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
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
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
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
Her First Press Release, 1954
Your Reach Should Exceed Your
Always a soft spot for dogs, the
dumber the better
Chubby Cheeks, 1955
It was chilly in Montreal in the
My Life Used To Be So Good, 1955
The family dog moved down
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
"And then everybody
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
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
Gloved hands, iron
fists, mid 1960's
A genial and
indulges Sue’s regal fantasy.
This is the house where Sue grew
up, the house where she had the experiences that shaped
the woman she was to become.