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Collections - MF 029 “Our Life, Our Work” Lewiston Western Older Citizens Council/ Marcella Sorg & Stefan Duplessis

MF 029 “Our Life, Our Work” Lewiston Western Older Citizens Council/ Marcella Sorg & Stefan Duplessis

Number of accessions: 34
Dates when interviews were conducted: 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982
Principal interviewers: Raymond Pelletier, Marcella Sorg, Mark Silber, and Stephan Duplessis
Finding aides: transcript
Access restrictions: none
Description: The project “Notre Vie, Notre Travail – Our Life, Our Work” was initiated by the Lewiston Western Older Citizens Council by Diane Brown who worked there. Funded by the Maine Humanities Councel, this project involved a series of bilingual interviews utilizing family albums to stimulate discussion about Franco-American culture, particularly as it pertained to work. That is, it concerned the following: how work reflected cultural values; work ethic; work/occupation patterns; how work was integrated with family life (or interfered with it); the history of work patterns in the Lewiston area, and about Franco-American culture and family life in general. We interviewed elderly persons identified by the Western Area Agency. The interviewers included Raymond Pelletier (professor of French at UM), Marcella Sorg, Mark Silber, and Stephan Duplessis. The products of these interviews included: (1) a filmstrip with bilingual audio tape using reproduced family photos which illustrated themes from the ethnography and excerpts from the tape-recorded interviews; and (2) a bilingual traveling photo exhibit using selected family photos and captioned with quotes (with translations).
 

1623 Juliette Filteau, interviewed by Margaret Lanoue, October 8, 1982, in Lewiston, Maine. Filteau discusses growing up near Quebec in the 1910s; moving from Canada to Lewiston circa 1921; childhood experiences with nuns; living and working during the Great Depression; Franco-American food; operating a restaurant which sold alcohol; the advent of WWII; and her thoughts on cultural identity in Lewiston. Exhibit poster included. Text: catalog plus poster. Recording: T 1728 2 hours.

1625 Genoria Pelchat, interviewed by Margaret Lanoue, October 22, 1982, Lewiston, Maine. Pelchat talks about her childhood in early twentieth-century St. Joseph de Beauce, Canada; immigrating to Auburn, Maine in 1919; working at shoe shops 1920 to 1940; learning to speak English; food lines and shopping during the Depression; 1937 shoe shop strike; and working for elections. In the enclosed memoir, Pelchat wrote of early life at a Sisters of Charity orphanage; years of abuse by her father and stepmother; various jobs as a young woman; immigrating to Auburn; and forms of recreation. Text: catalog, 7 pp. memoir. Recording: T 1730 1 hour.

1667 Simone Michaud, interviewed by Marcella Sorg and Steffan Duplessis, February 18, 1981, Lewiston, Maine. Michaud discusses identity as an Acadian growing up in Aroostook County in the early 1900s; working at her family’s summer camps; being bilingual and when she spoke French versus English; her views on Franco-American identity; French songs; her genealogical work; how she spends her retirement; pictures of her family; her parents’ winters in Florida during the 1920s; work ethic learned from her parents; school at St. Agatha (convent) and school plays; and religion. French (partially). Text: 41 pp. transcript, does not include French sections of the interview, particularly songs. Recording: T 1786 1 ½ hours.

1668 Adelard Janelle, interviewed by Marcella Sorg and Steffan Duplessis, winter 1981, Lewiston, Maine. 3 pp. Tape: 3 hrs. No cat, or trans. Janelle talks about life as a Franco-American. French. Text: no catalog or transcript. Recording: T 1787, CD 2087, 2088.

1669 Faye Jordan, interviewed by Marcella Sorg and Steffan Duplessis, winter 1981, Auburn, Maine. 5 pp. Tape: 1 1/2 hrs. w/ partial trans. Jordan talks about her life as a Franco-American. Text: partial transcript. Recording: T 1788, CD 2089 1 1/2 hours.

