This blog represents most of the newspaper columns (appearing in various Colorado Community Newspapers and Yourhub.com) written by me, James LaRue, during the time in which I was the director of the Douglas County Libraries in Douglas County, Colorado. (Some columns are missing, due to my own filing errors.) This blog covers the time period from April 11, 1990 to January 12, 2012.

Unless I say so, the views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They may be quoted elsewhere, so long as you give attribution. The dates are (at least according my records) the dates of publication in one of the above print newspapers.

The blog archive (web view) is in chronological order. The display of entries, below, seems to be in reverse order, new to old.

All of the mistakes are of course my own responsibility.

Wednesday, June 19, 1991

June 19, 1991 - Louviers

About a year ago, Lynn Robertson, branch manager of the Philip S. Miller Library, got a long distance phone call.

It was a man by the name of Didier Muller. He was calling from Cresskill, New Jersey.

One night, while idly thumbing through an American atlas, Mr. Muller started looking for the name of the city where he'd been born.

He found it.

"Did you know," he asked Lynn, "that there is only one Louviers in the entire United States?" Only he didn't say, as we do in Douglas County, "loo-veers" (accent on the second syllable). He said, "loo-vee-ay" (accent on the last syllable). In case you don't travel much, "loo-vee-ay" is a town in France. And that's where Mr. -- pardon, Monsieur -- Muller hailed from.

As it happens, there are quite a few Parkers around. Montana has a Castle Rock. California has a Larkspur. There's a Greenland, Arkansas, a Greenland, New Hampshire, and Sedalias in both Kentucky and Missouri. Nobody has a Franktown -- but in the index of the road atlas, Franktown isn't listed as a Colorado town, either.

No, the only bona fide, absolutely original town name in Douglas County is Louviers. (Well, actually, there's no Shamballa Ashram either, but that's another story.)

There are probably a lot of people in Douglas County who don't even know that we HAVE a Louviers. To get there, you have to head south of Highlands Ranch on State Highway 85 -- it's about half way between Highlands Ranch and Castle Rock, just west of the railroad tracks. (Turn west at the old depot labeled "Hellsville.")

Louviers used to be a company town, founded by the DuPont family. The DuPont who named it was born in Normandy, France -- not far from Louviers. It is said that the rolling hills of the area reminded him of HIS childhood home.

If you haven't been to Louviers, Colorado, you really ought to drive through this charming hamlet for a visit. Among its many other distinctions, Louviers has the oldest continuously operated bowling alley in the state. A two-lane operation, it's located in the heart of the community -- the Village Club building.

I understand that the best (only?) job right there IN Louviers is pin-setter -- but it calls for a lot of mighty quick digital action. The bowling alleys are busy most every night.

This is in remarkable contrast with Louviers, France. As far as I know, Louviers, France has no bowling alleys at all!

It does, however, have a lot of other things.

Based on the letter Lynn just received (which included lots of picture postcards), Louviers, France has half-timber houses, a Museum of Theatre and Opera Scenery and Cinema Sets, Gothic cathedrals, at least one winding river, many businesses, a central square, and, sure enough, high, rolling hills all around.

I don't know, I must confess, whether Louviers, France, has a public library. I'm kind of hoping that it does. I sure intend to find out. But whether it does or not, I'm sure you'll agree that the most neighborly thing to do is to send our sister city in France a few choice items to remember us by.

Beginning immediately, I'm going to start assembling a package of unique, all-American artifacts, suitable for mailing to our French cousins. If you'd like to contribute, just stop your gift by the Philip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock, care of the LOUVIERS SISTER CITY PROJECT. I'll see that it gets there, and I promise to report on any correspondence we may receive after that.

If you'd like to attach a letter to any Louviers inhabitants, I'm sure they'd appreciate it. Why, we might find a whole city worth of pen pals!

Meanwhile, if you'd like to find out more about Louviers, France, stop by and talk to Lynn.

Until then, au revoir.

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