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Archive | Franco-American

In this archive category, you will find a significant collection of posts of interest to Americans of francophone Canadian descent.

House where Marie Bilodeau was born Bilodeau

Marie Bilodeau’s story

My grandmother Marie Bilodeau Ledoux would have been 130 years old today. She was born in St-Narcisse-de-Lotbinière, Québec, on May 15, 1884. The following is excerpted from a booklet I wrote about my mémère some fifteen years ago and gave a s a Christmas gift to my extended family.

Point of View in a Memoir

Discovering My New Home

This is an excerpt from a memoir I am thinking of calling either In Another Century or A Very Catholic Boy. I am 13, and in the previous excerpt, I have just arrived at the seminary high school where I will be living. The excerpt starts as I have brought my trunk up to the […]

Point of View in a Memoir

When I Arrived at the Seminary

An excerpt from my high school memoir. It wasn’t until my father turned onto Middle Street and drove the 1955 red Ford station wagon up the hill towards the seminary that I gave in to the looming presence of doubt. Was this really what I wanted?

Why do a book tour?

The Summer Before I Left

At 13, as I moved tremulously into adolescence, I knew that, whatever I did, I was leaving childhood and my life would soon be different from what it had been, but I could not appreciate how the difference would be marked not in age but in culture.

Louis Ledoux and Marie Valiquet Marry

During his first decade in Canada, Louis did not marry. While his friend Adrien Sénécal was growing a family, Louis remained single, paying (one presumes) the bachelor tax. In the early 1670s, Louis moved from one settlement to another, but, by the end of the decade, he had become an habitant in Varennes where he […]

Lewiston, Maine, 1960

Preparing to Leave Home

In the summer of 1960 when I was thirteen, my mother drove me into Lewiston to Vincent & Leblanc’s on Lisbon Street at Ash Street. There, in a shopping spree that was unprecedented, she bought me more new clothes than I’d ever had at any one time.

My grandfather Ledoux in the 1930s in his mill clothes

My Grandfather’s Birthday

My grandfather William Ledoux would have been 125 years old today. I would like to take a moment to honor his memory. His early years He was born in Lachine, Québec, on February 17, 1889, the oldest of what would be a family of six children. His mother was 20 and his father 19 at […]

ghostwriting a memoir

The Howe Street Apartment

When my parents came down, they lived in a tenement on Lisbon Street. My father worked at Dulac’s which was nearby, and while the mills were by their tenement, my mother did not seek outside work but kept house.

"Aurore: My Franco-American Mother," by Marguerite Roy

An Extraordinary Woman in an Ordinary World

It was inevitable that I should write Aurore: My Franco-American Mother. From early childhood, I enjoyed my mother’s stories, visualizing the scenes as she talked about her family and the past. During my teen years, I thought my mother talked too much, repeating the same stories over and over again. Whenever she was on the […]

Albert is still gone

Our Second Son Is Born

I am pregnant again We were still living with Albert’s parents when I became pregnant again. Albert’s parents were kind to us. While we were with them, we did not pay any rent, but we did buy groceries for all of us, and in that way, we tried to show our appreciation and not be […]

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