One Thought Begetting Another by Carole Chambers Griffin
Maman's Red-Faced Summer by Amy Bouchard Morin
Dream of a Wagon (Voiture) by Ida Roy
A Franco-American Woman Down Under: Gerilyn Bossé goes to New Zealand by Gerilyn Bossé
"Mattie" by George HallSurviving The Storm by Deborah Ouellette Small
It is My Dream and My Wish by Rhea Côté RobbinsTalbot Descendants by Paula Currie Raymond
Where I Come From Is Like This by Barbara Ouellette Ouellette
The Plains by Rhea Côté Robbins
Dylan Revisited by Marie Thérèse Martin
Just A Bunch of Memories by Amy Bouchard Morin
Dakota by Ida Roy
My Mother Lives
In the Rooms Of My Memory House by Trudy Chambers
from her historical novel, Le Québecois: The Virgin Forest
31 Ans by Maureen Perry
Une Offrande(?) by Maureen Perry
Choices by Trudy Chambers Price
Scarlet Fever (winter 1944) by Trudy Chambers Price
Maine and the Family
Full Text of Edith Starrett Masse's Work Roles
History of Women Journalist--Lewiston Woman Heads New Maine Press and Radio Group--Miss Charlotte Michaud Elected President
LE MILIEU, L'APPARTENANCE ET L'INTÉGRATION À LA SOCIÉTÉ AMÉRICAINE: La littérature comme outil de connaissance des Franco-Américains par Eric Joly
The Silent Promise--In Memory of John F. Kennedy, Jr.
Thoughts, Feelings on Hair Loss by Joyce MacCrae Howe
This is Where I'll Be
Two articles written by Kim Chase
Jeanne d'Arc According to Stanley Kubrick
The three most important heroes
of my youth were Joan of Arc, Madeline de Verchères and Mémère
Beaudoin ( a great grandmother who birthed sixteen children - fourteen
surviving - delivering two of them herself). Like most Franco-Americans,
I am used to not seeing my culture reflected in such public institutions
as school or American history books or mass media. So it was a pleasant
surprise to learn that CBS would be airing a four-hour movie about Joan
of Arc by the late Stanley Kubrick. I was guardedly optimistic, knowing
too well how little Hollywood respects the truth. My mother took one look
at the credits and flatly rejected the movie. "There were no French names
among the actors," she explained. "And I think the young woman playing
Jeanne d'Arc must be of Polish descent." Since I am much less of a purist
than my mother, I decided to withhold judgment until I had actually seen
We see Jeanne pitted against sixty skilled politicians, lawyers, ambassadors, trained in all the complexities of legal questioning, all of them versed in academic casuistry. Most of them were avowedly her enemies. Her victories for Charles VII had driven many of them, including Bishop Cauchon, out of their dioceses, away from their seats of authority and revenue. They were of the University of Paris and Jeanne threatened Paris. If she had succeeded in that they would have been utterly ruined...
Asked if God ordered her to wear a man's dress, she answered that the dress is a small, nay, the least thing. Nor did she put on man's dress by the advice of any man whatsoever; she did not put it on, nor did she do aught, but by the command of God and the angels.A ridiculous amount of the trial seems to be spent asking Jeanne what the saints looked like. It is unclear whether these were serious questions or efforts to ridicule and diminish Jeanne's accomplishments. However, her rejoinders are astonishingly incisive:
Asked what part of them she saw, she answered the face... Asked how they spoke if they had no other members, she answered: "I leave that to God."...
Taken from her historical novel, Le Québecois: The Virgin Forest
By Doris Provencher-Faucher, Biddeford, ME
The ancient castle of the Dukes of
Brittany cast its shadow over the old port of Nantes as dinghies criss-crossed
the water, wending their way around and between the several river craft
and ocean-sailing ships that lay at anchor in this common estuary of the
Erdre and Loire rivers.
This is the opening chapter to an as yet unpublished manuscript through which the author faithfully presents an authentic portrayal of life in the St. Lawrence River valley wilderness during the mid-17th century, based on five years of genealogical and historical research. The major events of the leading characters' lives are authentic, as are the dramatic natural phenomena and political events they experienced; their everyday activities are fictional, yet they represent common attitudes and activities of that period. The story follows the main characters through emigration, indenture, settlement, deliverance from the Iroquois threat, and exploration of an overland route to Hudson Bay with Father Albanel, s.j. in 1672.
The author was educated in a bilingual parochial elementary school, a public high school, the Maine University System, and spent the first year of married life in France during her husband's military service. They subsequently had four children who are now married. Upon her retirement from teaching at the local public high school, she began her genealogical research into her family's French origins and immediately realized that her first French-Canadian ancestor emigrated across the North Atlantic exactly three hundred years before she sailed home on a small troop ship with her husband and three-month old son.
Carole Chambers Griffin
One Thought Begetting
Meridan Connecticut 06451
The Andrew Jergens Company
Lili (LaVerdiere) Bates
Originally from Waterville,
Maine, I moved to New York City in 1985, and attended Parson's School of
Design, majoring in Interiors.
All the featured art work on these
pages was done by Lili.
Lili (LaVerdiere) Bates
By Amy Bouchard Morin, Old Town, Maine
The summer I turned three my
Aunt Zelia invited Maman and me to stay with her and her family while dad
was a councillor at that camp again. A month visiting her family
seemed like a good idea since Maman no longer had the chickens, and the
family garden plot would be in growing mode and would be all right until
Lili (LaVerdiere) Bates
By George Hall, Presque
When I was eight years old I wanted
a star in the window. It was 1941, and my friends who had fathers
or brothers in the service displayed blue stars in their windows honoring
relatives in the military. I didn't understand the somber meaning
of the gold stars, or why my parents looked so worried when they listened
to news about Pearl Harbor. I knew only that my father was too old
and my brother too young to be drafted. The fact that my mother was an
airplane spotter didn't cut any ice with my friends.
