Above is a current picture of where Sue's grandmother Mary Sage lived with her son Lyman Sage.
Their apartment is the top right apartment. The apartment was located at 241 St. Joseph Blvd in Hull. which was attached to the former Edmond Funeral Home. See picture below. They lived there for more than 40 years. Mary Sage's oldest son Herbie and his first wife lived there and then moved out and then Grandma Sage and Lyman moved in and took over the apartment in the late 40s. They lived there for more than 40 years and then moved to Cobourg where they lived with Aunt Caroline.
Above is a picture of the former Edmond Funeral Home in front of Grandma Sage's apartment which faced ST Joseph Blvd in Hull, Quebec
Above is a picture of Sue's mom Theresa Lucille (Sage) Legare when she was in her late 20s. She was a beautiful woman.
Above is a picture of Sue's father Paul Andre Emond Legare who was handsome. He was a young man going to the University of Ottawa in the early 50s to get his Bachelor of Arts degree which he got.
Above is a picture of Sue and her brother Chris in 1960. Sue was five years old and Chris was 4 years old. This picture was taken in Sue and Chris's bedroom at their family's basement apartment on Lebrun St in Eastview now called Vanier and part of Ottawa now.
Above is a picture of Sue's family's apartment building on 124 Lebrun Street near Des Peres Blancs Blvd in Eastview, afterwards called Vanier which is not part of Ottawa. This is a current picture taken in 2007. Sue' s family lived there in 1961 in apartment #1 in the basement apartment.
Above is a picture of Sue's first public school on Genest Street in Vanier. Sue started kindergarten
there in 1960 when she was 5 years old. Sue started in French kindergarten until her mom got sick with jaundice and then she was put in English kindergarten. In Grade 1, Sue stared at her teacher and her teacher struck Sue across the face. Sue told her mom Theresa and her mom went to see the teacher. Sue never got hit by her teacher again. Sue and her mom were met the mother superior of the nuns on these stairs by the white entrance doors. The nun wore a black habit right down to the ground. Sue yelled and hid behind her mom and said "Mommy, there's a witch in front of us, hide now". Sue's mom explained to her that the woman in black was a nun.
My family moved to Lebrun Street in Eastview which is now called Vanier and which is part of Ottawa now. We lived in the basement of a triplex and our apartment was in the basement. I was 4 years and would start kindergarten the next year which was 1960. Chris was three years old. We used to play on the swings in the backyard. Across from us was the White Fathers.
The White Fathers, a seminarian and teaching order from Africa, had used the location to house and teach the students of their order. When the White Fathers decided that the location was no longer useful for their useful for their means, the lot and buildings were open to the market. The city of Vanier seized the opportunity to use the location and expropriated the land for the city of Vanier. Vanier's greater need for a new City Hall made the White Fathers site a perfect solution. Some of the forest which was across the street from our triplex has been preserved. The Vanier Libary is now part of the this location.
Wayne and his family lived above us. He was the same age as my brother Chris.
Ann lived in the next building with her two daughters and her husband.
There were lots of kids on our street. The hoola hoop was the rage and it was the late 50s. Everyone had one. We had a black and white tv and I used to watch Dr. Kildare, my favorite show.
I started kindergarten at the La Genest shool nearby. I was five years old. My mom took me to my first day of kindergarten at school with me wearing a pair of my brother's pants with huge holes in the knees. My mom was embarrassed by this.
All hell broke out that night when dad got home. Mom told dad to give her money to buy me some new clothes and new beds for Chris and I. Mom chased dad with a rolling pin and he hid in the bathroom. Mom broke the door and had to cover the holes with a towel. There was lots of screaming going on that night between my mom and dad. Dad relented and gave mom the money.
My brother remembers being beaten with a broom by my mother because he turned on the kitchen faucet which filled a peanut butter cookie mix sitting in the sink with water ruining the mix. Chris remembers that night at supper dad noticed his arms covered with sratches and abrasions
from the beating earlier in the day from mom. He recalls that mom rushed him into the bathroom with the door closed and telling him not to tell dad what she did to him - or else!
