Saturday, August 7, 2010

Raymond Muffat, 1932–2010

When I was a kid growing up in the Alps, Raymond and his wife Lina were our next door neighbors. Newlywed, they moved into an old chalet next to our home sometime in 1959, that over the years would be transformed into a large and beautiful residence. I was still a little kid and I would train slalom in front of their door, in the steep slope that dropped 150 feet to the local creek below. I packed the course myself, set it up with makeshift poles that I had cut into some bushes and would side-step uphill after each one of my runs.

Both were my first cheerleaders... They saw me grow up, leave for school and then, one day of 1977 depart for America. An early-riser, Raymond was always up before sunrise, either returning from fishing or already tilling his vegetable garden; in winter his window was always the first to be lit. Both Lina and Raymond were great neighbors and had a wonderful family. This year, around the middle of June, Raymond had to go to the hospital for a very serious operation. He came back home two weeks later, weak, depleted by the procedures and had a hard time recovering. Late July he was once more hospitalized and passed away on Sunday, August 1st. I'll miss your quiet smile and your steady good demeanor, Raymond!

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