Everyone Needs a little “Devil Wears Prada” in their Life– Even Towns



From Lost Ottawa on Facebook– Photo of Linda Seccaspina–19 years ago Flash Cadilac closed after 21 years on Rideau Street. Photo by Wanita Bates


Yes, this is a rambling “turning every corner” sort of piece, but it comes from my heart– and I will get to the point at the end–I promise. LOL

Last night I watched The Devil Wears Prada for the 100th time and wondered again why character Andy Sachs put up with that awful Runway Magazine editor. When I got up this morning I realized I too had once been an “Andy Sachs” and today I thanked my lucky stars that I had these “Miranda Priestlys” in my life.

Some of you might not know that once upon a time I had a cutting edge fashion store on Rideau Street in Ottawa called *Flash Cadilac. I designed 85% of the clothing in a store that was featured in many Canadian fashion magazines and an attraction on the downtown street.

                                  A few of my designs from the late 80’s in Flare Magazine

I could have never opened this store if it had not been for Saul Cohen from the Fine Togs Company in Montreal. That man worked me to the bone from 7:30 am until 8 pm at night in the 60s. Some days I just wanted to walk out of there. But, if it had not been for the ‘education’ from someone who had been in the schmata business for years  I would have not learned that stamina, hard work and creativity keeps a business alive. Was I crazy? Probably, but that’s how badly I wanted to learn, and when I became a writer I encountered another ‘devil’ in my life.

I had been blogging for years on an American site that began Julie Powell’s Julia and Julia career. I was a popular blogger, but just not really learning that much. During that stint I met a woman called Elizabeth Coady in Chicago. Elizabeth Coady,  was a former Harpo producer,  who tried in 1998 to write a book about her time as a senior producer for Oprah. In the end Coady was stopped by the courts, which ruled that her hands were tied by the agreement she signed. So she began a celebrity gossip site and she took me under her wing and I became her lead writer.

If I thought Saul Cohen was tough Elizabeth was 100% worse- and again I wanted to throw in the towel. But, I learned how to write quickly, efficiently and prolifically, and my story links were in USA Today, Huffington Post, Time Magazine and the list went on. I learned for the second time in my life that anything you want badly enough has to come hand in hand with hard work.


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So I’m rambling here ( I am good like that), but I wanted to make a point. I do what I do writing about our area because I want to see our towns come alive and be as good as they can be. So I work hard and prolifically hoping that just someone will get the point of what we have in Lanark County and support.

I don’t get paid for what I do– and I will never ever step on eggshells to get my point across. Yesterday Brian DK Smith said on Facebook that I sound angry when I write about the ‘shenigans’ of Carleton Place. He is absolutely correct in that assumption because things never seem to change, and it began with the Rosamonds being turned down for their mill on Bell Street and taking their business to Almonte, and it has continued to this day through the years.

So I stopped a few months ago– because no matter how hard you try you become the enemy on some folks list, and believe you me that is not on my agenda one bit. Have I given up hope? Yes, absolutely–which again changing the subject, brings me to yesterday.


Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday and yesterday was the kickoff to our local events in Carleton Place at the *New Year’s Levee Skate. Many people worked their butts off: the downstairs was packed because of the free skating, but the top floor of the arena should have been jammed. It wasn’t, and there was confusion to what was happening when and where. I know a lot of good people worked long and hard, but where was the public support– and is this the face of things to come for organizing the upcoming 150th events?

As someone asked me yesterday:

“What was that all about, and what was the point?”

I was disappointed, and yes, as Brian said, angry, and this will be my last word– for I have made myself a promise that from now on I am just writing about history– at least I know how that ends. No matter how hard I try, no matter what I was taught by my personal “Miranda Priestlys”, nothing seems to get through. I deeply love my town, but from now on I will let someone else take a whack at it.

Always remember– ‘the truth is out there’!


Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition-Steve Jobs

If you read my post Everyone Needs a little “Devil Wears Prada” in their Life– Even Towns it was an official notice that I will no longer spend hours a day trying to promote my town. Of course I will still be writing daily history but after serious reflecting– that after 722,102 views and 590,692 visits from 131 countries this year– the town still remains the same I am going to spend that time now doing what I love best– writing. I have officially resigned from the Carleton Place Farmers Market and know that I love you all. That never changes. It never will. I love my town and always will. Thank you for always supporting me.


*Flash Cadilac was a unique store before its time. It opened in 1976 at 174 Rideau Street in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It was owned by fashion designer Linda Seccaspina and her husband Angelo. The emporium was one of the longest running stores in downtown Ottawa and Linda ended the chapters of Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in 1997.

*The Carleton Place 150 celebrations will kick off with the New Year’s Day Levee Skate, which will include free public skating and refreshments, a variety of kick-off activities (still being finalized) and a Children’s show with Zip-E the clown.– Lake 88

Rosamonds – The One Carleton Place Let Get Away

How Many People Read About Lanark County in 2016? Top Stories?

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News


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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