Stephane will be writing about the regional background and history of some of the more colorful aspects of historical life in a small, western town. He hasn’t yet been to Columbus but that hasn’t stopped him from developing a deep knowledge of the town and surrounding region.
Before he starts regaling us monthly with tales of Buffalo Soldiers and Native American campaigns, I had a moment to interview him and get a picture of why he’s a great man for the job—even from his home in Tel Aviv, Israel!
Stephane, tell us a little about who you are.
I was born in Paris, France but moved to Tel Aviv in 2016. My late father instilled a passion for military history and empires, stressing the importance of remembrance because “if you don’t know where you come from, you don’t know where you’re going!”
I lived in Texas for several months in 2012 and I’ve travelled regularly in the American Southwest. I’ve been fascinated with the area since I was 5 years old.
In addition to my love of history, I have 30 years of food and beverage experience, starting with the opening of EuroDisney in 1993. I’ve worked bars from the Ritz to my own locals in Paris and St. Tropez and founded a freestyle bartending school to teach flair bartending (think Tom Cruise in Cocktail).
How did you get into American military re-enactments?
France had mandatory military service until 1999 so I chose to do my service in the French military as a paratrooper from 1993-94. Once out, I went back to my love of history and started researching groups. By 1996, I joined my first US Cavalry re-enactment group. I was still an avid parachute jumper though! So eventually a few of us founded ABC-Airborne Command, specializing in re-enactments of WWII era jumps from historical planes. That meant that we also had to start a jump school, since the skills and equipment are completely different than modern era jumps. So you see, I just keep finding more ways to expand my skills, knowledge and presentation of American military history!
What are some of your favorite re-enactment events?
My group has represented the US Military in D-Day re-enactments every year since 2004. This involves a lot of coordination with re-enactors from all over the world, as well as organizing ground and jump teams. It’s a spectacular sight to see dozens of paratroopers dropping from the sky in the middle of June in Normandy or over Provence in August!
Stephane will be posting regularly about local history and people. Subscribe to make sure you catch every column!