About Frenchy: How'd He Get That Nickname?

André J. "Frenchy" Rheault was born and raised in the French-Canadian community of Biddeford, Maine. He entered the Air Force in 1965 right after high school. It was then that he got the nickname that has become his "real" name. People he met in the service who were unfamiliar with French had trouble understanding that Rheault was pronounced "row" and he eventually accepted the pronunciation of "ree'-alt". He found it was easiest of all however to just be "Frenchy" and, indeed, nobody does it better!

It was in 1974, while stationed in Big Spring, Texas, as an air traffic controller at Webb Air Force base, that Frenchy began the lawn service. Initially, it was a small business that Frenchy's friend, Charlie, was starting to make a little extra money. The friend finally persuaded Frenchy to join him and keep him company. Shortly after that, Charlie received orders to go overseas and Frenchy "inherited" the business. He re-named it Frenchy's Lawn Service, and in a short time it had grown to employ 15 of his fellow air traffic controllers from the base.

It was also in Big Spring that Frenchy met his wife, Teri. She had moved there to work in a travel agency owned by one of Frenchy's lawn service customers. When Webb Air Force Base was closed in 1977, Frenchy was transferred to Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi. Teri and the lawn service went, too! They were married in 1979 and lived in Columbus until Frenchy retired from the service in 1985. They moved to Denton, Texas, and currently have seven "kids" of the 4-legged variety; Blackie, Rocky, Suzi above Daisy (both black), Snowman above Bingo (both white) and Bunny. Frenchy will tell you they are the best toy poodles on the face of the planet.

Why Orange?

Early on, after several expensive loppers were nearly left behind on a job, Frenchy decided to paint the handles of all his equipment bright orange so that they would be easier to see laying in the grass and be less likely to be left behind. Each spring, the orange paint was renewed. One spring, after moving to Denton, the painting was expanded to include the side boards on a couple of the pick-up trucks used for the business. In a burst of enthusiasm, the wheel wells of the vans (one blue, one red) were also painted bright orange. Throughout that season, Frenchy's wife and mother-in-law gave him such a hard time about the unusual color combinations that when the vans needed painting next, he decided to go with all orange and a legend was born! Frenchy's Lawn & Tree Service (the name change occurred in 1995 to more accurately reflect our services) now has 25 vehicles- all orange.