Chapter 11 – 1940

When I turned 11 years old, I joined the Monks of” Trappist”; I thought it would be a good thing to join. I thought perhaps I could become a priest. One of my cousins was a priest. His name was Louis Daigle and that was what I thought I could do. But anyway it did not happen. I went to school and we studied the same as if we were at the regular school. I went for one year. I learned a lot in that one year, it was different then living at home. I missed my Mom, Dad and the family.

Vital Thebeau Age 11

Vital Thebeau Age 11

They could come to visit me, but they didn’t come too often because they didn’t have a car at that time. I went home on vacation, After I came back, one day we were cutting wood for the stove, we were using a crosscut saw, two of the boys were using the saw and I was sitting on the piece of wood to hold it in place while they cut it. I didn’t like that to well, because I wanted to use the saw, but they were older, and they said no. I said ok I’m going home.

One of the boys went and told Father Edmond that I was going home. Then Father Edmond came and asked me if I had said that, I said yes. Then he said when are you going? I said now.

So that day I decided to go back home it was around 1:00 pm, I started for home, I walk to Rogersville, it was about 2 miles. From Rogersville it was about 10 miles to home, I walk about two miles and somebody with a horse and wagon” the media” gave me a drive for about three or four miles, then I started walking again, I arrived home around 6 pm. Mom was quite surprised to see me back home.

It was in the middle of July just in time for weeding the garden and it was a big garden. My brother Camille and I were doing the turnip, beets and the carrots. It would make them grow better after they were cleaned and thinned out. We had string beans, tomatoes and cucumbers. It was a big job but it had to be done. Sometimes the girls would help us but most of the time they were helping Mom in the house.

Everybody would help one another on the farm. That would keep us busy for the summer. In the fall I got a job, but it wasn’t paying a lot. I was getting 50 cents working for a neighbour. He had cows and 2 horses. I was working in the stable that season, cleaning the manure from behind the cows and horses. They had a smaller door behind the cows and I had to shovel the manure through the smaller door.

It was not a lot of money but I was doing something. I made enough money to buy myself a bicycle. It wasn’t a new one but it was a bicycle, with a bit of repairs it was better than walking.

I was proud of my bicycle. After a year or so I decided to put a washing machine motor “Briggs and Stratton motor” in the frame of the bicycle. I made a V belt pulley, it wasn’t big enough the first time, it didn’t give me enough power that I needed so I had to go back and make another one. I had to make it 20 inches in diameter, when I started to turn down the pulley it was turning very fast. It split in two pieces, it flew in the air hitting the ceiling, and then it came down and hit me on the head making a three and a half-inch cut.

I got infection in it and one side of my face was swelled so much I thought I was going to die. I had to go to the doctor to get three or four stitches and had to see the doctor again, so you don’t forget things like that. I still have the scar on top of my head.

It was my first invention and it did work pretty good but sometimes I had to pedal going uphill, but that was better than pedaling all the time it was lots of experience, I guess that’s how you learn things you make mistakes, but when you correct your mistake you will not make that mistake again.

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