Carleton Place and the Industries of Sin


golden lion

Former business at the corner of Elgin/Emily and Bridge Street

Fort weeks I checked newspaper archives and there was nothing about tattooing in Carleton Place. I even checked the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum and there was nothing in the data base- even under the word “sailor”. So what did people do if they wanted tattoos in Carleton Place? Quite simply they went out of town. I am sure someone was doing them in a back room on some side street- but no one is giving up the information. Carleton Place wanted nothing to do with this industry of sin.

Certain sectors of economic activity are more or less respectable, some more or less acceptable than others. Gambling, drinking, prostitution, and tattoos were the top four in Carleton Place even though were many a crap game being run in the back room of the hotels and businesses on Bridge Street.

Today the industries of sin are: nuclear energy, arms, oil, tobacco and chemicals other less egregiously harmful industries such as the fast-food industries, tourism, pharmaceuticals, insurance, the stock exchange and even banks are also under attack and increasingly branded as “sin” industries.

Body Graphics Tattoo was the first business tattoo business to open up on Carleton Place. Next February 1st 2016 will be exactly 30 years Body Graphics Tattoo has been open in Carleton Place. Believe you me it wasn’t easy. They were not welcome in the town of Carleton Place and had their business on Townline, Charles and then Pete permanently located on Bridge Street.

For those of you body modification novices there is tattoo history in this shop with one of the chairs being formerly owned by Ottawa’s legendary tattoo artist Blue. They even still have some of his old equipment. In the Ottawa Valley Tattoo world that’s like owning Mackenzie’s King’s wardrobe.

Pete’s son now works with him carrying on the family business and has been a local body piercer for over 22 years. Still, it doesn’t matter how times have changed the elder population of Carleton Place still think that devil worshipers work there.

Of course I have  many stories about controversial piercings, but instead of embarrassing anyone to the point of a lawsuit I will tell my own that happened right here in Carleton Place.

The Nose Piercing
I was asked to make and serve Siminel cake one Mothering Sunday after the church service. A Siminel cake is nothing but a glorified light fruit cake covered in Marzipan.  I had just gotten my first nose stud put in that week, and it was becoming loose, and looking a tad infected. After I served the fifth piece of cake, an old man came up to me with a big smile wearing a thick wool allergy ridden sweater. I began to sneeze, and then I let one out that was nothing short of gale force.


Howard McNeely’s Barber Chair that once resided in this location

You can all guess what happened next. That little rhinestone nose stud took one giant leap for mankind, right across the front of the church. I didn’t falter, I did not sway, but I did let out a scream that was heard through out the whole town.
“Don’t anyone move!” I yelled. I have lost my nose stud, and no more cake until it’s found!”
The strange part is no one blinked an eye. Immediately they looked down and tried to find it. One little old lady started picking at something with her cane and said,
“Is this it dear?” and she started to giggle.
She took her cane and launched it across the rug in one fell swoop like she was trying to get a hole in one. I grabbed it, smiled, and resumed the serving of the Siminel Cake.
Would Howard McNeely– whose barber chair once sat in this very building be horrified now that a tattoo parlour sits in his former location? You bet your sweet bippy he would!:)
 Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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