Arthur has graciously agreed to share the following two Tabuteau stories with our readers.
“When I was at Curtis, I was considered the best mimic of Tabuteau. One day in French class (taught by Mme. Tabuteau), she was late, and I was in front of the class doing my Tabuteau imitations. But unbeknownst to me, she had entered the classroom and was right behind me. No one in the class gave any indication that she was there, letting me continue; but after awhile, I realized that something wasn’t quite right. I turned and saw her, and the only thing she said was: ‘Not bad.’”
“I visited the Tabuteaus at La Coustièro in 1958, spending about a week there. [See ‘Arthur Grossman’s Photos in France.’] The house was perched on a cliff above the Mediterranean. One day he noticed some fish swimming in the water at the base of the cliff and he asked his handyman to catch one for him. The man strapped a fishing pole to his back and clambered down the steep rocky cliff to the waterside. Then after setting the bait, he finally caught a fish, placed it in a basket, re-strapped the pole to his back and laboriously climbed back up the steep cliff and presented the fish to Tabuteau. Tabuteau said: ‘No, Idiot, I meant that one!’–pointing down to the sea, and apparently, a different fish.”