Vermont Folklife Center - Digital Archive

AU1998-1070-001 -- Interview excerpt



AG:     ... I was 62. 63 then. in 86... it’s quite a while. I never sing too much. you know. My voice isn't very good now.

 

X:        Ca fait plus longtemps que ca... Ca fait combien de temps que vot' mari est mort?

 

AG:     Y est mort en 66.

 

X:        See. I told you. It was a long time ago... do you want flavored tea or just plain tea. I've got honey. I've got peppermint, I’ve got orange... cinnamon?

 

AG:     Whatever you want to get rid of.

 

X:        Plenty of lemon

 

NG:     Whatever you want to get rid of.   I’m not a tea man.

 

X:        I’ll give plenty of...

 

NG:     Ca prend du cafeine et du nicotine.

 

X:        Prendriez vous une tasse de the. ma tante?

 

AG:     Non.  j'cre ben.

 

X:        Non...

 

MP:     Alberta.  Could you tell me when you were born and...

 

AG:     I was born in 1908. 11 of June.

 

MP:     Where was that?

 

AG:     In Roxton Falls. Canada.

 

MP:     Roxton?

 

NG:     Ya.  R-O-X-T-O-N.

            Not' origine est la nous aut'.

 

AG:     C'est a Roxton Falls.

 

MP:     Oh ya, that's where all of your family, all the Gagne's...

 

NG:     Wen...pi nousaut' les Laroches.  Ca venait du meme coin.

 

AG:     Oui...

 

NG:     Tout du meme coin.

 

AG:     J'tais une Laroche avant.

 

MP:     So, your...your...

 

NG:     Maiden name...

 

MP:     Your maiden name is Laroche.

 

AG:     Ya Laroche.

 

MP:     Laroche and Gagne came from the Roxton Falls area.

 

NG:     Ya

 

AG:     Ya

 

MP:     Where is that near?

 

NG:     Ok.  If you’re going, you've been to Granby. If you’ve been to Granby before...

 

AG:     About 20 miles...

 

NG:     Um...about 20 miles. Granby, northeast de Granby... between Valcourt, Quebec. You probably know about where that is. because Bombardier is there...

 

AG:     oui.

 

MP:     (laughing)

 

NG:     ...it’s about half way, between Valoourt and Granby.

 

MP:     How many people were in your family when you were growing up, brothers and sisters?

 

AG:     We were...we were 12 in all but I lost one of my brothers when he was young, he was only one year and a half. We were still 11. The others all died.

 

NG:     Big family, the Gagne we were 13.

 

MP:     13?

 

NG:     My dad and ma tante’s husband were brothers.

 

AG:     They were 13 living, and you were 16 in your family.

 

NG:     16. I thought we were 15.

 

AG:     16. My husband always told me, you were the 16th one.  He was the youngest one.

 

MP:     Wow.  So you're the youngest?  From your family?

 

AG:     No not me, I have a sister, she still living and, let’s see. She's the only one we have left, there’s nobody else now.

 

X:        You only have...Bea is the only one left.

 

AG:     Bea is the baby...

 

X:        Oh yeah?

 

AG:     ...of the family, she’s the youngest one.

 

MP:     There’s just the 2 of you, 2 sisters, you and Beatrice are the survivors of your family so far?

 

AG:     Yeah the only one, we lost a brother last year.  I guess or a year and a half ago, 2 years ago

 

NG:     Ca va faire un an et demi

 

AG:     We were only three, now we’re only 2.

 

NG:     That on the Gagne's side. on dad’s side there’s no

more.

 

MP:     Were you... were you married in Canada? in Quebec or

here?

 

AG:     Non. I was married in Vermont.

 

MP:     You were?

 

AG:     Highgate center, Vermont.

 

MP:     So, when did you come to Vermont.

 

AG:     I was five-years-old when my father and mother move to Vermont so...

 

NG:     She was born in 19...

 

MP:     She was born in 1908

 

NG:     1913

 

CD:     So it was a farm?

 

AG:     Yeah. it was a farm. my father had come... I had an uncle, Joseph Arthur. Him and my father had come to find a farm, you know? He come over there with my uncle and he found that farm. He sold all, everything he had over there in Canada. The farm was, he had in Canada, he let my uncle vis-a-vis stay there. Supposed to be bought...

 

NG:     A quelle place, a quelle ferme dans Highgate vous etiez dans c'temps-la?

 

AG:     A Highgate? au coin la...

 

NG:     Mon oncle Henri? Wen?

 

AG:     C’est la qu'on a move. commence...

 

NG:     ...C’est la.

 

MP:     Where is that? su'l coin.

 

NG:     It’s about three four miles where we are.

 

MP:     It’s not the same farm.

 

NG:     No not our farm, no, no. no. But there was... I didn’t know that but... her brother.  Henri Laroche married my aunt...

 

X:        ...Laroche’s father...

 

NG:     ...Laroche’s father, ok.  He married my father’s sister.  Maria.

 

MP:     Ok.

 

NG:     They lived in the corner.  What we called the corner it’s the corner that comes back to Highgate.

 

AG:     We were the one that, my father was the one that bought that farm and years that went by; he didn’t work anymore so... I think Henri didn’t buy it right away but ... somebody... my father,  he had sold it to us, me and my husband when we got married, but he took it back a year after. He wanted to have somebody there.  He hired somebody else so after that,  after a few years, Henri got it.  He sold it to Henri.