George Hall is professor emeritus of English from the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Although his roots are in western Maine, he and his wife Carol-Ann have resided in Aroostook County for the last 28 years.
*ECHOES has published the journal of Maj. Mattie A. Pinette of Fort Kent, Maine
A Normandy Journal: Day by day with Eisenhower's secretary by Mattie Pinette, ECHOES, No. 42
A Normandy Journal Part II: Day by day with Eisenhower's secretary by Mattie Pinette, ECHOES, No. 43
with a third segment "The Sinking: Surviving a torpedo attack," ECHOES, No. 44.
ECHOES has published the journal of Maj. Mattie A. Pinette of Fort Kent, Maine in the Nos. 42, 43, & 44 issues. Back issues, $5.
To order this important text of Franco-American women's witings:
PO Box 626
Caribou, Maine 04736
Surviving The Storm
By Deborah Ouellette Small, Old Town, ME
I'm standing in the kitchen
listening to the porch screen door bang with authority. My seventeen-year
old daughter rushes in and immediately begins her after school ritual of
rummaging through the cupboards looking for nourishment to satisfy her
It was one of those warm winter
afternoons when the snow outside is melting, like butter. My papa
just arrived home from the doctor's office and without any hesitation,
he gave my mama a straightforward answer to her question concerning his
medical diagnosis. "I can't believe it! I have lung cancer
and it's extremely advanced. Doc says I have only three months to
live. He's sending me to Boston General for Chemotherapy, but he
truly thinks it's too late for me." My papa, who smokes two packs
a day, clutched at his flannel shirt and pulled out a Marlboro from its
hard cardboard case.
It is My Dream and My WishBy Rhea Côté Robbins, Brewer, Maine
I have been reading and preparing
to teach a Franco-American
Women's Experiences course for the Fall of 1999. Reading fiction,
nonfiction, histories, and more of the women's lives who came to settle
New France, and the later writings of those who came to work in les États
Rhea Cote Robbins is the author of Wednesday's Child,the 1997 winner of the Maine Chapbook Award for creative nonfiction.
By Amy Bouchard Morin, Old Town, ME
My husband's aunt was a stitch.
I swear she had a saying for everything. When spring was just around
the corner she would say,
Another thing she would say if they
left the room was,
Maybe that is why I feel such a compulsion to write down the stories that my parents tell about their growing-up years as well as the stories that their parents told them along with my own memories.
On New Years Day this year Maman asked my husband and I to come to dinner! We went early because I wanted to help her out. But, Maman knew I would do that, and she hurried up and had everything on the stove ready to go when I got there. She wanted to do it herself to prove she could do it. Imagine... this 88-year-old, legally blind woman who had a hip replacement in October (never mind the three trips to the hospital within the past year) was cooking and playing hostess! We were talking as we worked together in the kitchen, same as we did when I was growing up. And she started reminiscing about when she was little. She said that, when she was growing up and until she left home, her place to sit for meals was beside her father at the big table. Anything that Pepere ate, she ate. Now it seems that one time when she was home during one of the school breaks, she was talking with her mother and she found out that Pepere did not like vegetables. He was a meat and potatoes man. But, from the time Maman sat beside him and he realized that she was copying what he did, he ate all his vegetables and pretended that they were his favorites. And today vegetables are Maman's favorite part of the meal. Whenever the fresh vegetables come in the garden, she makes whole meals of just vegetables. She was chuckling about that as she moved around the kitchen without her walker. I don't think I will ever forget this past New Year's Day. We brought up old memories, and made new ones, my Maman and I.
We were talking about the summers
when it was just the two of us at home. Daddy was a counselor at
a boy's camp in western Maine and was gone for three months. I was
telling her that I remembered how much she liked to go on a picnic.
Every nice day she would pack a lunch and make some lemonade and put it
all (along with a blanket) into a bag. Then she would take my hand,
and we would walk down the path in the woods behind the house to a big
flat rock where we would sit and eat our lunch and watch the birds, chipmunks
and squirrels. After eating lunch, we would walk back home, and I
would be ready for my nap. (I must have been three or four years
old.) I really loved those picnics with Maman.
Dream of a Wagon (Voiture)
By Ida Roy, Van Buren, ME
night my dream was that I went to visit someone and I can't picture who
it was. When it was time for me to go home, I had to cross a stream. It
looked like I was in Ste Agatha, I felt that I wanted to go home, at my
fathers' place where I was living with my brothers and sisters on the farm.
We used to go to uncle Ozime Hebert's on the other side of the stream.
It seems I was on the other side, it was in the country, there were no
buildings, the road was rough, it was a dirt road, the same road we used
to pass on when we were young.
Martha Adelia (Higgins) Chambers (1909-1998)
By her daughter, Trudy Chambers Price, Brunswick, ME
This piece of writing took form as I drove from Brunswick to Caribou the day after my mother's death. I wrote it after I reached Caribou and spoke it at her funeral service on January 6, 1998. It is called:
My Mother Lives In the Rooms Of My Memory House
Yesterday was the thirteenth
anniversary of my father's death and I have to say that when he died, a
big part of my mother died with him. These past thirteen years have
been difficult for her and the family, especially for Jerome and Betheny.
Center Celebrates 12 "Women of Aroostook"
PRESQUE ISLE -- Maine Centers for Women, Work and Community-Aroostook County, celebrated the 12 women chosen for the Celebrating Women of Aroostook calendar, March 27 at Northern Maine Technical College.
The women were nominated and
chosen for their inspiration and contributions to family and community.
