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 Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.

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Woody Wood Beaver

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PostSubject: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:07 pm

First off, I'd like to say thanks to everybody who has contributed to this site. I have been reding posts concerning issues that I have experienced for many years now, and your discussions have alway lead me to solve all of my issued. Thank you!

My name is Pierre, but everybody calls me Pete. I am a handyman/mechanic living in the Canadian part of the rust belt, called Laval (north of Montreal Quebec). I have been an avid wagon fan for pretty much all of my life (early 40's). My first experience in a wagon was riding gunner with my best friend at the time on a 7hr road trip. His father had an 80's K car estate wagon. Not much of a wagon, but a wagon none the less. My second experience was an 89 Mercury Sable wagon that my father bought as my first car. Going into business 14yrs ago I needed wheels to haul my tools around. Walked in to my buddy's garage and found an 88 Oldsmobile Cutlass Sierra wagon on the lift with a bad head gasket. The next thing I know I'm under the hood pulling out the heads. I really loved that car. It was awesome! Did many things to the car to have it t-boned at an intersection. Total loss. Insurance company lent me a Dodge Magnum wagon for two weeks until I found myself a new ride for work. I even considered buying a magnum, but could not fit a sheet of plywood, as it only has 46" width in the back (my cutlass was better than the magnum for that, as it had 49" when you open the back glass, but tapered quickly limiting the number of sheets I could carry).  As wagons are like super hard to find. My only option at the time was another Cutlass wagon but a 92. It flipping sucked! I mean I hated the thing. So much so, that my friend was always on the look out for a wagon that I would like. One day I get an email, it said "go check this out". I open the attachment and see this big black behemoth of a wagon with wood grain and said "what is that!" and I bought the car because it was was just oh so cool, but with reluctance as I knew nothing about the car. The morning of going to get plated, I decided to research the car. Digging though the good old interweb, I soon notice the obvious, certain years were more desirable than others and certain options were as well. Low and below I was buying a black 95 limited roady with tan leather heated seats and tow package. Holy crap! Not even knowing, I was buying the holy grail (in my book) of Roadmasters. Let the love affair begin!

Loading all of my tools in my new ride. That big fat rear end was a sagging. First order of business was to get the auto leveling system working. That was a bust as a new compressor was out of the question. New shocks and a manual input was the immediate solution. Ok, tools in the car driving the last of the full frame sleepers, I was just pimpin! The only thing I really did not like, was the body roll when all of my tools were in the car. The thing would just scare the crap out of me. My friend told me to buy police pack sway bars and would solve said issue. I located some 9c1 bars at a junk yard creating issues of its own as we know the back bar is 2 1/2" smaller than what is needed. Once I solved that problem (more on that in a future post) the car was amazing! The first major issue was the firewall bolts of the manifold passenger side. I decided to extract them with manifold removed and head in place, breaking the extraction tool in the broken bolt. What a nightmare that turned out to be.  Two days of drilling and countless number of bits the job was done. Next issue, was the front sway bar ripping out of the frame passenger side (clear indication of things to come). Another weekend of cutting and welding, she was good to go.

Next wagon to come along was a 95 black limited cloth tan interior with no heated seats, no tow package and no wood grain. I picked it up for 300$ as it had a bent frame and was plated as scrap. It even came with the original GM books (set of 3). The real funny thing is that the car was not even 5 minutes from my house, and I was living in the boonies at the time. How awesome is that! Soooooo, first thing I did was rip out the compressor and spent a weekend rebuilding one with success. It passed the bench test with flying colours, but failed dramatically on the car. I cracked open my new books and traced a bad ground at the harness connector under the abs that was corroded. Of course I stated troubleshooting from the rear and was the last place to check (dang that Murphy's law). Let me tell you, that auto levelling is bliss, when it works. Besides regular maintenance, the only other major issue was a blown tranny 5yrs down the road (to be expected as its always loaded and all). Now the car is in the garage on 4 jack stands I'm underneath looking at my whales underbelly and was amazed to see all the rust that took the car over in the past 5yrs. Holy crap! Do I actually fix this tranny or get another car. Couldn't let it go, so I totally rebuilt the tranny saying to myself. Keep your eyes peeled for another roady. Throw kids in the equation and you soon forget to look for a new car until you drop something under it to see that you are actually missing a part of frame rail, I mean, a big part. That would explain why my feet would go up and down when I would hit big valleys in the road. After almost 8 years of faithful service, riding in comfort and style. I was forced to retire Shamoo myself as in Quebec, we do not have yearly inspections that would have pulled this rust bucket off the road a long time ago.

