Sometimes You Just Have to Wave Pom Poms Right?

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Sometimes You Just Have to Wave Pom Poms Right?
Ville de Cowansville
February 20, 2010  · 

Ballpark Bernard Street -1955– Cowansville Quebec
Bruck Mills opened this park in July of 1946

One day sitting at the Bluebird Restaurant on Main Street in Cowansville having french fries and a coke I had an epiphany. I was too young for Harry’s Poolroom just around the corner on South Street, but hopefully not too young for my dreams glancing back at me from a Seventeen Magazine.

The centrefold that month in 1962 was full of cheerleaders from all over the country and at age 11 going 12 my summer goal was to be one of them. Being in the chubby category and not enjoying sports one bit– it was going to be a challenge to achieve my dream. I told myself that cheerleading was not a sport, and I should be able to wave pom poms quite effectively without a lot of sweat.

In those days there were no tumbling or fancy pyramids, and to be quite honest it was basically just a girl’s fan club for the team. Comparing the cheerleaders now from the 60s with their pleated skirts and modesty, who knew what it was going to evolve into?

Later that week I found out that a junior league summer football team was being formed called the Cowansville Colts and they were looking for cheerleaders. If you look on Facebook, not much can be found about the team. Actually, people seem more interested in remembering what the old A & P looked like on the Main Street rather than a local team that won less than a handful of games. In 2017 on Facebook’s Ville de Cowansville page Jacques Giarde asked for any photos or memories of the Colts from the Brome-Missisquoi Junior  League. Nary a one came up. It goes to show you in those days when the cheer section started for the game we didn’t turn into Beyonce. History would have always documented ‘Beyonce-ness‘ no matter where or when it was.

Somehow I was picked to be a cheerleader for the Cowansville Colts team and some of the mothers took our waist measurements for our pleated white skirts being teamed up with a blue sweatshirt. Of course there were mandatory oversize white bloomers that looked like they came from granny’s underwear selection. There is no doubt that my waist measurement was as big as my dreams, but no one said anything about it. The first game was to be held at the Bernard Street ball park which was just around the corner from my home on Albert Street. This was the place in town that everyone in Cowansville went to– from baseball in the summer to a huge skating rink in the winter. If you were involved in any kind of local sports this was sports central in town.

All week long we practised at the ballpark with cheers I can only find on Google now from some game in Pennsylvania in 1959. But, even though I will be 70 this year I can still remember every word of those cheers and the moves. Granted, if you ask me what I did 10 minutes ago, I can’t remember, but ask me to recite those cheers and I can replicate them- without leg movements though. Coordination is now gone with the wind.

That summer we cheered at games in Cowansville, Knowlton, Sutton etc.– and at the end of each game I went from well kept cheerleader to looking like an apocalyptic disaster trying to cheer this team on to win. But, win they did not. In two minutes and thirty seconds at half time of each game we tried to make the team understand what we gals with the pretty white bows in our hair wanted. But, our cheers never seemed to catch on.

In 1962, may it be recorded, the Cowansville Colts only won one game– the last one, and the next summer of 1963 I was shipped off to Seattle, Washington as my mother had died that year. The Beatles suddenly replaced cheerleading in my life and when I returned home in August I wanted nothing to do with football or white pleated skirts. 

I guess that summer of 1962 was all about trying to be successful in what you dream about and especially losing the fear of failure. You have to start somewhere, and maybe that push in cheerleading led me up to touching Paul McCartney’s hair at the Edgewater Inn in Seattle in 1963– or having the nerve to sit outside Alice Cooper’s house in Greenwich, Conn. All I knew was that I had figured out that no matter what you look like: If you are chubby, short or tall, it just doesn’t matter. In reality the best cheer in the world is to cheer somebody else up- remember the power is never given to you– you just have to take it!

Bring it on!

From Ville de Cowansville on facebook

Le Yamaska 19 sept 1962

Les Frontenacs de Farnham ont défait les Colts de Cowansville, en dernière minute, ce fut une surprise avec un record définitif de 21 à 19.

Cowansville – Dans une finale surprise, les Frontenacs de Farnham se sont arrangés pour faire le toucher gagnant sur les Colts de Cowansville qui joueront fortement jusqu’à la fin de la partie ou les Frontenacs ont fait le dernier toucher pour ainsi gagner la partie. Il était apparent que près des dernières minutes, la ligne défensive de Cowansville éyait affaiblie considérablement et le champ arrière de Farnham usa d’un peu de stratégie pour enserrer tout les points gagnants. Les Colts dans le 1er quart, marquèrent 6 à 0, dans le 2ème, 7 à 6, et dans le troisième, 19 à 15. Mais à la fin, les Colts ne semblèrent pas capable d’avancer assez pour rester à côté de la marge d’un toucher.

Bien que cela soit un autre désappointement pour les Colts qui venaient juste de manquer une défaite avec les Larks de Knowlton, la semaine dernière, les Colts joueront la semaine prochaine pour une première partie de semi-finale, la première qui se tiendra à Knowlton, samedi prochain le 15 septembre. La deuxième partie se tiendra à Cowansville, la semi-finale sera le total des points de séries entre les deux clubs. Le gagnant des semi-finale jouera en première place avec les Frontenacs de Farnham dans un 2 de 3. Les points d’aujourd’hui ont été comptés pour Cowansville par : M. Laliberté (13), D. Peacock (21), ayant chacun un touché, et P. Jordan entra un point qui fut un succès. Pour Farnham se furent G. Harrison (31), un touché, R. Tarte (25) deux touchés, D. Racine (27) et H. Takeda eurent un et deux points respectivement.

Les majorettes des Colts appuièrent parfaitement leur club comme celles de Farnham qui sont bien organisées. M. H. Dubois de Montréal arbitre du QRFU arbitait la partie avec l’aide de Dick Ferris de Farnham et de Rupert Dobbin de Sweetsburg. M. E. Viens de Cowansville prenait les minutes et M. Ray Tétreault de Farnham était le correcteur de celles-ci. Les jeunes adeptes du football sont invités à aller à Knowlton pour les semi-finales dans la cours de l’école anglaise.

Venez supporter votre club local.

Le Yamaska 17 oct 1962

Dans la ligue Brome-Missisquoi Junior les jeunes représentants de Farnham ont terminé en beauté leur saison en remportant la grande finale aux dépens des Larks de Knowlton par le compte de 24 à 19. See Less

— with Jacques Giard.

Comments

Jacques Giard

Un appelle à tous…. Si vous avez des photos ou autres articles des ces ligues de football… Pourriez vous poster le tout ici…Je fais une recherche sur le football et son histoire dans la région…Merci

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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