Once the Ship Has Sailed Don’t Hold on to the Anchor! Linda Knight Seccaspina


Once the Ship Has Sailed Don’t Hold on to the Anchor!–Linda Knight Seccaspina


One day in the 60s sitting at the Riviera Cafe on South Street in Cowansville, Quebec Buffalo Springfield’s new song “For What it’s Worth” began to play. That particular song immediately became a huge turning point in my life about standing up to what I believe in and attempting to become a weekend hippie.

The year before, The Byrd’s had been my big influence, and I remember my father told me if he so much as saw me wear the Ben Franklin glasses Roger McGuinn wore, well, there would be trouble. In my life if people went left, I always went right, and right I did the next day to The Treasure Chest on Main Street to buy the glasses. Of course I was wearing them as soon as I got out of the store, and who drove down the street but my father beeping his horn and shaking his fist at me. Arthur J. Knight eventually got over it, just like he got over the acrylic polyester bell bottom pants from Eaton’s.

When I turned 15 my friends and I took the bus to Montreal to hand out flowers for peace at the Place Ville Marie Plaza some weekends. People would come up to the girl with the flowers in her hair and ask me if I was from San Francisco. I would just smile from ear to ear as that was the highest compliment anyone could give me. Even with all the peace and flowers it seemed like I was still missing something. You know, maybe a boyfriend living a hippie lifestyle — wearing their long hair in braids, playing guitar, preferably living out of a Volkswagen van, protesting violence, and spreading peace and love.

The problem was a lack of male hippies back in Cowansville. There was also some sort of testosterone rivalry between the boys in Cowansville vs the boys in Granby. I don’t seem to remember that but I do remember the cute young men from Granby, Quebec. However, I don’t think I knew what testosterone was in those days.

In a Hallmark moment I do remember getting the attention of this very tall lanky guy one night at a concert in front of the Cowansville town hall. I can remember his towering height, the long matted hair, and the god awful smell of patchouli, but do you think I can still remember his name? So, I decided to ask my friend Leslye who seems to remember a heck more than I do these days and she said:

“Oh my goodness you are talking about that guy with the long hair that was from Granby. His name was “Taupe” and  I have no clue what his real name was.”

Leslye went on to say he was part of “our hippie gang” (we had a gang?) from Granby and that there were others called Dylan, Red and “Henthouhuanne”. Henthouhuanne was actually an annoying spelling to make the fella’s name of Antoine sound cool.

I can still remember holding Taupe’s hand at that concert and then I never really saw much of him again. According to Leslye, after a couple of weeks of the lads spending some time in Cowansville they went back to the girls in Granby.

In the end my memory of him was just like the very end of a Hallmark movie. Their trusted recipe is: take one girl, take one boy, 2 hours of back and forth conversation, and then they kiss or get back together in the last 2 minutes. Then it’s over, leaving you unsatisfied most times. This was my first kiss that lasted two minutes and then I never saw him again. I will never ever forget that moment, yet I could not remember his name was Taupe. I was close though– I kept thinking about Ed Sullivan’s puppet Topo Gigio for some reason — so I was definitely in the vicinity. So my advice to you? Write everything down while you still remember. The nice thing about having a bad memory is you can have reruns without commercials.


Miss you Kevin.. miss you forever..

Harry’s Pool room Cowansville

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s