L`ami et journaliste André Robert est décédé le 18 janvier 01 à Hollywood, en Floride, où il vivait depuis vingt ans avec sa femme Diane. Âgé de 76 ans, André Robert dirigeait la rédaction de deux publications francophones en Floride, il a eu une vie pleine de rebondissements. Journaliste spécialisé dans le milieu des artistes, il a tout fait: radio, télévision, quotidiens, hebdomadaires. Il a animé pendant plusieurs années, à TVA à Toute la ville en parle et Bon Dimanche.
Quelques années auparavant, il avait décidé de s’établir en Floride, où il a ouvert un restaurant, André Robert’s French Grill.
Avec André, on dirigeait alors la Maison des Antilles à Fort Lauderdale. On s’était associé pour produire Destination Soleil, émission de télévision conçue pour faire la promotion des Caraïbes.
Il était reconnu tant pour sa gentillesse que pour sa simplicité.
Beau témoignage en anglais de son fils Patrick…
Comme Patrick, Diane et Olivier n’ont pas oublié ?
On this day 15 years ago my dad died. I was 19 years old. As that day gets further and further away memories fade. I begin to wonder if I really remember the sound of his voice, the way he smelled or what the last moments I spent with him were. I do know I was lucky enough to have had him in my life for the first two decades of my time here.
There are things I do remember clearly. I remember coming home from school to find dad reading just about every day. He loved literature. I clearly remember the clacking sound of his typewriter as he wrote his next article. Sitting on his lap, he showed me how to push the keys and load the paper. Although it was his main instrument for work, he let me bang away on that wonderful thing as if I was writing the next best seller. I remember resting my head on his belly as he was reading or listening to classical music, and my head rising and falling as he would breathe. I can remember the beat of his heart.
He had a huge heart and always gave me the sense that I had value and I think that extended to everyone. His smile and wink would make me feel like everything was ok and always would be.
Dad included his boys in everything he did. If we couldn’t go, he wouldn’t go. At a moments notice, he would devise an adventure and cram us in his small Hyundai along with all the kids from the neighborhood, and off we would go like a divine clown car into the sunset seeking memories and the essence of life.
He taught me to respect books, appreciate beauty, and to be kind to other people. A love for travel, other cultures, art and food oozed from his being and I believe I was lucky enough to catch some of it. Sitting with me often with books teaching me to read, and always reminding me to « Articulate Patrick, pronounce your words properly » in English and in French. I cannot stress enough how much of a gentleman André Robert was and how important the ever fading anomalies of class and manners were to him.
For all these things I am by far the luckiest man in the world. However there are moments, when as a man and not a boy I miss my father terribly. On being a good husband, starting a new family, dealing with despair and in other moments when adulthood just seems like it should come with a manual, I wish I could just call on papa and he could tell me something. Anything.
This existence is full of magic and surprises. I can only hope that I will be surprised by the sound of his voice, by his smile, by his wink somehow, somewhere, sometime. In the morning when I watch the sunrise or sometimes when I’m surfing I think that surprise might be happening. I have to allow myself to believe that just a little bit. Je t’aime papa.