Alice Street: A Memoir by Richard Valeriote

By Richard Valeriote

Alice road recounts how Valeriote was once born on the sundown of fine instances and the sunrise of challenging ones. His mother's 15th baby, he grew up in an Italian Catholic kinfolk on a road packed with proud households with a large number of languages and backgrounds. From being packed into the neighborhood church, to operating and borrowing his method via clinical institution at McGill whereas surviving a number of serious health problems, to his very winning occupation as a physician in California, his tale is entwined with these of every person from foundry employees to overseas ambassadors. A hot and informative examine the demanding trip made by way of such a lot of, Alice road is a testomony to the energy and personality had to make it via tumultuous times.

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The medics stopped by Uncle Vincent’s shop with a sobbing Yvette to report what we suspected: Mrs Piquette had passed away. Uncle Vincent, who often sang hymns while he worked, immediately genuflected and mouthed a silent prayer. A hearse came and carried Mrs Piquette away, accompanied by Yvette. Uncle Vincent was subdued as he rethreaded all the belts back onto the pulleys. Then he closed shop and I went with him to his house next door. He sat down at the kitchen table, poured himself a glass of wine, and mumbled a few prayers.

With enthusiasm and pride, I blurted, “Yes! ” It would be sixty years before I learned from Pacifico that he never received the money. He assured me that he had been well taken care of by the Veteran’s Education Bill. Where the money went I can only speculate. Donating to light candles at church was one of my mother’s favorite pastimes, along with money to baptize pagan babies in far off lands. And when any of my many siblings came to visit, she’d always send them home with a little money she’d surreptitiously tucked into their palms.

I told her the sad story. She listened, stroking the curls on my head. Then she sighed. ” °°°°° I was an eager worker as a child, always willing to do chores at home or at the store. Inspired by my observations of everyone else’s sweeping techniques, I enjoyed experimenting with ways to do my chores better. My sister-in-law Lola, Dominic’s wife, once asked me to rake up the cut grass from the yard behind the store. I was seven years old. I went right to work and in no time had a nice tidy pile of dry grass cuttings.

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