The Butcher's career in professional wrestling, as both a wrestler and promoter, took him across the US and Canada, and around the world.
Along the way, he encountered a Crusher, a Bruiser, a Killer, giants, midgets, beautiful women, and crazed fans around the globe. His wrestling menagerie included an Animal, a Mad Dog, a monkey, a Gorilla, alligators, and bears.
Best-selling author Howard Frank Mosher, winner of the New England Book Award, and recipient of the Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences says of the book “Wrestling with the Past is a wonderful story. . With honesty, humor, and insight, Paul has written a funny and heartfelt memoir of a time, a place, and a profession whose like will not be seen again. Wrestling with the Past is a fine memoir of a courageous, thoughtful, and entirely self-made man. I loved it.”
Illustrated with 58 pictures of a golden age of professional wrestling, Butcher's great storytelling creates pictures of its own.
Paul “The Butcher” Vachon was one of 13 children raised on a family farm in Quebec. Three of that brood would become professional wrestlers. Paul and Maurice had successful careers as amateur wrestlers. At 19, he took the leap into professional wrestling.
When Paul moved into manhood, he had a torrid two year affair with an international singing star from Quebec.He married his first wife just before he headed overseas. While they were in the Far East, he taught her to wrestle.
After the Far East, he wrestled in Britain and Europe. At the urging of his brother, who was now known as “Mad Dog”, he returned to the US. He moved from Kansas City to Atlanta to the Upper Midwest. Along the way, his marriage stayed behind him.
Wrestling as bad guys, he and Maurice formed a tag team that would win the World Championship from the Crusher and the Bruiser. Their sister Vivian Vachon had risen to the top of the ranks of the women wrestlers during that time.
During the many years they held the title, he and Maurice started the Montreal-based Gran Prix Wrestling. Paul worked as the promoter for a couple of years. In that role, he brought Andre the Giant to North America, brought wrestling to television, and brought televised wrestling to fans across Canada and the US. Paul gives Van, his second wife, a great deal of credit for the success of Grand Prix Wrestling.
He continued wrestling himself after leaving Gran Prix Wrestling, working in the expanding monopoly of the McMahons, Vince Sr. and Jr. It was at Vince Jr.’s behest that he married yet another woman. After three decades, he wrestled his last match at age 50.
After his wrestling career, he met and married Dee, a former US Marine, with whom he now lives in Newport, Vermont, within a few miles of where both of them had grown up.
His daughter Gertrude entered the wrestling business. She wrestled under the name Luna Vachon. The reason for her first name was Paul’s response when she said that she wanted to be a wrestler: “What are you, a lunatic?” Both Vivian and Luna would have lives that would end tragically.
Dee and Paul travel a great deal. However, they can always be found during two times of the year. In the winter, Paul has spent a decade playing Santa at the Berlin Mall, in Berlin, Vermont. During summer fair season, Dee and Paul appear at fairs across New England, where Paul is greeted by fans who have not forgotten “The Butcher.”
People who read his autobiography will not forget him either.