The kids on our block started a street theatre where we would be the actors and invite all the moms and dads to watch our plays. I was Snow White once and my brother played a prince. We had lots of fun with the kids on our block.
I remember when Aunt Theresa and Uncle Jerry came to visit with my cousins. Marcel used to wet the bed and this upset my mothers as she noticed his mattress was wet. I recall passing by the bathroom oen day when my cousins were visiting and my aunt Theresa pleading with my mom to stop forcing
Marcel's head into the toilet bowl to teach him a lesson not to wet the bed. This was my mother's cruel way of punishing a kid. My mom was sadistic.
Wayne the neighbour upstairs was my brother's friend. They would play together. One day I came home from school and I could hear my brother Chris screaming his head off. Mom was calling a taxi to take Chris to the hospital. Chris had a cut on the top of his head whereWayne hit Chris on the head with a hammer. I remember going to emergency ward of the Montfort Hospital with Chris and my mom. I recall hearing Chris screaming as he stitched up the top of his head.
Mom would take me and Chris skating at the White fathers and they had a little ice rink. The forest had bit maple trees and the sap would be falling from the trees in the spring. We had a wild cat one and my mom did not like it because it would claw at everything, so she told me to put it near the forest and I did but not before the cat scratched me real good in the face first.
Mom got jaundice and the whole family had to get shots because of it. I had long hair and my mom would comb my long hair every morning before school and then braid my hair. My mom was too sick to do that so she took me to the hairdresser and had my hair chopped off really short like a brush cut. I was so humiliated to say the least. On the floor were my beautiful braids piled up in one corner of the floor. I had beautiful auburn hair.
I started in French kindergarten until my mother got sick. I remember singing songs in French. In kindergarten I remember having a nap on the floor and laying down with a blanket with the other kids in my class. After our nap, the teacher would give us cookies and a small carton of milk. We sat on small chair and tables. I did hand painting and all sorts of crafts for kids.
One day we were playing house. One boy tried to take my plastic toy broom away from me and I hit him on the head and he cried. In my kindergarten report card, it said I needed to co-operate more with my peers.
I went to grade one and I liked school. I remember at the Lajuenesse school that we would play with yo-yos the new fad. I recall watching Pollyanna the movie in the school auditorium.
One day I was staring at my grade one teacher and she asked me why I was staring at her and I had no answer and she walked up to me and slapped me across the face. My mom heard of what happened and went to see the teacher the next day and grabbed her by the throat and told my teacher in no uncertain terms not to do that to me ever again and she did not.
I used to play with an older girl next door called Isabelle. She had lots of nice toys and especially beautiful dolls to play with. One morning I went to her apartment to play with dolls. I went back home for lunch. My mom made us chicken soup and sandwiches. We heard someone knocking on the door and my mom opened the door. Isabelle informed my mother one of her dolls was missing. Mom closed the door and looked very angrily towards me.
"Suzanne, come into your bedroom with me right now" my mother ordered me and I did. She closed the door and told me to take off my yellow turtleneck with long sleeves. She took a belt and whipped my arms with it.
"Did you take any of Isabelle's dolls?", my mother demanded of me. "Mommy I did not take any dolls, it is the truth, mommy" I cried as I told my mother. My mother did not believe me and she whipped my arms some more until there were welts on my arms. She told me to put on my turtleneck and leave the bedroom and say nothing to anyone about what happened.
I went back into the kitchen with tears rolling down my face as I finished my lunch. My brother looked very nervous and anxious as he saw my tears. He knew mom had beat me. He heard me yelling when my mom was beating me.
About an hour later, Isabelle knocked on the door again and said "sorry, Mrs. Legare, but I found my doll". Mom said goodbye to Isabelle and turned to me and started to cry and hugged me and said she was so sorry. Mom took some of her grocery money dad gave her every week and took me shopping. She bought me a small farm house with little farm animals made of plastic. We then went to see one of her friends who had lots of cats. She was dying of cancer.
