Monday, July 9, 2012

Au revoir Joseph

Joseph Darees

This is a photo of Joseph behind the house on his way back from a visit to the neighbor.  Joseph died earlier this spring, he was in his late 80's.  He was born in what we call the grandparents room and died in his own room next door. The grandparents room has been kept as almost a shrine, furniture is in the same position photos hang just as they were in the1890's.  His mother was a Dargeles - just like mine. 

Here we are with Joseph in 2010 when we replaced Linda's favorite gate (lower left).  Joseph seemed to simply pop up everywhere when we were in the thick of  major work projects.  Once, while I was intensely watching the top of the bucket while operating the Manatou material lift I saw something from the corner of my eye and there was Joseph standing between the huge tire and the lift boom.  Another time we had 3 workers and 9 different jacks hoisting up heavy timbers in the second story of the barn we were feverishly adjusting jacks when I turned around and, yes, there was Joseph.  Down at one end looking like he was ready for the big lift.  

Here Joseph is coming out of the chicken area, he opened the gates every morning to let the chickens out, he fed them and collected eggs every afternoon. Chickens at Montegut are a commodity not pets as is the current trend in California, these chickens do not have names.

Joseph also raised rabbits.  These rabbits are used for food and also traded with neighbors for other food products no longer grown at Montegut.  They are highly prized, both Linda and I can say Bon Appetit, too.  Cousin Odile prepared one for us last year at a dinner feast with JP and his Mother,Helene, Joseph's sister - she is over 90. 

Each afternoon, after his nap (he sat in a straight back chair at the dinning room table) he could be found hard at work on his Sudoku book, he played the expert level and finished a book in only a few days. Then is was on to a few more small chores around the property or just a walk to visit a neighbor then it would be time for the game shows on TV.

He lived a long life and always seemed happy going about his daily routine. Joseph will be missed by both his French and American familys.

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