Their pictures will appear in the Year 2000 calendar. They are:
To order a calendar ($10 donation)
|A Franco-American Woman Down Under: Gerilyn
Bossé goes to New Zealand
By Gerilyn Bossé, Old Town, ME
Thursday, March 18, 1999 10:10:45
Tuesday, March 23, 1999 12:41:52
Friday, March 26, 1999 6:22:49
Sunday, March 28, 1999 4:45:51
Thursday, April 01, 1999 5:30:49
Tuesday, April 06, 1999 2:05:25
By Paula Currie Raymond, Waterville, ME
For quite sometime now
I have been intrigued by my maternal side of the family. I have spent
many long hours pondering their history and wondering where I fit in.
Why do I look, think and act the way I do. What mix am I. How
far back could I possibly go.
By Barbara Ouellette Ouellette, Old Town, Maine
Where I come from is like
this -- The physical place where I come from is an Island --French Island.
Actually the name of the island is Treat and Webster, but it was known
as French Island because all the people who lived there were French, the
petite Canada of Old Town. Growing up on this island was an experience
of it's own. Everyone who lived there thought and did the same things,
they all came from the same background and spoke the same languages--French
and English. No one was different, culturally different, that is.
My memories of where I came from are all pleasant. Family ties were
and still are very important to us. We lived in an apartment above
my Mimire and Pipire, there were no inside stairs that connected the two
dwellings just an outside stairway. There was always plenty of traffic
going up and down those stairs. My Mimire was always upstairs for
one reason or another, and my Maman always sent us down for whatever she
happened to need. This sense of closeness has brought me through
all the years of my life. The close family ties have remained a thread
running through our family, since all five of us are still in the area.
Not only that, but our children, except one who lives in South Portland,
are still the area.
By Ida (Bourgoin) Roy, Van Buren, ME
This is a true story.
It looks like I am writing a story of a state, no, it is about a dog, his name his DAKOTA.
Yesterday morning I heard Cecile talking to someone in the kitchen. I looked at the clock, it was time for me to get up. I thought who's talking with Cecile this morning, I thought maybe with her husband , Claude.
I got up and when I came into the kitchen she was alone eating her breakfast. I was still in my nightgown. She looked at me and said "MOM", you started something, now we will have to buy some bread for DAKOTA.
She continued to eat, and DAKOTA came at the door and wanted toast with butter. I said, we can buy some bread too.
A few weeks ago I was sitting at the table having my breakfast, DAKOTA was on the porch looking at me through the glass door, it's a door the size of two large doors together.
It is a beautiful glass door top to bottom.
He was looking at me, I felt sorry for him, I made myself bacon and eggs with home made fried potatoes and then I had my two toasts with a cup of tea.
I thought poor DAKOTA, I'm sure he would like to have a piece of my breakfast. I took a little piece of bread and butter and I opened the door and handed it to him. He sniffed the bread.
I thought maybe if I put it down on the porch he will eat. Then I put it down, and he sniffed again. He looked at it, and then he looked at me, liked he didn't dare to touch it, without me telling him to eat. I said, "DAKOTA, you don't want to eat this, if you don't eat this I won't give you anymore". He didn't budge, I said again, "DAKOTA, eat, it's good, if you don't eat this I won't try to give you any more".
It's like he understood, he took the bread and chewed like he was eating after a big bone. He liked it and asked for more, so I made him a whole slice of bread, (toasted).
The next morning he was at the door again! To see if I would give him a toast.
He sleeps outside in a nice cabin. He is a big husky white dog. He weighs about a hundred and forty pounds and has a fluffy fur coat on him. He looks like those big polar bears in Alaska.
His head is more beautiful then those white bear with long thin nose. He is really a very pretty dog. He is tall like a pony, he has big paws and he's very quiet and never barks, but I must tell you that he tries to talk and cry, he makes himself understood.
Last winter, we had some company and Cecile brought him in the house to show him to the people and I had to watch myself. Only the touch of his nose can throw me down on the floor.
He was on a leash, he came right to me.
I held on to my chair. It has been a long time that he was seeing me through the windows. I think he wanted to see me...I patted him on the head, he was happy then she took him outside.
Last week Cecile was laying outside tanning on a lounge chair. DAKOTA went to lay down next to her and rested his head on her arms. Cecile hollered from the outside to look at DAKOTA and she said, "see, Mom, he's a big pig and a baby".
Sometimes when I sit at my desk, he comes and look at me through the window.
The other day when he wanted some toasts she said, we will have to buy him some bread now. Like I told her, you have to buy dog food. It will not be any worse to buy bread to eat with his meat, she said, we can buy it when it comes on sale.
This morning when it was time for my breakfast he started to cry and talk to me again, so I gave him a buttered toast again. He was glad and I didn't hear him after that. It must had made his day.
Dogs have feelings too. I feel bad when I eat something and they don't have any, so I think if I can eat toast, so can he.
Last night Cecile said to her husband , "Claude, DAKOTA didn't touch his food for two days, he waits for table food.
Now I don't know if I started something good or bad, we will have to wait and see.
Worse then that, last week I gave him two toasts with homemade beans on his bread. At the beginning he sniffed again and then he gulfed it down his throat so fast. "Gee" I think I spoiled him. It will cost a fortune to buy him some bread and beans.
This is my story, someday we might have to buy a bakery for DAKOTA. Sometimes the COUNTRY KITCHEN BREAD comes on sale. We can buy it by the gross so he can eat bread with his beans. We might someday see him at the table eating his beans and bread and butter.
Like I said if we can eat COUNTRY KITCHEN BREAD, so can he!
It will be worse if I start to feed him with COUNTRY KITCHEN DONUTS.
To be continued
By Ida (Bourgoin) Roy, Van Buren, ME
Cette histoire est vrai.
Sa regarde que je vous écrit une histoire d'un pays, DAKOTA, "Non, je va vous parler d'un chien, son non est DAKOTA."
Hier- matin j'ai entendu parler Cécile dans la cuisine avec quelqu'un. Je me suis lever et j'ai regarder a l'heure, il était assez tard pour me lever. Je pense qu'elle parle avec son mari, Claude.
