Who Was Your Childhood Hero?

Who Was Your Childhood Hero?


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Mildred Wirt Benson aka Carolyn Keene

Carolyn Keene

I don’t know about you but I loved serial books: Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Bobbsey twins, Tom Swift Jr. and Trixie Belden. Every week I would journey to my favourite store called “The Treasure Chest” in Cowansville, Quebec and just fondle the books. They kept them in an old closet that acted as a wonderful book shelf, and I would huddle in there for as long as I could and read Nancy Drew.  In my mind I was Nancy with the slim pleated skirt white blouse and sweater over my shoulders. My dashing Ned would bring me flowers, and together, we would fight evil and make the world right.

I must have written dozens of letters to Carolyn Keene claiming my love for the books she wrote. One day I received a signed letter from Ms. Keene and I felt that I was walking on air, marvelling that she would even had the time to write to me.

I found out later that Carolyn Keene was a fictional character, and all the books were mostly written by ghost writers, It was like telling me that Santa Claus was not real. But now I know that Mildred Wirt Benson born in Ladora, IA was only 24 when she wrote the first Nancy Drew book. She came to this great opportunity from having been hired by Edward Stratemeyer who created Nancy Drew. He gave her a job writing Ruth Fielding books and that segued into the Nancy Drew series.



Razzle Dazzle–Howard the Turtle

Every night at 5 in 1961 I would watch the CBC TV show Razzle Dazzle hosted by Suzanne Somers’ husband, Alan Hamel. I had entered a writing contest and was eagerly waiting to hear if I won a pen with my “meatless meat pie” essay. A few weeks later I found out that I had indeed won a Razzle Dazzle pen for my story along with a photo of Howard the Turtle.


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Dave Keon

In 1967 the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup and I was a member the Dave Keon fan club who scored the winning goal that year for the last game. I was a card carrying member, and for 25 cents you got a signed glossy photo of him and a membership card. The day after the playoffs I brought in that black and white 8 by 10 glossy photo of him and taped it to the classroom blackboard. My teacher Mrs. Shufelt was not a fan of Dave Keon and that one look on her face when she saw it was worth the 25 cents I had spent on it. I can still see the frown on her face like it was yesterday.


Connie Francis

I can’t remember what year it was in High School but I loved Connie Francis. The 1960s film “Where the Boys Are” is still one of my favourites. After writing a letter to her I received a glossy post card of her which I passed up down the school bus to my friends. If a Hershey chocolate bar had a voice like Connie Francis, it would be extra smooth.


I would like to hear about what you’ve received from your heroes, childhood or otherwise! If you’ve ever gotten a beloved item or letter from one of your heroes, please comment below….

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.

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



TV Shows We Loved

Did You Watch Maggie Muggins?

In Memory– The Last of The Five Little Peppers

When The Friendly Giant was King on Televison

The Danger Zone —TV Technicians in Carleton Place

The Hi- Diddle-Day House of Carleton Place – Puppets on a String

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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