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becoming an American

Becoming an American–why not?

DL— Stories about immigration and citizenship form the backbone of our great American story as much today as in past times. Here is an excerpt about becoming an American from We Were Not Spoiled, the memoir of Lucille Verreault Ledoux as told to Denis Ledoux. For more excerpts of my mother’s life, click here.

My father had not come to the US to stay but that’s what happened. Working here to support his family and buying an apartment building that was his family’s home, it must have seemed obvious to him that this is where he would spend the rest of his life. So, why not become an American citizen?

My Father, Joseph Verreault

My father, Joseph Verreault

Becoming a US citizen

Sometime in the mid-1920s, he did just that. Now, he could not be deported and put his family at risk. My mother did not join him in becoming a citizen, but remained here as a resident alien. My father could make himself understood in English, but my mother did not know much beyond what she had learned in her waitressing days in Thetford. She felt this lack of English would stop her from passing the examinations for citizenship. My father was a now citizen, and so they perhaps felt that would save her from deportation, Besides, she did not work outside the home and so was not taking a job away from a citizen. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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point of view in a memoir

My Son Denis Is Born

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…

memoir writing information

No Smile on my Face

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.

memoir writing information

Our Second Son Is Born

Today is my birthday. Here is the story of my birth on January 18, 1947. It is taken from my mother’s memoir, We Were Not Spoiled.

House where Marie Bilodeau was born Bilodeau

After 50 Years

I was one of those fortunate children to have known well both sets of grandparents. My Ledoux grandparents lived upstairs for most of my growing up while by Verreault grandparents lived 10 miles away. (My children did not know their grandfathers and my grandchildren do not know their grandmothers.) My grandmother Marie Bilodeau Ledoux was […]

Ledoux Wedding, September 4, 1944

Our World War 2 Wedding in Maine

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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marching drill teams were popular in Franco-American New England

I Join a Marching Drill Team

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 […]

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.

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.