J'arrive á la cuisine, Cécile était tout seul, elle était âpres déjeuner, je était encore en robe de nuit. Elle me regarde et elle me dit, "Mom"‘ vous - avez commencer quelque chose, la faudra acheter du pain et du beurre pour DAKOTA.
Elle continue son déjeuner, DAKOTA á venu á la porte et il voulais avoir du pain rôtie avec du beurre.
Deux semaines passer, DAKOTA était sur le portique et il me regardait par la porte en vitre,
Cette porte est très grande, elle fait comme deux porte ensemble, elle est toute en vitre du haut en bas.
J'avait de la peine pour lui, un bon déjeuner que jetais âpres manger, du bacon, des oeufs, des patate fritte, et deux tranche de pains rôtie avec du beurre et une tasse de thé.
Je penser, pauvre DAKOTA, je suis certain q'il aimerait en n'avoir. J'ai pris un petit morceau de pain rôtie, j'ouvre la porte et je lui en á donner, il sifflait ce petit morceau de pain, peut être ci je mettrais a bas, il magnerait. Bien non, encore il manger pas, il me regardait et regardait le morceau de pain, ci tu mange pas, je ta donnera plus.
C'est de même qu'il ma compris, il a prie le pain et il mâchait ceci comme si il avait un os.
L'était heureux, cela á faite sa journée.
Le lendemain matin il était encore a la porte pour avoir son pain griller avec du beurre.
Il couche dehors, il a une belle cabane. Il est un gros husky chien ( DOG) il pèse alentour de cent-quarante livres. DAKOTA a un gros manteau de fourrure blanc, il est gros comme un ours d' Alaska. Il a la tête grosse et il est gros comme les petit cheval (pony), il est tranquille, et j'appe pas, je vous dit que il parle, et il pleur, il est vraiment bien diffèrent. On le comprends.
L'hiver passer ont eu des visiteurs et Cécile vouslait le montrer au monde, elle va le chercher et j'avait peur qu'il me j'esterais a terre. Seulement une petite poussez avec son nez me jetterai a terre.
Il avais un leash, il a venu troit a moi.
Toute de suite, pour longtemps il me regardait par la fenêtre il était content, il voulait ce faire flatter.
La semaine. passer, Cécile avais été dehors pour prendre du soleil seulement DAKOTA avait la tête sur les bras, de Cécile, elle cri.... Mom, regard ici, DAKOTA il ce fait flatter, elle dit regarder ce gros cochon et un gros bébé.
Quand je va m' asseoir près de mon pupitre pour écrire, il vient me regarder par la fenêtre.
L'autre jour quand il volait du pain, Cécile me dit, va falloir acheter du pain, maintenant c'est comme j' avait dis, ces pas pire acheter du pain comme d'autre nourriture. ELLE dis peut être qu'on pourrais n'en trouve au prix coûtant.
A matin quand c'était le temps pour déjeuner, il a commencera a pleurer et parler pour ce faire comprendre. La je lui donner encore du pain beurre, il étais content. Ont ne l'attendait plus, sa faite sa journée.
Les chiens ont des sentiments aussi, je suis triste, je pense ci je peut me nourrie avec de la bonne nourritures, lui aussi.
Hier soir, Cécile dit a sons mari, Claude..., DAKOTA a pas touche a son "dogfood" pour deux jours. Il attends pour la nourriture de la table.
Je sait pas si j'ai commence quelque chose, de bien ou mal.
Pire que sa, la semaine passée, celui e donnée deux tranche de pain rôtie avec des fève faite au pays. Il a commencer a sifflant les beans, j'ai dis, "DAKOTA," goût, ces bon. Il a avaler cela sa, sa pas pris de temps.
Ca regarde que sa va coûter une fortune pour le pain et les fève et le beurre.
Bien ces mon histoire, quelque jour ont va peut-être redui de acheter au prix coûtent pour DAKOTA. En n'attendant ont pue achète ou prix coûtent et en grosse du pains de COUNTRY KITCHEN. Ces comme je dis, si ont peut ce nourries avec du pain de COUNTRY KITCHEN, LUI AUSSI!
Se serais bien pire si je commencerait a lui donnée des COUNTRY KITCHEN DONUTS (BEIGNE), peut être on peut achète une Boulangerie pour DAKOTA.
Lili (LaVerdiere) Bates
When I was five
By Joy Yourcenar
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Underneath, me, trying to write.
I drown in whitechocolatespaceeggs
Rumbling, they stride the house shaking,
until looking up, I realize we lie
By Joy Yourcenar
Halifax, Nova Scotia
"But tomorrow we'll run a little
Rêves d'autrefois, je les ai
Quoi faire en attendant la vision
La fin de l'été, le
"Cherche pour toi-même ta vision
** "Boats Against the Current c1977)"
by Eric Carmen
Maureen Perry, Boston,
Lili (LaVerdiere) Bates
Qu'est-ce que je peux te donner?
Qu'est-ce que je peux te donner?
Qu'est-ce que je peux te donner?
En français ou en anglais,
Maureen Perry, Boston,
I think of you, Great-grandmother
Was it your desire
They say he died in his fifties.
When you heard the news,
Trudy Chambers Price
Scarlet Fever (winter 1944)
My crib was moved downstairs
My head belonged to a giant.
Venetian blinds were drawn -
After he looked in on me,
Trudy Chambers Price
Lili (LaVerdiere) Bates
The PlainsBy Rhea Côté Robbins, Brewer. ME
If we ever thought that we
could ever escape The Plains we must have been two young women just dreaming
our lives away on the edges of the riverbank. Living on the fringes
of our own direct realities we created fantasy worlds with which we could
deal. We were fringe dwellers. Or so I always thought.
The history of the Plains, Waterville, Maine, like any geographical area
is rich, but this one is more wealthy than most because, like its name,
it is a unique opportunity in living. Whose life were we living?
