FanFan's story piqued the interest of so many that it got me thinking, and remembering some more intriguing family characters. At the time, I just took this all in stride. What did I know? Maybe all horse people in Southern France lived these lives.
I knew that Danni's family had owned a Casino in Nice. Although a great equestrienne, she didn't know how to cook, which seemed logical when she explained growing up living in an Hotel. There was a rift in Danni's relationship with her older sister, as Danni's husband Pierre had divorced one to marry the other.
Danni's parents had been forced out of the Casino business by the Italian mob who, before my time there, had kidnapped one of her cousins to get their point across.
Pierre had another sister, who was a nun in an order that had taken a vow of silence. However, the order was so wealthy (would it be wrong to say well-endowed?) that, for tax reasons, she had to live in Switzerland.
Pierre was something of the Patriarch. He was quite a bit older than Danni, although their kids were six and eight, or thereabouts. He had been a successful horseman in his younger days and had a lot of knowledge and experience to share.
I remember early one morning, as I was mucking out the stalls, he came to talk to me about my decision to leave them and move in with my Artistic One. I was very touched by his advice that I should know someone through all four seasons before making a final decision about linking my future with his. In retrospect, it's a bit funny that he felt qualified to advise. Maybe he had learned his lesson the hard way.