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The childhood of a creator

"Everything is possible with the condition of being insane enough"

Niel Bohr. Physic's Nobel price, 1922

The childhood of discoveries

Small I disassembled the clocks, to understand the reasons for this magic tic-tac and to have the pleasure to go up. My great-grandmother, Marthe, who loved me very much and whose benevolent gaze reassured me, made me learn my lessons when my asthma prevented me from going to school. And when she saw me tinkering with revivals, she liked to say, to anyone who wanted to hear her: "This one is a future jeweler"… Philippe Tournaire

I did not imagine that asthma would give me a chance, and that my destiny is overwhelmed by this disease! I was well at home, but always sick, my brothers called me affectionately "the crevure" ... Mom, always in search of solutions, ends up finding ways to treat me and allow me to pursue a minimum of There was a high school in Briançon, where children with respiratory problems went. So at 12 years and for 5 years, I went to boarding school at Briançon high school to fight against this invasive and penalizing my growth. With more than 6 hours of driving, I only returned home with Christmas, Easter and summer holidays. Yet I keep a marvelous memory of those years. The boarding school, when one only returns every 3 months, is federating, it creates groups and a true life of community. With more solidarity than rivalry, we sat together on the days of "blues" and feasted on these moments of simplicity.

At the boarding school, there were specific rules that had to be respected. Some of them seemed stupid, such as the one that stipulated that one should not have the hair that touched the ears when one wanted to leave, whereas the first pictures of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones appeared in the showcases of the record dealers. Was the rule, we agreed, together we found some tricks to improve the ordinary, which was quite constructive, but also a formidable link between us. The scissors were often taken the day before in the dormitory to make sure to adjust the length, each one making the turn of the ear of the other without forgetting the laughter that went together.

We could go out in small groups of 3 to 5, freely, on condition of remaining solidary "in case of". Before going out, the "surge" checked that the cut of each one was regulation and it gave the exit ticket. If one of us had hair that touched our ears, the note was torn and the group did not go out. This may seem unfair, but it teaches the notion of solidarity and respect for the group. Once out, everyone did what he liked to do, the main thing being to meet to get back together on time.

I liked to spend my Thursday afternoons at the library of Briançon. The sciences fascinated me and intrigued me, Papa had contributed a great deal. He had the capacity to answer all my questions on many subjects, and I must pay him this homage, it remained true until the end of his life. It was a well of science and an inexhaustible source to which the whole family has always referred. In this famous library I learned a noteworthy fact that Einstein had written to President Roosevelt to do research on nuclear weapons and to launch the Manhattan project which would lead to the first atomic bomb ... The Internet and the search engines' Were not conceivable, and going to collect information right and left will allow me to develop a great curiosity.

I had other hobbies. At the internship, to integrate us, we were sponsored by a great terminal, with whom I discovered the cine-club and astronomy. Teachers were also very involved in our care, especially in physical education where our breathing difficulties were filled by sport. I always keep a great pleasure in cycling.

From the 6th grade in the French class, there was, in addition to the teacher, a painting by Paul Klee called Château. This work that I have watched for long hours will be significant in my journey and will inspire my future creations. This fascinating memory is still present in me after so many years.

I learned much later that the headmaster of this school, André Rouède, was a visionary, ahead of his time in matters of education. "To raise the level of humanity ... I was paid for it," he wrote in a book, Le Lycée impossible, just before May 68. I was lucky to have this formidable example of humanity And an outstanding tutor; Who was concerned to ensure that the boarding school accountable us very early, and that his high school made grow our minds.

I arrived in Saint-Étienne in 1967 and I then entered the second at the Lycée Etienne Mimard. But I find there a boarding school where students make their own lives on their own, going home at weekends. We did nothing together, there was no solidarity between us. I even remember hearing a guy say "Oh sir! Machin did that," I felt like I was going back to kindergarten. From the moment when people are not federated, the law of the strongest prevails. I was average, but I was not interested in living in an environment where the group spirit had disappeared and the quality of the exchange had soared.

It was impossible to endure this atmosphere and I left Etienne Mimard after 3 months. I then asked my father: "Could I make an apprenticeship with you?". He was so happy to think that one of his sons wanted to do the same job as he did, he accepted. My new life began.

Alongside my father, I prepared a CAP of radio-electrician, which I obtained in 1969. As the weeks and months shared with him, I can say today that back then, I discovered my father for the second time.

At home, he never talked about war and resistance. And one day, in a quite innocuous way, on a simple drive, coming back from a TV antenna installation at a customer between Régny and Saint-George-de-Baroille (which makes 25 Kilometers), he said to me: "You see, the whole road that we have just traveled I made it running." Then silence! The more a word ... Intrigued, after a moment and seeing no further happen, I question Papa on this strange statement. I was going to learn a new story for myself: sent to the STO in Germany in 1940, he had escaped to come, after a long journey, to take refuge in Saint-Germain-Laval. Hidden by the Boyer family, electricians by day, filmmakers in the evening, traveling the township to broadcast the films of the time. A nocturnal activity that was in fact a perfect cover to hide their resistant activities and parachute recovery.

I learn then that my father hid in their homes until the end of the war and will contribute to the actions of the group of resistance "the Secret Army" called "A.S". "In 44, an ambush was attempted at Neau which went wrong. Our chief, Jean Boyer died there ... We were pursued by Germans and we had to run more than 20 kilometers across fields." Thus, after the war, when he had proposals for employment as an engineer, my father preferred to remain in the village which had given him his hospitality, but also close to the Boyer family who Had protected. And it is also during these years of war that he will meet his wife, Noelle, sparkling young girl whom he will marry at his 18 years. Two strong and moving stories that will definitely link him to Saint-Germain-Laval.


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