You Can’t Touch This?…Taking the Vanilla Out of History

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You Can’t Touch This?…Taking the Vanilla Out of History

If anyone has not caught on I became obsessed with documenting those that had passed so they could be remembered for future generations a few years ago.

Do we think that serious textual stories are better, more “literary,”  whereas something lighter fare is for the under educated? If so, then we have a problem. Today’s generations are not interested in facts, and to get them or a lot of other folks to read about history it has to be interesting. I don’t know about you but reading traditional text really doesn’t inspire me to want to know more, so I decided to take the ‘vanilla’ out of history. I mean what would you rather read–

“A faintness came over him, and together with the evacuations his bowels protruded, followed by a copious hemorrhage, and the descent of the smaller intestines: moreover portions of his spleen and liver were brought off in the effusion of blood, so that he almost immediately died.”

Well, maybe that is a terrible example–but today, one of the younger generation would ‘text’ that sentence something like this:

“Hey! That man just %^&* out his internal organs and I will never eat Pigs In A Blanket again”.

What about the local lad who was so popular that the crowd at one of our local fairs threw so many various items at him out of adoration that he died of asphyxiation? What will you remember? Pie Winners? I don’t think so. But, interesting tidbits helps you remember the rest of the story.

 

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Of course we all remember Brothel Bertie  (King Edward the VII) who probably exercised his prowess around the local area. When he visited in 1860 he might have ended dying from bow chicka wow wow when he had a drink at Bennie’s Corners if a certain lady from the Metcalfe farm had caught his eye. I don’t know about you, but reading about those “old community spirits” keeps my interests up and makes me want to know more.

Ice Ice Baby, Ice Ice Baby
All right stop, Collaborate and listen

On the 18th of 1897 Carleton Place was advertising for someone to introduce military drills and exercise in the public schools. For $600 a year the individual they hired was to instill serious discipline into the local school child. It was mentioned that 15 minutes a day would increase the brain function from all that sitting sideways and slouching forward that a normal child does during the day.

Really? Really?

As Maestro Fresh Wes once said: “Let my backbone slide!”

 

 

The Central Canadian newspaper wanted the school system to hire Joseph McKay, son of James McKay, Carleton Place Bell Street baker for the position. He rose in his long militia service here from lieutenant of No. 5 Company in the late 1870’s  to lieutenant colonel of his regiment at the turn of the century. The Rifle Ranges at Carleton Place were constructed during Lieut. Colonel McKay’s command and the newspaper said it would be hard to find a more efficient man for the position.

 

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Tiffany Nixon in front of the “50 Shades of Grey’ apparatus at Hamsa Yoga in Carleton Place.

 

So what did I immediately think of when I read this? All I could see was the yoga trainers at Hamsa Yoga  next to the  Ginger Cafe . God only knows that I have embarrassed poor Tiffany Nixon enough calling them her ’50 shades of grey’ section on numerous occasions.

So what else did I remember when I read the newspaper article?

I saw Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Mackay who had risen to Major by that point in time looking something like Black Jack Jonathan Randall from the hit TV show Outlander instructing those Carleton Place children with a snap of his crop.

I don’t think there is a “chance in Inverness” that I will ever forget this story now–nor will you.

Ice Ice Baby, Ice Ice Baby
All right stop, Collaborate and listen

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Black Jack Jonathan Randall- Outlander with a little photoshop

Newspapers seemed to control our local towns and it wasn’t hard to sway the townsfolk into some sort of rabble rousing. Take in point some fine fowl, over 325 to be exact, that resided in Appleton belonging to the Herald’s Mr. Sam Allen. The joke was that Mr. Allen’s chickens were so well esteemed they had taken their fair share of prizes at the Almonte Fair. In fact too much so– as there were a few dozen articles about his chickens!

The “opposite side” joked that maybe a visit to “the Appleton hood” by some could relieve him of some of his fair feathered friends. Was this a warning to Mr. Allen that his poultry should enter the KFC Witness Protection Plan? Or, was it to be soon a Winner Winner Chicken Dinner for all in Lanark County? In everything– the rooster, human or fowl made and still makes the most news. It has been proven many times in the Almonte Gazette and the Carleton Place Herald. Trust me!

Anything less than the best is a felony
Love it or leave it, You better gain way
You better hit bull’s eye, The kid don’t play..

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February 6 1920, Almonte Gazette

Many cisterns in Almonte are now dry and there is water famine in many country places. Also the long dry cold winter has been serious for those residents of Almonte who depend upon rain water for their domestic supply as many cisterns have gone dry. Others have burst and the water is being teamed from the river to many of our homes.

How do you convey to today’s generation how important these cisterns were to basic human needs in years gone by? Heck, I didn’t even know what one was until a year ago. How do you get someone to remember what they were?

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Van you take do you take the vanilla out hard facts to a generation who says: “I’m cleaning out my car today in case someone needs 27 empty water bottles”.

Easy– Without a cistern and water they would have had no coffee. I guarantee you everyone will remember that now. No cisterns= no double double.

I could be wrong, but history argues that taking the vanilla out of writing will always be in fashion. How many of these local stories have you remembered?

Let Me Entertain You!

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Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ 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.

Ice Ice Baby, Ice Ice Baby Lyrics- Vanilla Ice

historicalnotes

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  15 Nov 1897, Mon,  [First Edition],  Page 2

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  07 Oct 1899, Sat,  Page 6

relatedreading

Cisterns I Have Known

Taking Sexy Back with Brothel Bertie aka Edward the VII

Maybe We Should Film Oak Island in Carleton Place? The Day the Money Disappeared

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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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