CHAPTER 18
Vital Thebeau 

 1947  

My brother Camille and I worked in the woods all winter. We had bought a horse at the end of March; we went to get it in St. Paul on a Saturday morning. It was about 60 miles from home. We had a 1936 Chevrolet car, we had to take the sled with us, and so we hauled it behind the car. When we arrived there the people gave us supper. Later we harnessed the horse and started for home at six o’clock in the evening. It was a very cold day, around 40 below. When I was about halfway home, I stopped at the railroad station, they were open all night. It was a good place to stop because they had running water there; I gave the horse hay and water. I rested the horse for about an hour, while the horse was resting I sat in the station, it was nice and warm. I started for home around 12 o’clock at night. It was still another 30 miles from home. I arrived home around nine o’clock in the morning. The horse was tired and I was very cold. All I had to keep me warm was a lantern and blanket. I put the lantern under the blanket so I could keep warm that was the longest night of my life.  It was a very big horse. It weighted about 2000 pounds. That was the horse we used to haul our pulp. When we started to break the road there was about three feet of snow. It took us four hours to get to where pulp was.

We had enough money to buy our bicycles that cost us around 600 dollars. I don’t know why my mom and dad let us buy the bicycles, because we could take that money and buy a good car for the amount of money we spent on the bicycles. They had a motor inside the frame, we thought we had something, to us at that time it was something. It would go about 25 miles an hour. It was a lot faster than walking. My dad didn’t liked that too well because the bikes were always smoking a lot.  We had to carry some spare parts and some tools all the time because the motor wasn’t very good.  We always had to repair them on the road. It would take approximately half an hour, and then we would be ready to take to the road again.

One night, my brother Leonard and I picked up a girl. He was supposed to take her home, but he didn’t have a bicycle. I had the bicycle, so I had to take her home which was about three miles. It was early in the evening and we had some time to ourselves, we sat on the side of the ditch. We spent two or three hours talking and watching the stars in the sky. It was so pretty, we didn’t think of doing anything else. When we were sitting there some of our friends came by and seen us, of course we didn’t think that they could see us because it was dark. They did see us, they stopped down the road, and they were debating whether they should join us or not.