Our own, our future selves or one steeped in the past? We live all
three, concurrently, simultaneously and communally. It does not matter
if we leave the neighborhood or even come back to it. Our lives are
intertwined and intermingled with centuries of dwellers and the end of
the fringe can go round the world. Historically, our ancestors came
to live here from Canada, specifically, French speaking Canada, Québec
province. My great-grandfather walked from Montréal every
spring and worked on farms along the way. He was a tiny, bent over
man who kept peppermint candies (Canada Mints, how ironic) in his pocket
to give to his grandchildren, my father.
When the first French-speaking immigrants appeared in Waterville, this ‘Plains' section of the town was a vast, thickly wooded area with a few tiny clearings here and there for grazing.
In my own devised future, I
brought my husband and children to see the old dead tree. Somehow
it had melted into the ground. I looked for it. I searched
for a shred of truth that the tree had once been as I looked for myself
or proof of myself as I had once been. How could such a large tree
go away like that. It had not been so many winters since I had last
been here to see the tree had it? At last, following along where
the trunk had lain, I found the very end of the tree in a protected place.
All that remained of our meeting place, insignificant then, became all
powerful in proving we exist. My husband and children admired the
maples, my son played in the stream, floating sticks down through the wooded
hill as I once had done; the silt and sand pools catching and sending private
small eddies over tree roots, small patches of spring ice cracked when
we applied pressure. This is the stream my father piped to privately
stock the pond on our land below. The stream no longer flowed out
through the woods. It is not only the course of lives that change;
waters tend to move in areas of least resistance as well.
from Vol. 2 Nos. 2/3
Edith Starrett Masse's Work Roles: On the Farm and at Home A Narrative Study of Her Diaries 1942-1945
By Suzette Lalime Davidson, El Cerrito, CAMaine and the Family
The state of Maine covers approximately 33,215 square miles, but has a small current population of slightly over 1,000,000. Maine is known as "Vacationland" because of the beauty of its natural environment which draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year from all over North America. For the brief summer season of June through September, the economy and the population of Maine expands as the tourist industry supplies the state with most of its income. The paper, lumber, blueberry, potato, poultry and seafood industries also comprise the Maine economy. Once the trees change their color, however, and the cold sets in, the tourists have usually gone away. The winter may come as early as a snowfall on Halloween and stay as late as Easter. The bitter cold of Northeast winters, the limited growing season, and the unpredictability of weather in all seasons, contribute to the way Maine people have made their living.
Prior to the post-World War II tourist trade, which became more prominent with the creation of the Maine highway system, the economy was more heavily based on the agricultural and timber industries. Maine water ways, such as the Kennebec River, were the first transportation systems for shipping goods and running lumber. The rivers became the sources of power for the textile and lumber industries in the early 1800s, which attracted immigrants from many places who were seeking employment. The Maine railroads, built in the 1840s , connected Maine and Canada. They transported paper and raw materials to ports in the southern part of the state, as well as making a connection to other New England Railroad lines.
The ethnic make-up of Maine consists of Native Americans of the Abnaki nations, part of the Algonkian Community, which include the Pasamaquoddy, Penobscot, and Micmac tribes. Three of the seven Abanki tribes living in the area of Vassalboro prior to the Europeans' permanent settlements were the Kennebees, or Kinaibik, the Sachadehos and the Norridgewocks. Anglo-Americans settled on the southern coastal regions of Maine in the 1600s. In 1740, German immigrants came to the Sheepscot proprietary colony to farm and make iron. In the 1830s, Irish immigrants from Boston came north to work in the mills in the town of Lewiston . Swedish immigrants, who settled in the northeast sections of Aroostoock county, arrived in the 1870s and 1880s. Immigrants from Russian, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria and Norway came to Maine between the 1880s and the end of World War I. Nearly a third of the total population of Maine, however, are French-Americans who migrated in two waves. First, in the seventeenth century, immigrants from Brittany settled in North America, in a region called Acadia. In 1755, when they were banished from that region of Canada by the British because "they refused to bear arms against Frenchmen," they settled in northern Maine along the St. John River Valley.
The second wave of immigration occurred with the advent of US industrialization in the nineteenth century. Many "land-poor" French Canadians came to the United States seeking work in the textile and lumber mills. In this tradition, my great-grandfather Louis Zepherin Masse came to Maine from Becancour at Trois Rivieres, Quebec, following his brothers. He met my great-grandmother, Edith Starrett, whose paternal ancestry was Scottish and English and whose family had lived in Maine for at least three generations. Both Edith's parents and her grandparents had lived in Kennebec county.
Kennebec County, and the river of the same name, were named after one of the Abnaki tribes. It is in the mid-western region of the state and contains the capital, Augusta, and the town of Waterville. The development of the region's diverse economy placed Edith and her family in a unique setting. The industrialization of the Kennebec River region brought water-powered mills and the establishment of two post-secondary schools in the town of Waterville.
The paper mills, owned by both in-state and out-of -state interests, were thriving operations by the 1860s. The Maine textile industry was hard hit during the depression of 1873 and many immigrants, who had come to Maine to find work, returned to Canada. Many who stayed formed the large French sections of town in both Waterville and Augusta. The region supports two colleges in the town of Waterville, Colby College and Thomas Business College, and a branch of the University of Maine in Augusta. Kennebec county also depends upon the seasonal tourist trade. There are many lakes, including the China Lakes and the Belgrade Lakes, which draw tourists and local vacationers. The economy in Kennebec County includes industrialized settlements, which support post-secondary schools, a region of lakes which attract the seasonal tourist trade, and a sparsely populated farm region of small towns.
