A Chance Worth Taking

Paradox of Life is designed to encourage individuals to get involved in their community for the betterment of society. Involvement can be as simple as taking a chance on another person. This week’s blog is dedicated to my father, Roland T. Begneaud, for teaching me the importance of believing in others and to world-renowned artist and family friend, George Rodrigue.

Over the weekend, the world lost a remarkable artist, and I lost a longstanding family friend. George Rodrigue was made internationally famous by his paintings of the Blue Dog. When my family first came to know George, however, he was a young local artist who had not yet earned his present-day reputation.

Mr. Dickie Hebert, head pharmacist of my family’s pharmacy and one of George’s childhood friends, introduced my dad to George. My dad took a liking to George immediately and the two became fast friends. Dad recognized a quality in George and was enthralled by his oil paintings. Dad paid George commissions, and he would return with remarkable paintings of Louisiana scenery and Cajun people. Once, George turned a photograph of my dad and two of his buddies into a magnificent oil painting, which hung in the pharmacy for many years.

After the renowned Blue Dog led to George Rodrigue becoming an international icon, I was honored to collaborate with George in manufacturing a variety of three-dimensional aluminum Blue Dogs. BEGNEAUD would laser-cut, form, and weld them, and then George would do his magic with his paints and brushes. I enjoyed the partnership with George; he was full of life and very creative.

My dad was unaware George Rodrigue would one day become a household name, so the idea of riches had little to do with my father’s decision. Dad took a chance on a young novice because it was the right thing to do. His actions inspire me to this day to give people a chance. I get my feelings hurt at times, but as the old adage goes, “It’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.” Each time we take a chance on another person, we are showing love.

Here’s to you, Dad and George, may your legacies live long in the hearts and actions of others.