Father’s Day 2018

It’s been almost 46 years since my Dad died.  Pictures, of course, will always stir recollections, but other senses can also bring memories into sudden, sharp focus.

Dad worked for the Canadian National Railway as a welder.

Hogue Thomas b1909 welder

Thomas Hogue 1909 – 1972

In the summers, the railroad “gang” of ten sometimes worked in one location for an extended period of time. When this happened, my siblings and I often tented along side our Dads.   Our family had a big old canvas tent, the kind with a pole in the centre.

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For us children it was an exciting adventure…for Mom, probably not so much considering the work it would have involved!

The point is that the smell of a railroad track immediately makes me think of Dad, and those happy times.

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Hearing, as in songs, is well recognized as a memory trigger.  There are two songs, that for me, always conjure up my Dad.  The first is the Red River Jig, which I’ve talked about previously.

The other is an old tune called Cruising Down the River, which Dad used to sing to me when I was a child, changing the words to “with my Jackie by my side.” You can listen to the song here.

On my wedding day, we danced to that tune. I can’t find the picture of us dancing though.

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Dad and me

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Red River Jig

Today is Louis Riel Day here in Manitoba, Canada.  It seems like a fitting time to post a fabulous picture I recently received from a cousin.

It’s a picture of Mémère, at the age of 81, dancing the traditional Metis Red River Jig.

Red River Jig

Red River Jig

The party is taking place in the basement of her son Joe’s home on Kensington Street.  Clapping and watching are Joe, his sister Irene, and me.  I love the smile on Mémère’s face!

You can listen to the tune being played by the renowned Andy DeJarlais here.

You can see award winner Ryan Richard jigging here.

 

Louis Riel Day

Louis Riel

Louis Riel Image courtesy Duffin and Co. / Library and Archives Canada / C-052177

In honour of Louis Riel Day (the 3rd Monday of February here in Manitoba), I thought I’d post a tribute to my Metis ancestors in the Hogue line. I know so little about the Metis women in my heritage. The first one, of course, is Marguerite Taylor, whom I’ve written about here. Country wife of Sir George Simpson of Hudson Bay Company, mother to two of his children, then married off to Amable Hogue.

Scrip application for Marguerite Hogue Library Archives Canada LAC RG 15 v. 1321

Scrip application for Marguerite Hogue
Library Archives Canada
LAC RG 15 v. 1321

Next is Genevieve or “Jenny” Beignet. Country wife of John Warren Dease, Sr. I haven’t written about them yet. Genevieve was born about 1796 in what is now Green Lake, Saskatchewan and died 10 Nov 1860 in St. Boniface. When John died in 1830 she was left with very young children which she raised in the Red River Settlement, possibly with the help of her brother-in-law Francis Dease.

Lastly, is Josephte Belisle, country wife of James McMillan. I’ll be getting to their story soon. Josephte was born around 1785. She was still alive in 1875, but I don’t know exactly when she died.

Scrip application for Josephte McMillan Library Archives Canada LAC RG 15 v. 1322

Scrip application for Josephte McMillan
Library Archives Canada
LAC RG 15 v. 1322

The only Metis artifact I have is the beautiful beadwork which I wrote about here.

My Dad used to make “jiggers”. Wish I had one of them now, but I have to be content with one I bought last year at Festival du Voyageur.

Jigger
To this day I get tears in my eyes when I hear the “Red River Jig” being played on a fiddle. Reminds me of my Dad.

Happy Louis Riel Day!