The childhood of a creator

"Everything is possible provided you are sufficiently insane"
NIELS BOHR. Nobel Prize in physics 1922

45 years of history

The childhood of discoveries

Small, I dismantled the alarm clock, the pendulums, to understand the why of this magic tick-tac and to have the pleasure of reassembling them. My great-grandmother, Marthe, who loved me a lot 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 the alarm clock, she liked to say, who wanted to hear her:

"This one is a future jeweler"
Philippe Tournaire

I did not imagine that asthma was a chance, and that my destiny could be upset thanks to this disease! I was well with me, with the family but still sick, my brothers called me affectionately "crease" ... Always looking for solutions, mom ended up finding a way to treat me and allowing me to pursue a minimum of Studies… There was a school of altitude in Briançon, where children suffered from respiratory problems. This is how at 12 and for 5 years, I went to boarding school at the Briançon altitude high school to fight against this invasive evil which penalized my growth. With more than 6 hours by road, I only returned with family to Christmas, Easter and summer holidays. Yet I have a marveled memory of these years. The boarding school, when you only come home every 3 months, is a unifying, it creates groups and a real community life.

With more solidarity than rivalry, we cleared the elbows on the days of "blues" and we enjoyed these moments of simplicity.

At the boarding school, there were specific rules that had to be respected. Some seemed stupid, such as the one who stipulated that we should not have the hair that touched the ears when we wanted to go out, when the first photos of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones appeared in the windows of the record stores ... but it was The rule, we accommodated it, together we found tips to improve the ordinary, which was quite constructive, but also a formidable binder between us. We often took the scissors the day before in the dormitory to make sure to adjust the length, each going around the other's ear without forgetting the madworms that went hand in hand.

We could go out in small groups of 3 to 5, freely, provided we remain united "in case". Before leaving, the "overgrowth" checked that everyone's cut was regulatory and he gave the exit ticket. If one of us had our hair that touched our ears, the ticket was torn and the group did not come out. It may seem unfair but it learns the concept of solidarity and respect for the group. Once out, everyone did what they liked to do, the main thing being to meet together on the hour.

45 years of history


I liked to spend my Thursday afternoons at the Briançon library. The sciences fascinated me and intrigued me, Dad had contributed a lot to it. He had the ability to be able to answer all my questions about lots of subjects, and I must pay him this tribute, 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 significant thing, that Einstein had written to President Roosevelt to do research on nuclear weapons and launch the Manhattan project which will lead to the first atomic bomb ... Internet and search engines n 'were not possible, and going to collect information on the right and on the left allowed me to develop great curiosity.

I had other hobbies. At the boarding school, to integrate, we were sponsored by a large final year, with whom I discovered the film club and astronomy. The teachers were also very involved in our care, especially in physical education where our breathing difficulties were filled by sport. I always have a great pleasure in cycling.

From the 6th in the French class there was, in addition to the teacher, a painting by Paul Klee called "castle". This work that I contemplated for long hours will be striking in my career and will inspire my future creations. This fascinating memory is still as present in me after so many years.

I learned much later than the principal of this high school, André Rouède, was a visionary, ahead of his time in terms of education. "Rise the level of humanity ... I was paid for that" he wrote in a book, "Lycée Impossible", just before May 68. I was lucky to have this wonderful example of 'humanity and an exceptional tutor; Who had the concern to ensure that the boarding school empowered us very early, and that his high school made our minds grow.

I manage to Saint Etienne In 1967 and I then went into second at Etienne Mimard high school. But I find a boarding school there where the students make their lives each on their side, coming home on weekends. We didn't do anything together, there was no solidarity between us. I even remember having heard a guy say "Ah sir!" Machin, he did this, "I felt like I was going back to kindergarten. From the moment people are not federated, it is the law of the strongest that reigns. In progress, I had the average, but I did not interest me to live in this environment where the group spirit had disappeared and where the quality of the exchange had gone.

It was impossible for me to endure this atmosphere and I left Etienne Mimard after 3 months. I then asked my father, "Could I make an apprenticeship with you? ». Too happy to think that one of his sons wants to do the same job as him, he accepted. My new life was starting.

45 years of history

My new life was starting

Alongside my father, I prepared a Radio-electrician CAP, which I obtained in 1969. Over the weeks and months shared with him, I can say today that I met my father at that time for the second time.

At home, he never talked about war and resistance. And one day, in a very harmless way, during a simple trip by car, entering a TV antenna installation at a client between Régny and Saint-George-de-Barille (which is 25 kilometers), he said to me: "You see, all the road that we have just traveled I made it while running". Then silence! Plus a word ... intrigued, after a while and not seeing immediately arriving, I questioned dad about this strange declaration. I was going to learn a new story for me: sent to the STO in Germany in 1940, he then escaped to come, after a long journey, take refuge in Saint-Germain-Laval. Hidden by the Boyer family, electricians by day, filmmakers in the evening, traveling the canton to broadcast the films of the time.

A night activity which was in fact a perfect coverage to hide their activities of resistance fighters and parachuting recovery.

I learned that my father had hidden at home until the end of the war and had contributed to the actions of the group of resistance fighters "the secret army" called "A.S". “In 44, we tried an ambush to Neau who went wrong. Our chef, Jean Boyer left life there ... pursued by Germans, we had to run more than 20 kilometers across fields ”. This is how after the war, when he had job proposals as an engineer, my father preferred to stay in the village which had given him his hospitality, but also near the Boyer family who 'had protected. It was also during these years of war that he met his wife, Noëlle, a sparkling young girl whom he married at his 18th birthday. Two strong and moving stories which definitively linked him to Saint-Germain-Laval.

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