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“We didn’t consider it or think about it _ in an experimental situation like that, you have to stay focused on what’s before you,” Robinson told the CP. “We were not looking for black people. We had found an apartment, which was the most important thing, in a supportive, friendly neighborhood.”

It was far different on road trips, where Jackie Robinson would be the target of slurs and attacks just about everywhere.

“The home was critical,” she said. “Because we never knew what was going to happen outside our home.”

De Gaspe Avenue was predominantly French, but language didn’t stop Rachel Robinson from making friends, especially when it became clear she was pregnant. The women would give her ration coupons and help sew maternity clothes.

A couple with eight children lived above the Robinsons. While Rachel couldn’t speak to them, she’d leave them a bowl of fruit on the porch.

“The children had to come down and pass my kitchen door to go to school, so I used to put fruit out just to attract them and they’d stop by on their way,” she said.

The children would reciprocate, rushing down the street to help her with her grocery bags as she walked home.

“Little things (like) that turn into big pieces of your experience,” Robinson said. “They were friendly, they were protective, they were supportive and it was not something that I’d have expected.”

The Robinsons formed a strong and lasting friendship with famed Montreal sports writer Sam Maltin and his wife, Belle. They would invite them to their home and take them to concerts on Mount Royal.

Rachel Robinson was a fixture at the Montreal stadium, never missing a home game. She also recalls roaming the narrow, European-style streets of the city’s old district, finding spots that suited her love of books and music, especially when Jackie was on the road.

The city caught baseball fever that summer. With Robinson hitting .349 batting and stealing 40 bases, the Royals won the Little World Series, beating the Kentucky Colonels.

Afterward, a jubilant crowd chased Robinson down the street. That’s when Maltin penned the famous phrase: “It was probably the only day in history that a black man ran from a white mob with love instead of lynching on its mind.”

The couple soon left Montreal. A few months later, Jackie Robinson was a Dodger.

The couple never had a proper honeymoon after marrying in February 1946.

“It showed what we could do if we learned how to exercise tolerance and sharing and all those good things,” Rachel Robinson said. “So I would say that coming to Montreal at that time in our lives and the kind of reception we got _ that was our honeymoon.”