To the Man on the Other End of the Line- Dan O’Shea With Love

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To the Man on the Other End of the Line- Dan O’Shea With Love

 

 

Please play while reading.

 

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Dan and his niece Katrina  not looking like the Dan I remember– but it’s all I got and it will have to do:(

Where do I start about my love and admiration for Danny O’Shea? I really can’t remember Danny not being a part of life until we lost him to cancer last year. When I first met him years ago I never realized how much he would end up meaning to me. Okay, there was a short span of 15 years where we lost each other– and it wasn’t because I didn’t try to find him. It was because that we were in different spaces in our lives and he didn’t want to be found in the bowels of Quebec, and I was 3000 miles away in another country.

 

But by year 16 he decided to be found because we needed each other. He had cancer and my husband Angelo was dying of cancer. So that first call went something like this:

 

“Hey kid are you hiding from me? (he always called me “kid”)

 

And that’s all it was.. and so we went on like nothing had been missing through all those lost years.

 

From then on we continued to lean on each other and each time I heard him take a drag on his cigarette I wanted to tell him to stop– but I knew that was fruitless– as no one ever told Dan O’Shea what to do.

 

While I was up and down and all over the place Danny was always just that solid line that never broke. He helped me through some pretty miserable times in my life on our almost daily phone calls from 1975- 1997. That’s a lot of years to talk, and a lot of words went down — and you know what? There was never one word of anger ever in our conversations. Maybe he was faking all these years and inside he was a complete mess– but you know what— we will never know, and I would like to remember him that way.

 

Maybe we met in person just a dozen times through those years — at my store Flash Cadilac in Ottawa and in Montreal. We used to go to a great little french restaurant on Bleury and Sherbrooke Street and he ordered me my first Coquille St. Jacques. We ate fresh carrot soup and he did try to get me to eat frogs legs and I just looked at him that day and laughed. There are some people that make you smile a little bigger, and laugh a little louder, and just live a little better, and that was Danny.

 

 

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The altar from a church that was being demolished in Montreal in my solarium

 

He found a picture of Queen Victoria one day hidden in a wall in some loft on St. Denis Street that he knew I would want it. Later when I needed money I reluctantly sold it. But he came up with an old antique altar that still sits in my solarium today and each time I look at it I will remember the day he brought it to me in Ottawa. The snow was coming down in buckets and there were road closures everywhere– but Danny wanted to make sure I got that altar.

 

I think we both had years we wanted to forget in life, and when we talked we knew each other’s best stories as we had both had lived them. Each of us had led crazy lives and Danny used to run Viet Nam War deserters hidden in a secret desk and I was busy protesting the war at Place Ville Marie and writing to soldiers that were dying left and right in Viet Nam. We both had lived the “computer room fiasco” at St. George Williams University, the FLQ years, and were living just streets apart in Montreal, but we never knew each other then. I guess it’s just the friends you meet along the way that are the ones that help us appreciate the journey.

Now you’re gone Danny and I’m still here. You made my life better just by being in it. My biggest regret is that we never took  a picture of each other together. There just were not selfies in those days I guess. But in reality, I guess we never ever thought we would need the memories.

On your birthday your ashes will fly like the wind on top of Mount Royal.  Hopefully that day the air in the clouds will be pure and fine just like you, and why shouldn’t it be– as Mark Twain said, “it is the same air the angels breathe”— and you were my angel all those years.

 

When I count my blessings Dan O’ Shea- I count you twice.

 

“Here’s looking at you kid–I’ll see you soon!”

 

You will always be the brother of my soul and the friend of my heart.

 

Linda

 

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Dan O’Shea died last year after a valiant fight with cancer in Montreal. For years he was the one that made all my leather belts and accessories for my store Flash Cadilac. I would send him a design and he would just create it–he was that good. He was my friend from day 1 and always will be.

 

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                                                           Kyle O’Shea 

 

His ashes are being scattered on top on Mt. Royal in Montreal and I cannot be there. So I send my words so that his son Kyle may be comforted to know that his Dad was one hell of a man.  Kyle, you were the sunshine in his day, the joy in his soul and the love of his life. Always remember that. Just follow his example– not his advice:)

Much love to you Kyle and the O’Shea family

 

 

comments

Ron Dagenbach

I met Danny in around 1976 at his store ,Farkles on St.Hubert in Montreal.He was a close friend to a family I knew and still know.In fact,Danny joined us for a party in September of 2015.He had changed,of course,but we had some nice exchanges in the weeks leading up to that party.He seemed so pleased that he had been able to make it and see all these people from his past.I shared with him a little piece i had composed based on an old Cars song (Candy-O became Danny-O) from the late 70’s. I had adapted the words to portray the experiences that I and a couple of my friends had when we were making those belts,halter tops and other leather items for him.This Saturday May 6th we are celebrating the 80th birthday of Jean Leonard,once close friend of Danny and the reason that I knew him as he is the father of the friends who introduced Danny to me.Danny will be in our hearts and thoughts on that day.
“Danny-O’Shea needs you
To make some belts on every size
Danny-O’Shea needs you
To glue some ties
Concho belts,assorted styles
Halter Tops with rings
And for the guys,some studded belts
And other things
Danny-O’Shea needs you so!
Danny-O’Shea needs you so!
Make it fast
Delivery
Must be done by six
He’ll pay you cash
You’ll smoke some hash
Don’t get the orders mixed
Danny-O’Shea needs you so….Danny-O’Shea needs you so!!
Danny-O’Shea needs you so!!!”

historicalnotes

 

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Pictured is Gabriella Studor with some of Danny’s leather stuff. Photo from my book “Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac”

 

If you would like to hear me read this please check out the video below.

 

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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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