Hervé Garnier is in his late 60s. He’s got a round face with short cropped gray hair and a pointed nose. He’s a free spirit with a wry grin and a quiet confidence. And he’s been in a fight with the French government for almost 30 years.
In 1971, after getting lost hitchhiking from his hometown in eastern France, then 18-year-old Garnier landed in the tiny village of Beaumont, in the Ardeche region of Southeast France. He never left. Surrounded by the village’s live-and-let-live nonconformists, he fit right in.