My First Gargoyle

Being a French major in college, I was naturally exposed to the idea of gargoyles more than the average person.  LOL  When I took Art History, there was a whole section on Gothic cathedrals, with a subsection just on gargoyles in the course.  The first time I went to Paris and visited Notre Dame cathedrale, I had to climb the steps up to the tower where Quasimodo threw things at the Parisian mb.  Right outside that window is one of the uglier, scarier gargoyles, almost looking right at you!  In a little souvenir shop nearby, they had plaster copies of the particular one, but I was too short on money to afford one.  Later, in my first teaching job, I became friends with a young woman who had to Paris about the same time that I had been.  When I visited her house, lo! and behold, there sitting on a shelf was that gargoyle!  In her generosoity, she actually gave it to me as a good luck piece.  That was my first gargoyle -- his name is Georges (after her ex-husband!).  He has traveled around with me now for over 30 yrs.  Unfortunately, back in the late 80's he got pretty broken up.  :(  I used to keep him on my desk where I taught French in a Catholic high school.  A coach shared my room for one period of the day.  he showed no respect for any of my things.  One day, he let some students pick Georges up and play with him, be dropped and broken into quite a few pieces!  I was quite distraught and rather angry.  I showed it to my asst principal, who was very empathetic, and complained about this guy's lack of respect for my things.  She, bless her heart, went to the art dept and found a student who was very gifted at detail work, who glued him back together again!  I was very touched by the effort, b/c they really don't make them like that anymore; it was irreplaceable.  So George still sits on a shelf in my home, a little worse for wear, but still a symbol of a wonderful trip to France and all the Gothic symbolism of that medieval time.

LunarPanda LunarPanda
66-70, F
3 Responses Mar 24, 2009

Glad to know that someone else but not only has favorite gargoyles, but names them! Did you think of calling him Henri. LOL They are so spooky and ugly. What's not to love? LOL

I loved reading your story about Georges. Thank you so much for sharing it. I'm glad someone was able to repair him for you. I know if anything happened to Henry (my favorite gargoyle) I would be devastated.

Georges is really ugly with a long face, horns and his tongue sticking out! Some are better looking than that, but still weird. I don't think I's want a tatoo of one tho, altho I guess it would keep evil spirits away! LOL