Letters to ...

Running Naked - Part II

 ... Response to Steve Johnson's "Running Naked on Pleasant Street"

from L. Louise Haynes

To the Editor:

My Uncle Steve Johnson's recent article. "Running Naked on Pleasant Street" is the kind of anecdote that should accompany every genealogy. While I am not one of the "double cousins," I am one of the 83 first cousins descended from the 17 surviving children of Jean-Baptiste and Eva Richer Montagne. I wouldn't have the time to count the "cousins" of the fourth and fifth generations. Large families were rare but not unusual among French-Canadian immigrants to Vermont.

Intermarriages among these families resulted in the proverbial "fat phone book, few names" until recent years when, like much of northern New England, St. Albans enjoyed an influx of "flatlanders" who found Vermont an agreeable place to live. My parents, Jacqueline Mary Montagne and Charles Edward Luneau were neighbors on Kellogg Road, their fathers having adjoining farms.

My "Mémère" Luneau died in her early 40's, and "Pépère" Luneau reared his 8 children on his own (not that there were no women who wanted to help but that's another story!). People looked out more for each other in those days, and the Luneau and Montagne boys worked and played together. The story is that my parents disliked each other before Cupid did his work.

They married in 1946 and my three younger brothers and I spent most of our growing-up years on Kellogg Road. Most of our playmates were cousins and to this day, family gatherings are great fun. I count myself fortunate to have always lived in St. Albans where I know my local cousins and those who visit from as far away as California.

Kudos to "The Melrose Mirror" for your very interesting articles. Reminiscing is good for the soul and so interesting to my children and grandchildren.

L. Louise Luneau Haynes
St. Albans, Vermont

August 1, 2003

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