Click Click Click

Click Click Click


I am left with a handful of photos that were never discovered in a drawer. My sister Robin, myself, and my Mother Bernice Ethylene Crittenden Knight at Anita Vaughn’s cottage at Selby Lake.


It was a cold day in October of 1963 when I watched my father throw the contents of the piano bench into the burn barrel in the backyard. My Mother had died in September after being very sick for years, and I realize now that my Father was trying to get rid the past. Photos of my childhood, newspapers clippings and the family tree book that my Mother’s cousin Iveson Miller from Island Brook hand wrote for her rose to the sky in smoke and ashes.

As a child and even a young adult I never missed those photos or even thought about them twice, but for the last few decades I mourn what my late sister Robin and I lost. Both my parents were only children, and I no longer have snapshot evidence that our past existed because of my Father’s photographic purge.



Some of the photos I collect
Judging from what I see at estate sales and auctions, more and more people are getting rid of old photos, as it seems they only want to keep the memories they represent, not the photos intact.  Family pictures are potent storehouses of long-forgotten memories and a key resource for future generations. So as most people know, I rescue photographs and memories of strangers.

One sunny Friday afternoon I rescued some things out of random boxes at the local flea market. The seller told me that the family of the deceased had left most of his belongings as discards on the street.



Some of the photos I collect


There were mysterious French books and a host of other wonderful things all selling for a dollar each. What caught my eye was an old green cardboard box full of personal correspondence and photos. I could not wait to get home and start to do research about what I had found on the internet.

I found out that the box once had belonged to a *Professor John Hardy who had written a book about the study of Historians in the French Restoration. After reading some of his received correspondence I learned that he specialized in French Restoration History and had taught at Yale, UIC, and was renowned by historians everywhere.



Some of the photos I collect


As I did more research, another professor, *David P. Stanley, had written a seven page obituary online about Professor Hardy, obviously out of the great respect he had for him. I was shocked when I read each page that Stanley had written, as it was everything I had envisioned about Professor Hardy, yet I had never met him. Yale University had headhunted him to teach after his first book, and he had almost completed a manuscript on Guizot that he just could not seem to hand in for publication.

So what happened to this treasured correspondence file? In the end I decided where its rightful place should be and I sent it to a former love interest of Hardy’s in the northwest that I had a photo of. There, his box of memories sits in privacy on a desk to be cherished by her forever.

Hardy’s manuscript about Guizot was never found and not a single soul knows where it is. I assume the old professor felt that no one would appreciate it and had hidden it away or gave to someone for safe keeping. But someone did care about the old professor and there will never be a day that will go by that I do not think about the late Professor and how I found his “messages in a bottle”. Every photo and every family item means something and the memories are priceless and last forever.
* Name has been changed for privacy reasons.



Some of the photos I collect

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 and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)



Middleville– Yuill- Photos Laurie Yuill

Photos of Laurie Yuill- Somerville/Mather Picnic 1937–Charles Home, Lloyd Knowles House–Foster Family

Photos of Beckwith Township Fire Dept 1970s

Carleton Place Photos 1920s

Tom Edwards Appleton Photos 1910-1920

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

4 responses »

  1. I feel so bad when people don’t place any value on the past or the importance of people who are departed. I do get sad when I read an obituary that simply gives the person’s name, date of death, where they died and the names of their relatives. Basically, what the death notice points out is that they lived and then they died and that is it.


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