“We didn’t know we lived so differently from other kids,” Aimé recalled in her father’s eulogy.

“There were wonderful perks to having an artist for a father. Daddy loved classical music and so that’s all we ever heard. He worked all night and slept late into the mornings. If we ever woke up with a nightmare it was so soothing to hear his music and relax and know that Daddy was downstairs working and everything was all right.”

She recalls how all of them shared in the success when he sold a painting. “When my father sold a painting, we’d celebrate. He might do his hi-yi-yi dance or say, ‘You ready?!’ And we’d better be ready! It usually meant we would all go out to eat or for a ride. Rides always meant going out to the country. We explored abandoned farms, had picnics, hung out on gravel roads where my dad took hundreds of photos of surrounding landscapes and, of course, us” (Aimé Merizon Eulogy, “Daddy Stories,” 4-7-10).

Their mischievous father also knew how to keep them from becoming bored and perhaps bothersome.

Aimé: Often when a bunch of us kids were hanging around outside with nothing to do Daddy would reach in his pockets and fling coins out on our front lawn. Everyone dove for the grass, hunting for glints of silver and copper. Other times he’d offer to pay a quarter if anyone found a four-leaf clover. That would keep us focused and busy for quite a while.

My brother Mark has fond memories of a game he and the others played with my Dad called, ‘Come ‘N Get Me.’ Our second floor was accessible by a front stairway and a back stairs. The general idea of this game was that all the upstairs lights would be out and Daddy could only move about on his hands and knees. The rest of the kids could run as they wished. Basically, they all hid from Daddy until he would find them and chase them from room to room.

Mark said, ’There’s nothing scarier than tiptoeing into a dark room and suddenly seeing the red glow of Dad’s cigar and that bearded face! You’d run like mad, screaming like the devil was after you!’ One night he wanted to give his brother, Frank, some ‘zing.’ ‘So, when it was getting dark out we all drove to his house and Daddy killed the headlights as we crept to a stop. He leaped out, took one of those warning flares, stuck it in Frank’s front lawn, lit it, and we zoomed off’ (Aimé Merizon Eulogy, “Daddy Stories,” 4-7-10).

Not only was their father a prankster but he was also a great story teller.

Aimé: My dad was one of those people who you could ask, ‘Tell me a story…’ and he could not only oblige, but deliver it with intrigue and charm. He knew how to string along a simple tale with all the right pauses, tones of voice, and sound effects. It usually ended with a great hearty laugh. Most everyone has a favorite Armand story. Like the one about the lady with red lipstick who smoked, or the one when he was thirteen and hitchhiked to Niagara Falls and ended up in an Ohio jail, or how he and his buddies liked to switch around the men’s cigars that were carefully left on the brick ledges outside the church. This mischief is what my Dad called ‘giving them some zing.’ He liked to shake things up just a bit and add a little extra to the ordinariness of life (Aimé Merizon Eulogy, “Daddy Stories, 4-7-10).