The point of this series is to interview, document and learn more about family. This first interview in the family tree is starting with my mom, Vicki. Her desire is to share her personal history with her children, grandchildren and future generations. Hopefully, they learn from her mistakes and share in her many blessings.
Part One of Three
How did I get my name, both birth and married?
Well, one of my parents wanted it to be Victoria but the other parent, which I think was my mom, thought that Victoria Beaulieu would be an awful long name for a kid in kindergarten to learn to write. So the name got shortened to Vicki. For my middle name Marie, I don’t know other than perhaps the Catholic connection to Mary. It was a habit to name a lot of boys with the name Joseph just as the girls were all named Marie – for a middle name in our family. If I were to keep all of my names, my birth name and my married names, without even getting into the nicknames, my full name would be Vicki Marie Beaulieu Vigue Herrin Ward Page.
[Laughing] You sound like royalty with a name like that.
That is because I have been married four times. I did, in between marriages, once lengthen the Vicki to Victoria. It wasn’t a legal change, I just put it on various things that I signed and I think I put it on my checkbook for a while.
My parents deviated from the tradition of naming the female child’s middle name after the grandmother’s first name. For example, my grandmother was Arline Nolin, my oldest sister Ronda has the middle name Arline. The problem came when Ronda had a child and that child’s middle name should have been Virginia, after my mom’s first name. However, she didn’t think that Karin Virginia was the right name for her daughter. Her daughter’s name became Karin Tamara. This caused a bigger rift between my maternal and paternal grandparents even more so than the one that already existed. The dispute widened because of the broken tradition of name choosing.
Do I have any nicknames?
Yes, quite a few as that was a custom in our family. Was it because my father had couldn’t remember our names? When calling us, he would start with the oldest child’s name and call that out with the younger children’s names in succession until he got to the right one. He wanted, “Ron-Vic-Joh-Pris..” That is so funny because I do that with my own children and grandchildren!
My first nickname was one that my father gave me. I assume I must have been quite a handful because he mixed the word Vicki with ferocious and it came up with Victrocious. I really don’t know where my parents got the name Vicki. However, President Richard Nixon had a French poodle named Vicky – they spelt the poodle’s name with a “Y” and mine ends with an “I” but I think that may have been how I got my name.
So you actually think that your parents might have named you after the president’s family dog?
I don’t know but I just think it’s funny. Good thing they didn’t think of his other dog named Checkers! To me Vicki has always been an uncommon name. I haven’t met many people with that name or with the same spelling as mine ending in an i. oddly enough the town I live in now has at least four Vicky’s living in it including me.
My nicknames were “Victrocious,” “Nubbies” (which Dad put in my 8th grade yearbook – so uncool) and “Watubie woman” (my CB radio handle; chosen for me.) My oldest sister, Ronda, I don’t believe had any nicknames. My brother Ronald had the typical Ronnie & Little Ron while his college years he was known as, “Scary Beau.” My younger brother, John, was born premature and had a large head. His first nickname was, “Beaky Buzzard” after the cartoon character. Our family shortened it to Buzz. It really became funny when, in the Air Force, he became a major. Major Buzz. My youngest sister, Priscilla, had the nickname of, Pussycat.” Like the Tom Jones song, “What’s New Pussycat?” It was temporarily changed to “Pissy Cat” due to a spelling error.
My father was born Joseph Ronald Bernice Beaulieu. To his brothers and sisters, he was known as, “Rome” or “Robo.” When he joined the military for WW2, his name was changed by dropping Joseph. His brother Ludger was nickname, “Pete.” Clement was nicknamed, “Ben.” Jacqueline became, “Chocolate.” Gilberte became, “Babette” while Gabrielle became, “Zgi-zgi.” Uncle Eugene became, “Gene.” Uncle Paul became, “Babe” as he was the youngest. The only one that stayed the same was Richard.
Where and when were you born?
At the Augusta [Maine] hospital – I think at that point it was called, “Augusta General.” It changed to, “Kennebec Valley Medical Center” and, my daughter Rebecca just informed me, it has gone back to Augusta General Hospital. [My birth] would have been on July 7th, 1961 and I’m thinking it was on a Friday about 7 a.m.
When was your baptism and what were the results?