 

MP:     You grew up on that farm?

 

AG:     Ya

 

MP:     Was that where you lived when you met your husband and got married?  Were you still there?

 

AG:     Ya

 

MP:     In High... Was that Highgate?...  At Highgate...

 

MP:     ...That was in Highgate...

 

AG:     ...Highgate...

 

NG:     Same. Over in Highgate Center also.

 

AG:     Ya. My husband used to come and visit with his mother.  They came one time over to our house because his mother was cousin to my mother. She come over some time.  He was only 13 years old, he played the violin like older people, he played good...

 

NG:     Ya. he was an excellent violinist...

 

MP:     Oh ya?

 

NG:     ...oh ya...

 

AG:     The first time I saw him, then he went to work in Maine...

 

NG:     Ya...

 

AG:     In Sanford. Maine and...

 

AG:     ...he was sixteen years old when he went to Sanford.  Maine. He worked there and then one day they used to come to Vermont. They used to come to Henri Laroche, that was his uncle. So...

 

NG:     What year did you get married?

 

AG:     1926.

 

NG:     It’s the year my father came down...

 

AG:     Ya...

 

MP:     Ah!

 

NG:     ...My dad came down in 1926.

 

MP:     He came down much later, much later than your uncle.

 

NG:     Ya. but... Henri got married about when? with ma tante Maria?

 

AG:     Oh Henri...

 

NG:     Henri went out six times with her, with my aunt. My aunt

lived in Roxton Falls …

 

AG:     Ya

 

NG:     ... and Henri...

 

X:        Her brother.

 

NG:     ...her brother used to go with the buggy, there was no cars then...

 

MP:     Ya that’s quite a ride...

 

NG:     A buggy from Highgate to Roxton Falls...

 

MP:     My god...

 

NG:     ...that’s 65 miles one way. So you don’t want to court that woman too many moons!

 

 

(all laughing)

 

 

NG:     He decided this is what I want. Ok this is it. 

 

 

(all laughing)

 

 

AG:     They met they were, I think they must have been together a little bit before we moved...

 

NG:     Probably. He knew her...

 

AG:     Continued with her.

 

NG:     T'a le troisieme rang, le deuxieme rang pi la grand' descente. They’re all farms, all people that were living within, you know like a 3, 4 square mile block where all the roads divide...like my mom and my dad.  They met in the blackberry bush...

 

 

(all laughing)

 

 

NG:     ... Between the fence, they go blackberry and they meet.

 

AG:     That’s one way of doing it.

 

X:        They never went blackberry after that.

 

 

(still all laughing)

 

 

NG:     They came after, quite a bit after but ... was uncle Emile down at that time?  Was he back?

 

AG:     Non...

 

NG:     He came after?

 

AG:     Ya. when we got married, Emile was living in Sanford and he came to Highgate and while we had the farm. He was helping out; he stayed, we had a big room and another room for a bed, you know. We had a big room. We took that for the kitchen. He has his kitchen. I had my kitchen. It was a big house there at the corner... and my kitchen...

 

MP:     Emile is your...

 

NG:     Brother.

 

MP:     ...your brother?

 

NG:     He passed away long time ago...

 

AG:     My brother in law...

 

MP:     Of all...

 

AG:     ...my husband brother

 

X:        Her husband brother.

 

MP:     Ok, Ok, now. of all of the, let's see, of your... of your father’s family, there were how many?

 

NG:     11...

 

AG:     Of my father’s family, there was 11.

 

NG:     ...les Laroche.

 

AG:     You mean, you mean me, my brothers and my...

 

MP:     No... your father...

 

AG:     Ah my father...

 

MP:     ...your aunts and uncles?

 

AG:     Uh there were a big family too...

 

MP:     How many of them came to, came down to the States?

 

AG:     They all went down...

 

MP:     How many came down to live, how many moved here? Your, you came down here with your father, with your mother and father when you were five-years-old?

 

AG:     Ya... some. some of my uncles had come to Fall River, they come to live in Fall River and ... there's another town...

 

X:        A lot of them back then...

 

AG:     .... They were working in mills there, you know?

 

NG:     They worked part time.

 

MP:     That was fairly common thing that was going on at that time...

 

NG:     At that time. my mom and her two sisters lived where Roxton, my grandad Letourne send the girls down to pick up some money in the winter time...

 

AG:     In the mills.

 

NG:     ...They bring it back in the Spring time too, to keep to farm going. They were really survival farm: they didn’t make any money with this.

 

AG:     They didn’t make much on those farms...

 

NG:     My dad and mon oncle Arthur. Mon oncle Batiste, in the winter time,  my mom took care of the cows and the horses and raised the little ones and my dad would go mto les chantiers...

 

MP:     Chantier means...

 

NG:     Lumber camps...

 

MP:     ...ah yes.

 

NG:     la hache pas de scie mecanique...

 

MP:     ...

 

AG:     ...my mother...

 

NG:     Three brothers together and they leaved after the New Year. les Rois, they go. they do their hunting and they supplied the deer meat for the winter and the rabbit they catched. how don’t know how many rabbit and aux fetes, at Christmas, the New Years, especially New Years, then and Les Rois, that was very important to them.  But after that,  les bois, they take for the Lumber camps. they come back a la drave that when they took the wood lumber to the river, send it to the mills. At that time they come back and start their farms.

