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The French Connection – My grandpa. My aunt. Moi.

December 26, 2011

Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

A special version of Everybody’s French-English English-French Dictionary from 1943 made its way into my life this Christmas.  It had once belonged to my grandpa who passed away less than a year ago.

Since the book is from 1943 and my grandpa wrote the name of his high school in it, I would guess he was about 15 years old when he used it.  Being from Grimsby, just outside Toronto, Ontario, he was required to learn French as right next door live the hardcore French-only separatists from Quebec.  With all his detailed doodles covering the blank pages of the book, I like to imagine his French class looked something like this:


When my aunt Gale began studying French in high school he gave his dictionary to her, doodles and all.  And amazingly, despite how close she was to him, she let go of the book and passed it down to me; and with perfect timing, as I’m just about to hit my year mark of French studies.

Thank you, Gale!

Grandpa, aunt Gale, Nadine

Grandpa, aunt Gale, moi

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