Vermont Folklife Center - Digital Archive

AU1998-1071-012 -- Interview excerpt



MP:        Who did you say used to sing that?

LG:         Her sister

AG:        My sister ... we learned that in Newport in New Hampshire from some people that came from Canada, some men who came to Newport to work on, in the woods...

LG:         They were lumberjacks

MP:        Lumberjacks?

AG:        ...they found out we were French, they come to our house, they knew a lot of songs, so they sang songs so one of the guy sang it, he played the guitar, he sang everytime, every verse he would do on the guitar (singing a few notes). He'd do that on the guitar.

(Laughing)

MP:        These lumberjacks, say, would come down from Quebec to Newport New Hampshire? You were living there at the time? They just come down to work and go back?

AG:        Ya, they'd go back.

LG:         lt wasn't that far from where we lived. Cause they'd stayed, they had a visa so they could live near where they worked. They'd go home once in a while. At Newport, their boss would have papers on them...

AG:        They'd rent hotels, you know, stay there and on Saturday night, they come to our house, we had a party.

LG:         I think during the week, they had a camp out in the woods...

AG:        They stayed in the camp...

LG:         ... on the weekends they'd come to the town, they had their rooms so my tather met them, sometime, they brought them home one time after that, they kept coming over, we had parties...

AG:        Sing

LG:         ... there was always singing and dancing, you know.

MP:        Did your husband ... he was not one of them ...

AG:        No

MP:        ... no, he just met them when they came into town...

AG:        He was working in the mills in Newport, I did too, I worked in the mills.

MP:        Both you and your husband worked in Newport. Did you LaurieAnn?

LG:         No, I worked at a shoe shop, in a laundry and turned I6, I moved to Sanford, Maine. By then, the mills had shut down, my father went to work in Sanford. I went there with him. My mother waited in Newport for school to got out. They all moved to Sanford. So when I was I6, that's when I left Newport.

AG:        The mills had all shut down in Newport, we couldn't no more work. They had shoe shop but...

LG:         We moved where there was work. After Sanford, the mills moved out eventually.

AG:        We stayed I2 years in Newport, we stayed 7 years in Sanford, Maine. The mill was going good, all of a sudden, bang, everything was... everybody was laid off and the mill moved down south.

LG:         And we moved to Massachusetts, from there so we wouldn't loose everything you had, you figure in the city, my aunt, one of my mother's older sister lived there...

AG:        My sister lived there

LG:         ...everybody packed up and moved.

MP:        Where in Massachusetts.

LG:         Springfield Mass

AG:        Springfield Mass

MP:        And what was the work there?

AG:        Ah all kinds of works, we had factories...

LG:         Sewing shops...

AG:        ...sewing shops, elastic shops...

LG:         My father worked, was it in Connecticut, where he worked and made those carpets?

AG:        Ya, he worked in a mill in Connecticut, in Tauntonville Connecticut. That was right near Newport, that was right near Springfield I mean.

MP:        And you lived in Springfield Mass and you commuted to a neighboring town in Connecticut?

AG:        Ya he used to drive back and forth, he found a job there so, that's where,... it was only 7 miles, with the car he could go back and forth. He worked there all the time we lived there.

MP:        You were in Massachusetts for how long?

AG:        When my husband died, ge had been there for I3 years.

MP:        Ah...

AG:        Seems to me... l figured that out.

MP:        What... was it after he passed away that you came here to Vermont?

AG:        Ya, two years after.

MP:        Did you have family here, in Vermont?

AG:        Ya, I had…

LG:         The rest of the family was here, all her sisters and bothers...

AG:        My sisters and brothers and when I came to Vermont L got married to one of my cousins, he was my age, he was my age wasn't he? A year older than me. His wife had died, my husband had died so I married him...

MP:        And who's that?

AG:        Simeon Gagne, he was a Gagne. Simeon.

MP:        Simeon?

LG:         He passed away not long after that.

AG:        Nine months, nine months after he passed away.

MP:        Nine months after you were married?

LG:         She didn't realize but he wasn't feeling good.

AG:        He wasn't a well man, had emphysema; I didn't know, I didn't notice it too much. Sometimes, you know...

MP:        How old were you at that time?

AG:        When my husband died I was 58 years old, at that time I was 60 years old when I came to Vermont.

MP:        When you came back here.

AG:        I wanted to come around here, anyway to be with my brothers and sisters. They were far away from us. Now they're all gone except Beatrice and me.

MP:        How many brothers and sisters did you have?

AG:        We were four girls: .... , Blanche, me and Beatrice, four girls and seven boys or, we were twelve in all must be eight boys, my youngest brother died when he was only a year and a halt old; there were seven brothers left.

MP:        There were eleven who grew to adulthood?

AG:        Oh ya.

MP:        In those days eleven out of twelve to survive to adulthood was good.

AG:        Ya.

LG:         I think most of the time, the babies died of pneumonia.

AG:        The doctor said he had difteria.

MP:        Ah ya.

AG:        We were all quarantined for forty days, we couldn't go anywhere, nobody could come to our house.

Dublin Core

Title

AU1998-1071-012 -- Interview excerpt

Description

Excerpt from interview of Alberta Gagné (TC1998-1071-012) by Martha Pellerin. Part of a project (VFC1998-0007) on Franco-American song in New England funded by the Vermont Folklife Center and undertaken by Pellerin. Interview is one in a series of six conducted between 1995-01-09 and 1995-12-06 as an effort to document the French language song repertoire of Gagné.