 

Y:        Two years in a row, the three brothers...

 

AG:     He had only two or three kids then, my father would go to the chantier and

 

AG:     That's the only way they could make money. That was far...

 

NG:     A dollar a day...

 

AG:     ...my mother was alone with the three kids...

 

NG:     Thirty dollars a month.

 

MP:     When your mother had more children did your father still do that? You said when he went there were three...

 

AG:

 

MP:

 

AG:

 

CD:     Did you see on TV...

 

AG:     ...My mother said she hated to be alone with the kids...

 

NG:     Comme les filles de Caleb...

 

CD:     Ya did you see that?

 

NG:     ... Some of this I missed and recorded with the VCR.

 

X:

 

CD:     I watched them both... I recorded...

 

NG:     Now, since last week, it’s on on Tuesday night.

 

MP:     Ok, so what year did you get married again? tell me?

 

AG:     In 1926.

 

MP:     In 1926, and how many children did you have?

 

AG:     15.

 

MP:     You had 15 children?

 

AG:     Ya...

 

 

(all laughing)

 

 

MP:     Were you farming too?

 

AG:     We farmed for a while, we went to Newport, New Hampshire too, when my husband was in the mills over there.

 

NG:     In Sanford, Maine

 

AG:     ...Because my husband, he didn’t like the farms too much. He didn’t have good luck on the farms and we staying in Newport for 12 years...

 

MP:     Newport, New Hampshire?

 

AG:     At the end I was working too. I worked in a coat shop over there in Newport during World War II there we went to work in Windsor, Vemont. We had to travel from Newport to Windsor, Vermont. It was only about 20 miles, to a machine shop, my husband worked in a machine shop for a while...

 

MP:     Ah ya...

 

AG:     We were making better money so we put the money on our house so we had a house we had to offer to put the money on the house. (coughing) then after (coughing) after the war was over when I was, I got laid off, we hired only during the war, the women, but my husband stopped going too. He went back to the mills to work at the mills. Me too, I went to work at the mills with him. I didn’t work with him, he worked days, I worked nights.

 

MP:     (laughing) Were you done have your children? (laughing) Did you have a chance to travel, did you travel to Quebec to visit relatives when you were married?

 

AG:     Ya... after we were in town and in the cities we were making very good we had a car and would go to Vermont.  We would go to Canada for a week, my husband had two weeks vacation.

 

MP:     What did the relatives in Quebec think about you guys being here in the United States?

 

AG:     I guessed they liked it.  (all laughing)

 

MP:     They never said much about it?

 

AG:       No they were glad to see us when we went to visit them, and we had a lot of fun.

 

NG:     Ya.

 

MP:     Ya?...

 

AG:     Every time we went to Canada...

 

MP:     ... Ya what would you do?

 

AG:     Oh, we’d sing...

 

MP:     Ya...

 

AG:     We’d sing, there were a lot of musicians, they played music. Sometimes we danced square dance, you know...

 

MP:     ...in the house?

 

AG:     ...out in the kitchen.

 

MP:     Were they a lot of musicians in your family? What kind of instruments?

 

AG:     Well. euh...you mean my kids?

 

MP:     No, when you went to Quebec, when you visited your family...

 

AG:     Mostly violin players...

 

NG:     The accordion.

 

AG:     ...the accordion...

 

MP:     ...the accordion too...

 

AG:     ...the guitar too. it was mostly...

 

NG:     ...soiree maison.

 

AG:     We’d bring our daughters with us when... she’d played the guitar... they were young when they started playing the guitar...

 

MP:     Ok. . .

 

AG:     Laurie Ann and Teresa. my oldest daughter was Teresa, they used to play together and sing together.

 

NG:     Ma tante’s children, they’re all either singers or instruments player, everyone.

 

MP:     No kidding, all fifteen.

 

AG:     Well, there's three little boys that died, young.

 

MP:     There were twelve that grew to be adults.

 

AG:     The oldest daughter she died, ten years now. I don’t know, she was forty... she was forty-six going on forty-seven when she died...

 

MP:     That’s young.

 

AG:     ...she died of cancer.

 

MP:

 

AG:     The others are quite healthy...

 

MP:     So...

 

AG:     I have eleven living now.

 

MP:     They all live around here?

 

AG:     Non, they live in Springfield, Mass. Ludlow, Mass, Mass...

 

MP:     In New England?  They’re in New England?

 

AG:     Oh ya, in Massachusetts.

 

MP:     You have one in Florida?

 

NG:     Ya.

 

AG:     I have two in Florida.

 

Y:        T'en a deux?

 

AG:     David...

 

NG:     Oh David is there.

 

AG:     ...Eddy, Edward is the one that plays all kinds of music.

 

NG:     He plays very well.

 

MP:     He’s a professional musician?

 

NG:     That’s it, that’s it, perfect.

 

AG:     ...He did that all his life.  You used to go play, join a band and play music.

 

MP:     What would you consider to be important events in your life?

 

AG:     When I raised my family.

 

MP:     Were they special occasion that, that euh, that euh come in your memory...

 

AG:     There are a lot that come to memory, I remember Teresa and Laurie Ann played together. They’d sing good, they went to an amateur contest, and they won. They went to 2 or 3 and they always won...