Because I was raised as a Catholic, when I was less than a week old, I was taken to St. Mary’s Church on Western Avenue in Augusta. I was baptized there and that’s when I had two people stand up for me to be my godparents so that if anything ever happened to my original parents, these two would bring me up as their own. The woman who was my god mother was call Lorraine Gagne who has since passed away. She was living in Lewiston, Maine and was a ballet dancer that started a ballet school herself. My godfather was a medical doctor at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Mass. He was either the head of the cancer department or the whole Institute.
My second baptism was as a teen. I was going to Fellowship Baptist Church in Augusta off Eastern Avenue. I was attending a youth group and it was the youth group leaders that visited my house on Duncan Road in Augusta. That’s where I was led to the Lord. I read the Romans Road, confessed my sin and said the Sinner’s Prayer. Pastor Joe Flippin baptized me at the church’s baptismal. I think that was back in 1977. So I lived many years thinking that I was saved. It wasn’t until 2015 in August, when Pastor Craig Fitzgerald came to the house with his wife Kacy to counsel Dave about his lack of belief that I realized I was not. When he quoted the Jeremiah 17:9 verse about, “the heart is deceitful and wicked, who can know it?” I realized that I thought I was saved because of how I felt, not how I lived my life or how I served God. So I went into my “prayer closet” after the pastor and his wife left, and prayed to God. I told Him that I thought I had been previously saved but I realized that that was wrong.
Your parents and grandparents, what religion were they?
On my dad’s side, my father was raised a Roman Catholic. When his family lived in Augusta, they went to Saint Augustine’s – it was the bilingual French and English church. My mom was from the Society of Friends. My dad’s religion was more open, had more social gatherings and large families while my mom’s religion was more frugal, had small gatherings and small groups – a lot more serious. The differences were amplified with Dad being seven years older than Mom. A rift grew between the grandparents.
My fraternal grandparents were also both Catholic and on my mother’s side, again, both grandparents were of the Society of Friends. Once my mother and father got married, my mother switched over to Catholicism and we mostly attended Saint Mary’s Church. Once Mom moved us to Duncan Road, the St. Mary’s Church became quite crowded so we started attending the newly built Catholic Church, Saint Andrews. Once Mom, Priscilla and John all moved to Florida, they started attending churches that were not Catholic. Mom went back to her protestant beliefs.
What churches have attended up until now and why? Just give a drive-through of your church experiences.
I take it that you want short and sweet. Obviously, I attended St. Mary’s and St. Andrews with my family. During my middle school years, I went to one of my classmate’s churches, which was a Nazarene church. I really enjoyed going to that because I could go with my friend and we did camping, movies and teenage youth group activities so that was a lot of fun. It was so different from any church experience up to that time. Church could actually be fun; less ritualistic – more freedom. After that, I had to start going to my stepmother’s church which was a Baptist church.
I believe that I mention the Baptist Church at Fellowship Baptist and Pastor Joe Flippin in 1977. I attended Fellowship Baptist off and on until my first husband and I moved to Georgia, then Fort Lewis Washington and then back to Maine where I returned to Fellowship Baptist a few more times.
Because there was a different pastor and new members, I didn’t feel like it was home anymore and had really changed too much. When we moved back to Fort Benning Georgia, I started attending a church there in Columbus but I don’t remember the name – again it was a Baptist church. With my second husband, I lived in Hoboken and Nahunta, Georgia for a while. There I attended Ivory Palace, which was a cross between a Baptist church and I more charismatic one. I think I went there for a year or two. I enjoyed that church and the members a lot because it was charismatic! They believed in more than what the Baptist had believed such as speaking in tongues, being prayer warriors for one another, healings and things that were more “charismatic.”
Presently, I go to the Baptist Church in Stacyville except for when I come to visit my oldest daughter, where I attend her church which is New Life Church. The Baptist church at my house is very dry and vague although the pastor is very humble and helpful. The Pentecostal New Life Church is passionate always praying to God, worshiping and praising Him. They have a full band, hundreds of members (where they have to have two services on Sunday morning) and they break up into small Bible lessons during the week.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a horse, a scientist and I wanted to be a nurse. When I was younger, I had a great love of horses and I wanted to be one. I would snort, stomp my feet, run around on all fours, shake my mane and run around whinnying at the top of my lungs until my family had to tell me that enough was enough and to knock it off. As I got older, I wanted to be a mother and a granny
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