My dad was a great storyteller and would read us a story or tell us one of his stories before we went to bed. We loved our dad reading stories to us.
One day my dad told my brother he was not wanted in the family and he had to pack up and go. My brother looked very sad as he went into our bedroom and packed up some of his clothes in a shirt and my father gave him a broomstick to put his clothes on. I went hysterical and told my dad that I wanted Chris to stay. Chris started to cry and my dad told my brother to leave and he did. Chris started to climb the stairs from the basement apartment and then my dad grabbed him and told Chris he was only joking. My dad had a sick sense of humor. My dad could be cruel at times.
Mom and dad smoked cigarettes. Mom often would send us to the local convenience store to buy her cigarettes and we would spend the change on candy, and a few cents in those days could buy you lots of candy. We had lots of dental work done when we were young because we ate so much sugar. My brother and I still have a "sweet tooth". My father paid a small fortune to have our teeth fixed by an oral surgeon, Dr. Morin in Ottawa. He had an office for years on Gloucester St.
Wayne the neighbour upstairs went to his family's cottage one year and he was run over by a car and had to stay in bed for a few months.
I remember Christmases very well when I was young. Mom told my brother and I to go to bed early as Santa Claus was coming. I told Mom to put out some milk and cookies for Santa and some carrots out for Rudolph the reindeer. If I woker up during the night to ask if Santa came by the apartment, she would say "not yet, but you better get to bed before Santa sees you", mom would tell me.
We had lots nice presents. I had a nice doll from my grandma Mary Sage in a plastic case. Chris got
lots of toys like a train, a car etc. We got the game Tiddly Winks. I got a doll and a baby carriage. I remember my dad taking pictures of the family. Chris all of sudden went over to my doll carriage and poked the roof with a pen and then poked my doll's eyes with a pen. I started to cry.
My dad went to Mexico to see the deep jungles and went with a friend named Roger. We took dad to the airport and that was the only time I saw my dad kiss my mom on the lips. My mom and dad never showed any affection towards each other in front of my brother and I. My parents rarely hugged my brother and I.
We grew up in a home without love. We had lots of food and nice clothes and a clean house. Kids affection and need to be nutured and to be treated with respect and not be violated in any way. Chris and I suffered greatly in our childhood.
My parents did not have the proper parenting skills in order to provide a safe and happy environment for us as kids. I was a nervous child waiting to be hit or told off at any minute. I walked on egg shells for most of my childhood. My dad ignored me most of the time and he did Chris. All I needed as a child was to have a safe parent hold me tight and hug me and tell me that they loved me. I became an insecure person as a result of the abuse. I was not taught to be assertive when I was a child. My parents would violate my boundaries. I am assertive now but it took me many years of therapy to be able to gain the confidence and stand up for myself. I became empowered and knew I would not let people push me around anymore.
My mom hired an older girl who went to the same school as me to walk me to and from school. My mom paid her. Along the way the girl would sometimes kick me if I walked too slowly. I told my mom what the girl did to me and she went to the girl's house and told off the girl and fired her.
Mom's friend Ann lived next door. One day mom and I went to visit Ann and her kids. Ann had a real rifle laying on the table and mom picked it up for a joke and pointed it at Ann laughing. Ann yelled "Don't shoot, its loaded, Theresa". Ann was as white as a ghost. My mom was in shock. Ann's husband was a hunter.
Mom and dad both decided to visit Mexico. I was sent to live with my Aunt Sheila and Uncle
Denzil in Cobourg, Ontario while my parents were away. My brother was sent to stay with grandma Sage and uncle Lyman in Hull, Quebec.
Mom and dad were gone for at least a month.
