Howard Copelan, Publisher
There is a large town or small city in the south of France called Beziers.
Pronounced BeZEE AY and not Bezeers.
It is a town we know well and love quite a bit.
It is the home town of our wife and every ten years or so we made pilgrimage to it.
It is a place where nothing much happens— Ever!!
It is the reason why our father-in-law chose it over the much more happening Paris, Nice or Marseilles when he was looking to relocate from Algiers,
Nothing happens in Beziers!! For a veteran of World War II who found his family in the middle of an Arab revolt that phrase was less of a curse than an invitation.
We first met Beziers during our war. We got special leave during a fire fight outside of Beirut and five hours later we with our wife landed in Beziers.
And for three glorious weeks nothing happened.
It was not just us or just then.
Nothing was happening in Beziers since the 12th century.
That was when the southern French wanted a little bit more autonomy from the king in Paris.
The king did not approve and sent his favorite mass murderer Simon de Montfort to reason with the folk in Beziers.
De Montfort killed every one in town,
Every one died even those who loved the king.
After a while Beziers was repopulated by folk from the country side.
But since the great Bone Fire the new townsfolk made sure that nothing would ever happen again in Beziers.
For the most part they succeeded beyond anyone’s expectation.
The placid burghers of Beziers barely noticed the French revolution and the revolution paid no attention to Beziers.
Napoleon visited once to inaugurate a new fountain and then left because nothing ever happens in Beziers.
The trench warfare of World War I was far away and never intruded on the bucolic life of Beziers,
When France fell in World War II and Vichy took over, Beziers was ignored.
The leader of the French resistance Jean Moulin was a son of Beziers but went off to fight the Nazis in Paris because nothing was happening in Beziers.
After the war Beziers named a school after him but the kind of had to.
Beziers is known for the song “Some Where Beyond the Sea” that was written by the Beziers native Charles Trenet at the Beziers train station board out of his mind with three hours to kill.
The other thing Beziers is known for is it was the first choice for Euro Disney but the town fathers turned down Mickey Mouse and sent him and his friends and their dollars to Paris,So nothing still happens to Beziers.
Until this week when six Chechen Islamist terrorists were captured in their Beziers apartment plotting blowing up something.
Suddenly everything has changed.
Wonderful boring Beziers has French Legionaries patrolling the streets.
The are camped outside the synagogue our father-in-law founded. Our family still there are worried more than they have ever been.
Something is happening in Beziers.
And it is evil.