Monday, June 15, 2009

The Good Old Days

Looking through my books, I came across the following tidbits in Brin d'Histoire from the Societe Historique de Grande Digue, which I shall translate to english. The title of the article is "Growing up in Grandigue by Camille Theriault.
David and Zelma Theriault arrived in Grande Digue in 1917 with one daughter Marguerite.David had left his work on the advice of his doctor. A property at the corner of the road to Caissie Cape caught his eye. Besides the house was a a barn, a garage and a grocery store. Here was clean fresh air that David needed to take care of his lungs.
This young couple went to work. In the summer of 1918 David Theriault began selling his products around the cape with a horse and wagon ,twice a day, while Zelma took care of her house and other work. To make work easier the house was connected to the store through the kitchen. This was done by Baptiste Despres and a few neighbors.
In October of the same year a son was born (Camille ) and nearly every two years from then on were born eight more children.
Camille Theriault who was 76 when he told these stories lived in Ontario at the time. He said he spent 14 years growing up in Grande Digue. Here is more of his stories.
In the spring of 1924 a company (probably Whiterose) set up gas tanks in front of the store and it was operated by David and Zelma.
It is safe to say that on the side of the store was the place that gathered the most snow drifts in all of Grande Digue, sometimes up to 14 feet high. David and Zelma had to answer to the folks as if it were their fault.
Probably many folks of Grande Digue won't remember Michel a Romain Caissie. I can see him coming home and listening to his stories. He was a shoemaker, he could fix nearly any tools even cut hair. He was an interesting man who always travelled by bicycle with a bag attached to the back seat. He travelled all over the villages and was known as far as Saint Antoine.
About my mother:
I am amazed how mother would be so calm doing a crisis and I give her credit she well deserves. With six children near her, her baby Aurele fell and hit his forehead on his bottle and the blood started running. The children were ready to panick but Mother said " Don't get nervous, it's nothing". With that attitude she gave everyone something to do. "you will pump the water in the basin while I hold a cold torniquet, the blood will stop you will see". Then she decided to get help from her capable neighbor " Marguerite ,get dressed warm and go over to Baptiste Despres, tell him exactly where the cut is. He will stop the blood in a hurry you will see". And the blood stopped with the help of the neighbor.
It is true, mothers are unbelievable sometimes. I remember when I was around ten years old and my cousin and I were on Dad's truck (where we were not suppose to be) and it had rained and the front of the truck was slippery and we would slide off the truck, at that time (long ago grin) the license plates had no frame around them and they were sharp, and I slid down and didn't I slip on the edge of the license plate and split the front of my leg near my ankle. The wound was open so wide you could see the cord inside the wound that moves the leg. But believe it or not it was not bleeding, so I hopped over to the house, Mom was scrubbing her floors, she saw me, she didn't panic one bit, made me stand on a chair and she took a clean white cloth and wrapped it around the wound and Dad and her took me to the doctors office. He had to put in eight clamps and a bunch of stitches and she stayed by my side.
I also remember an episode with my son, he was getting all upset and I was very stern and guided him through his dilemma. I remember thinking " I gotta be strong for him" and I think I was.
Well I do hope you enjoyed today's blog and will stop by again soon.
Have a great day.


Lori E said...

I think back then they had so few options there was no point in panicking. Things were black and white. Panic could end up with the house burning down or the death of someone.
Thanks for the translation. I have had many documents that needed translating and it is an arduous process for someone who reads very little French.

alineskee said...

Lori, I agree they didn't have much choice back them, and they had to be strong.
Yes translation from French to English is hard sometimes, I am bilingual and even I sometimes have a hard time.

Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

Bonjour Aline,
Thanks for talking about some Theriaults!Not closely related ot me but still fun to read.
This is also a reminder that you can still take part in A Festival of Postcards of this month which is about Main Streets in towns or cities.
If you are still interested,then please go here:

alineskee said...

thank you Evelyn, and thanks for telling me about the festival of postcards will check it out.