1670 Honorable Retired State Supreme Court Justice Armand J. Dufrense, interviewed by Marcella Sorg and Steffan Duplessis, May 14, 1981, Auburn, Maine. Dufrense talks about his childhood in the early 1900s, his family’s baking work; putting himself through college and law school during the Great Depression, how being Franco-American helped his career as a lawyer and justice; his many years as an active and semiretired justice; and working with the Franco-American population in Androscoggin County. Text: partial transcript. Recording: T 1789 CD 2090 1 ½ hours.

1671 Jeanne d’Arc Turgeon, interviewed by Raymond Pelletier and Mark Silber, May 13, 1981, Lewiston, Maine. Turgeon talks about her life as a Franco-American; exclusive use of French in daily life as a child; working in the shoe shop and mill during the 1940s; movement of Franco-Americans out of Lewiston’s “Little Canada”; social activities; and the value of sacrifice. Partially in French. Text: partial transcript (excludes French portion). Recording: T 1790, CD 2091 1 hour.

1672 Albert Dumais, interviewed by Marcella Sorg and Steffan Duplessis, spring 1981, Lewiston, Maine. 70 pp. Tape: 3 hrs. w/ handwritten trans. French. Dumais talks about his life as a Franco-American. Text: transcript (handwritten). Recording: T 1791, T 1792 / CD 2091, CD 2104 3 hour French.

1673 Raoul Pinette, interviewed by Raymond Pelletier and Mark Silber, May 14, 1981, Lewiston, Maine. Pinette talks about his father’s career as an undertaker/funeral director; the importance of education; working for his father during WWII; his identity as an ‘American with French-Canadian heritage’; how being Franco-American can be a benefit; and developments in funeral services. Text: 25 pp. transcript. Recording: T 1793 1 ¼ hours.

1674 Joseph and Anne Marie Blais, interviewed by Marcella Sorg and Raymond Pelletier, winter 1981, Lewiston, Maine. 12 pp. Tape: 1 1/4 hrs. w/ partial trans. French. The Blais talk about their lives as Franco-Americans. Text: partial transcript. Recording: T 1795 1 1/4 hrs French.

1675 Genoria Pelchat, interviewed by Marcella Sorg and Stefan Duplessis, winter 1981, Lewiston, Maine. 9 pp. Tape: 1 hr. w/ partial trans. French. Pelchat talks about her life as a Franco-American. Text: partial transcript. Recording: T 1796 1 hour French.

1676 Berthe Roger, interviewed by Mark Silber and Steffan Duplessis, January 29, 1981, Lewiston, Maine. Roger talks about her mother’s motivation for moving the family to Lewiston during the Great Depression; living as a Franco-American outside “Little Canada”; working in a shoe shop; and childhood family gatherings. Text: 12 pp. partial transcript. Recording: T 1797 CD 2515 1 ½ hours.

1677 Lewiston Senior Citizens Choir, spring 1981, Lewiston, Maine. 6 pp. Tape: 3/4 hr. w/ brief cat, of songs sung. A concert of mostly French songs given for the Lewiston Western Older Citizens Council by the Lewiston Senior Citizen Choir; list of Choir members. Text: brief catalog of songs sung. Recording: T 1798 CD 2516 3/4 hour.

1678 Florida Charest, interviewed by Marcella Sorg and Steffan Duplessis, winter 1981, Lewiston, Maine. 33 pp. Tape: 1 1/2 hrs. w/ handwritten trans. French. Charest talks about her life as a Franco-American. Text: transcript (handwritten). Recording: T 1799 CD 2517 1 1/2 hours French.

1679 Juliette Blais, interviewed by Steffan Duplessis and Marcella Sorg, winter 1981, Lewiston, Maine. 51 pp. Tape: 2 hrs. w/ handwritten trans. French. Blais talks about her life as a Franco-American. Text: transcript (handwritten).Recording: T 1800, CD 2518 2 hours French.

