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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Jody Terio clenches dollar bill rolled tightly in her hand heading to corner store in Chapleau

Jody Terio founded little red theatre in 1988 with the mandate of bringing professional level theatre productions and workshops to young people in both official languages, English and French.  
 Jody, the daughter of Joan and George Theriault formerly of Chapleau, remains as Artistic Director.  
She provided this description: "Little red theatre produces dramatic performances of great quality theatre using a wonderful eclectic mix of puppets, songs and original musical scores, dance and audio visual technology.  Productions are aimed at the Kindergarten through Grade 6 constituency and are presented at schools, libraries and special venues. Workshops take place in the community."
 The Theriault family lived in the Tom Godfrey house at the intersection of Birch and Lansdowne streets which later became the home of Centre Culturel Louis H√©mon.
Jody is also  a great storyteller, and she shared this moment from 1964, about going to the corner store in Chapleau.
"1964"
by Jody Terio
She sends me out to Desi’s to buy her Dumaurier cigarettes, I’m clenching the bill, rolled tightly in my hand as I put on my dirty runners, a hole is now popping up in one of  the toes but I like the pattern of the shoes, there are little pink and yellow flowers , faded and worn out from use.  I slip them on from the back without doing the laces and leave the house.  It is a warm day but the sky is grey, it is mid July the, sky is low and there is a little breeze and I am wearing a pair of grey green cotton peddle pushers.  I am eight years old.
I skip along, past the housekeeper Faby who is hanging clothes on the line.
 'Where are you going?' She snaps quickly.
‘My mom wants a pack of cigarettes’. 
 And down the cement stairs, skipping down the walk, past the manitoba maple, past the white picket fence.  There are chalk marks on the sidewalk that we made yesterday when we played hopscotch.   I look north to see if there are any cars coming on Lansdowne and then dart across the street.  There is a native man standing outside the taxi stand waiting for a cab.  
I walk down Birch street.  There is a new Stedmans across the street with a few summer toys in the window, a large bright yellow blow tube boat, a snorkle and a small hot pink tube.  The street is quiet. 
 I walk past the Bertrands, Joey is sitting out waiting to be petted so I give him the usual head pat.  Collins store is now on my left .  A tent is pitched in the window and a mannequin of a man and a boy are beside it.  The boy and man are wearing matching plaid jackets and hats.  They are very white fleshed and the man is looking kindly at the boy.  There are some tools on the ground in fake grass.  A hatchet and something that anchors the tent.  
The post office is on my right across the street and there are people coming out and going in.  I admire the tall windows made of beveled glass.  
I cross Lorne Street and enter Desi’s.  The first thing I see are the comic books all in a few racks before you get to the cash.  I quickly search through them to see if there are any new Archie  or Caspar the Friendly Ghost.  I also like Lotta and Richie Rich ones too.  But nothing new today so I move along.  
The candies are all laid out at the cash and I can spend five cents from the cigarette money.  The cashier, a teenage boy takes out a little paper bag and I pick three blackballs, two spearmint leaves, two strawberries, three small gums, and two caramels for a penny.  He takes a pack of large  Dumaurier from his shelf and hands them all to me.  I give him the dollar and he gives me back a quarter.  I put it into my pocket and on my way out I glance at the birthday cards, ‘Happy birthday son’ embossed in silver and  a sailboat on the front.   
I  head back home and on the way, pick up a chocolate bar wrapper that is in good shape to add to my chocolate bar wrapper collection.  I am watching my candies most of the way, saving the blackballs which take a long time to suck on, for the last.  I may give one to Janie if she is around.
George Theriault at Chapleau beach 1950s

Thank you so much Jody for sharing this moment from your life in Chapleau. It sure brought back memories of my treks "up town" from our house on Grey Street when I was a child. For more information on Jody's Little Red Theatre, visit http://www.littleredtheatre.on.ca/home.html  My email is mj.morris@live.ca
PHOTOS
 1, Jody (left), (back) Elizabeth Pasco(nee Theriault), centre , Joan Theriault (right) Jane Deans (nee Theriault) frpm Jody collection 
2. Leona McCrea (left), Marlene Sawyer, Joan Theriault (my mom) from Jody collection
3, George Theriault (my dad) background Chapleau beach (late 1950s) from Jody Collection

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Michael J Morris

Michael J Morris
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