Finding a wagon is tough. Finding a roady wagon is flipping hard. Finding a roady wagon that is not ravaged by rust in the rust belt is almost impossible. But I need one now! Maybe I should just buy a pick up just like every body else. Again, I could not let it go. The search begins.

Scouring the net, papers and what not. The best candidate was a 95 like almost 12 hours by train in Ontario. The seller assured me that the car had no holes as it was a Florida car. I was aware that it needed a power steering pump and the interior was not that great. I really did not care, I had all of the spare parts waiting at home. I just needed a solid car, as it needed an inspection since it was plated from another province (Quebec laws are stupid). Well needless to say that, that was a total disaster. As soon as I saw the car live, my shoulders dropped and said to my self "what did I get myself into". When I looked under the car, I reached out and grabbed a 4" x 2" piece of  the floor that was hanging and gave it to the guy. We argued, he left and I went home carless in defeat. Time to re-evaluate my situation. Do I get a pick up? Did some research. Just to find out what I already know. Nothing comes even close to what this car can do. Plain and simple...this car was just made for me. The search continues. Couple of months after that, I come across a blue 94 with cloth blue interior sporting a busted tranny. It's not a limited but desperate as I was. I pinned the dolly, picked up my buddy and drove an hour and 45 min to go see the car. As I am looking at the car, my buddy takes the jack and raises the car. He then laughs out loud and says "Buy this car!". While I did the negotiating and the transaction, my buddy ripped out the driveshaft and the next thing I know, I'm on the highway trialling my third roady. When I put it on the jacks to change the transmission. I was amazed to see that there was still paint on the underbelly as it was shot with grease pretty much it's whole life, keeping it not perfect, but pretty much well preserved, but the car has proven to be quite the basket case, as the person who worked on this car in the past, was a real butcher. Anyway, I made the modification to one of my 95 trannys (not the rebuilt one) to make it work in my 94. As mentioned here, these transmissions are year sensitive. Well I can say that after 3 years my transmission is still kicking. The mod works real well (more on that in another post). New (used) tranny in place I take Blu out for a test drive. Something was really wrong with the steering (more on that in another post) and pulled to the left on braking. Besides that! I had a new car. A good car, a safe car. Sway bars were transferred shortly after.  Then the mags, to find out that I had 4 wheel locks and no key to be found. The ex owner never called me back either. Crap! I put some Air Lifts in the back and managed to service a compressor out of three because the one I rebuilt started leaking as it was away under constant high pressure (more on that in a future post) and voila! Self levelling system was on the level. I transferred my custom sound system with sub that fits in the back 3rd row seat compartment. Transferred the trailer hitch wiring and back up light. The trim around the wood grain was peeling badly and really looked like crap. I did not feel like polishing them, the next best thing was to put aluminium tape on them. It worked surprisingly well.  I fixed the multiple steering issue. Changed the mufflers to find out the the passenger firewall manifold bolts were again, typically broken. I actually managed to pull them out with the head and manifold in place (more on that in a future post). This time it was an out right success. I was pretty proud of myself for doing that. I also solved a slight hesitation recently when feathering the throttle upon acceleration and on cruise (more on that in a future post).

At present time Blu is running like a champ but still has issues. These are the things that need to be done this summer. Crank oil seal tranny side (great excuse to put in my rebuilt tranny rated over 500hp with all the mods done by my own hands ( I was too scared to put it in the first time. Was not sure if the mod really worked)). Then I have the pinion seal on the diff that needs to be done. I'll be swapping the LSD as it is worn the the point of being just a diff. Bilstein on all 4's, then I can start working on the cosmetics, like getting some limited blue leather (heated preferred). Anyone?! I have some tan limited heated that I can trade for.

I have been driving and fixing roadies for the past 11 years now. That means I have been driving with pride for the past 11 years. I truly love these cars and I find them to be a real testament to what a station wagon is, and should be. Many criteria's fall in the definition of what makes a station wagon. In my book. If you can put a 4x8 sheet of plywood flat in the back...then, and only then, do you have a real full blown station wagon. The rest are mere wannabes. Cool none the less, just not the real deal. Not many people understand this when they give you a thumb up, or stop you to ask what year is the car (thinking it was older), or kids pointing at the car with their jaws dropped, because they have never seen such a behemoth with wood before. That we are driving a piece of history, an American icon of an era long gone by where values actually meant something. I find that Buick embodied that spirit when designing the car, as I would not change a thing (except those really bad door panels and exceptionally ugly original mags (holy crap what were they thinking)). Once you have tasted the versatility, the comfort and let's not forget the efficient power these beasts have. It's really hard to love any other car. I hope I get to drive this/these cars for the rest of my life as I do not see myself driving any other vehicle. Well maybe a nice vintage wagon if one ever crosses my path.

