When I went to Cowansville High School I loved Public Speaking and thought it was the one thing I could do well in. In essence, I certainly wasn’t getting any gold stars for other things like Math. In Grade 8 they had a Public Speaking Contest and I decided to enter so I might add something decent to my scholarly reputation–I was wrong.
My Grandfather who was on the local School Board at the time warned me that he couldn’t help me as he was in charge of the judges- not that I asked for help anyways. I have always been a lone wolf and done things in my own way. I picked the subject of Ghosts as I have always been fascinated with the paranormal and thought others would be too. I was right, the speech went very well, and ended to thunderous applause. I was excited. I thought I had this in the bag–I was wrong.
I placed fourth, which I was happy with, as most of the students speaking were Seniors. However, when I got home my Grandfather sat me down and told me point blank what my issue was. Issue? I never thought I had an issue. I was wrong.
“Linda, you would have even placed lower except for the fact that your delivery was wonderful,” he said. “Your problem was that your subject was way too controversial”.
Controversial? So after that day I realized that I, Linda Knight Seccaspina, was controversial, and others seemed to know that. Not only did I dress differently than anyone else in school– I now had acquired the name tag of “controversial”. All these years I thought I was like everyone else had been blown wide open. I was part of the gang- wasn’t I? I was wrong.
For the last 55 years I have embraced the controversial part–no problem. I know at age 67.5 I will never change. But, a few weeks ago, since I have been running for town council, I learned that I have been labelled with a new word. That word would be “polarizing”! This kind of baffled me as I thought only Warren Buffet, those in Televangelism, and telephone fundraisers were polarizing. I am now known around locally as not only the woman that documents daily history, but now also labelled “polarizing”. Apparently, it is now either: “absolutely love, or absolutely can’t-be-around-for-more-than-three-seconds Linda”. In one nano second I can inspire both awe and revulsion? Wow, I had no idea. Again I thought that I was just one of the regular folks– I was wrong.
So for the last few weeks since the new awareness I have gone around repeating my new found word. In reality I don’t think I have many polarizing messages. It is just about being consistent over the years and wanting good to win over evil in anything I fight for. What you see is what you get–and there is nothing mysterious here, trust me.
It would be great if every single person we met fell in love with us and laughed at all of our jokes (or at least half of them would do for me). But as fantastic as that sounds, it’s unrealistic. No matter what you do (unless you do nothing), you just can’t please everyone. Being open and honest about what you like and doing the things that you like to do is the best way in life. To sum it all up in a nutshell–I guess I just vibrate at different frequencies. In all honesty, that is not bad at all. I just hope I don’t run out of batteries!
where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and theSherbrooke Record and and Screamin’ Mamas (USACome 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. Tales of Almonte and Arnprior Then and Now.