Memories of New Iberia native George Rodrigue - KLFY News 10

Memories of New Iberia native George Rodrigue

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Those who spent time with world-renowned artist George Rodrigue remember him for more than just his iconic Blue Dogs.
 
"He was an amazing, generous, loyal and humble person," says Steve Santillo, co-owner of Blue Dog Café and Jolie's Louisiana Bistro.

Santillo began spending time with Rodrigue in 1999, he says he still can't believe he's referring to his long-time friend in the past tense.

"His gregarious laughter and the way he touched all that knew him is already tremendously missed," says Santillo.

Santillo says it's the simple moments he will miss the most.

"We would be watching a ball game and he would be painting and talking about the world or whatever—just spending time one-on-one," says Santillo.

Long before Rodrigue was exposing the world to Cajun culture through his art, he was a resident of New Iberia and 1962 graduate of Catholic High School. New Iberia Mayor Hilda Curry says his profile grew, but he never forgot his roots.

"The maintenance man, who worked at Catholic High, I can remember when he [Rodrigue] was painting he [Rodrigue] did…a picture of him [the maintenance man] in the painting," says Mayor Curry.

Residents of New Iberia say they will never forget his roots either.

"The marquee is lit up at the Sliman Theatre downtown. Blue ribbons will be placed at Catholic High, which is Mr. Rodrigue's alma mater. They [ribbons] will also be placed in other areas throughout downtown in New Iberia," says Wess Robison, a member of a community engagement group in New Iberia called ONTAP.

Rodrigue's funeral is set for Thursday at New Orleans' St. Louis Cathedral.

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