Monday, March 1, 2010

Joe and Claudine

The Dreadnoughts have just learned that two of our good friends in Chicoutimi, Quebec, have died in a tragic car accident. We have been all over the world and met a lot of people, but not many could match the incredible kindness and fun-loving spirit of Joe Desgagne and Claudine Belanger.

The last time we saw Joe and Claudine, we had just been treated to a booze-soaked private show in their home basement, a fully decked-out bar they called the Unnipek Pub. Ono the wall was a large mirror with the phrase "Cider is Good For You" etched into it. We drank obscene amounts of their liquor for free and they helped us to invent the World's Greatest Drinking Game: "Let It Ride", a spectacular game with chips and a roulette wheel. By the end of the night, everyone was tired, happy and nicely drunk.

It was one of the greatest nights we've ever had, and it will always stand as a testament to Joe and Claudine. We did not know that the poutine we shared with them the next morning would be our last together, and we did not know that our good-bye embraces would be final. However, we do know that they were among the finest people we've ever had the chance to meet on the road, and we will never forget them.

Douce mère qui sait, au sein de la victoire,
Faire toujours veiller un rayon de sa gloire
Sur les tombeaux de ses enfants.

-Octave Crémazie (1860)