So Long? Farewell?

So Long? Farewell?




There is no doubt that history opens old wounds–but unfortunately history can no longer be buried. The Internet has become a vast and primarily free library with old newspaper archives documenting every little thing that has happened. Once upon a time history was clinical and you had to open a history book or go to a museum to get your facts.  With the right web site addresses or search strategies, I am prepared to argue that most people that lived and died, and any great tragedy that ever hit a community is publicly documented forever on or in a newspaper archive.


So what do I go through personally when I write every day? What feelings do I fight with on a daily basis? What makes me throw my hands up in the air and just want to walk away from my laptop some days?

Here are some examples:


Some people do not take what I write seriously as they feel I am not qualified because I have no formal degrees. There are also folks who also don’t like the way I write but —people no longer want to read clinical– they want a story, they want to be entertained, even in history. It’s a new world that some historians really don’t want to embrace, but are going to have too sooner than later.


Some say my blogs are popular only because local living ancestors want to see their names in print like the old newspaper social columns. While there is probably some hint of truth to that there is also an important factor. Without these names coming forward and offering their own personal stories community history would be impossible to document.


Some say I post tragedies for ‘cheap thrills’ or to quench people’s voyeurism which is also not true. While history is composed of good and bad I personally try very hard to keep a 50 year rule and not post anything negative from current frames of time. An example would be those that were concerned about my story of the Klu Klux Klan coming to Smiths Falls in 1926 and wanted it buried– but it happened. I am not posting about something that has not been documented in some shape or form in books and is also available online. I spend time researching to make sure notable stories are documented for today’s generations that really do not care about history–but they will some day. The bottom line is: accidents happened, loss of life happened, fires happened, and they are all part of our history whether we like it or not.


One of my good friends from the Bay area John Manchester summed it up for me a long time ago when I was having issues with negative comments on my political writings. John’s father was William Manchester who had written “The Death of a President” and he told me what his father had to go through to write his books. Everyone says they want to become a writer, but to be a real writer you have to dig in and write every single day and put up with lots of criticism and rejection. I am not writing about the Kennedys like he was, but I understand history generally teaches us how hard it is for anyone to control it, including the people who think they’re making it.  I don’t like everything I read, but understanding our past is important in helping us grapple meaningfully with our present.

You can’t change history, nor can you bury it, and ignoring the storms of the past will never let you see the rainbow at the end of the tunnel. History matters because of what people went through and it makes them nothing but heroes in my book. Today, once again for the umpteenth time I finally understand why I am spending the rest of my life documenting local history. As Confucius once said: ”Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”.


So long
Auf wiedersehen

and yes, I will see you tomorrow





Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.



Why I will Never Write a Book like The Death of a President

The Day the Ku KIux Klan Came to Smiths Falls


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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.

6 responses »

  1. People who criticize other’s writing because they lack a formal degree in literature are the same egotists who believe you have to have a course in music appreciation to enjoy music .

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  2. This past weekend, I came upon a group of 1812 reenactors in Merrickville. I have always admired the effort these dedicated people put into events. It costs them both money and time to create the clothing and equipment, all which has to be fully researched. Talking with them reveals a deep knowledge of the period and events. I asked a gentleman why he had been doing this for over 20 years and his reply was, “to help the public understand our history, through the artifacts I have on display and recounting stories about the small events of daily life, both the good and the bad”.

    So Linda, if it were not for people like you and the reenactor I met, a lot of history would be just forgotten. Keep it up, no “so long, farewell”, for now.

    • I had a tough experience yesterday, the very last thing I want to do is hurt people–people know me.. I am not that type of person.. but you are right.. I have become a complete bore when you talk to me now because all I can think of is getting people excited about history.. thanks:)

  3. Linda thank you. What happened in the past is our history good or bad. We need to remember our past to prevent future mistakes and to celebrate our small victories. Keep writing please- you do make a difference in my life.

    • We have all had horrible things happen in our lives but some more so. That is why I sometimes post history that is not so well liked. So we try and prevent anything else from happening. Love you

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