Franco-American Collection

Book Reading and Discussion - Denis Ledoux

Event Date and Time: 
Thursday, November 21, 2013, 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Room 170, USM LAC
Contact Name: 
James Myall
Contact Phone: 
Contact Email:

Thursday, November 21, at 2pm, the Franco-American Collection at USM will be hosting a reading and discussion of not one, but two memoirs!  Denis Ledoux will be talking about his two recently-published works, "Business Boy to Business Man" and "We Were Not Spoiled," memoirs of his uncle, Robert Verreault, and mother, Lucille Verreault Ledoux, respectively.

Robert Verreault founded the Lewiston Machine Shop in 1946. The company eventually morphed into the Diamond Machine Company. Many will remember the spectacular fire of July 18 1972 that razed the company’s facility on River Road, destroying months of production inventory that was scheduled for shipping in the coming days—and subject to being turned over to accounts receivable.

“I knew that I had lost my building,” reminisced Verreault in his memoir, “but I was determined that would not lose my company.” Verreault and his staff rebuild the company, receiving generous help from the local business community. “It was a show of support that could only happen in a community like Lewiston and Auburn, Without my fellow business colleagues, I don’t know if I could have rallied. I’m sure it would have been harder.” In 1975, Verreault was honored by the Small Business Administration when it named him Maine Small Business Man of the Year.

The second of Ledoux's memoirs is that of his mother, Lucille Verreault Ledoux, "We Were Not Spoiled."  The book chronicles the life of a Maine girl born in 1921 through to 1951. "Raised in Lewiston, Lucille Ledoux’s life is typical of many Francos of her generation and as such," according to David Soucy, Marketing Assistant at The Memoir Network's Soleil Press, the book's publisher, "is an important addition to our understanding of life in Maine’s ethnic communities in the last century."

“This book,” continued Soucy, ‘is one of overlooked details, of information often thought to be marginal and so too frequently lost to students of every-day history. A basic function of memoir is to give witness to a time gone by and this book succeeds well at this function."

Copies of both books will be available for purchase at the event.  They are published by Soleil Press and the Memoir Network, an organization based in Lisbon which helps people to chronicle their lives in writing.  More information about the Memoir Network can be found at

The book reading and discussion will be held in Room 170 of USM's Lewiston-Auburn College, located at 51 Westminster Street, Lewiston.  Admission is free and no reservations are needed.  Donations welcomed. For more information contact Collection Coordinator, James Myall at 207-753-6545 or visit

This is part of a series of winter book discussions.  The other readings scheduled in the series are with Rhea Coté Robbins, on December 19, and with Joseph Conforti on January 16.

Winter/Spring Open Hours

We have new Tuesday evening hours!  During February and March, the Collection will be open on Tuesdays until 7:30 pm.  It will be closed between 4 and 5 on Tuesdays.

The Collection is generally open Monday-Thursday, from 9am - 4pm, although it will sometimes be closed to accommodate the Coordinator's schedule, especially in the mornings.  Call (753-6545) or e-mail ( before visiting if you wish to confirm that it will be open.

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