Mont-Carmel, P.E.I.
First of all, I'm Roger à Alyre à Calixte à Frank-Urbain and I have seven brothers and seven sisters. I'm the 15th child of the family and memories, you know, we'll cherish 'til we die from, you know, being a large family. We were poor but we had lots of love and lots of food. We had a farm. We had chickens, beef, eggs. We grew almost everything that we needed from the wheat to make the flour, and carrots, potatoes. You name it we had it. But everybody in the big family had their jobs to do and they used to have frolics in them days that they called them. Cutting wood, trashing the grain, you know, the neighbours would come to help and then my father would have to go and help them also to return the day's work that he had got, but it was a good time… Exactly, kind of a cooperative movement you know. Like in a small mini coop and great great times… We had done a trick Halloween night to our school teacher, so we were late getting out of school that night. It was October 31st and it gets dark pretty early, so we ended up four, my two sisters and a neighbour, 6, 8 and I was 10 years old to see some rabbit snares and when we got down in the woods it was dark and our friend, our neighbour, said let's go and see our snares and there was no line cut in the wood so we decided to go across the farm just next door to us. We got lost and we had to spend the night in the woods, raining, pouring. It was miserable but they found us alive and well. A happy ending to everybody, yeah, that's right. Father and grandfather, we remember them because they were very religious and holy people, you know. You'd never, never catch my grandfather and my father digging potatoes on Sunday. It was the day of rest and you went to church, and in them days we didn't have a heater in our cars, and we didn't have a car. It was a sleigh, a big punk sleigh, and you'd pile the family in there and snow up to your ying-yang, and during Holy Week, you'd go with tractors and on our farm, we had a manure spreader and that's what we used to jump in because there was mud, about two feet of mud, but you had to go and it was twice a day on Holy Thursday, Holy Friday and Saturday. And you went, you didn't tell your father you didn't want to go, you had a headache. They'd drag you by the ears you just had to go. Everybody was a musician, you know, a musician. You had to because that was the only way of entertaining yourself and my mother was a beautiful organ player. A pedal organ and we all started. I'm still playing 65 years later, the organ and the piano accordion. And it was great time you know, great get-togethers, it was lovely.
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Title: Mont-Carmel, P.E.I.
Description: Roger Arsenault speaks of the daily life on a farm in the middle of the 20th century in Mont-Carmel, P.E.I.
Subjects: villages
Source: Connections Productions
Language: English
Date: 2007-03-21
Creator: Connections Productions
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