June 20, 2010

Papa and Me

Papa and Me

My first bike, my first puppy and my first *new* bike

As a child I always thought my Papa was pretty special.  As an adult, I've come to realize that most children think their Dads are special... but for me, my Papa really was!

He would do the most unexpected things.  Of course, my Mother might not agree with everything he did for his children - like the time he unexpectedly brought home a puppy or two.  I wasn't around the first time he brought one home but I was about ten or eleven the second time he brought one home.  He had popped into a local diner for lunch and ordered a hot dog.  The wait fellow at the counter brought him a tiny puppy in a coffee cup.  Well being the old softy that he was, Papa decided to take the puppy home.  Of course, Mama wasn't home at the time.  She was in a Brookline, Ma hospital where she'd had surgery.  So my sister who was about 18 at the time was home when Papa brought the little beagle-mix puppy home.  My sister was ten years older than me.  She had left high school at 16 to go work in the mills.  Lots of people used to leave their education behind to go work in the mills.  As it would turn out, I was the first in my family to graduate from high school.

But back to the puppy.  Because my sister went to work from 1p.m. to 10p.m. in the Pacific Mills where Mama also worked, it was decided I would stay at my Mémère and Pépère's home that was just a stone's throw and that we could see from our own home.  My sister called over to me (yes, we lived that nearby) and told me to come to the house that there was a surprise for me waiting there.  I ran over to see what it was and lo and behold this cute little black, tan and white cuddly little pup was put in my arms.  It was love at first hold!  We named the pup Queenie and she would be my little Queenie for as long as she lived.

Of course now the real problem would be getting Mama to agree to keeping this little pup.  As a child I always loved animals.  I would have dogs and cats follow me and then ask Mama if we could keep them.  As all mothers should, she told me to take those animals back where I found them... gee, I was so sure she'd let me keep each one I brought home!

So how could we convince Mama that we should keep this cute little critter?  Well that evening when Papa went to visit Mama at the hospital, we brought Queenie with us.  I waited for a bit until the coast was clear and we brought the puppy into the hospital wrapped in my sweater.  I put her on Mama's hospital bed and she couldn't resist either.  Of course, had the nurses seen this puppy inside the hospital they would not have resisted kicking us out either but we got in and out unscathed ;o)

Anyhow these are the kinds of things Papa was prone to do.

I was pretty much the youngest child not only in my family but among most of the neighborhood children.  I used to bemoan the fact that all of these olders "kids" had two wheel bicycles while I had none.

My Papa worked part-time for Cooper's Express - when he worked there it was a moving company.  One day while moving furniture to someone's home they had some items they wanted to dispose of.  One of those items Papa brought home.  I was not allowed to go to the basement of our tenement until he was done "whatever" he was doing with that item.

It turned out to be a small child's two wheel bicycle.  Nothing at all like the big two wheelers but boy it suited me just fine.  It was indeed an old bicycle and Papa had put it in the basement so he could paint it.  It was one of the best gifts he could have given me.

When I was twelve years old one afternoon after work he told me I was to go to the store with him.  We went to Roby Miers Bicycle Shop in Lawrence where I grew up.  He let me pick out a spanking  new bicycle of my choice.  I chose a beautiful red and white bike.

There are so many acts of kindness Dad did that I could write a book.

When I was about twenty-one I was at work when a Nor'easter hit.  Since I used to ride with another worker, I had no idea how I would walk home in all that snow when I got dropped off a block away.  I imagined I'd be soaking wet!  Well when I was dropped off, Papa was waiting at that spot with my boots so I could get home without getting wet.

This was the kind of father he was - always concerned for his family and always doing the unexpected that brought great pleasure and satisfaction.

All in all Papa loved his family a whole lot.  His own Mother passed away when he was only thirteen.  He once told me that his older brothers and sisters raised him.  He was born into a family of seventeen children, he being the third youngest.

I always fondly remember how Saturday evening was date night for him and Mama.  They would get dressed up and go to the movies.  On the way they always passed L'Heureux Jewelers.  One Monday noon time he came home with two jewelry sets Mama had liked as they window  shopped at L'Heureux' on Saturday evening.  She chose one set and he returned the other.   Mama gave me that set after I was married.  I cherish it to this day.

So life was indeed interesting with my parents.  Whether times were good or bad they made things work.

As my Papa lay dying, I was by his bedside while the rest of the family had gone to lunch.  He told me he would always be with me and I know that both he and Mama are always and forever with me and all of our family.  He loved his two oldest grandchildren he lived to see.  He passed away at the age of 59 so never got to see his other grandchildren.

Happy Father's Day Papa!  You now have three great grandsons writing another chapter in our family history.  If Theo, Alex and Milo could  have known you, they would have loved you as much as I do.

With all our love,

Your daughter Lucie

All rights reserved
Lucie's Legacy
Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
Cross posted at the

June 6, 2010

Massachusetts Society of Genealogists - Merrimack Valley Chapter

On June 5th, I attended my first meeting of the newly approved Merrimack Valley Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists.  The first meeting was in May at which time officers were elected.  At this meeting a total of 30 members were present plus some guests including the MSOG president Patricia Stano-Carpenter.

It was really a pleasure to meet others and to learn about their research.  There are some wonderful projects going on by various members.

The next meeting will be in September.  If you live in the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts and parts of New Hampshire you may well want to consider joining this group - you will not regret it.

Membership fee is only $25 annually and it includes the annual conference.  This year the annual conference will be on November 6th from 9 to 4 at the Marriott Court Yard in Marlboro.  Easily accessible right off route 495.  There is an extra fee for dinner but there are many restaurants in the area as well. But who would not want to stay with MSOG members for dinner and cocktail hour.

If you are interested in joining the Merrimack Valley Chapter please contact Karen Trearchis by sending a message to dktrearchis at comcast.net, changing the at to @ or if you would like to join another chapter, or to learn more about the organization, go to Massachusetts Society of Genealogists

I am hoping that many of my research contacts and friends will join this wonderful group.  It is just great when we can be involved in a local endeavor.

By the way, the Merrimack Valley Chapter meets at the Lawrence History Center located at 6 Essex Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  The building is known to those of us who grew up in the Lawrence area as having belonged to the Essex Company and houses many important historic records for Lawrence in its archives.

The Massachusetts Society of Genealogists can also be found on Facebook.  If you are on Facebook please join us.  This year is the 35th anniversary of MSOG and we would love to see our membership grow.

All Rights Reserved
Lucie's Legacy
Lucie LeBlanc Consentino