I'd like to be a part of this site, and give back what was given to me in terms of information, to help preserve this piece of history/way of life. Who knows, maybe make a new friend or two in the process. Cheers, to whom ever reads this obscenely long post. Well, that's my story. Looks like I had a lot to say.

Crap! The pictures won't load. Oh well, I tried.
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Woody Wood Beaver

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PostSubject: Here we go with the pictures.    Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:20 pm


Blu's arrival

Loaded with tools with my 76 Kawi KM100.

Just sitting in the rain.
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:44 pm

Welcome,Woody you are DEFINITELY in the right place. Cool
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silverfox103
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PostSubject: Re: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:21 pm

Pete

Welcome aboard.  I've been around since the site was first started, that's the best first post I've ever read.  In fact we have a monthly feature called Wagon of the Month (LROM), your story would have been perfect.

If you've had these things for 11 years, you're a problem solver here.  There are many guys from your side of the fence.  Nick "phantom 309", Pat "Buickestate", Jason "jayoldschool" John "Big Wagon Guy", Lorne "lornejay1, and Jason "jasonlachapelle".  These guys are multiple wagon owners.  There is Don "Donmac", who's in your backyard someplace in Montreal.  

Actually I'm fairly close to you in New Hampshire, about 2 1/2 hours away.  I cross at Derby Line.  I go to the dentist in Magoog, PQ, next week actually, I will be taking a ride up.  If your ever stuck for blue 94 to 96 parts, I have a pretty good stash, you might call me a hoarder.  There are plenty of those here, whether they admit it or not.

Consider going to the WagonFest in NY.......great time!


Tom
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TheRoadmasterKing

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PostSubject: Re: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:30 pm

Woody Wood Beaver wrote:


Just sitting in the rain.
What wheels are those? I'm really digging the look of those!
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:07 pm

I like your enthusiasm and passion for the wagons,..

but i will have to read your post in installments,. What a Face


I'll be looking to you for advice now,..you're now one of the more experienced senior guys,.
'
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buickestate
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PostSubject: Re: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:46 pm

Welcome home
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jasonlachapelle

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PostSubject: Re: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:56 pm

Welcome. I'm originally from your hometown. Funny, my brother and I have owned the same RMW colour combination as your 1st pic.
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Woody Wood Beaver

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PostSubject: Re: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:24 pm

Gentlemen (Andebe and Buickestate), thank you for such a warm welcome.

Silverfox103, I'm really happy that you enjoyed my intro. Your compliment is very heart felt. Gratitude dear sir. I was also curious to know if there were any members my way, and you kindly provided that information. Thank you. Too bad Magog is a couple of hours from me. I would have been nice to see one of your rides, and meet up for a coffee. I think I'll make it a point to attend Wagonfest, as I have not taken this car on a road trip yet and Wagonfest seems the perfect excuse to do so.  

Theroadmasterking, Thanks for liking the wheels, but to be honest?! I know nothing about them, All I know about them is that when I saw them, I just knew they were the ones for me. Never seen these before. Just wish they were 17". I bought them use off of the net for 150$, they were on a Gmc Safari. When I put my summers on I'll take some pictures for you.

Phantom 309, thanks for making me laugh. Seriously, I LMAO!!! To be considered a senior off the bat, is a real honour. If I have a solution to get your car or any car back on the road and running, or if one has a difficult problem to solve. I am very good at troubleshooting and thinking outside the box. I will be more that happy to share. Feel free to hit me (or anyone for that matter), with any question. The answer will always be free!

Jasonlacahapelle, what would be even funnier. Would be if you have family ties to my baybysitters back when I was a wee lad. Dianne and Francine Lachapelle (living in Rosemere at the time). But what are the odds of me having the same color combo as you! Maybe when you left, I just took over your old life. If that's the case...I know why you left. Lol!!!
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convert2diesel



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PostSubject: Re: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:23 pm

Welcome to the swamp. I am actually an expat, having sold all my wagons and the Cadillac a couple of years ago though I still visit here regularly. Still love the platform and dearly wish the General would reintroduce the design.

You are certainly in the right place. You will find the enthusiasts here not only helpful but, as you may experience if you go to WF, really good guys.

Good luck with your car.

Bill
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silverfox103
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PostSubject: Re: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:46 pm

When I mentioned some of the Canadian boys, I knew I was going to forget someone, and I did. Sorry Bill. Bill is a long time contributor and are go to man on converting to diesel engines. That's his expertise.

