Meet your hosts: Ken and Claire d'Orgeix Kirk
Ken and Claire purchased Chateau RiveSarthe near Le Mans in December of 2005. They began group tours
in 2007, of the UNESCO and other favored sites in the Loire Valley, Normandy and Brittany. Using their
property as the headquarters, they provide wine and cheese tasting opportunities along with fine cuisine
prepared by Chef Gerard Chevallier, who recently appeared on the cover of a gourmet magazine. World War
II sites and history are emphasized during the tours which have included presentations by one of the last
remaining French Resistance fighters.
Tour members, who have included travel agents and many seasoned travelers, have called the Kirk's tour
the best they have ever taken.
Along with their tour hosting, the Kirk's have hosted the U. S. Ambassador to France, the U. S. Consul for
western France, a group from the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the 100th anniversary of scouting in
France, 140 visitors to the 24 Hours of Le Mans Gran Prix race and wedding receptions of up to 140 persons.
Ken and Claire very much enjoy sharing with their guests those places and things they love about France.
Claire is a member of a premier French family which received the titles of Marquis and Count in the 13th
century. She taught English for 20 years in a private girl's school located in the upscale Parisian suburb of
Neuilly-sur-Seine when she chaperoned many student tours to the United States. She now operates a
successful English academy from Chateau RiveSarthe.
Claire is an exceptional organizer and a delightful hostess.
Charles d'Orgeix, her father, commanded the 18 tank squadron first into Paris in August of 1944. He became
an advisor for the book and for the movie "Is Paris Burning?". During Colonel d'Orgeix's three year posting to
the U. S. armored division at Fort Knox, Claire developed an appreciation for American's "can do" positive
attitude that she has carried ever since and became a naturalized U. S. citizen.
Her uncle, Jean d'Orgeix was one of the most accomplished persons imaginable: an Olympic bronze medalist
in equestrian dressage, the coach of the gold medal winning equestrian team in 1976, an actor, an author,
national stunt flying champion, safari leader, and much more.
Special in her heart are her two sons and grandchildren who live in Paris.
Ken is a native of Marietta, Georgia, and holds degrees from Georgia Tech and Georgia State. He has been
blessed to have many interests and the time to pursue them. Ken has been recognized as the U. S. Rotarian
who contributed the most to the eradication of polio during the period 1992 to 1995. He has served on the
City of Marietta's Board of Education and rewrote Georgia's "No pass; no play" statute. He served as chair of
his county's art museum during its finest hours.
As an athlete, he held the SEC freshman record for the javelin throw, was a founder of The Atlanta Track
Club and was national chairman and national champion in masters track & field.
Ken has written a book, "Messages in Handlebars", about the youngest French resistance fighter to receive
the Croix de Guerre, Jean-Jacques Auduc, which Claire has translated into French with many copies being
sold. Ken has presented his book to many clubs and organizations. The British Ambassador to France is an
endorser of this book. Ken is now writing a book of historical fiction about an American reporter in Paris
during and in the years following World War I.