Parisian Tree Climbers

After World War II, some Parisians embraced existentialism. Others took to climbing trees in their underwear.

Images and text from Life (July 18, 1949).

"Treetop acrobatics are privilege of veteran climbers who go as high as 100 feet above ground"

Unlike their pallid compatriots, the cellar-dwelling Existentialists, the Parisians pictured here have found a healthy way to escape the world's woes. They simply take off their clothes and climb trees. This pleasant diversion was invented by a musician named Jean Wetzel and an actor named Jacques Gall, who explains, "We are searching for happiness in the contemplation of trees. . . . We try to become a part of nature and assimilate ourselves to it by climbing." Members of the society prefer climbing the plane trees of Chatou island in the Seine for their activities. In hot weather Paris their antics seem high fun indeed.

"Prettiest tree climber is 25-year-old Catherine Arley, an actress specializing in comedy roles"

"Preclimb ritual finds scantily-clad members saluting huge plane tree, which Cofounder Jacques Gall recently described as a 'symbol of heaven.'"

     Posted By: Alex - Tue Oct 11, 2022
     Category: Fads | Nature | 1940s

Yossarian comes to mind.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 10/11/22 at 11:57 AM
Firesign theatre comes to mind...

Posted by seth on 10/11/22 at 03:38 PM
"Some Parisians embraced existentialism. Others took to climbing trees in their underwear." --

I fail to see the difference. This looks like existentialism made practice, to me. And good on them.
Posted by Richard Bos on 10/15/22 at 12:37 PM
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