Friday, July 19, 2013

The Old Shoemaker from the Gaspe

Monsieur Isidore lived in  a small house  in a  little village on the Gaspe Coast. He  made shoes, belts and  bags of all sorts. He  lived alone  except for his three cats that spent their time in his tiny workshop.  Monsieur Isidore was a quiet friendly man and kept for the most part to himself. No one really knew much about him except that he had moved there about thirty years earlier. When he first arrived he had  bought a small piece of property and built himself a  simple little house with a workshop  on the side.  He got to know the local people and helped them out when he was asked but never really got mixed up into their affairs.  He became known for his quality  winter boots that did not leak and  harnesses for horses. He made the ladies their  buttoned up  shoes and   fancy little purses.  He was said to be able to make something out of nothing.  Women brought him their husband's old leather boots and he would turn them into small shoes for their children. He  wasted nothing and would add the bits and pieces of scraps to the finished items as little  embellishments making his items unique.

Monsieur Isidore never talked much about himself so no one knew his story.  He had no family and said that he had never been married. Many of the single women in town  tried to catch his attention but he declined their invitation to stop by for a piece of fresh apple pie.

 Monsieur Isidore did have a story and he had lived a full life before he moved to the Gaspe. He was in fact from Montreal. He had been an only child and he had worked in a shoe factory that once belonged to his father. It was there that he had learned to work with leather. He loved a girl named Florence who had been hired by his father to sew the shoes. At first he had been too shy to talk to her but after a few months,  her machine broke and he  started a conversation that lasted for two years. He had never been happier. She was beautiful and  they did everything together. They planned to get  married.  Life was good and  he  thought he would  always have Florence in his life. 

Then one day, Monsieur Isidore came home to find a letter from Florence.  She was gone. Florence wrote that she could not marry him.  She did not say why and she did not say where she was going. She told him  that she loved him and that maybe someday, she would return. He waited and believed that she would soon come back to him. Five years later, he was still waiting. Then one day, his father died. He did not want the business. He sold it and moved to the  Gaspe Coast.  He left his address with the new owner just in case Florence came back and wanted to find him.  She never did and still he waited and lived a simple life as  the friendly shoemaker on the Gaspe Coast.

A little banjo music from the Gaspe to enjoy!
Post a Comment