Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Remembering Pepere

Anna-Marie aka Mamie L'Autre, Jean Seguin aka Pepere, with my grand-aunt Janine and grandpa Jacques, aka Papi Nono. Photo taken in 1930.Pepere was born on this day in 1903. He was a very nice old great grandpa. Thanks to the year he was born, he did not have to attend any of the two World Wars, he was too young for the first one and too old for the second one.

To me he was never old until the winter he died in 1997. Until that summer of 1996 he would go for a walk pushing his bicycle. One year some youngsters stole his bicycle but everyone in town knew it was Pepere's and so the bicycle was returned to him. He kept a tortoise in his garden that crawled as fast as he could and would bite fingers and toes.

I wish I had spent more time with him. I did spent a lot of time considering I was little and would much rather play than seat down with him. but I did take the time to find out about his sister whom I visited before she died a few years ago. He told me that he had been lucky, because he got to go to the agriculture school when he was a young lad, and education was not given to anyone - back then. He would have raw onions and a slab of bread for his lunch and loved it. "Onions are gooPepere in the French summer of 1989d for you" he'd say. Gosh I can't stand raw onion, the taste lingers forever even after brushing my teeth, so I eat shallots in my tomato salads instead.

He had a bit of vineyard, and in the autumn we would make it a family day out to pick the grapes. I only remember going once and remember eating more grapes than dropping them in the basket. He had started his own coal business, which my grand father took over. The whole town knows my family name well because they would deliver coal on Christmas eve if needed be. Also my grandpa was the first to hire a coloured person at the normal wages and benefits. It's good not to forget people like that, who have been through this kind of life where heating was not to be taken for granted, nor education, nor a wholesome lunch. He was a good hard-working and earnest man.


Joshua P.G. Lane said...

Thank you for sharing the wonderful memories of your Pepere. He sounds like a great man.

I love the photographs!

Hammer said...

I bet he had some interesting stories to tell. Thanks for sharing the memory of him.