1680 Mr. Armand Sansouci and Mrs. Armand Sansouci, interviewed by Mark Silber and Raymond Pelletier, March 10, 1981, Lewiston, Maine. The Sansoucis discuss his education and political career; their early musical experiences; his tenure as Lewiston’s mayor in 1949-50; the importance of education; and French culture and language as assets to his political career. Text: 21 pp. transcript. Recording: T 1801, CD 2519 1 ½ hours.

1681 Cecile Dionne, interviewed by Marcella Sorg and Steffan Duplessis, February 18, 1981, Lewiston, Maine. Dionne talks about her childhood in the 1910s and 20s on a farm in Auburn, Maine; her job drawing-in at Bates Mill; working in the shoe shops; speaking French and English; and working while raising a family. Partially in French. Text: 12 pp. transcript, French sections not transcribed. Recording: T 1802 CD 2520 1 ½ hours.

1682 Francoise Bolduc Charest, interviewed by Marcella Sorg and Steffan Duplessis, winter 1981, Auburn, Maine. 29 pp. Tape: 1 3/4 hrs. w/ partial trans. French. Charest talks about her life as a Franco-American. Text: partial transcript. Recording: T 1803 CD 2521 1 3/4 hours French.

1683 Paul Labbe, interviewed by Mark Silber and Raymond Pelletier, February 18, 1981, Lewiston, Maine. Labbe talks about his boxing career in the 1920s and 30s; his childhood in a boxing family; fighting for world championship; later life as a trainer; preparing for fights; and changing work ethics over time. Text: 14 pp. transcript. Recording: T 1804 CD 2522 1 ½ hours.

1684 Mr. Alex Rouleau and Mrs. Alex Rouleau, interviewed by Mark Silber and Raymond Pelletier, February 18, 1981, Lewiston, Maine. The Rouleaus talk about their lives as Franco-Americans, his various jobs; living during the Great Depression, his work as a school bus driver in the 1960s and 70s; religions as all the same; and her childhood on a family farm in Winslow, Maine. Text: 15 pp. transcript. Recording: T 1805 CD 2523 1 ¾ hours.

1685 Paul Belanger, interviewed by Mark Silber and Raymond Pelletier, February 18, 1981, Lewiston, Maine. Belanger talks about the history of Franco-Americans in Lewiston and Auburn; Franco-American love of music; working during the Great Depression; working for a French newspaper, the Messenger, and radio station; his father’s musical work for St. Mary’s Church, importance Franco-Americans placed on education for their children; religion; and retirement. Partially in French. Text: 13 pp. transcript, French segments not transcribed. Recording: T 1806 CD 2524 1 ¼ hours, partially in French.

1686 Odilie Maillet, interviewed by Raymond Pelletier and Marcella Sorg, winter 1981, Lewiston, Maine. 15 pp. Tape: 1 1/2 hrs. w/ partial trans. (Side 1, French; Side 2, English). Maillet talks about her life as a Franco-American. Text: partial transcript. Recording: T 1807 CD 2525 1 1/2 hours, partially in French.

1687 Marguerite Michaud, interviewed by Mark Silber and Raymond Pelletier, winter 1981, Lewiston, Maine. 44 pp. Tape: 1 1/2 hrs. w/ handwritten trans. Michaud talks about her life as a Franco-American; her experience writing songs. Partially in French. Text: transcript (handwritten). Recording: T 1808 1 1/2 hours, partially in French.

1688 Irenée Bolduc and Simone Bolduc, interviewed by Marcella Sorg and Raymond Pelletier, January 29, 1981, Lewiston, Maine. The Bolducs discuss their lives as Franco-Americans; his family’s move to Auburn in 1919; playing cards; raising chickens for eggs; retirement and the importance of staying active; and Irenée sings “Somewhere My Love” in French and plays the harmonica. Text: 6 pp. transcript English sections only (handwritten). Recording: T 1809 1 ¼ hours, partially in French.