 

MP:     Oh wow ...

 

AG:     ...They harmonized together, they sang harmonizing and they were, they would sing pretty good and euh, after.  after they, I remember one time, we were, we go to the ... some kind of a ranch, every aftern...every Sunday afternoon, there was that ranch and there was a band that played there, they hired my daughters to…  There was one guy, his name was Jules Laflute, he was a Gagne too and Jules Laflute he used to, you know.  He used to sing all kinds of funny thing...

 

MP:     Where was this ranch?

 

AG:     That was between Manchester and Nashua...

 

MP:     Ah, in New Hampshire.

 

AG:     I think it was the Lone Star Ranch. I almost forgot.

 

MP:     Were there songs that were most common to your family?  Were there songs that you could count on every soiree that song was sung, somebody in your family would sing that song.

 

AG:     Oh ya...  they used to sing cowboy song…

 

MP:     Oh ya?

 

NG:     Western song, country...

 

AG:     Gene Autry...

 

MP:     Ah, in English?

 

AG:     Roy Rogers.

 

NG:     The girls...

 

MP:     There very much into that country western.

 

AG:     Ya.

 

MP:     How about with your family, when you went to Quebec with your husband, when you went to Quebec to visit your family with your husband...

 

AG:     We’d sing in French...

 

MP:     What kind of song did you sing?

 

AG:     Ah...

 

MP:     Were there some special, some special French songs that were sung...

 

MP:     ...Were sung...

 

NG:     ...Vous chantez le plus souvent quand vous avez vos soirees. Vous avez quelqu'un...

 

X:        Vous avez la celle que vous chantiez, tout' les deux.  Vous et Beatrice...

 

AG:     ...Dans mon berceau...

 

X:        Oui mais c'est une chanson, un est le gars. l'aut' est la femme...

 

NG:     ua c'tait beau.

 

MP:     C'est lequel ca. what’s that one... 

 

AG:     D'ou viens—tu Mad'selle? au beau jeune . Mad'selle d'ou venez—vous donc. Tu viens et vous mon garcon.

 

NG:     Her sister act. one as the male and one as the female and they...

 

MP:     It’s Beatrice and you, you used to sing this song together?

 

AG:     Ya. we...

 

MP:     At the soiree?

 

NG:     Ya

 

AG:     We sing often together and we knew a lot of songs. I remember in Newport, New Hampshire, one night, me and Beatrice. They were living across the street from us. We started singing, early in the evening and she’d sing a song and I’d sing one, and she’d sing one, I’d sing one... I guess it was 1 o’clock and we had sang...

 

NG:

 

AG:     ... My voice was much better then that it is now. Now my voice is not very good, I used to have a good voice.

 

MP:     And you'd sing all night?

 

AG:     Oh ya, certain night we’d sit. we would sit and sing to find out how long we could go.

 

 

(all laughing)

 

 

NG:

 

MP:     Who won?... is there a song that you would consider your song. Is there a song that we just heard this song, that you and your sister sang all the time?  But is there a song that is especially yours, that people said, that people would expect you to sing?

 

AG:     I sang "among my souvenirs" in French. I sing this, two verses. Among my souvenirs and, when I sang with Laurie.  Ann "Lorsque dans mon berceau" I sang that. I sang that pretty often.

 

MP:     I would ask you for that one, was is it again?

 

AG:     "Lorsque dans mon berceau", that's “my cradle days” in

French.

 

 

(BEGIN SINGING)

 

Lorsque dans mon berceau

Vous me chantiez dodo

J'etais alors un tout petit enfant

Qui vous a cause bien des tourments ...

 

(END SINGING)

 

 

MP:     Neat. that’s beautiful. Could you sing that song for us?

 

AG:     I will sing a song for you...if I can... Laurie will probably come...

 

MP:     Does she know that one?

 

NG:     Ya, ya they sing together ....

 

MP:     Ah. that would be good...

 

NG:

 

AG:     l know a lot of nice songs.

 

MP:     And you can remember all the words.

 

AG:     Ya. oh well, most of them; I remember those when I was sixty years old, sixty-two, sixty-three. If I look at the titles. I wrote the titles over here.

 

MP:     When you were sixty years old, you wrote down all of these words? How many songs do you have in your book?

 

AG:     99, 100.

 

MP:     Wow... that's your index. (laughing)

 

AG:     It just says what pageit is...Some of them from men, mostly... my brother used to sing, I used to learn these songs...

 

MP:     So these songs are not just your songs but songs that your family sang?

 

AG:     Songs that ... my brothers used to know a lot of songs... I didn’t have any hard time to learn a song. It was easy for me to learn a song so I learned a lot of things; my brothers and I ...

 

MP:     So which one do you want to sing for us?

 

X:        L'avez-vous trouye "Dans mon berceau“? ou est-ce vous

attendez Laurie Ann?

 

AG:     J'sais pas si j'devrais attendre pour elle.

 

X:        Ben chantez en un' aut' en attendant.

 

NG:     Wen. mais que Laurie Ann arrive, vous faite la chanson _

ensemble.

 

 

Dublin Core

Title

AU1998-1070-001 -- Interview excerpt

Description

Excerpt from interview of Alberta Gagné (TC1998-1070) 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. TC1998-1070 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_tc1998-1070

Language

fra

Identifier

vfc1998-0007_tc1998-1070-001a_001

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Transcription

AG:     ... I was 62. 63 then. in 86... it’s quite a while. I never sing too much. you know. My voice isn't very good now.

