Maurice

 

28" X 22"

Oil On Canvas

 

1976

Specialty: Egg Laying Chickens

 

   Coming to the United States from France after World War II, Maurice was a friendly sort who spoke with a soft french accent. Although his English was a little difficult to understand he could get his ideas across well. I think he must have brought his pipe with him from France. It seemed to be permanently attached to his mouth and may have been part of the problem with his accent. I was always amazed by his ability to take in a puff of his pipe and hold the smoke in through a few sentences.

     Maurice worked odd jobs around town, from janitorial to mechanical and anything in between. Although being here 20+ years he respected his "new" home nation and especially the city of Petaluma where he lived in a modest home he shared with his daughter and his grandchildren. 

     In our conversations I could see that he was a proud man and even more proud of his French heritage, so I was always very careful when asking him possibly sensitive questions. When you talked with him he would always get in a mention of Charles de Gaulle, the "Patriarch and Father Figure of France." He would then compare de Gaulle to George Washington, the two men he truly respected.

     He and I had only a few personal conversations where we would start talking about his beautiful Petaluma and would always end up talking about his wonderful grandchildren.