1689 Neolia Fortier, interviewed by Raymond Pelletier and Marcella Sorg, winter 1981, Lewiston, Maine. 35 pp. Tape: 1 1/4 hrs. w/ handwritten trans. (Side 1, French; Side 2, English). Fortier talks about her life as a Franco-American. Text: transcript (handwritten). Recording: T 1810 1 1/4 hours.

1690 Raymond Fortier, interviewed by Neolia Fortier, fall 1977, Lewiston, Maine. 3 pp. Tape: 1 hr. French. No cat, or trans. Genealogy of the Fortier family by Raymond Fortier. Text: no catalog or transcript. Recording: T 1811 1 hour French.

1691 Ephrem Boucher, interviewed by Marcella Sorg and Raymond Pelletier, 1981, Lewiston, Maine. 3 pp. Tape: 1 hr. No cat, or trans. Boucher talks about his life as a Franco-American. Partially in French. Recording: T 1812 1 hour, partially in French.

1692 Cecile Lebel, interviewed by Mark Silber and Raymond Pelletier, February 18, 1981, Lewiston, Maine. Lebel shares, with occasional comments from her mother, a tape of sing-along in French; her career as a seamstress and designer of bridal gowns; job seeking and working during the Great Depression; work ethic taught by her grandmother and mother; the sacrifices and benefits of designing dresses; her love of the French language; and large family weddings. Text: 13 pp. transcript, French section not transcribed. Recording: T 1813 1 hour, partially in French.

1693 Romeo Boisvert, interviewed by Steffan Duplessis and Raymond Pelletier, winter 1981, Lewiston, Maine. 38 pp. Tape: 1 3/4 hrs. w/ handwritten trans. Boisvert talks about his life as a Franco-American. Partially in French. Text: transcript (handwritten). Recording: T 1814 1 3/4 hours, partially in French.

1694 Cecile Boisvert, interviewed by Steffan Duplessis, Marcella Sorg, and Mark Silber, winter 1981, Lewiston, Maine. 38 pp. Tape: 1 1/4 hr. w/ handwritten trans. French. Boisvert talks about her life as a Franco-American. Text: handwritten transcript. Recording: T 1815 1 1/4 hour, French.

1695 Juliette Filteau, interviewed by Steffan Duplessis and Mark Silber, February 19, 1981, Lewiston, Maine. Filteau discusses her childhood in Canada during the 1910s and 20s; moving to Lewiston in 1923; working in the shoe shop as a teenager; nuns and a convent in Canada; raising her daughter’s children; dates with her future husband; importance of religion and changes in Catholicism; leaving her alcoholic first husband, her catering business; opening her restaurant; dealing with drunks; buying black market food during WWII; serving Franco-American food; taking care of her parents; and making maple sugar in Canada. Text: 34 pp. partial transcript. Recording: T 1816 1 hour.

1696 Antoinette Boucher, interviewed by Steffan Duplessis and Mark Silber, winter 1980, Lewiston, Maine. 19 pp. Tape: 3/4 hr. w/ trans. French. Boucher talks about her life as a Franco-American and her family history. Text: transcript. Recording: T 1817 3/4 hour.

1697 Father Henri Carrier, interviewed by Raymond Pelletier and Mark Silber, March 19, 1981, Lewiston, Maine. Carrier talks about his decision to become a priest in the 1930s; requirements for the priesthood; differences in parishes throughout Maine; changes in the priest’s role with the development of parish councils; Church involvement in political and social issues; motivations for people to stay in “Little Canada”; strengthening the family; and the declining use of French. Partially in French. Text: 29 pp. transcript (French section handwritten), missing 2 pp. Recording: T 1818 1 ¼ hours.

1698 Josephine Morin, interviewed by Marcella Sorg and Steffan Duplessis, spring 1981, Lewiston, Maine. 39 pp. Tape: 1 1/4 hrs. w/ handwritten trans. French. Morin talks about her life as a Franco-American. Text: transcript (handwritten). Recording: T 1819 1 1/4 hours French.


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