“My dad is one of the most interesting cats I’ve ever known,” says André Rodrigue, age 37, “and I intend that statement as objectively as possible.”
“My interest in so many things is because of his interest in so many things,” continues André, a lifetime scholar of history and science. “When I was ten, he handed me a Stephen Hawking book and said, ‘Here, read this.’”
“André was smart even as a baby. I remember years ago when a dinner guest, a university professor, challenged him,
‘André, what will happen to the earth when the sun burns out?’
“My intense son, age four, replied,
‘By that time scientists will know how to move the earth, and we’ll be saved.'”
“As a kid I hung out in his studio late at night,” says Jacques, “and we played pool when he paused at painting. Sometimes he set me up with paints and a canvas. I worked alongside him while we watched Johnny Carson and David Letterman.”
“They were completely different as kids,” explains George, “and they were seven years apart, so they rarely wanted the same toy.
“One time in the car, André read while Jacques, wanting his brother’s book, threw a tantrum. I told an irritated André to share the book, hoping to quiet his three-year old brother. Jacques opened the book, looked at André and asked, verbatim…
‘How you read?’”
“My dad traveled often to shows and visited clients around the country,” recalls Jacques, “and during the summer, my friends and I tagged along in his van. He was always so great and wanted us to see the coolest sights like the world’s largest thermometer, the dinosaurs in Arizona, Route 66 and the Grand Canyon.
“My friends and I cherish those memories and appreciate how hard he tried to make us happy even when we occasionally killed the car battery in the middle of the night by watching our movies or playing Nintendo when the car was off. Sorry about that Dad!”
“Do you think André will try again for the free 72-oz steak?” asked George, as we planned our trip.