 

X:        Ca fait plus longtemps que ca... Ca fait combien de temps que vot' mari est mort?

 

AG:     Y est mort en 66.

 

X:        See. I told you. It was a long time ago... do you want flavored tea or just plain tea. I've got honey. I've got peppermint, I’ve got orange... cinnamon?

 

AG:     Whatever you want to get rid of.

 

X:        Plenty of lemon

 

NG:     Whatever you want to get rid of.   I’m not a tea man.

 

X:        I’ll give plenty of...

 

NG:     Ca prend du cafeine et du nicotine.

 

X:        Prendriez vous une tasse de the. ma tante?

 

AG:     Non.  j'cre ben.

 

X:        Non...

 

MP:     Alberta.  Could you tell me when you were born and...

 

AG:     I was born in 1908. 11 of June.

 

MP:     Where was that?

 

AG:     In Roxton Falls. Canada.

 

MP:     Roxton?

 

NG:     Ya.  R-O-X-T-O-N.

            Not' origine est la nous aut'.

 

AG:     C'est a Roxton Falls.

 

MP:     Oh ya, that's where all of your family, all the Gagne's...

 

NG:     Wen...pi nousaut' les Laroches.  Ca venait du meme coin.

 

AG:     Oui...

 

NG:     Tout du meme coin.

 

AG:     J'tais une Laroche avant.

 

MP:     So, your...your...

 

NG:     Maiden name...

 

MP:     Your maiden name is Laroche.

 

AG:     Ya Laroche.

 

MP:     Laroche and Gagne came from the Roxton Falls area.

 

NG:     Ya

 

AG:     Ya

 

MP:     Where is that near?

 

NG:     Ok.  If you’re going, you've been to Granby. If you’ve been to Granby before...

 

AG:     About 20 miles...

 

NG:     Um...about 20 miles. Granby, northeast de Granby... between Valcourt, Quebec. You probably know about where that is. because Bombardier is there...

 

AG:     oui.

 

MP:     (laughing)

 

NG:     ...it’s about half way, between Valoourt and Granby.

 

MP:     How many people were in your family when you were growing up, brothers and sisters?

 

AG:     We were...we were 12 in all but I lost one of my brothers when he was young, he was only one year and a half. We were still 11. The others all died.

 

NG:     Big family, the Gagne we were 13.

 

MP:     13?

 

NG:     My dad and ma tante’s husband were brothers.

 

AG:     They were 13 living, and you were 16 in your family.

 

NG:     16. I thought we were 15.

 

AG:     16. My husband always told me, you were the 16th one.  He was the youngest one.

 

MP:     Wow.  So you're the youngest?  From your family?

 

AG:     No not me, I have a sister, she still living and, let’s see. She's the only one we have left, there’s nobody else now.

 

X:        You only have...Bea is the only one left.

 

AG:     Bea is the baby...

 

X:        Oh yeah?

 

AG:     ...of the family, she’s the youngest one.

 

MP:     There’s just the 2 of you, 2 sisters, you and Beatrice are the survivors of your family so far?

 

AG:     Yeah the only one, we lost a brother last year.  I guess or a year and a half ago, 2 years ago

 

NG:     Ca va faire un an et demi

 

AG:     We were only three, now we’re only 2.

 

NG:     That on the Gagne's side. on dad’s side there’s no

more.

 

MP:     Were you... were you married in Canada? in Quebec or

here?

 

AG:     Non. I was married in Vermont.

 

MP:     You were?

 

AG:     Highgate center, Vermont.

 

MP:     So, when did you come to Vermont.

 

AG:     I was five-years-old when my father and mother move to Vermont so...

 

NG:     She was born in 19...

 

MP:     She was born in 1908

 

NG:     1913

 

CD:     So it was a farm?

 

AG:     Yeah. it was a farm. my father had come... I had an uncle, Joseph Arthur. Him and my father had come to find a farm, you know? He come over there with my uncle and he found that farm. He sold all, everything he had over there in Canada. The farm was, he had in Canada, he let my uncle vis-a-vis stay there. Supposed to be bought...

 

NG:     A quelle place, a quelle ferme dans Highgate vous etiez dans c'temps-la?

 

AG:     A Highgate? au coin la...

 

NG:     Mon oncle Henri? Wen?

 

AG:     C’est la qu'on a move. commence...

 

NG:     ...C’est la.

 

MP:     Where is that? su'l coin.

 

NG:     It’s about three four miles where we are.

 

MP:     It’s not the same farm.

 

NG:     No not our farm, no, no. no. But there was... I didn’t know that but... her brother.  Henri Laroche married my aunt...

 

X:        ...Laroche’s father...

 

NG:     ...Laroche’s father, ok.  He married my father’s sister.  Maria.

 

MP:     Ok.

 

NG:     They lived in the corner.  What we called the corner it’s the corner that comes back to Highgate.

 

AG:     We were the one that, my father was the one that bought that farm and years that went by; he didn’t work anymore so... I think Henri didn’t buy it right away but ... somebody... my father,  he had sold it to us, me and my husband when we got married, but he took it back a year after. He wanted to have somebody there.  He hired somebody else so after that,  after a few years, Henri got it.  He sold it to Henri.