Source

VFC1998-0007 Martha Pellerin Collection. TC1998-1071 interview with Alberta Gagné. Vermont Folklife Center Archive, Vermont Folklife Center, Middlebury, Vermont, United States of America.

Date

Rights

Copyright (c) Vermont Folklife Center

Relation

Full Interview: vfc1998-0005_tc1998-1071

Language

fra

Identifier

vfc1998-0007_tc1998-1071-001b-005

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Transcription

MP:        Who did you say used to sing that?

LG:         Her sister

AG:        My sister ... we learned that in Newport in New Hampshire from some people that came from Canada, some men who came to Newport to work on, in the woods...

LG:         They were lumberjacks

MP:        Lumberjacks?

AG:        ...they found out we were French, they come to our house, they knew a lot of songs, so they sang songs so one of the guy sang it, he played the guitar, he sang everytime, every verse he would do on the guitar (singing a few notes). He'd do that on the guitar.

(Laughing)

MP:        These lumberjacks, say, would come down from Quebec to Newport New Hampshire? You were living there at the time? They just come down to work and go back?

AG:        Ya, they'd go back.

LG:         lt wasn't that far from where we lived. Cause they'd stayed, they had a visa so they could live near where they worked. They'd go home once in a while. At Newport, their boss would have papers on them...

AG:        They'd rent hotels, you know, stay there and on Saturday night, they come to our house, we had a party.

LG:         I think during the week, they had a camp out in the woods...

AG:        They stayed in the camp...

LG:         ... on the weekends they'd come to the town, they had their rooms so my tather met them, sometime, they brought them home one time after that, they kept coming over, we had parties...

AG:        Sing

LG:         ... there was always singing and dancing, you know.

MP:        Did your husband ... he was not one of them ...

AG:        No

MP:        ... no, he just met them when they came into town...

AG:        He was working in the mills in Newport, I did too, I worked in the mills.

MP:        Both you and your husband worked in Newport. Did you LaurieAnn?

LG:         No, I worked at a shoe shop, in a laundry and turned I6, I moved to Sanford, Maine. By then, the mills had shut down, my father went to work in Sanford. I went there with him. My mother waited in Newport for school to got out. They all moved to Sanford. So when I was I6, that's when I left Newport.

AG:        The mills had all shut down in Newport, we couldn't no more work. They had shoe shop but...

LG:         We moved where there was work. After Sanford, the mills moved out eventually.

AG:        We stayed I2 years in Newport, we stayed 7 years in Sanford, Maine. The mill was going good, all of a sudden, bang, everything was... everybody was laid off and the mill moved down south.

LG:         And we moved to Massachusetts, from there so we wouldn't loose everything you had, you figure in the city, my aunt, one of my mother's older sister lived there...

AG:        My sister lived there

LG:         ...everybody packed up and moved.

MP:        Where in Massachusetts.

LG:         Springfield Mass

AG:        Springfield Mass

MP:        And what was the work there?

AG:        Ah all kinds of works, we had factories...

LG:         Sewing shops...

AG:        ...sewing shops, elastic shops...

LG:         My father worked, was it in Connecticut, where he worked and made those carpets?

AG:        Ya, he worked in a mill in Connecticut, in Tauntonville Connecticut. That was right near Newport, that was right near Springfield I mean.

MP:        And you lived in Springfield Mass and you commuted to a neighboring town in Connecticut?

AG:        Ya he used to drive back and forth, he found a job there so, that's where,... it was only 7 miles, with the car he could go back and forth. He worked there all the time we lived there.

MP:        You were in Massachusetts for how long?

AG:        When my husband died, ge had been there for I3 years.

MP:        Ah...

AG:        Seems to me... l figured that out.

MP:        What... was it after he passed away that you came here to Vermont?

AG:        Ya, two years after.

MP:        Did you have family here, in Vermont?

AG:        Ya, I had…

LG:         The rest of the family was here, all her sisters and bothers...

AG:        My sisters and brothers and when I came to Vermont L got married to one of my cousins, he was my age, he was my age wasn't he? A year older than me. His wife had died, my husband had died so I married him...

MP:        And who's that?

AG:        Simeon Gagne, he was a Gagne. Simeon.

MP:        Simeon?

LG:         He passed away not long after that.

AG:        Nine months, nine months after he passed away.

MP:        Nine months after you were married?

LG:         She didn't realize but he wasn't feeling good.

AG:        He wasn't a well man, had emphysema; I didn't know, I didn't notice it too much. Sometimes, you know...

MP:        How old were you at that time?

AG:        When my husband died I was 58 years old, at that time I was 60 years old when I came to Vermont.

MP:        When you came back here.

AG:        I wanted to come around here, anyway to be with my brothers and sisters. They were far away from us. Now they're all gone except Beatrice and me.

MP:        How many brothers and sisters did you have?

AG:        We were four girls: .... , Blanche, me and Beatrice, four girls and seven boys or, we were twelve in all must be eight boys, my youngest brother died when he was only a year and a halt old; there were seven brothers left.

MP:        There were eleven who grew to adulthood?

AG:        Oh ya.

MP:        In those days eleven out of twelve to survive to adulthood was good.

AG:        Ya.

LG:         I think most of the time, the babies died of pneumonia.

AG:        The doctor said he had difteria.

MP:        Ah ya.

AG:        We were all quarantined for forty days, we couldn't go anywhere, nobody could come to our house.

Original Format

sound cassette (analog)

Citation

“AU1998-1071-012 -- Interview excerpt,” Vermont Folklife Center Digital Collections, accessed October 21, 2014, http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/digital-archive/collections/items/show/298.