Aunt Sheila was British. She was real nice and she had three kids, one was a baby. She use let us make things out of playdough and then cook the pieces we made and put them in the oven to cook. One day Aunt Sheila had to pick up carriage that was sent to her from her family in England. Uncle Denzil was a tall man and he was nice too like his wife. One day my uncle took off his shirt and I saw a big hole with a scar where a wound had once been. I asked what caused the scar and he said he had a wound from World War II. Denzil Sage, my mom's brother, along with 4 of his brothers and two of his sisters fought in World War II.
Around the corner in Cobourg lived my Aunt Caroline and her husband Stewart. He was in the Army like Uncle Denzil. Aunt Cannie had two teenage girls Linda and Carole Flay at time, her two sons came after in her change of life. Cannie was a nurses aid at the local hospital for years. There was a big playground on the grounds surrounding the townhouses. Uncle Stewart was an alcoholic.
My aunt Caroline remembers giving me a few coins everyday and watching me run like a bat out of hell to stop the iceman with his machine. He would ring that bells as he came by and I would bolt of the aunt's door with pigtails and arms flying and I would run as fast as I could and I would yell, Mr. Ice cream man, stop, stop" The man would laugh as I came up to his ice cream machine that was a bicycle and machine in one. I still love ice cream to this day.
Cobourg was a small town with not too many people. I was four years old and I had lots of cousins to play with. I had a ball. My aunts and uncles spoiled me you could say. I was very talkative and had lots of energy and I played all day.
After a month, my parents came back from Mexico to take me home. My aunt Sheila opened the door with me in her arms. My mom said to me "Hi Suzanne, mommy and daddy are back to take you home. I told my mother "You are not my mommy, Sheila is" My aunt Sheila just laughed and handed me over to my mom
My parents had a wonderful tan and they gave me some toys and souvenirs from their trip. Mom and dad gave all of my aunts and uncles some gifts. My father drove my mom and I to Hull, Quebec to pick up my brother. We climbed the two big staircases to reach my grandma's apartment. Chris looked well fed and happy.
Uncle Lyman spoiled Chris and took him everywhere with him to show him off. Chris was real cute. He had all these curls with dark brown hair and beautiful blue eyes, he was a real cutie.
Mom and Dad and grandma Sage and Chris went to the back of the apartment facing St. Joseph blvd.
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I had to go to the bathroom. Uncle Lyman was in the the kitchen next to the bathroom. He motioned for me to follow him into the bathroom and I did. Once he and I were in the bathroom he put the latch on with a hook to close the door. He then put me up on the toilet bowl cover that was facing the mirror. He whispered to me to pull down my red shorts and my panties and I did. I was only four years old. He then bent down to kiss my gential area for a few minutes and then said "that is real pretty, you know". He pulled up my panties and shorts and then told me "don't tell anyone, this is our secret" and I said ok. He then took the latch off the door and we both went onto the balcony where everyone was.
I did not know my uncle abused me as I was too young so I never told anyone about it for many years later. I recall going to visit my grandma and Uncle Lyman and my uncle would say "Suzanne is my favorite niece, she is such a beautiful and nice girl, just look at that pretty face and all those ringlets, she looks like a little doll, like Shirely Temple". Lyman would always fuss over me way too much all of the time when I visited Grandma's house.
Grandma Sage went to a Roman Catholic church across the street for years. I went to a bazaar with her and my mother. In the 80s, her church was torn down and made into a nightclub - a disco and my grandma was real upset about that. I was called "Disco Viva" I used to disco dance there from 12 midnight into the wee hours of the morning. I always brought my brother to watch out for me. I called Grandma Sageone night and told her I had danced at the disco the night before and my grandma said "Blasphemy" I felt bad that I told her. She was real upset with me for a long time.
Grandma Sage would send money to the Little Theresa Mission. Grandma and Grandpa Sage's engagement pictures were on her living room walls in oval frames from the early 1900s. My mother took them when grandma and Uncle Lyman went to Cobourg. My mom put them on her bedroom walls.
Story continues on Chapter 3