Sunday, November 21, 2010

France -- Where to eat Western and buy western duds and other


Here's a link to "American Shop Avenue" -- an online one-stop shop for everything Americana...clothes, CDs, accessories, you name it.

It's run by the folks behind a chain of Country-western restaurants in northwest France called "Oncle Scott's country restaurants" -- a joint venture between Frenchman Laurent Marie and a former trucker and country singer Scott Randall Rhodes.

According to the Oncle Scott's web site, the two met in 1996 when Marie
was realizing his dream of exploring America. He had landed in New York, his backpack his only companion. Not seeing any cowboys in the city they call the “Big Apple,” Laurent decided to head for Texas. First by bus, then by car, Laurent crossed many states, including the state of Tennessee.

He stopped in Nashville, then in Memphis, and discovered the cultural richness there was to be found in America’s short history. Rock ‘n’ roll and country music were everywhere, and Laurent was already getting ideas for his future business.
Arriving in Texarkana, Texas, the young Frenchman was overcome by a fever so severe that he decided to discontinue his journey. He turned back towards the east, and it was in the town of Vicksburg, on the border of Mississippi and Louisiana, that Laurent pulled into a rest stop alongside the highway. Parked next to him was a cowboy polishing his four-wheel drive, so typically American. This is the beginning of the story, a story of friendship…

After brief introductions, Scott invited Laurent to have a drink and get to know each other better. Their conversation lasted three days! Three days during which Scott explained the heart of America and, especially, the heart of Americans. "With Scott, hospitality is written with a capital H," recalls Laurent. "He is the nicest and most sincere man I’ve ever known, he is always in a good mood and always ready to socialize …"

A while later, Scott was invited by Laurent to discover France…

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