Franco-American Collection

Lucien Rancourt

"A girl from the state - a school teacher...was going around the shoe shops to see if there were young kids still working; we had to go back to school.  The boss used to tell us to hide in the men’s toilets because a woman couldn’t go in there!  I remember that.  I would go in there and hide myself."

Lucien Rancourt was born in Lewiston in 1904.  At 14, he left school at the end of seventh grade, following the death of his father and facing the prospect of going back to sixth grade.  Over the following sixty-plus years he worked in many different shoe shops, primarily in Auburn.  He was present for the great shoe shop strike of 1937.  In this interview he talks about his work and the unions.

Note: due to the poor sound quality of the recording, reading the transcript is recommended.

Listen to the interview.

Read the transcript (PDF)


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