Sunday, April 22, 2012

Clayton and Sadie

Clayton Charles Britton

Sadie Stella Vasseur

From Clayton's autobiography:
Now an event took place [in 1920] that perhaps had strongly influenced future developments. I got a call in Edmunston from Sadie Vasseur inviting me to a leap year ball to be held on Friday night. I believe this was the day I got the call. At any rate there was no further passenger trains to Grand Falls that day and it was in the dead of winter. No cars were running in the winter in those days, so what to do. Grand Falls was 38 miles down river, and almost just might as well have been on the moon. However, a good looking gal had sent out a call and this young buck was going to find a way. It was alot of years later that I found that I wasn't the first choice. In fact it was sort of last chance thing. I sometimes wonder had I known that, would I have taken the chance it involved. Going down to the railroad station I found out they were making up a freight train going in that direction. But I had to sign a paper excusing the railroad of any responsibility because owing to the heavy snowfall the train would not stop in Grand Falls, nor slow down, for fear that they would not be able to keep going. 
So I spent the trip in the kaboose at the rear of the train and about 200 yards from the station I jumped into the deepest snow drift I could spot, and did a few loops before coming to a halt. After gathering myself together I found that outside of my dignity, nothing else was seriously damaged. There was still about six miles to walk before I could reach home and get ready for the big ball. Mother always prevailed upon me to wear the red label heavy wool underwear, so after a couple of dances you had to go outdoors to let the steam roll up your collar and let some of the sheep smell evaporate. 
My gal was dietician at the hospital. She looked real sharp that evening with her fiery red stockings and red slippers to match. I remember he rlong hair was done up in two braids, one over each ear. I'm not sure but I don't think I got a good night kiss for all my troubles which perhaps just wetted my appetite for another go at it. 
By spring [of 1922] I was going real well in the romance department, even though I was a dedicated protestant and Sadie was a catholic. Besides my horse eating away the most of her father's piazza post, which I tied her to, there was considerable competition from a guy named Nub Esty. When she worked at the hospital, he would wait until I had gone then show up with a bottle of olives or candy of some sort. One evening in the spring I put a stop to that coniving. She and I were walking up Broadway when we came upon Nub and another guy sitting on the grass by the sidewalk. My little girl plumped herself down on the grass beside them and said something like that was comfortable and guessed she would spend the evening there. That kid of curled my hair so I bid them goodnight and kept right on walking. I hadn't gone far when my little old gal came trotting to catch up with me, mad as a hornet. That came very near ending that romance on the spot, but I held out and gave her to understand that I shared my girl with nobody! 
That fall Wade Taylor and I decided to go hunting back to the Long Grade area. While waiting for a 2 o'clock train the night we left, I spent the evening on a couch in the hospital waiting room. I had my rifle leaning against a chair but I don't think that influenced Sadie and when I asked her to marry me, she accepted. I took cloud nine to the station.

The wedding:
I got a letter from Sadie saying that things were getting a bit sticky with her family and if we weren't going to get married right away she would take a job in a nursing home in New Jersey. That didn't set too well with me so I sent her some money and told her to get out to Mansfield fast. Though I was about to be 22 years old I still was pretty nervous about taking on a wife and all the problems that went with it. Just the same, I felt that I had wandered enough and needed to get settled down with some purpose in life. 
Sadie landed around the first of November, 1922 and we were married [in Mansfield, Massachusetts] on the eleventh in the Methodist Church by a saintly looking old preacher that seemed to please Sadie very much. I very stupidly figured I could not afford to go on a honeymoon with winter coming on and thought I'd better get in every day that I could. We went to a dance that night and had a special waltz played for us.

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