 

MP:     You grew up on that farm?

 

AG:     Ya

 

MP:     Was that where you lived when you met your husband and got married?  Were you still there?

 

AG:     Ya

 

MP:     In High... Was that Highgate?...  At Highgate...

 

MP:     ...That was in Highgate...

 

AG:     ...Highgate...

 

NG:     Same. Over in Highgate Center also.

 

AG:     Ya. My husband used to come and visit with his mother.  They came one time over to our house because his mother was cousin to my mother. She come over some time.  He was only 13 years old, he played the violin like older people, he played good...

 

NG:     Ya. he was an excellent violinist...

 

MP:     Oh ya?

 

NG:     ...oh ya...

 

AG:     The first time I saw him, then he went to work in Maine...

 

NG:     Ya...

 

AG:     In Sanford. Maine and...

 

AG:     ...he was sixteen years old when he went to Sanford.  Maine. He worked there and then one day they used to come to Vermont. They used to come to Henri Laroche, that was his uncle. So...

 

NG:     What year did you get married?

 

AG:     1926.

 

NG:     It’s the year my father came down...

 

AG:     Ya...

 

MP:     Ah!

 

NG:     ...My dad came down in 1926.

 

MP:     He came down much later, much later than your uncle.

 

NG:     Ya. but... Henri got married about when? with ma tante Maria?

 

AG:     Oh Henri...

 

NG:     Henri went out six times with her, with my aunt. My aunt

lived in Roxton Falls …

 

AG:     Ya

 

NG:     ... and Henri...

 

X:        Her brother.

 

NG:     ...her brother used to go with the buggy, there was no cars then...

 

MP:     Ya that’s quite a ride...

 

NG:     A buggy from Highgate to Roxton Falls...

 

MP:     My god...

 

NG:     ...that’s 65 miles one way. So you don’t want to court that woman too many moons!

 

 

(all laughing)

 

 

NG:     He decided this is what I want. Ok this is it. 

 

 

(all laughing)

 

 

AG:     They met they were, I think they must have been together a little bit before we moved...

 

NG:     Probably. He knew her...

 

AG:     Continued with her.

 

NG:     T'a le troisieme rang, le deuxieme rang pi la grand' descente. They’re all farms, all people that were living within, you know like a 3, 4 square mile block where all the roads divide...like my mom and my dad.  They met in the blackberry bush...

 

 

(all laughing)

 

 

NG:     ... Between the fence, they go blackberry and they meet.

 

AG:     That’s one way of doing it.

 

X:        They never went blackberry after that.

 

 

(still all laughing)

 

 

NG:     They came after, quite a bit after but ... was uncle Emile down at that time?  Was he back?

 

AG:     Non...

 

NG:     He came after?

 

AG:     Ya. when we got married, Emile was living in Sanford and he came to Highgate and while we had the farm. He was helping out; he stayed, we had a big room and another room for a bed, you know. We had a big room. We took that for the kitchen. He has his kitchen. I had my kitchen. It was a big house there at the corner... and my kitchen...

 

MP:     Emile is your...

 

NG:     Brother.

 

MP:     ...your brother?

 

NG:     He passed away long time ago...

 

AG:     My brother in law...

 

MP:     Of all...

 

AG:     ...my husband brother

 

X:        Her husband brother.

 

MP:     Ok, Ok, now. of all of the, let's see, of your... of your father’s family, there were how many?

 

NG:     11...

 

AG:     Of my father’s family, there was 11.

 

NG:     ...les Laroche.

 

AG:     You mean, you mean me, my brothers and my...

 

MP:     No... your father...

 

AG:     Ah my father...

 

MP:     ...your aunts and uncles?

 

AG:     Uh there were a big family too...

 

MP:     How many of them came to, came down to the States?

 

AG:     They all went down...

 

MP:     How many came down to live, how many moved here? Your, you came down here with your father, with your mother and father when you were five-years-old?

 

AG:     Ya... some. some of my uncles had come to Fall River, they come to live in Fall River and ... there's another town...

 

X:        A lot of them back then...

 

AG:     .... They were working in mills there, you know?

 

NG:     They worked part time.

 

MP:     That was fairly common thing that was going on at that time...

 

NG:     At that time. my mom and her two sisters lived where Roxton, my grandad Letourne send the girls down to pick up some money in the winter time...

 

AG:     In the mills.

 

NG:     ...They bring it back in the Spring time too, to keep to farm going. They were really survival farm: they didn’t make any money with this.

 

AG:     They didn’t make much on those farms...

 

NG:     My dad and mon oncle Arthur. Mon oncle Batiste, in the winter time,  my mom took care of the cows and the horses and raised the little ones and my dad would go mto les chantiers...

 

MP:     Chantier means...

 

NG:     Lumber camps...

 

MP:     ...ah yes.

 

NG:     la hache pas de scie mecanique...

 

MP:     ...

 

AG:     ...my mother...

 

NG:     Three brothers together and they leaved after the New Year. les Rois, they go. they do their hunting and they supplied the deer meat for the winter and the rabbit they catched. how don’t know how many rabbit and aux fetes, at Christmas, the New Years, especially New Years, then and Les Rois, that was very important to them.  But after that,  les bois, they take for the Lumber camps. they come back a la drave that when they took the wood lumber to the river, send it to the mills. At that time they come back and start their farms.

