Our State Department is now proposing that we fill out a biographical questionnaire (DS-5513) before we are awarded a passport.

Question 11 inquires about the location and witnesses to our birth. Below is my reply:

In regards to the history on the location and witnesses to my birth, I’d like to say that my mother, Elizabeth Sirois, was in attendance. She tried to avoid the event, as I heard it was somewhat painful, but I read somewhere that at least one mother is required at each birth in the United States.

I’m not so sure about other countries, since I’ve heard that their standards are substantially below ours.

Also in attendance at 70 Pine St., Madison, Maine, was my grandmother, Virginia Drinkwater. We would like to have committed this potential act of terrorism in a hospital, but there was a blizzard on March 31, 1943, and we lived many miles from the nearest hospital.

We also would have preferred to have a licensed doctor attend the birth, but since our family was quite poor, we could not afford one. My mother was born in Madison, Maine, several years before me; my grandmother was born several years before my mother. It just seemed like such a neat chronological way to do things.

As to where my grandmother was born, I’m not sure, exactly. I do know it was somewhere in Quebec, Canada. I hope her being born in Canada doesn’t make her a terrorist suspect or anything like that.

I know that when I started school in America, I developed quite an inferiority complex, believing that I was the grandson of an immigrant and not as good as all my classmates who came from “real” Americans.

I hope that I have answered your question in a helpful manner.

 

Peter P. Sirois

Madison


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