Vassalboro, which is equidistant between two larger towns of Augusta, and Waterville, is made up of two villages, the "East" and the "North." The region connecting the two villages is know just as "Vassalboro." The North is the site of a textile mill, which was built in 1841 by John Lang. The mill attracted many Irish, English, and Canadian immigrants to the town in the 1880s. It changed hands many times until it's permanent closure in 1955. The East borders the China Lakes region, a popular spot for local fishermen and visiting tourists. At the time of Edith's diary, Vassalboro's economy had been changing from a predominantly farming community to one which was more dependent upon the area's industrial resources. A century earlier Vassalboro had supported a number of family farms, as well as the new industrial mills. As farming technology became more advanced, and crop production became more competitive, Vassalboro residents were relying upon different jobs.
In 1914 Louis Z. had purchased the lumber mill just beyond the center of the village of East Vassalboro; he had built a mill in the town of Weeks Mills and was seeking "greater water power" to expand his business. Louis Z. managed the small lumber mill, and established the Water District on the China Lake stream. Across the road from the mill, he built a home for Edith and their children. During the 1930s, a dam was built behind the elementary school near the boat landing on China Lake. Louis Z. directed the project and the W.P.A. provided six workmen. The two businesses were sold to his son, Herman Masse, after Louis Z. retired. Louis Z. also built a "camp" for their family on Three Mile Pond in the China Lakes region. The camp is a summer cabin with a screened-in porch and one upstairs room, suitable for summer use. Edith's family spent time there during the warm months.
Edith's house was located within a mile of two of her children's houses. At the time of her written account, Edith was the grandmother in her family, which is made up of many folk. Next door to Edith's house was the home of her son, Herman Masse, his wife Ruby Foss Masse, and their children, Kenneth and Marion. Across the road, which is now Route 32, was the mill Louis Z. built in 1914. If one crossed over the millstream behind the mill and went up the hill, one would find the home of Edith's eldest daughter, Malvena Robbins and her husband Maurice. The Masses had two phone lines, one that connected them to the Robbins home and one that was installed by the phone company. Louis Z. had hooked up the first line before they had a regular phone connection. It was often used to announce the departure or arrival of members of the family coming to visit or assist with chores at either house.
Malvena Masse Robbins, her husband Maurice Robbins, and their four children Louis I., Gerald, Wallace and Marjory, lived on a farm on the same road as the Friends Meeting House. In the town of Windsor, about half an hour away by car, lived Edith's sister Pearle and her family. Edith's youngest daughter, Agnes Masse Plummer, and her husband John Plummer, lived in Hampden a town in Penobscot county, about an hour and a half drive northeast of Vassalboro. Edith also had relatives in Athol, Massachusetts, who visited in China, the lakes region, during the summer. For the full text version, please see the following:
Continued on a dedicated site. Please click here for the full text.
By Marie Thérèse "Terry" Martin, Rumford, ME
" It ain't no use to sit and wonder
Dylan revisited. In a
blinding snowstorm, I braved the weather to accomplish another of my "
over 50 " dreams----to sing to my hearts content with Dylan----one more
time. For anyone who hasn't yet turned 50, let me tell you that it
is somewhat of a religious experience. Everything takes on
new meaning. Perhaps it is life's cycle giving you one last powerful
surge before beginning the inevitable and gradual decline into the senior
years. It peaks your senses. The sun seems a bit brighter and
warmer. Food tastes better. Coffee smells stronger. Mozart
sounds sweeter and yes! Bob Dylan sounds even more soulful.
That Irish most Irish of hearts, that has propelled many hearts through
years of poetic verse and powerful lyrics, arrived in Portland to perform
to a crowd of sell out proportions.
RECIPE FOR RAPURE
Évangéline Richard Beaudet Knolkemper
is the daughter of
Alma Poirier Richard
One of Mother's favorite Acadian specialties is Rapure (Chiard). Her recipe was her mother's although she adds her own personality to this ageless recipe.
Authentic Acadian Recipe1 peck of fresh potatoes
(grate all of the potatoes except for about 10 small potatoes, cook and mash these 10 potatoes)
1/2 lb. fresh pork cut into small pieces
1/2 lb. salt pork
cook fresh pork and salt pork slowly in cast iron skillet until crispy
To assemble: Mix grated potatoes and cooked mashed potatoes together adding two eggs and one tablespoon of salt. Add salt pork and fried pork to potato mixture. Pour this mixture into a large baking pan 9 x 13. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees F until done, approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours. This recipe is best when fresh garden potatoes are used.
By Debra Perro
I found my Dad's recipe for Chokecherry wine. Let's see if I can interpret it......
Grind choke cheries and let to ferment in a crock.
After mixture has stopped working, strain liquid from berries.
Add 5 cups of sugar to each gallon of liquid. Also, add 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar to each gallon.
Let sit in crock until mixture stops fermenting.
Bottle & enjoy. (It really isn't a sweet
wine--at least as much as I can remember.)
By a former woman inmateWhat brought me to the point of being incarcerated? My original crime was self-destruction -- alcohol being the number one killer which, at time, I was totally unaware of where I was heading and what the outcome was most likely to be.
My serious drinking began late in life but not too late to get in trouble with the law due to my abuse of alcohol. Two years ago, when I decided to get serious about my drinking problem, the "bottom fell out from under me," as the old saying goes.
I was heading in the right direction and my life was falling into place when "bam" everything I have worked so hard to achieve came tumbling down. I couldn't believe what was happening to me!
