Maxine is a French speaking African woman of brown complexion. Her tall, slender body and square jaw lines fit her new business role quite well. In Paris the women, rich and poor loved to wear hats. As a rule to herself Maxine practiced wearing a hat most of the time. She knew her hat wasn’t as fancy as the rich women at tea time. But nevertheless she wore it with pride. She embraced a sophistication she felt each woman in France was born with and hoped to someday live in that reality without so much struggle.
She will never forget the life she lived in the 18th District, one of the poorest parts of Paris. She wanted something better for herself, so when the opportunity came she took it. She hated to leave her mother and brother. With nothing but the clothes on her back and a small black purse Maxine arrived in the U.S. by way of a huge ship. Back in Paris she worked at a sewing company where she barely made Coming from Paris, France years ago, Maxine joined the staff at the Bed & Breakfast as head manager. enough to help pay the rent. Maxine had no idea what she would do in the U.S. until that day when Cornelius saw her sitting on the park bench two days after she had arrived. He inquired about her reason for leaving Paris. She then told him her life story. Cornelius offered her a job as head manager at Bed & Breakfast. Maxine gratefully accepted the position.
Maxine never really knew what to expect when she arrived in the U.S., but she knew what she wanted. She wanted to be successful so she could take care of her mother and brother, maybe even send for them one day. At the moment, she would have to be content with sending them a little money. Something else motivated Maxine to come to the U.S., something her mother and brother never talked about anymore, her father. Her father left for the U.S. when Maxine was 9 years old. He told the family he was going to look for work and would send for them once he got established. It never happened, not even a letter to explain what happened. Maxine’s mom believed he was dead, but Maxine wasn’t ready to believe that yet. She wanted to find him. She wanted an explanation for all the years he was absent from his family.