The village of Lasserre - 200 residents - where
Grothendieck lived as a recluse for over 23 years.
The house where he lived, mostly on the ground floor.
The garden, full of trees and flowers. He took loving care of the
roses and other plants, bringing shoots indoors to nourish them in individual
pots. He made soup from his dandelions and once, long ago, offered us a
giant basket of apples that had fallen from his apple tree in a storm,
recommending apple sauce.
The garden gate, over which some climbed and some did not.
The front door, which he was liable on occasion to open silently only to
point the visitor straight back the way he came, or even brandish a pitchfork
if sufficiently annoyed.
The mailbox where visitors who tried unsuccessfully to see Grothendieck
could leave a note, and where he dropped the vast majority of the
correspondence he received for immediate return to sender.
Each night Grothendieck could be glimpsed blurrily through the window
as he wrote for hours.
Grothendieck kept this portrait of his father, painted while he was in the internment camp of Vernet in 1942, in his office at the IHES for years.