In April 2019, I was invited to visit the deBuyer crypt and cemetery plot in Besançon where Daisy and her husband are buried. I took along a bouquet of muguet to lay on the grave.
It was a 2 hour+ train ride from Paris and Aymeric deBuyer met me along with his parents. I had only met his brother Yann, and my French being (very) limited, communication was warm and tolerant on their behalf, and comical on my end.
It was a beautiful spring day and the ground cover needed some pruning, so we cleared and tended the graves. It was much more emotional than I anticipated. And after the short visit - we toured the town of Besançon in North Eastern France. I saw the Hotel DeBuyer and we had a lovely lunch in the town center.
The DeBuyer family seat sits on a loop in the River Doubs known as the Boucle (Oxbow). Besançon is a wonderful city that was once a strategic prize for Europe’s great empires. With the Doubs giving the city a natural moat Besançon could hardly have been easier to defend, especially because the only way in by land was over a monumental promontory.
And on this landform the military architect Vauban constructed a sky-scraping citadel that has no equals in France. The older buildings in the city are as peculiar as they are beautiful because of their “Chailluz” stone, which is streaked with hues of blue, grey and beige.
Besançon was also the birthplace of Victor Hugo. May some of that writer-dust bless my book "Tante Daisy".
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