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France honors Ted

Hi --

I can't resist sharing some happy news -- in a ceremony in Paris on March
3rd, Ted  received a medal and a title from the French Minister of Culture,
Catherine Tasca.  His title is "Officier des Arts et Lettres".  In her
speech, Madame Tasca called Ted a poet and a philosopher.  This had uncanny
reverberations for Ted, as he recalled that when he first filled out a form
asking his occupation (when he was 16), he wrote "poet, philosopher and
rogue".  So now it's official.

Like the better known Ordre de Legion d'Honneur, the Ordre des Arts et
Lettres is an honorary chivalric order whose membership is bestowed by the
government of France.  Since 1957, the Order of Arts and Letters has been
presented to individuals achieving distinction in the arts and literature
throughout the world.  Ted was specially honored by entering the order at
the second level of Officier, whereas most honorees begin at the first rank
of Chevalier.

We had an altogether lovely visit in France, and felt that people there are
especially in tune with the cultural and literary aspects of what Ted's
been trying to achieve for so long.