I truly hope that many of you read “Stories From the South Fork” last week, titled “Frank Peter Louis: An American,” in last week’s edition of this paper. The story, written by my son Tim Motz, richly captures the true essence of a beloved member of our large, ethnically and religiously diverse family, of which Francois was a key member for 40 years.
The story highlights his interaction with family members of all ages and backgrounds and also includes several funny interactions with friends and strangers, often due to his inability, or most likely unwillingness, to lose his heavy French accent.
A couple of my favorite stories:
Shortly after meeting Francois, probably 50 years ago, my wife mentioned in passing that I preferred a glass of cold milk to a glass of wine. I’ll never forget the look of incredulity that froze his face as he spit out a response: “Mealk is for beebies!”
Either that year or the year following, as the president of the Surf Club of Quogue at that time, I had a much more challenging issue to deal with: coming up with a plan to increase the memberships in the club that a handful of us had recently purchased. Naturally, that was to be the main topic at the annual post-summer season wrap-up board of directors meeting.
Or so I thought. Once again, and as a follow-up to family friend Anthony Deckoff’s comment in the story about Francois arriving to swim with his daughter Veronique in the club’s annual father/daughter swim meet dressed in a European male bikini, I can now reveal that increasing membership to attain profitability was immediately relegated to the trash can, much to my chagrin — with 100 percent focus placed on how to deal with the bathing suit dilemma!
Francois, you were a very special person to all who knew you, and you will be missed by all who knew you. Reposez en paix, mon ami.
One fine body…