For those of you familiar with Kitchener, or more specific, the downtown core you might have known Claude DesRoche – you heard him singing on the street corner with his guitar, or you saw him grabbing a drink at a nearby bar every now and then.
It doesn’t matter if you knew him by name or if you just saw him playing and tossed a buck or two in his case while he played folk songs, some John Denver, or Johnny Cash. DesRoche was as much a fixture of downtown Kitchener as the Market Square, City Hall, or Victoria Park.
For at least the past 20 years, Kitchener’s downtown core had been his home. But DesRoche never really settled down — if he ever had children or a wife, he never talked about them. – the KW RECORD
20 years, this man was around the city, playing his guitar and smiling at passers-by, especially if you happened to give him a coin or more. He was a real nice old guy. I remember hearing him play at the old farmers market, when it was in market square. That’s my earliest memory of Claude. I was about 5 or 6 i think… I’m 20 now, and every time I’d see him over the years, still strumming along, he’d nod and smile in recognition, adding: “Hey,” or “How are ya?”
A chain-smoker and drinker – he died on February 4th, 2009
I feel sad to say…But I never knew his name, not until a week or so ago, after I heard he had passed away.
Claude DesRoche – hmmm – well I guess that name fits.
Here’s to ya, old timer!