In July, 1996, I was stopped by the police because I was driving too slow. It had been five years since I had driven, so I was a nervous driver -- I believe it is called overcautious. When asked to get out of my vehicle, I stumbled nearly falling into the police officer. I was very Ill having had bronchitis for nearly a month. Needless to say, at the time, I didn't look my best. I noticed the other police officer talking into his walkie talkie and I knew he was checking to see if I had a police record. Since I had two prior OUI's eight years ago, of course, I was asked if I had been drinking and my answer was "no". I was still taken to the Police Station for testing, but I was unable to successfully perform their test because of breathing difficulties due to the bronchitis. I asked that they give a blood or urine test but was refused. I was arrested and thrown into the dungeon (holding cell.) A friend bailed me out the following day and I took a taxi to get my vehicle. Of course, I had to ask the police where my car had been towed (what an asinine thing to do)! Guess who was waiting for me tow blocks from where my car was towed -- you guessed it! The police stopped me again and history repeated itself for my second OUI. What a mess! My thoughts at the time were two OUI's in two days, what is going to happen to me now? Will they lock me away and throw away the key?
Well, I spent six months in the county jail and received four years probation. Of course, I received an astronomical fine which will take a lifetime to pay. I have been treated for anxiety disorders and had a difficult time adjusting to prison life. If the jail personnel had not given me a job doing the laundry, I truly believe I would have gone insane. I am a constant worrier and my kids were on my mind often, wondering what they were feeling. I communicated with them through the mail but that just didn't seem to be enough. I wanted so much to hug and kiss them and tell them everything was going to be okay. I made it through but it was a tough road. Doing the laundry and participating in as many classes the school had to offer helped to pass the time. Many nights I cried myself to sleep. Upon my release, I spent time in a rehab for women and felt really good about myself.
Once again, my life was going upward and I was on the move -- a bit too fast but I wanted to make up for lost time. My kids and I were really forming a bond which I was so afraid I had lost and it seemed life was going to be good to me from now on. This was not to be the case.
My son, Sean, is my "problem child" whom I love dearly and has to be closely watched even though he is a teenager. He suffers from Addison's disease for which he takes medication and , if the medication is not properly balanced, neither is my son. I was cleaning his room when I found a loaded gun under his pillow. I could not believe it! This required immediate attention! I decided what was best for my son was to speak to my son's counselor about this problem and, in doing so, I "cut my own throat" so to speak. The police were informed of my conversation with the counselor who, in turn, called my probation officer. Imagine my surprise when the police and my probation officer paid a surprise visit to my apartment demanding that I give them the gun that I no longer had in my possession! Well, I am no fool! The gun in question was long gone and I was not about to tell them any of the details. I had given the gun to someone I knew and trusted for disposal.
A search of my apartment found nothing but to my surprise and horror, my probation officer opened the door to my front hallway which was used for storage and found numerous wine/beer bottles and, unfortunately for me, one bottle had some wine left in the bottom and right then and there I knew I was in trouble. I could have kicked myself! I had completely forgotten that I had placed those bottles in the hallway so I could take them to a redemption center. I was so angry with myself, my kids and the young lady whom I had staying at my apartment during my stay in the county jail. There had been numerous parties held in my apartment during my absence which included drugs and alcohol and the bottles were remnants from those parties. It would not matter what I said at this point, I was doomed! Please do not misunderstand -- I would have done anything to help my son. I was just so angry at myself for forgetting about those damned bottles.
My probation had now been violated and I knew I was in deep trouble. I was arrested again and once more placed in the "hell hole". I can't begin to explain how I felt -- my kids were present at the time of my arrest. I lost all hope. For a period of a few days, I lost touch with reality and lived "tales of horror" worse than any Stephen King novel. During this "comatose" stage as I refer to it, I recall some of the strange things that were going through my mind and was informed by the guards of things I apparently did that I don not recall and hopefully, will never have to relive. I was extremely confused. Unfortunately, I believed these "horrors" had really occurred. To give you an example, in my mind, my two sons and I were being held hostage in a large van. I don not recall why we were being held hostage. I do recall three men and one woman pointing large guns at us and one man holding a huge knife to my son's throat. when I awakened from this "comatose" state, I believed my one son had been killed in our struggles to free ourselves of these kidnappers. I had called my mother and told her that the jail is conspiring against me. My mother, at this time, was very ill with cancer ad I scared her, my father, and the rest of my family because they were 1,500 miles away in St. Louis, Missouri. They had no idea what was happening to me -- neither did I. In other words, I needed help to get my head back on straight.
With the help of the officers of the jail, the doctor, and the women in the cell with me, I started to come out of my "comatose" state and remembered some of the things that happened. My family were very helpful in getting me the help I needed. Do you have any idea what it is like to wake up from a nightmare where your son is killed in front of your eyes? I can't begin to explain how traumatized I was and exhausted both mentally and physically. Evidently, I became "wild" and the officers were afraid of self-injury so I was strapped into this big black chair. One of the anxiety disorders I encounter is claustrophobia. When strapped in that chair, I totally lost myself and have no recollection of anything that happened in the two days I was there. The day I started feeling somewhat myself again was the day of my hearing. I was in no shape to go to court but had no choice. To make matters worse, my attorney and I had not discussed my case so I was going into the courtroom blind. My attorney advised me to plead guilty to having alcohol on my premises and, therefore, in violation of my probation. That is all it took to place me behind bars for the remainder of my sentence which was twenty months. God, help me!
I felt I was going crazy! I did speak to a counselor and psychiatrist while at the Windham Correctional Center and given some peace of mind but what was I going to do? I was not given time to make arrangements concerning my apartment and contents within -- my sons had no idea where I had been taken -- my dog was waiting for his dinner -- my relatives live out of the State -- my boyfriend and I had parted ways etc., etc. I had to slow myself down or I was going to have another episode like that in jail and who knows if I would be strong enough to come out of it again. All I can say, is there is a God and miracles do happen!
It was very difficult for me to handle the transfer to the Charleston Correctional Institution mainly because it makes it almost impossible to have any visitation from my sons. We communicate through the mail but sometimes that isn't enough. They are very bitter too and need me to help them accept my incarceration. In some ways, I am very lucky to have three sons who I know love me very much and can forgive me when I have wronged them.
