Pitchnut Origins Confirmed

Nine hours after speaking with Albert Brunelle, I found myself at a contra dance in Greenfield, MA. By chance, the band of the night was Tidal Wave, whose members were from Montreal, Quebec City and the Acadian region. My recent quest is to ask every person I meet from Quebec if they've heard of (my version of) pitchnut. When the intermission started I made my way on stage and asked the Accordion player if he'd heard of or played pichenotte. He said he'd played as a kid. I asked him if it had pegs or alleys. He said the surface was flat. He'd never heard of a board with pegs or alleys (this confirmed my research thus far). I then asked the fiddle player, Eric Favreau, who lives in Quebec City. He grew up playing pichenotte and said that he preferred to play on boards with pegs and alleys- the version is superior to the other version. I became a tad disappointed as it occured to me that maybe pitchnut is not as rare as I've thought all along, so I asked him where he was orignally from. "A village south of Sherbrooke," he said. "Coaticook?" I asked. "Yes!" he responded, "you've heard of it?" "As of noon, today," I replied. "Were your parents born in Coaticook?" I asked. "No, they were from a small village named St. Hermenegilde, just north of Vermont." With a lot of excitement I told him about the 85-year-old man in Connecticut I had spoken to earlier today who grew up in Coaticook who told me about a man named Scalabrini who built pichenotte boards with screws and alleys. It looks like a may have finally found the needle in the haystack! I'm now sending emails and photos of pitchnut boards to everyone I can find in Coaticook and St. Hermenegilde. Of course, I don't speak French, but I'm hoping they can read English (given that St. Hermenegilde is four miles north of Vermont, it's highly likely). I'm going to drive up Columbus Day weekend and see if I can find any old Pitchnut boards. I even found a list of four generations of Scalabrinis on the web.

When I drove up to Sherbrooke in April I missed the boat. When I drove home, I went southwest towards Burlington, and, not suprisingly, none of the antique stores or shopowners had ever seen pitchnut. If I had driven southeast, I probably would have found myself in the birthplace of pitchnut. Can't wait to hit the road. I would drive up there right now, but I want to spend a couple days exploring. Anyway I can learn French in two weeks?