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My mother's book has found its audience.

My Father Loved to Tell a Story

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 […]

Point of View in a Memoir

My First Morning Away

The is an excerpt from a yet-unnamed memoir of my high school years spent in a seminary continues to chronicle my first days there. The school is in Bucksport Maine, and the year is 1960. In this vignette, I write about my first morning. The memoir is in progress.

At 5:45, it was still dark outside, night really. Except for an occasional mumble, the regular breathing of boys in deep sleep was the only noise punctuating the quiet of the dormitory. Perhaps we were all back home in our dreams, with our families once again.

Suddenly—Brrr!

The “bell”— an electric ringer really,  resounded loud and insistent in the silence.

Laus tibi, Christe,” shouted the head Fourth-Form admonitor from his bed in the center of the dorm.
Only from the deep-voices of the other two admonitors at the opposite ends of the room was there an answering “Deo gratias!”<!–more–> [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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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?

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.

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 […]