I slowly but surely took care of what needed to be done, got the help I needed, and thanked God and my mother for giving me the courage and strength to survive this ordeal. In May, 1998, I lost my mother to cancer and I was devastated! I loved my mother so much and she was a large part of my support system. I still mourn her death and when I am released from this prison, my plans are to visit St. Louis and go to her gravesite asking her to forgive me. For a long time, I lived with enormous guilt because my mother was giving so much of herself to my recovery while she was battling with cancer. In a prison atmosphere, I have been unable to grieve her death or face it either and this I will have to do in order for me to get on with my life. I have my ups and downs, but if I take my time, I can handle them and hope I make the right decision.
I have managed to keep busy during my imprisonment and fortunately, I have been able to receive counseling in areas where I am weak. I have participated in various programs that I know will help me in wherever life leads me.
At the present time, I have been accepted to participate in the Volunteers of America (VOA) program (work release for women) and feel confident that I can follow a new path in the right direction. My imprisonment has enabled me to work on myself in a positive manner and I can honestly say that I have experienced and learned enough to know that I do not ever wish to return to a jail or institution and I am very anxious to meet the world head on and take charge of my life.
This is my story and I would not want to think my stay was all positive because that is far from the truth. It is just that I choose not to dwell on situations that I have no control of and concentrate on what I can do to better my life and my sons.
The Silent Promise--In Memory of John F. Kennedy, Jr.
By Paulette M. Barry, San Francisco, CA
It seemed to me at the time that we all somehow, silently made a promise to ourselves that we would take care of John after his father died. Somehow we felt that those five intense days when an entire nation acted as one person that we all had inherited a son. He was someone that we all wanted to keep safe, to see grow strong and without contamination after the death of his father. He was the son who innocently saluted and asked our pledge, somehow, to keep him safe.
And we did. Throughout the years we would catch glimpses of him, the smile, the shyness, but the great smile. We saw the hair get fuller and worried a bit about what that might mean. But he was all right and we were all right.
We saw him graduate from Brown - good choice we thought, OK, not Harvard, but an everyman choice - a good one. We saw him at graduation next to his mother and he was all right and we were all right.
Years seem to pass and he went to take the Bar - we were so proud...but he did not pass the first time. That's all right we said, plenty of people don't pass it the first time. But when he tried again and did not pass we silently but seriously worried - what if he did not pass it a third time. When the papers told us that the following day he was set to take the bar the third time we held our breaths again and all of us, everyone, prayed a silent prayer and he passed and everything was all right.
He worked at the prosecutors office in New York and while we were proud of him we all somehow knew that it was not the right place for him and when he quite we were OK with that, everything was all right.
It seemed that he grew stronger and more handsome as the years passed and when he came out of the home where his mother had died and told the world of her passing, told it with style, dignity and grace, we were so proud of him. At that moment we realized that he walked like his father but had the look of his mother as well and everything was all right. His mother did such a good job, we said, such a good job. Lots of problems, drugs, misbehavior with the others, but not him. And everything was all right.
Then that wonderful, gracious, princely picture of him kissing his new bride - what a lovely picture, what a lovely choice, and everything was all right.
And then when we heard his plane was missing, when we all somehow held our breaths as we had done in the past, but still knowing the outcome would not be pleasant, we knew that something was not all right and as they told us they recovered the bodies and we had to absolutely, unequivocally had to know that he was gone we knew that it was no longer all right, nothing was all right.
We grieve but we aren't part of the official family so we have nowhere to go with our grief. Going to work, all of us, on the day we should have been there. Somehow, we should have gone out on the carrier, watched as his ashes were scattered and quietly gave rein to our grief. But, we cannot go there, we cannot do that and so nothing is all right.
We look for lessons, we search our hearts - are we angry? Hardly, no reason to be. It happened and that is that. What comforts us? Thoughts like being glad that his mother is gone so that she did not have to see this. Happy that they both went so that one was not left behind. Happy for the strength and faith of a family that is now once and for all truly ours. Prayers for a sister who remains to remind us.
Lessons still not known. Except in the quiet places of our hearts we see that it can happen, a boy who is genuine and heartfelt can become a man who is the same way. A boy who lived with a mother's courage and grace can claim those qualities for his own. A boy who became a man and maybe did not even achieve greatness as the word would be defined by so many, a man who did achieve humanness - and how much better is that.
So, while nothing at all, at all, is all right, it is what it is and something has left our hearts and will never return.
Our son is gone.
from Another Long (31.)
By Patricia Smith Ranzoni, Bucksport, MEfrom Another Long (31.)
My nurse Marilyn's Aunt Sadie's dish cloths.
To make two:
Cast on 4.
Row 1: knit.
Next row: knit
1, knit 2 together, yarn over,
Repeat last row until
down to 4 stitches again.
One done shows how by increasing
from Another Long (19.)
By Patricia Smith Ranzoni, Bucksport, ME
Not a word, solstice,
was a word we tried
Thoughts, Feelings on Hair Loss
By Joyce MacCrae Howe
In Memory of Martha Pellerin Drury
|Not too long ago I asked her for a song I could teach my students since I was looking around for something different. She suggested, "Rame, Rame, Rame Donc", a tune she recorded when she was doing "Jeter Le Pont". When she suggested it and certainly when she recorded it she had no idea --or maybe she did, who am I to say?--what a wonderful prayer and journey song it is for her and all of us as we approach the final celebration of her life.--Tom Luce|
Rame DoncOn est parti tôt ce matin
Le vent du nord caresse nos mains
Plus de soucis, loin des rivages
Il n'y a que rêves et lendemains.
Il est trop tard pour retourner
Sourire aux lèves, le coeur léger
|Après le jour viendra la nuit
Et les étoiles nous guideront
Les anges viendront nous rencontrer
Portant nos coeurs dans l'immensité
Un soir ils nous verront passer
Rame, rame, rame donc
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Last updated September 22, 1999