the friends the family the mom the wife the TV producer the ham the driver

 

Margaret Susan Brophey (yes, that’s Peggy Sue) was born at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Montreal on Oct. 21, 1954, weighing in at a trim six pounds, 9.5 ounces. The city was still mourning the Canadiens’ loss to the Detroit Red Wings in a tough seven-game series.

She was brought home to 67 11th Avenue, in Roxboro, Quebec, which is about 45 minutes northwest of Montreal. Home for Peter and Helena Brophey, and their first child, was a newly constructed bungalow. Purchase price – of the bungalow, not Sue – was $11,998, or about two year’s of Peter’s salary at the time.

Worth noting, they drove home in the family’s Austin A40 sedan, beginning Sue’s life-long love affair with cars.

 

 

Sue Gets Her Learner's Permit, 1955

One of her other Dinky toys

At that time, Roxboro was a one-horse town. The horse (and lone police constable Freddie) collected garbage and performed other municipal chores all week long. On the weekends, horse and man patrolled the town together keeping the peace.

Those who know Sue’s ability to lose herself in a phone call may gain insight from the fact that the family home had no phone. In fact, there was a one-year waiting list to get a phone in Roxboro. When the Bropheys needed to call someone they had access to the payphone, conveniently located in a booth just blocks away.

She was christened at the Wesley United Church on Feb. 6, in the presence of her great grandparents and other family members, and never cried – the last time she was in a church and did not cry.

A precocious child, she said her first word, “Dada,’ on Mother’s Day.

She submitted to her first haircut two year’s later, a ducktail, just like mummy’s. There were no highlights.

Sue the baby was meticulous and methodical, although reports that she learned to count in base 60 are not correct. But she was always detail oriented. Before retiring each night, Sue had to bid personal and individual “goodnight” to several Dinky toy cars. If one was mislaid, all plans for bedtime were put on hold until it could be located. Substituting a spare car did not work because she could identify each and every car from the minuscule scratch marks that were unique to each.

Television, the lifeblood of most children today, was also in its infancy, growing as Sue grew. Montreal had but one channel (CBC of course), which only came on the air in the late afternoon. It was bilingual, so care had to be taken to remember which were the English or French broadcast periods. To launch its broadcast everyday, the station always played the Washington Post March, for no known reason but perhaps as a foreshadowing of her marriage to a former Washingtonian. Subsequent to that, whenever dad Peter – a man of varied and eclectic musical tastes – played from his collection of military marches, Sue made a beeline for the TV.

She also enjoyed singing and dancing her way through the daily broadcasts of Howdy Doody, and was a sucker for Lassie, which often brought on tears.

In her early adolescence, Sue switched from performing tennis racket guitar covers of Beatles tunes to playing a real guitar and performing with a group called the Crossroads.

As the days passed, Sue and family moved to Beaconsfield, Quebec, just west of Montreal, and in her 16th year to North York, Ontario, a little further west of Montreal.

The move to North York was not popular, leading to the alternate nickname for the Trans-Canada Highway as the Trail of Tears, where traces of tear-stained Kleenex can still be found.

 

 

Her First Press Release, 1954

 

 

Your Reach Should Exceed Your Grasp, 1955

Always a soft spot for dogs, the dumber the better

 

Chubby Cheeks, 1955

It was chilly in Montreal in the 50s.

 

My Life Used To Be So Good, 1955

The family dog moved down the pecking
order when Sue was born. But really,
so did everyone else on the planet
.

 

Hurray, my hair is coming in! 1956

What is there to say. Simply too cute!

 

"And then everybody up for
a standing O. Let's practice." 1956

Sue showed directorial potential at a very young age.

 

Help, I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up, 1965

Looking perhaps like an extra from
Children Of The Corn, Sue was actually
just relaxing elegantly après piano lesson

 

Sveetie, Randy and Susie, mid 1960's

(Ed. No inappropriate comments
about the creatures that have
inhabited Sue’s bed. This is a family web site.)

 

Queen Brophey, mid 1960's

Why is only one kid smiling in this photo?

 

Gloved hands, iron fists, mid 1960's

A genial and tolerant Barb
indulges Sue’s regal fantasy
.


Beaconsfield, 1998

This is the house where Sue grew up, the house where she had the experiences that shaped the woman she was to become.

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