Are You Ever too Old to Go to The Rural Fair? — Almonte


 - Little Lynn McOlll. nlne-year-old nlne-year-old...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  09 Sep 1957, Mon,  Page 31


When I was young the country fair meant a lot to me, but as I grew older it seemed to be just an imaginary picture next to the word “uncool” in the dictionary. I forgot how special it was to eat my mother’s homemade egg salad sandwiches sitting under the shade of a tree while watching my Dad buy bottles of cold Orange Crush from a nearby stand.

As a child I always had a smiling face as I walked a cow for the 1 o’clock parade and I can still hear the snorts of the horses pulling decorated wagons behind us. How could I not remember the rides that made me sick or dizzy while listening to the screams of the kids exiting the Fun House?

Saturday it all came back to me as Carolyn and I walked around the Almonte Fair. It was warm and there was no mistaking some of the scents floating through the air. We spoke about the baking contests we had entered as children–hoping to win a coveted prized ribbon. As we glanced at all the entries, we imagined how delicious it would be to sample a few at that particular moment in time.

We walked by the jams and jellies and knew that someone had worked really hard for the perfect batch. One of our favourite handicrafts was a shadowbox with a vintage infant wool coat in it. Glancing at the photo inside, I knew it was once worn by the child and this memory box would now be with them for generations.


 - i LlMu 1 MINUTE if V 5 tf- tf- y 1 .-V .-V .-V...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  09 Sep 1957, Mon,  Page 31


We watched as Beth spun her hand dyed wool and knew had we lived in the past we too would have been spinning yarn to make wool sweaters for our children. Life was simple then – when no one wanted a brand name–they just wanted something cozy and warm.

I ached to go back to the age of 13 and dance to the sounds of Johnny Rivers coming out of the juke box in one of the tents. After I could dance no more, a hot bag of buttered popcorn was next, and then I would try my luck at one of the games.

If I was lucky I might win a small silver bracelet and they would personally engrave it on the spot. Instead of my name I would have had him etch a boys’ name I had a crush on and giggle while I watched him do it.

I used to watch in awe at those who were brave enough to ride the wild rides. My favourite was the Ferris Wheel; I loved it when they stopped at the top and the chair would swing back and forth. The last few years I have found the Ferris Wheel therapeutic as I find myself closer to heaven and my late sister as I sit at the top. When I finally get up there I feel like she is looking down at me and still shaking her head that I am still too afraid to ride the wild rides.


 - -. -. J ' I - i , ; U; - a- a- a , aaar" ' . I...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  09 Sep 1957, Mon,  Page 31


Why did I ever stop going to fairs? As I get older I search for memories to cherish and pass on to my sons and their families.  Hopefully one day when I am long gone Carolyn will think back to the afternoon we spent together at the Almonte fair. I am sure she will remember that it was way too hot, the cow barns were very unappealing and I took way too many pictures.  But she will remember the joy on my face and the shared bits of my life that she will pass on to her children. You can’t buy memories like that no matter how hard you try and they will always be a true love of mine.


 - aWi....... .. V.... IR HE WATCHING THE f.IRL OR...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  10 Sep 1955, Sat,  Page 8


Images and words: Linda Seccaspina


This years Almonte Fair Line up– Bring the whole family!

The song I danced over and over to at the Big Brome Fair in the 60’s

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
22 Sep 1949, Thu  •  Page 3

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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