Tom
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Woody Wood Beaver

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PostSubject: Re: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:43 pm

Bill, I remember seeing your car on YouTube a couple of years back. At least I think it was your car. It was a cold start done on a frosty Canadian winter. That is really an accomplishment to have done a gas/fuel conversion. You must of been pretty proud of that ride.
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jasonlachapelle

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PostSubject: Re: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Sat Apr 09, 2016 2:32 am

also, props on the "Friendly Giant" reference.
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dmg4

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PostSubject: Re: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Sat Apr 09, 2016 3:42 am

Greetings from the southern rust belt: Geneva, NY, home of Wagonfest! It's great to read an essay of substance. You might want to sign up for Long Roof of the Month. There are openings down the road.

My father's family (Gadoury) hails from Quebec city. We moved south in the 1800s...one step ahead of the law.
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Woody Wood Beaver

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PostSubject: Re: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:30 pm

jasonlachapelle wrote:
also, props on the "Friendly Giant" reference.

Jay, I don't know about you, but this or how I remember my child hood.

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convert2diesel



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PostSubject: Re: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:09 am

Woody Wood Beaver wrote:
Bill, I remember seeing your car on YouTube a couple of years back. At least I think it was your car. It was a cold start done on a frosty Canadian winter. That is really an accomplishment to have done a gas/fuel conversion. You must of been pretty proud of that ride.

Actually, the YouTube video was posted by the guy that bought the locomotive off me. He ended up selling to someone up the valley that used it as a commuter car. Must be still together as I hear reports of others seeing it in town. Glad its still doing its job.

Bill
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PostSubject: Re: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:00 am

Welcome aboard and yeah, Tom should cut and paste this and the pics for the next LROM feature.

Great to see someone with such enthusiasm for the wagon Smile
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802



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PostSubject: Re: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:25 pm

Welcome.
There are two of us, that I know of, just across the border in Vermont.
I've been away for a while (not enough time to work on my wagon), the other was very active until he got his wagon up to snuff (it is a beauty).
But we are both around and ready to help if necessary -- or the other way around, as it seems you have done more wagons than both of us together.
Anyway, welcome aboard,
"je me souviens"
perhaps you can tell us what that means,

802
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dmg4

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PostSubject: Re: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:27 pm

Come to Wagonfest!
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Woody Wood Beaver

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PostSubject: Re: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:51 pm

Sprocket wrote:
Welcome aboard and yeah, Tom should cut and paste this and the pics for the next LROM feature.  

Great to see someone with such enthusiasm for the wagon Smile

Thank you for warm welcome. If Tom wants, he is more than welcome to do so.

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Woody Wood Beaver

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PostSubject: Re: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:03 pm

802 wrote:
Welcome.
There are two of us, that I know of, just across the border in Vermont.
I've been away for a while (not enough time to work on my wagon), the other was very active until he got his wagon up to snuff (it is a beauty).
But we are both around and ready to help if necessary -- or the other way around, as it seems you have done more wagons than both of us together.
Anyway, welcome aboard,
"je me souviens"
perhaps you can tell us what that means,

802

The direct translation to "Je me souviens" is, "I remember". When you come back you say to yourself "I REMEMBER why I love Quebec. It's because the women here are just so flipping hot! What a Face Thanks for the offer and the welcome.
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Woody Wood Beaver

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PostSubject: Re: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:13 pm

dmg4 wrote:
Come to Wagonfest!

I am definitely making it a point to make it to Wagonfest. With a name like Gadoury, we would never question your heritage. Defector! Lol! Thanks for the welcome.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:22 pm

Woody Wood Beaver wrote:
802 wrote:
Welcome.
There are two of us, that I know of, just across the border in Vermont.
I've been away for a while (not enough time to work on my wagon), the other was very active until he got his wagon up to snuff (it is a beauty).
But we are both around and ready to help if necessary -- or the other way around, as it seems you have done more wagons than both of us together.
Anyway, welcome aboard,
"je me souviens"
perhaps you can tell us what that means,

802

The direct translation to "Je me souviens" is, "I remember".  When you come back you say to yourself "I REMEMBER why I love Quebec. It's because the women here are just so flipping hot! What a Face Thanks for the offer and the welcome.

I love it when history gets re-written to be politically correct,.

I bet old rene levesque is turning in his grave,.

Yes i really do remember the origins of je me souviens,. and i can still see out of that eye,.

viva la difference,.
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jasonlachapelle

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PostSubject: Re: Hello! From across the boarder. No that one. Look up! Way up! Ya! That one.    Mon Apr 18, 2016 12:01 am

phantom 309 wrote:

I love it when history gets re-written to be politically correct,.

I bet old rene levesque is turning in his grave,.

Yes i really do remember the origins of je me souviens,. and i can still see out of that eye,.

viva la difference,.

You'd have to be older than 106.
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