Tag Archives: essays

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 11

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 11
Grandaughter Tenley

South Street Cowansville, Quebec

Linda Seccaspina

January 10 at 12:57 PM  · “Skyler Seccaspina · New colleague. First day on the job.”

As I see my granddaughter Tenley sit at her Dad’s desk I remember my days of sitting at the desk at the F. J.Knight Company on South Street in Cowansville. My grandfather and dad had a business of being electrical contractors for over 60 years. They also had a retail store where they sold fixtures and whatever you needed for electrical work in the front of the house. I sat at the front desk in that store every Friday night for 14 years selling lightbulbs and whatever while my Dad Arthur, chewed the fat as they say, with his customers.When I was 12— I was promoted to working summers typing out invoices with carbon paper (three layers). There were so many pieces sold per invoices it drove me nuts. I also did the window/ window sills display for them… pretty funny when you think of it. At 3 pm every day my Grandmother Mary Knight came into the store with cheese and crackers and a glass of milk. Friday nights,when the store closed– it was Tommy Hunter on TV and then more cheese and crackers. I was always trained to work hard, respect people, but have a damn opinion please LOLOL– So it gives me great joy to see Tenley ‘helping” her Dad, and I already know she has opinions.

Linda at age 2

Feb 21, 2022

It’s 10:03 am and I am just doing my email. Once upon a time I was up at the crack of dawn ready to seize the day– not anymore. My eyes still red from weeping during the ‘chick flick’ marathon last night on the E channel. Favourites such as: Pretty Woman, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail, still have most of my senses.

My routine has changed, no doubt about it. I have to sit on the edge of the bed for a spell every morning. The old engine and brain needs to warm up, and sometimes I wonder if I should just go back to bed. Then I get up and wander to the next bedroom and sit down to get my clothes for the day. I remember the days I did not make sound effects when I got up to go up anywhere.

‘Sit down’ seems to be the key word these days. I glance at my phone, get the day’s news and realize that it’s okay to get up as the world will not end today. Maybe tomorrow…. I’ll take my chances today.

I throw my underwear and pants down the stairs to the bottom floor so I can put them on without falling over. You know what they say: If you get your leg through one pant leg and not fall over, it’s a really good day.

The bathroom is next and I purposely do not bring my phone in there, or I might not be out of there until 11. I sit there and decide what I am going to feed Steve for breakfast and lunch. I know we are going to my daughter-in-law’s mothers for dinner, so one last thing to wrap my brain around, as it’s still not up to mid speed.

Underwear is on– with now mandatory protection –as the TV ads are true, and I will not go any farther with that information. I open the door and go sit on the couch. Pants on, I am ready to seize the day. Maybe.

Steve has been sitting there for probably a good 30 minutes, but he says nothing. I remove the butter to add to the frying pan and a giant chunk flies up in the air and lands on the floor. I quickly pick it up, examine it and throw it into the frying pan. Glued to his phone he begins to laugh having seen that stunt of mine. I tell him it wasn’t dirty, and then ask if he has eyes in the back of his head. He laughs and tells me he would have done the same thing.

It’s 10:30 now and instead of posting history I have wasted 30 minutes writing about getting older. At least I am not as old as I will be next year. But I live and forget my age, I can still ‘drop it like Im hot”– I just may now need a little help getting up these days!!!

I’m not dead yet!!!

Happy Family Day!

Linda Seccaspina

Linda at Grammys on South Street in Cowansville, Quebec.

Today I thought about my Grandmother and her insistence on wearing clean underwear on a daily basis. These days I can’t seem to find anything decent in my drawers. There’s just something about a pair of well worn granny panties that makes me feel safe, so I stick with what I know best.

My late mother constantly carried on about my underwear. In her case it wasn’t so much if they were clean or not, but whether they had more holes than swiss cheese. I always told her not to worry, that I would just pretend they got torn in whatever accident I had if need be. But she never stopped..

“What will they say if you get into an accident?” she frequently repeated mimicking my Grandmother.

Each time they mentioned the underwear situation I began to worry. If you are in an accident, do they refuse you at the hospital for having unattractive underpants? Do the gynecologists have coffee among themselves and talk about what underwear they have seen that day? Does medical staff prefer granny panties or thongs?

To encourage me I was given 7 day underwear for my birthday when I was 5. Did you actually wear Monday on a Monday? Did it really have some deep meaning that we did not know about? If you got in an accident did someone quietly mention to you on the ambulance gurney that you were wearing the wrong day of the week?

At age 6 I actually did get hit by a car and was carried into the house by neighbours. I woke up on the living room couch with Grampy Crittenden handing me an Illustrated Classics comic book about the story of Jesus. My Grandfather quietly asked my mother if I was okay. My mother said,

“I think so, but I am so worried she didn’t have good underwear on and we don’t want the town to talk. Her underwear was so stretched out and worn she could have fit the whole town of Cowansville in them!”

Yes, those enormous baggy briefs are regularly thought to be everything you wouldn’t want in an undergarment. To make it worse the younger generation lumps them into a category of being only for the Golden Girls set. I am proud to say that when I had my heart attacks a few years ago I am sure the medical profession was still not impressed by my underwear choice and talked for days about it. Anyways at my age thermal under is now considered really hot underwear and I am too busy thinking about the afterlife now. Question to self- Should I bring a change of clean underwear?

April 30, 2019 ·

The Story of the Green Pea– A Linda story from the past…

Today at the CPDMH fundraiser at St. James Linda dropped a pea down her cleavage. She felt it there but she could not reach it– especially with folks around. So she endured it and walked over to the dessert table. She told her friend Francis from St. Marys that she had a pea down her and if it fell out of the bottom of her dress it was hers. It still did not come out. So she walked back to the table and felt it travelling down her. She knew the pea would free itself soon. As she sat down out came the green pea from out of her crinoline and she said to everyone at the table. “Ive got it!” — In all occasions you have to give ‘Peas a Chance’ right?.. peace out my friends and have a wonderful day!! Keep history alive no matter what it is..:)

Remembering Allan Code—
When I was interviewing Nancy Code Miller years ago I told her how her father had saved someone’s life. In the early 90’s I taught aerobics at the Sussex Club in Ottawa. One of the members was on the verge of depression. Her husband had left her, she had two small children, and was destitute. When a friend was driving her to Smiths Falls, she saw Alan Code’s dealership and stopped to look at the cars. She had advised Mr. Code she would probably not be able to afford it, but he patiently sat down with her, and they picked out her car from the colour to the upholstery. The delivery date of 6 months was her goal to get her life in order. I don’t think she ever did pick up the car, but she eventually got a job, and all was right in the world. She told me she credited her success for the future to Mr. Code. He had given her hope. In talking with Nancy today, I can see the apple has not fallen far from the tree. Tip of the hat, and a big hug to you both, for believing in our small town of Carleton Place.

It “Depends”

I used to watch a lot of channel 700 with the Vintage Songs from the Past. They just played Gino Vanelli’s “I just want to stop” and I stopped typing- yes I stopped posting and typing. It brought me back to the day when I was buying purses for my store Flash Cadilac from this gal from England who was staying with a friend below Gino Vanelli’s apt in Old Montreal. He heard us talking about him and came downstairs and sang this song to me. I almost peed my pants. Time has flown by, and as for peeing my pants? I just stare at the Depends commercials now and realize time is drawing near. LOL

Photo– 1995? After the 54 Rock Fashion show I put on. LOL Exhausted

Just Like Me– They Long to Be Close to You

I am sitting here listening to The Carpenters realizing that no song today will ever give me the same reaction their songs did. If silk had a sound, it would sound like Karen Carpenter. I am fighting back the tears right now as their songs echo through my headphones. The Carpenters were played continuously for times of angst in my life, and  honestly, sometimes left me more depressed than I already was.

Then I remember one summer evening driving back to Ottawa from a White Zombie concert in Montreal and trying not to fall asleep at the wheel. I was bringing three other people home, and everyone was fast asleep- that was no help. I began to laugh at my shenanigans at the venue that night screaming in zest at Rob Zombie that “I wanted to bear his children”. Giggling at those minutes of nothing but pure insanity could still could not keep me awake.

Insert- one Carpenter’s Gold CD in the car CD player and I begin to sing at the top of my voice with the windows open. Surely that would keep me awake! First track ends and the song “Close to You” comes on. Immediately I hear three voices in the back seat begin to sing the song together in great harmony. I was shocked — these folks knew every word of The Carpenter’s song. I realized then and there that when Karen Carpenter sang– she touched everyone’s soul. After that night I was never sad when I heard the Carpenters melodies because I realized life is a gift–don’t be sad—as someone, somewhere, is still wrapping it up for you as “We’ve Only Just Begun!”

Today I got my “HOBIpalooza” shirt in the mail and I was smiling like a young girl with a David Cassidy poster on my wall. For those of you who don’t know who David Cassidy is, that’s your Google homework today. 

Who is HOBI ?– well, he is J-Hope from the South Korean band BTS. I love this band as they make me smile and their music is infectious. So when J- Hope performed in Chicago a month ago, this senior citizen wanted to go.

The very last time I had been to Lollapalooza was in the 1990s in Barrie, Ontario.That was decades ago when I had seen Rage Against the Machine at least a couple of times and was a huge Jane’s Addiction fan. Years have passed, and now I don’t think I could bring myself to walk into a very used porta potty, or stand for a few hours– even with a trendy glitter cane. 

