Kristina from Speakeasy and Ruth from Silver Screening are actually hosting, from Feb 1st to Feb 5, 2016, the O Canada Blogathon. Of course, as being a Canadian myself (from Montreal, Quebec), I couldn’t say no to that! All participants are writing about Canadian movies, movies that take place in Canada, actors born in Canada, etc. On my side, I’ve decided to do something different from what I normally do on this blog (movie reviews, actor’s tribute…) and will tell you about my visit to Sainte-Christine d’Auvergne, a small village where Glenn Ford spend the eight first years of his life.
Glenn Ford, technically, was born in an Jeffrey Hale Hospital in Quebec City, but his family lived in Sainte-Christine d’Auvergne. His father, Rowland Ford, was the director of a railway company and the first mayor of the city. When I discovered Glenn had spent his early childhood in this village in the region of Portneuf, I had to go. Because it’s not very far from the village where my country house is (Saint-Stanislas de Champlain). So, I talked about it to my parent and, about one year ago, on December 31st, 2015, we decided to pay a visit to this place.
I have to say, I’ve only seen one Glenn Ford’s film (Gilda), so I’m not too familiar with his acting, but I’ve read a very interesting article about him in the Photoplay Magazine. Anyway, visiting a classical actor’s hometown, whatever if you know him or not, is always thrilling.
I remember, it was a very cold day. After 40 minutes or so, our car arrives in the village. We continue to ride, look at the houses, trying to guess which one could be Glenn Ford’s one. It doesn’t take us long to arrive at the end of the village. Pretty, but, I swear, Sainte-Christine d’Auvergne is the smallest village I’ve ever seen! Ok, maybe not as small as Soda City (Saboteur, Hitchcock), but still. Of course, Glenn Ford had lived there at the end of the 10s-beginning of the 20s, so the people who knew them are probably rare in this village. And his name is not written on a door.
As there is no library or office where we can have information, we decide to go to the presbytery (or maybe was it a house next to it?). A very nice lady answers. My parents, very proud of themselves introduced us by saying “We’re doing an historical research!” and we ask her if she knows by coincidence where Glenn Ford’s house was. She knows the name, calling him “Mr. Ford”, but can’t say where was his house. We then have the idea to ask her where the oldest people in the village lives. Luckily, it’s the house just across the street. But no chance, there’s no one there! We’re almost ready to go back in the car an return to our place, but we see a man and decide to ask him some information. We then learn that there are other houses in the village, a little further, next to the Chute-Ford electric Central. That’s it! That’s the place where we have to go! We’re really lucky we met this man.
So we go, park the car, go out (it’s freeeeeeezing outside!) and we first go to the central. Nothing very interesting to see, but since it was a Ford thing, it grabbed our curiosity!
We then decide to ask someone which one of the houses couldn’t have been Glenn Ford’s one (there aren’t many. About four). In an area, there are some new modern cottages. A man is outside. Unfortunately, he can’t tell because he doesn’t know the village very well. He’s not from the place, you know.
Finally, we actually decide to ask someone who was living in one of those big old houses next to the central. An old man and his wife answer us and invite us to come inside (people are so friendly in those small villages!) We explain them what we were looking for. They show us a pamphlet about the city with a picture of Glenn Ford in it. We talk a little, they are very nice. They can’t say which house was Glenn Ford’s one, but it certainly was one of them, that’s a 100 % sure.
Conclusion to this story: We never knew exactly which house was Glenn Ford’s one, but we certainly saw it, that’s for sure. And it was a magnificent journey! And what a great activity for New Year’s Eve! 😀
Now I have to see more Glenn Ford’s movies…
A big thanks to Kristina and Ruth for hosting this blogathon! Here are the links to the other entries: