Meridian Star


October 9, 2013

Quiet Corner: Angels in Paris

MERIDIAN — In 1997, Rhonda and Ray Denton toured Europe. The last city they visited was Paris, where they enjoyed art galleries and museums, viewing French and Dutch master paintings and the impressionistic art of Van Gogh, Monet and Renoir.     They gazed up at the Eiffel Tower, walked beside the Seine River, and dined on delicious food in restaurants with English menus. Although there was a language barrier, this did not pose a problem until their last day in Paris.

    On the day of their departure, a taxi arrived at the hotel at 4:45 a.m. to take them to the train station. From the station, they would take a train to Charles de Gaulle Airport and then fly home. While riding in the taxi, Rhonda noticed that the streets of Paris looked very different in that pre-dawn hour.

    “We were passing many questionable characters,” she explained, “people you wouldn’t see in daylight hours. When we stepped out of the taxi and entered the train station, we were surprised to find ourselves in a deserted area with empty booths.”

    When a man and woman walked by, Rhonda asked them for directions. The woman responded with a quizzical smile — she did not understand English.

    As Rhonda and Ray stood in the virtually empty terminal feeling helpless and uneasy, suddenly a man appeared, sporting a purple shirt and a great big smile. He walked straight toward them, as if he had been sent to meet them. When he got close, Rhonda said, “Bus shuttle to airport.” The man asked, “Taxi?” Rhonda said, “No taxi.”

    So the man motioned for them to follow and began leading them through the terminal. As they hurried along behind the stranger, not knowing where he was taking them, Rhonda turned to Ray and whispered, “Should we be doing this?”

    Nevertheless, they continued on. Reaching a turnstile area, they saw that they needed tickets for the turnstile. The stranger entered information (in French) into a machine and determined that the cost would be 136 francs. When Ray emptied his pockets, he found only 86 francs in paper; he had no coins, and the machine took only coins.

    When the stranger saw that Ray didn’t have proper currency, he retrieved a credit card from his own pocket, put it in the machine, purchased two tickets, and gave them to Ray.

         Helping Rhonda with her luggage, the man then took them over to the proper turnstile and then pointed to escalators that led to the train area. When they turned back to thank the helpful stranger, he had disappeared.

         Once at the train stop, they began talking with a nice French lady who spoke some English and seemed to be going their way; she helped them get on the right train and then showed them where to get off at the airport.

         Remembering Paris, Rhonda and Ray are certain that God sent the man in the purple shirt and the French lady to help them that day. Perhaps they were angels disguised as ordinary people.

Virginia Dawkins may be reached at

Text Only
Biz Marquee
New Today

Do you think the city of Meridian should have tried harder to find funding to repair the dam at Long Creek Reservoir before deciding to drain the lake?

     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide