MEET THE CHARACTERS
Some of the major characters from the Trolley Days books are described in their own words below. A quote is also provided for each. Try to identify the character, then click "Who am I?" to see if you are correct. To hide the answers, reload this page (F5).
~ 1 ~
I was born in Québec in 1898. My family moved to Holyoke in 1901. My earliest memories are of the animals on the farm in Westfield - chickens, sheep, and a cow. My dad worked six days a week at Wellington Textiles – he traveled to work every day on the streetcar. I can remember watching him walk up Southampton Road to the car stand early in the morning and wishing I could go along. When I was fourteen I finally got my wish.
~ 2 ~
Although I was born in Canada, I grew up in Westfield, Massachusetts. As a little girl all I wanted to do was follow my mother around the house and do everything that she did. I called it “helping,” although, as I remember it now, I don’t suppose Mother saw it that way. She taught me to cook, to sew, everything a girl would need to know when the day came that she had to raise a family. That day came much sooner for me than I could ever have imagined.
~ 3 ~
My wife and I, we grew up in the same neighborhood in Sherbrooke, Québec. We attended school together, then quit to work in the mills. I was always sweet on her. Her family moved when I was about fourteen and I didn’t see her for a few years. I remember coming out of work one day, I must've been seventeen or eighteen. There she was, smiling that smile of hers. I didn’t realize until that moment how much I had missed her. Just a few months later we were married.
~ 4 ~
Being the youngest in the family means I’m always the last to find out what’s going on. Everyone treats me like I’m too young to be told the truth, like I need to be protected. I guess that’s why I’m so curious about things. Okay, my sister and brother say I’m nosy and impertinent, but when you’re the youngest, you have to be that way to survive.
~ 5 ~
When I was five we got this pony, a Percheron. We named him Thor. He and I were closest friends. When I went off to school for the first time, he missed me terribly – I could tell. After grade six I left school and Thor and I became constant companions again. One thing about Thor, he understands me.
~ 6 ~
Carolyn Ford and I were eleven, maybe twelve, when we started working as volunteers at the Holyoke Women’s Home. We helped out in the kitchen when they put on big suppers. I don't believe I truly appreciated how important the work of the Home was until I met dear Clara. Meeting her changed my life. I’ll never forget her.
~ 7 ~
I’ve known the Bernards ever since they moved to Westfield. A fine Catholic family they are, none finer, and strong supporters of St. Agnes School. Of course, they’ve had their share of sorrows, more than their share I’d say. But their faith has seen them through.
~ 8 ~
Holyoke was a great place to grow up. On Sundays Father would take us out in his motorcar. One of our favorite destinations was Mountain Park. My brother, my sister, and I loved to go on the rides. I went to Forestdale Grammar School through grade eight, then my parents sent me to Dorchester School in Greenfield. That was great, but I missed my family, and, of course, my best friend. Jack was like a lifeline for me. Whenever I was in trouble, he was there to help.
~ 9 ~
I loved school, but after grade seven I had to go to work in the mill. My mother promised me I could go back to school one day, but that day never came. I've always regretted that. That is why my husband and I promised ourselves that all our children would complete their education. I just pray we'll be able to keep that promise.
~ 10 ~
Don't get me wrong, I love Holyoke, I really do. But it can be a difficult place to live, especially for a young woman who doesn't know her way around. Shortly after my husband and I moved to the city, I and several other ladies began to discuss the need for a place for young women to go when they arrived in Holyoke, a place where they would find a hot meal, a warm bed, a friendly face. In 1895 the Women's Home opened its doors on Maple Street. We are very proud of what we have been able to accomplish since then.
~ 11 ~
I remember I had quite a crush on Tommy Wellington for a while. He was handsome and smart and he was always gadding about in a fancy new motorcar. He wasn't exactly my beau, just a boyfriend. And he didn't always treat me real nice, but then, I can't say I deserved better - what I mean is I wasn't always trustworthy. Jack Bernard, I liked him too, but he wasn't really my type.
~ 12 ~
I had many good friends at Holyoke High School, some girls, some boys. I had known Jack Bernard ever since our first year of high school, but it was during rehearsals for the class play, The Importance of Being Earnest, that we became good friends. "Earnest" is the perfect word to describe Jack, serious, determined. I always admired that about him. I tried to be a good friend to Jack, and he was a very good friend to me.
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