Marthe Rivard, 93, is Franco-American. She remembers speaking French everywhere in town, in stores, in church at home. Today, she does that less and less. The people who do speak French in Lewiston are about her age, and their children understand
and do not speak it. There is an effort to revive the language, but the story
of Lewiston's Francos is a familiar one of assimilation in America.
Marthe introduces us to her world of French in Lewiston--at Mass, at work and
Download this piece from the Public Radio Exchange
This piece premiered in May 2004 at the Salt Gallery
as part of the show Everything in Particular
. It aired on August 30, 2004 on Maine Public Radio's Maine Things Considered
, and a shortened version (4:29) aired the week of September 29, 2004 on Primetime Radio
. It is also featured in moé pi toé
, the online publication of the Franco-American Women's Institute.
Producer: Sarah Elzas
Recorded in Lewiston, Maine