 

Y:        Two years in a row, the three brothers...

 

AG:     He had only two or three kids then, my father would go to the chantier and

 

AG:     That's the only way they could make money. That was far...

 

NG:     A dollar a day...

 

AG:     ...my mother was alone with the three kids...

 

NG:     Thirty dollars a month.

 

MP:     When your mother had more children did your father still do that? You said when he went there were three...

 

AG:

 

MP:

 

AG:

 

CD:     Did you see on TV...

 

AG:     ...My mother said she hated to be alone with the kids...

 

NG:     Comme les filles de Caleb...

 

CD:     Ya did you see that?

 

NG:     ... Some of this I missed and recorded with the VCR.

 

X:

 

CD:     I watched them both... I recorded...

 

NG:     Now, since last week, it’s on on Tuesday night.

 

MP:     Ok, so what year did you get married again? tell me?

 

AG:     In 1926.

 

MP:     In 1926, and how many children did you have?

 

AG:     15.

 

MP:     You had 15 children?

 

AG:     Ya...

 

 

(all laughing)

 

 

MP:     Were you farming too?

 

AG:     We farmed for a while, we went to Newport, New Hampshire too, when my husband was in the mills over there.

 

NG:     In Sanford, Maine

 

AG:     ...Because my husband, he didn’t like the farms too much. He didn’t have good luck on the farms and we staying in Newport for 12 years...

 

MP:     Newport, New Hampshire?

 

AG:     At the end I was working too. I worked in a coat shop over there in Newport during World War II there we went to work in Windsor, Vemont. We had to travel from Newport to Windsor, Vermont. It was only about 20 miles, to a machine shop, my husband worked in a machine shop for a while...

 

MP:     Ah ya...

 

AG:     We were making better money so we put the money on our house so we had a house we had to offer to put the money on the house. (coughing) then after (coughing) after the war was over when I was, I got laid off, we hired only during the war, the women, but my husband stopped going too. He went back to the mills to work at the mills. Me too, I went to work at the mills with him. I didn’t work with him, he worked days, I worked nights.

 

MP:     (laughing) Were you done have your children? (laughing) Did you have a chance to travel, did you travel to Quebec to visit relatives when you were married?

 

AG:     Ya... after we were in town and in the cities we were making very good we had a car and would go to Vermont.  We would go to Canada for a week, my husband had two weeks vacation.

 

MP:     What did the relatives in Quebec think about you guys being here in the United States?

 

AG:     I guessed they liked it.  (all laughing)

 

MP:     They never said much about it?

 

AG:       No they were glad to see us when we went to visit them, and we had a lot of fun.

 

NG:     Ya.

 

MP:     Ya?...

 

AG:     Every time we went to Canada...

 

MP:     ... Ya what would you do?

 

AG:     Oh, we’d sing...

 

MP:     Ya...

 

AG:     We’d sing, there were a lot of musicians, they played music. Sometimes we danced square dance, you know...

 

MP:     ...in the house?

 

AG:     ...out in the kitchen.

 

MP:     Were they a lot of musicians in your family? What kind of instruments?

 

AG:     Well. euh...you mean my kids?

 

MP:     No, when you went to Quebec, when you visited your family...

 

AG:     Mostly violin players...

 

NG:     The accordion.

 

AG:     ...the accordion...

 

MP:     ...the accordion too...

 

AG:     ...the guitar too. it was mostly...

 

NG:     ...soiree maison.

 

AG:     We’d bring our daughters with us when... she’d played the guitar... they were young when they started playing the guitar...

 

MP:     Ok. . .

 

AG:     Laurie Ann and Teresa. my oldest daughter was Teresa, they used to play together and sing together.

 

NG:     Ma tante’s children, they’re all either singers or instruments player, everyone.

 

MP:     No kidding, all fifteen.

 

AG:     Well, there's three little boys that died, young.

 

MP:     There were twelve that grew to be adults.

 

AG:     The oldest daughter she died, ten years now. I don’t know, she was forty... she was forty-six going on forty-seven when she died...

 

MP:     That’s young.

 

AG:     ...she died of cancer.

 

MP:

 

AG:     The others are quite healthy...

 

MP:     So...

 

AG:     I have eleven living now.

 

MP:     They all live around here?

 

AG:     Non, they live in Springfield, Mass. Ludlow, Mass, Mass...

 

MP:     In New England?  They’re in New England?

 

AG:     Oh ya, in Massachusetts.

 

MP:     You have one in Florida?

 

NG:     Ya.

 

AG:     I have two in Florida.

 

Y:        T'en a deux?

 

AG:     David...

 

NG:     Oh David is there.

 

AG:     ...Eddy, Edward is the one that plays all kinds of music.

 

NG:     He plays very well.

 

MP:     He’s a professional musician?

 

NG:     That’s it, that’s it, perfect.

 

AG:     ...He did that all his life.  You used to go play, join a band and play music.

 

MP:     What would you consider to be important events in your life?

 

AG:     When I raised my family.

 

MP:     Were they special occasion that, that euh, that euh come in your memory...

 

AG:     There are a lot that come to memory, I remember Teresa and Laurie Ann played together. They’d sing good, they went to an amateur contest, and they won. They went to 2 or 3 and they always won...

