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Letter from Ronald Sokol to Daniel Meador, Tuesday, March 7, 1995

Ronald P. Sokol
15, Chemin du Castellas
13540 Puyricard
France

Professor Daniel J. Meador
University of Virginia
School of Law
Charlottesville, Virginia 22901
U.S.A.

Tuesday, 07 March, 1995

Dear Dan,

Yours of February 27th just arrived. I shall meet you at the Marseille airport on Friday,
June 9th at 10:30. I shall also be responsible for getting you to Avignon on Saturday.
What would be nice is if we could have lunch together in Avignon on Saturday as one of
our favorite restaurants is there. We could then deliver you to the boat after lunch.
Hopefully that will be possible.

I have looked over very carefully the program for the tour which you were kind enough to
send. It looks like a fascinating, wonderful trip, but I think I am very reluctantly going to
forego the opportunity, although I would very much like to spend time with some of the
people you mention who will be in the party, and of course with you and Jan. I am going
through the most expensive decade of my life with three children in private schools and,
unfortunately, cost is a significant factor.

While I have seen a great deal of what will be covered in the tour, I have not seen it all;
nor have I ever taken a river tour, and I would very much like to do so, but the timing
does not seem right. I have of course seen the First Century Roman aqueduct [Pont du
Gard [itals.]], and I was last in the Roman arena in Nîmes to attend a table tennis match about
three or four years ago. The arena is still being used for sporting events two millennia
later. I argued a case before the Court of Appeals of Nîmes just about a year ago and took
time off to wander through the Maison Carrée once again, having visited it a number of
times before. Having lived in Provence now for 25 years and a total of about 27 years
(almost half my life) in France, my perspective is more jaundiced than it was when I first
visited these ancient sites as a young man.

I found the book I mentioned in my recent letter. It is Edward Dumbauld, Thomas
Jefferson, American Tourist: Being an Account of His Journeys in the United States of
America, England, France, Italy, the Low Countries, and Germany, Norman, University of
Oklahoma Press, 1946 [2nd printing 1976]. As I recall I wrote to the Univ. of Okla. Press

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about 8 or 10 years ago and was astonished to find that it was still in print. It was not a
great book, but it was useful to me to discover places in my backyard that Jefferson had
visited. He in fact spent time in both Aix-en-Provence and Marseille.

We are going through a presidential election campaign here, and it is not a pretty sight. I
recall Henry Adams view that the best thing to do during an American presidential
campaign is to leave the country. In my view the Socialists have a chance to win the
election. I spent about two hours last night watching Martine Aubry on television fielding
questions. She is Jacques Delor’s daughter, former Labor Minister in the Socialist
government, a possible Prime Minister if Lionel Jospin, the Socialist candidate, should win
the election, and a possible future French President. She was very impressive, in fact the
first interesting French politician that I have seen appear on the scene in almost a decade.
She is a figure to watch.

We eagerly look forward to your visit.

Sincerely yours,

[handwritten signature]

Ronald P. Sokol

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