Her taking part to surprise our "enchantress" Juliette, convinced us, that what we were trying to achieve, was possible. To honor all of you, you can find your name on this page, together with our guests of honor: Marion Sarraut, Claudine Ancelot, Pierre-Marie Escourrou, Gérard Chambre, Pierre Deny and Laurent Le Doyen. They are the former stars of the books made into tv-series by the ingenious Marion Sarraut.

As the blue gallery was filling up, we began to believe in our dream to get 51 tender, touching, joyful, stupendous birthday cards, to add in a slide show and photo album! I invite all of you to read them again, one by one, just like Juliette Benzoni, to whom we delivered all your formidable and star like wishes.

On Sunday 30 October, a sunny afternoon, we rang the bell at the house of Juliette Benzoni, world famous French author, beloved by millions of readers. Our hearts full of delight of the coming hours in the company of our dearest friends Juliette and Anne, her daughter. Carrying with us a heavy bag with our exceptional surprise of 51 remarkable people, who took their time, to honor an extraordinarily woman!

The gate was opened by a very dear friend of Juliette, who introduced herself to us with the name of "Chantal". In the house we were dearly and merrily greeted by Juliette Benzoni, who we found in excellent health and beaming at us happily. We were joined by Anne, beaming at us and admiring the flowers we had also brought to Juliette.

There followed hours of tremendous joy, laughter, tears of happiness, of emotions and enjoyment in the company of a precious and more than generous woman. There was the delicious cake of LeNôtre with some burning candles, there was the sparkling champagne, and there was Juliette, who was looking astounded and moved to tears at the gifts, her faithful readers and friends had presented her. Never has it been more rewarding to be the bearer of such a present as on that unforgettable Sunday!
 

Juliette Benzoni eyes widened more and more when she realized the dimension of the birthday greetings! All of you will certainly understand that I cannot and will not go into details about all her reactions or emotions when she recognized some of the congratulators ! I will leave that up to your imagination, believing that it would be too intimate. Juliette told us that she would read each message one by one in the next days to come!

Our new friend Chantal de Badts, a very acclaimed author of the "High Society" and journalist, exchanged many a time a look with  Juliette, as if she would say: so, those our now your girls "les filles des grands chemins". The atmosphere  in the now well-known living-room, was just like I have always imagined a visit to the boudoir of a great aristocratic Lady in some beautiful Castle. Where manservants serve delicious delicatessen, listening to astonishing news, some delicious gossip and reminisce about bygone times.

Too quickly the afternoon came to an end, Chantal hugged us warmly. We embraced Juliette, who asked us to come the next day to get a note; she would love to write to all of you, who have sent their Birthday wishes to her. Happily "les filles" gave a last hug to Anne and the gate closed behind us, leaving a more than contented Frédérique and Mistral on the streets of Saint-Mandé, smiling like two very young girls, who had succeeded in a most wondrous idea...!





(as called by Juliette Benzoni herself)





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