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. 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 went 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, Quebec. Apparently,there was 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. However, honestly, 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 Wyatt 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 this fella’s name of “Antoine” sound cool.
I can still remember holding Taupe’s hand at that concert and then after one light peck on the cheek I never really saw 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 of mixed conversation, they kiss and get back together in the last 2 minutes. Then it’s over, leaving you unsatisfied most times. This was my first kiss that just whizzed by, 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.