French Patrick Cooper, bringing people together

How has a weekly meet for Chicago-area French speakers survived?

Longtime members, including Ard and 20-year veteran Tom Walsh, ascribe some of this success to Patrick Cooper-Leconte. Cooper-Leconte (né Cooper) unofficially led the group from the time it started to cohere until he moved to France in 1997 after marrying a French woman he met at one of the Wednesday meetings. “A couple of times it looked like it was going to die, and he kept it alive by brute force of determination,” Walsh said of Cooper-Leconte. “It was getting kind of wobbly after he moved to France… but then the Internet came along, and the Internet has made it possible for it to self-perpetuate.”

Patrick Coopers and the Internet! Is there anything they can’t do?

Cooper-Leconte, for his part, explained via e-mail from France that he “never really ‘ran’ the group, I simply stayed with it and did things that others in the original group had done before they went elsewhere or lost interest — compiling names and numbers, inviting people to parties and other functions, introducing everyone around, remembering what people had in common, that sort of thing. The one unusual thing that I did was almost always to be there, week in and week out. I was there over 500 Wednesdays and missed maybe 10 — vacationing in France.”

Okay, so, we’re just good at showing up. But we’re really good at it.

(Link via Lindsay.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *