I always wanted to be tall. Since my Mother and both Grandfather’s were tall I could never understand why I was short. There are benefits of being tall, even as far back as 1899. I have always noticed the first words in classified ads required servants and parlour maids to be tall, have good character and go to church. I had some of the character, and certainly went to church, but my head always stretched to see over the pews.
They say being short isn’t a huge problem, but it limits you being in certain occupations such as being a basketball player. That’s not always true, as I did win a basketball contest in Grade 7 at Cowansville High School. It wasn’t that I was of the perfect height to beat even the boys in that class– it was called having a good aim. Even Mr. Busteed the gym teacher could not believe what I had done, but I think he was just being short sighted.
My Grandmother used to measure me on the wall of the shed, but my parents used another method called “the Blue Spruce Tree” in the front yard. My father had bought this tree as he had always wanted a Blue Spruce tree. Why? I will never know, and he never said anything about it. But he took care of that wee thing, and each year I was placed in front of it to see who was beating who in the height category. Needless to say that tree won year after year, and when I googled it on Google Earth– well, never mind, it has beat me lock stock and barrel. In fact, many of the trees in my yard grew faster than I did. Did you ever have a feeling that you were born short because everyone wanted it that way?
Sometimes, even today, I sit on chairs and my feet don’t touch the floor, and not being to reach things on the top shelves of the grocery stores is just infuriating. I always sit on the aisle seat as I never get short folks to sit in front of me. Instead, I always get someone the size of Lurch from the Addams family blocking my view. My view of the Giants Pennant Winning parade that I had to cover in San Francisco for the local Bay area media in 2010 was strictly the top of floats.
I’m short, but I always say most of my body consists of legs, and while we are on the subject of body parts, once upon a time my thighs were deemed too skinny to most of my friends. I remember sitting next to a few of them pushing my thighs into the swimming pool bench trying to make my thighs appear larger. In crowds I’m completely lost, and people could step all over me and not notice what actually happened to me. This exact scenario transpired when I met Paul McCartney at the Edgewater Inn in Seattle in the 60s. I was short changed by the female crowd and local police had to rescue me.
The Blue Spruce Tree 2018 Albert Street Cowansville Quebec.
I think high school was the worst when you would get a pain in your neck dancing with someone over 6 ft. tall. I just didn’t want to be introduced to their belly buttons, so the only solution was to sit down or stand on a chair. Needless to say I remained mostly seated.
I cheated through life wearing heels and platform shoes, and now I look at my feet with their hammer toes, ingrown toenails, corns, bunions, and wonder if I just tried too hard to not be abbreviated. Somewhere between the age of 40 and 50 I lost 1.5 inches. I am now a compacted 5 ft 4 and a half and if you see the wandering lost 1.5 inches tell them to come back to their lilliputian home.
As Erma Bombeck once said, “Being short is just like the common cold. They will never find a cure for it”.
Information 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 (USA
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. Tales of Almonte and Arnprior Then and Now.