I’m in the Netflix portion of my life now sadly and there isn’t a day I don’t miss  the excitement of a good live concert. BUt, I’m not going to pay triple digits to listen to that one good song– even if J-Hope has many.

So allow me to be thrilled to have one of the concert T Shirts that didn’t cause me to sprain a tendon or stand in a line to pee. Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional– and I’m never going to grow up.

What was it with Peter Fonda in 1969? I never did watch the film Easy Rider until the 80s, but I sure loved Peter Fonda. One could say he was the ‘cutest, easiest rider’ of the many icons. Fonda and Dennis Hopper didn’t just play cocaine-dealing motorcyclists riding their way across a fast-changing America. Both became poster boys for an equally fast-changing film industry. To me he was a lanky, long-haired icon of countercultural rebellion of which I was certainly part of. Peter Fonda and I were both “born to be wild”.

It was near Christmas in downtown Montreal that last year of the 70s. I was searching for the perfect gift for my friends and I soon found IT at the very back of Simpson’s Sears. There in the camera section were black and white posters on the back wall of Peter Fonda sitting on his bike. When I asked about them the salesclerk said they had just come in and the stock had not been brought down yet. I was determined to have one of these cherished items for my friends and I to put on our walls, so I asked if I could wait. She rolled her eyes and agreed while she called the stock room.

That day was December 21, and you can imagine the crowds at the counter buying film to take holiday photos, and I was definitely in the way. Each time a different salesclerk asked if they could help me I just smiled and said: ” I’m waiting for Peter Fonda!” . I glued myself to that Simpson Sears floor for the next 90 minutes. I was not leaving without Peter.

I knew my father was not going to be happy seeing another thing going up on my walls, but posters to me were brand new. Posters had been originally a method of advertising and promotion, but in the 1960s, a new crop of psychedelic signs became the signs of the counterculture, and I was involved. My stepmother, who was so enamoured with Pierre Trudeau. She had put his poster up on the living room wall to annoy my father who was a campaign manager for Jean Jacques Bertrand who served as Member of the Legislative Assembly for the District of Missisquoi in Quebec. If Pierre could be up on the wall so could Peter! I mean they had the same name after all LOL.

The posters eventually came downstairs and plopped on the counter, and I happily bought 6 at the price of 99 cents each. I will never ever forget that day and the 60s. Easy Rider was never a motorcycle movie to me– it was about what was going on in our lives as teens and freedom. Today, I still try to be who I am, but every day it’s harder to “get my motor running and venture to the highway”– but there is no doubt I was born to be wild LOLOL.. That never changes.

This week’s chuckle.. Be yourself.. be who you want to be..

I have to admit my life has flourished through creativity and I have never taken the word “no” for an answer. In fact, I have never listened to anyone who tried to talk me out of my views on life, fashion, and being yourself. At age 15 I marched into the Vice Principal’s office who doubled as a guidance counsellor at Cowansville high School and told him I would not be returning to school the next year. I also asked for my $10 dollar school book deposit back.

I can still remember to this day where his desk was positioned in the room, and the look on his face that was partially hidden by his oversized spectacles. In a crisp but curt tone he scolded me.

“My dear Miss Knight, what golden path have you chosen for yourself?”

“I am going to be a fashion designer Sir,” I said emphatically.

He got out of chair and perched himself on the edge of my chair and asked me loudly if I was jesting.



Do I look like a person who jests?

I quickly realized had I told him I had gotten pregnant by the Keebler Elves it would have gone over better. He continued in a loud monotonous drone telling me young ladies became either nurses or teachers. The elderly gentleman suggested that maybe I look into the world of home economics if “I enjoyed sewing”. Seeing most of us either skipped our “Home Ec” class because of the Suzy Homemaker recipes or stared at the teachers legs while she spoke because we knew it made her uneasy, that notion was definitely out. With that I stood up and again I asked him to cut me a cheque for $10.00. With my Grade 9 education, a shake of his hand, and $10.00 the world was now my oyster and no one would ever criticize the way I dressed.

Well, Ladies and gentleman, we all know how that went, and through the years there has not been a day that people have not said something about my clothing. My sons are conservative and I respect that, and they close their eyes to my daily attire. Never once has one word been said– until last night.

Son number 1 invited me to an event and immediately the conversation went like this:

“Forgot to tell you Mum….”

“These tickets are front row, right in front of his microphone and please wear something nice! Please don’t wear something crazy, because you will be a target of this comedian. If that happens Mum– we don’t know you!”


Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 10

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 9

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 8

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 7

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 6

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 5

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 4

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 3

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 2

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past Part 1