The Last Illegal Man: My Father, Guido Teunissen

     “When a person is gone, he is much more there, actually, as when he’s alive.”   ...Guido Teunissen
“I must play illegal, I must go against the grain. I cannot be a meek bourgeois sheep.”  ...Guido Teunissen
My father Guido Teunissen (1917-1997) was a Romantic, a roamer, a thinker and a craftsman. He was a charismatic and iconoclast. Everything he did, he did to the utmost -- "Frankie, life is the orgasm" he told my mother on the first day they met. They fell in love at first sight.

A Dutchman, he hid Jews during the Nazi Occupation of the Netherlands and swam the frigid Rhine to freedom in January 1945. He made sandals in Mexico, fine furniture in Big Sur, fasted on a houseboat in Sausolito with Alan Watts, dropped LSD with Ernst Jünger, set up a tiny school in a medieval hamlet in France, and lived without permissions, without rules, except these: to be true to himself, to honor quality in all things and to pay attention to the beauty of the natural world.

Guido paid a high price for his freedom -- and so did those who loved him. He angered and inspired them, made connections and ruthlessly broke them, aspired to much but accomplished little of it -- other than how he lived, which was his greatest achievement and his greatest gift.

To find out more about Guido, visit my blog about him: The Last Illegal Man.
To read my story, Like God In France: Guido at La Maurie, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Francesca -- I knew your father in Big Sur during the summer of 1969. I have some things I'd be glad to share with you. You can reach me at -- Morgan Taylor


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