Speaking of Counting on Grace: The Québecois theme of the Vermont Reads 2007 book has inspired Essex Junction's Brownell Library to feature cultural items from French-Canadian heritage in a display case for the month of September. Library Director Penny DeLaire Pillsbury contributed the first item - her French-Canadian great-great-grandmother's New Testament, written, of course, en français. Pillsbury says locals can loan items to put in the locked case, and/or bring them to a Tête-à-tête avec les ainés Québecois/Vermontois - a conversation with seniors - on September 18, at 3 p.m. "It may engender stories of mothers and fathers from long ago," she suggests. "I'll be making my grandmother's sour-cream-and-raisin pie, and maybe a mincemeat for good measure."
At least a quarter of Vermonters have French-Canadian roots, Pillsbury says. Those who want to contribute to the display should call her at 878-6955. Include a written description of who owned the item, where they came from in Canada, and where they live(d) in Vermont. Other programming with a French accent includes a talk with UVM professor and Canadian scholar Andre Senecal on September 12, Franco-American storytelling with raconteuse Mémère Catherine Charron on the 19th, and a slide lecture with Counting on Grace author Elizabeth Winthrop on September 29. Vive le Québec!