The excerpts below chronicle the life of my mother, Lucille Verreault Ledoux. A Franco-Mainer woman born in 1921, her life is typical of many Franco-American women of her generation and, as such, is an important addition to our understanding of Maine’s ethnically diverse communities in the last century.
In this memoir, my mother shares her childhood and young womanhood with us. This was a time when the world was very different from what it is now. Her early life was different not because she had no cell phones or internet, but, in a more fundamental way, because of how people related to each other and to their futures.
In this memoir, We Were Not Spoiled, readers will recognize many Franco American women in their lives: their mémères, their mamans and their ma tantes.
I am regularly told, “You have ghostwritten the story of my mother!”
I am please to present my very own special Franco-American woman: my mother.
My second pregnancy was also easy enough. This time Albert was with me, and he and I could live it together. My mother had had most of her babies at home, but by the mid-1940s, women were…
Dr. Morin would say that my mother had not put a smile on my face when she carried me, but I think it was because, as the oldest, I was made to be a too-serious child.
Let me celebrate my mother’s life by writing about her memoir We Were Not Spoiled—which I will offer you as a gift at the end of this post.
On this blog, I have frequently offered excerpts of my mother’s memoir, We Were Not Spoiled. It has been such a satisfaction for me to have written her story and to have been able to hand her a copy. One day, after I had presented her with the hard copy of We Were Not Spoiled, […]
We Prepare for Our World War 2 Wedding
On Saturday evening, Mr. and Mrs. Ledoux threw us a pre-nuptial party at their home. I had known them for a long time already so they were not strangers to me. Our friends and relatives dropped by to wish us well. Mrs. Ledoux had prepared finger foods and served soft drinks and beer. I supposed Rhéa [Lavigne, Albert’s sister] had helped her.
Sunday called for all the food to be ready as well as for my suitcase to be packed and ready for our trip to Syracuse, NY, the next day after the wedding ceremony because Albert would have to report to base Monday night. That trip would be the only honeymoon we would have because we were having a World War 2 wedding! [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
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In Franco-American New England, marching drill teams were popular. These teams were made up of girls who played instruments and marched in formation. Rhéa Ledoux was a team captain and she got to march in front of the other girls. The various drill teams would prepare elaborate sequences which they performed in parades—often in competition […]
My father loved to tell a story. He would sit three or four of us on his lap and ask us what kind of story we wanted to hear. “Perhaps un petit rien tout nu (a little naked nothing)?” he’d suggest. Not knowing what that was, we would nod our heads eagerly. “Do you want […]
The following is an excerpt from We Were not Spoiled by Lucille Ledoux as told to Denis Ledoux. The trip to Syracuse We left our wedding guests at 1:30 for the train trip to Albert’s base in Syracuse, N.Y. Since it was still summer and the sun was out late, we saw much beautiful country […]
Life during the war went on as usual, in some ways. I enjoyed working at Benoit’s Clothing Store. I liked dressing up to go to work. We were always meeting …
The following is an excerpt from We Were not Spoiled by Lucille Ledoux as told to Denis Ledoux. My Parents Establish Themselves in Maine and I Am Born The Howe Street apartment where I was born was my parents’ second home. When they first came, they lived downtown in a tenement on Lisbon Street. My […]