 

MP:     Oh wow ...

 

AG:     ...They harmonized together, they sang harmonizing and they were, they would sing pretty good and euh, after.  after they, I remember one time, we were, we go to the ... some kind of a ranch, every aftern...every Sunday afternoon, there was that ranch and there was a band that played there, they hired my daughters to…  There was one guy, his name was Jules Laflute, he was a Gagne too and Jules Laflute he used to, you know.  He used to sing all kinds of funny thing...

 

MP:     Where was this ranch?

 

AG:     That was between Manchester and Nashua...

 

MP:     Ah, in New Hampshire.

 

AG:     I think it was the Lone Star Ranch. I almost forgot.

 

MP:     Were there songs that were most common to your family?  Were there songs that you could count on every soiree that song was sung, somebody in your family would sing that song.

 

AG:     Oh ya...  they used to sing cowboy song…

 

MP:     Oh ya?

 

NG:     Western song, country...

 

AG:     Gene Autry...

 

MP:     Ah, in English?

 

AG:     Roy Rogers.

 

NG:     The girls...

 

MP:     There very much into that country western.

 

AG:     Ya.

 

MP:     How about with your family, when you went to Quebec with your husband, when you went to Quebec to visit your family with your husband...

 

AG:     We’d sing in French...

 

MP:     What kind of song did you sing?

 

AG:     Ah...

 

MP:     Were there some special, some special French songs that were sung...

 

MP:     ...Were sung...

 

NG:     ...Vous chantez le plus souvent quand vous avez vos soirees. Vous avez quelqu'un...

 

X:        Vous avez la celle que vous chantiez, tout' les deux.  Vous et Beatrice...

 

AG:     ...Dans mon berceau...

 

X:        Oui mais c'est une chanson, un est le gars. l'aut' est la femme...

 

NG:     ua c'tait beau.

 

MP:     C'est lequel ca. what’s that one... 

 

AG:     D'ou viens—tu Mad'selle? au beau jeune . Mad'selle d'ou venez—vous donc. Tu viens et vous mon garcon.

 

NG:     Her sister act. one as the male and one as the female and they...

 

MP:     It’s Beatrice and you, you used to sing this song together?

 

AG:     Ya. we...

 

MP:     At the soiree?

 

NG:     Ya

 

AG:     We sing often together and we knew a lot of songs. I remember in Newport, New Hampshire, one night, me and Beatrice. They were living across the street from us. We started singing, early in the evening and she’d sing a song and I’d sing one, and she’d sing one, I’d sing one... I guess it was 1 o’clock and we had sang...

 

NG:

 

AG:     ... My voice was much better then that it is now. Now my voice is not very good, I used to have a good voice.

 

MP:     And you'd sing all night?

 

AG:     Oh ya, certain night we’d sit. we would sit and sing to find out how long we could go.

 

 

(all laughing)

 

 

NG:

 

MP:     Who won?... is there a song that you would consider your song. Is there a song that we just heard this song, that you and your sister sang all the time?  But is there a song that is especially yours, that people said, that people would expect you to sing?

 

AG:     I sang "among my souvenirs" in French. I sing this, two verses. Among my souvenirs and, when I sang with Laurie.  Ann "Lorsque dans mon berceau" I sang that. I sang that pretty often.

 

MP:     I would ask you for that one, was is it again?

 

AG:     "Lorsque dans mon berceau", that's “my cradle days” in

French.

 

 

(BEGIN SINGING)

 

Lorsque dans mon berceau

Vous me chantiez dodo

J'etais alors un tout petit enfant

Qui vous a cause bien des tourments ...

 

(END SINGING)

 

 

MP:     Neat. that’s beautiful. Could you sing that song for us?

 

AG:     I will sing a song for you...if I can... Laurie will probably come...

 

MP:     Does she know that one?

 

NG:     Ya, ya they sing together ....

 

MP:     Ah. that would be good...

 

NG:

 

AG:     l know a lot of nice songs.

 

MP:     And you can remember all the words.

 

AG:     Ya. oh well, most of them; I remember those when I was sixty years old, sixty-two, sixty-three. If I look at the titles. I wrote the titles over here.

 

MP:     When you were sixty years old, you wrote down all of these words? How many songs do you have in your book?

 

AG:     99, 100.

 

MP:     Wow... that's your index. (laughing)

 

AG:     It just says what pageit is...Some of them from men, mostly... my brother used to sing, I used to learn these songs...

 

MP:     So these songs are not just your songs but songs that your family sang?

 

AG:     Songs that ... my brothers used to know a lot of songs... I didn’t have any hard time to learn a song. It was easy for me to learn a song so I learned a lot of things; my brothers and I ...

 

MP:     So which one do you want to sing for us?

 

X:        L'avez-vous trouye "Dans mon berceau“? ou est-ce vous

attendez Laurie Ann?

 

AG:     J'sais pas si j'devrais attendre pour elle.

 

X:        Ben chantez en un' aut' en attendant.

 

NG:     Wen. mais que Laurie Ann arrive, vous faite la chanson _

ensemble.

 

 

Original Format

sound cassette (analog)

Citation

“AU1998-1070-001 -- Interview excerpt,” Vermont Folklife Center Digital Collections, accessed October 22, 2014, http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/digital-archive/collections/items/show/368.