Tag Archives: flash cadilac

The Best Adult Brownie Recipe with a side of the Vice Squad — A Flash Cadilac Story

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The Best Adult Brownie Recipe with a side of the Vice Squad — A Flash Cadilac Story
Linda Seccaspina shares three fabulous shots from a Flash Cadillac photoshoot at Ottawa’s Skateway Roller Disco in 1979.
Writes Linda:
“The other day Lost Ottawa posted memories of Skateway on Morrison Drive, which is now Lee Valley Tools.
We did a few fashion shows there and this is one from 1979. When I look at the clothing now, I realize we were lunar years away from everyone in fashion LOLOL!
My store Flash Cadillac on Rideau Street in Ottawa was the first business in Canada to start using lycra spandex for active wear and bathing suits. I remember trudging down to New York for it, and also that the first plant to begin making cotton lycra (in the 1980s) was in Granby, Quebec.
Memories of the past… Thanks Lost Ottawa for reminding me.”

My books always include a recipe or two, and the day I found this recipe I was almost arrested by the Vice Squad. I was holding  a basic Brownie recipe the whole time while I was arguing with someone who thought he was Serpico.

Why was I arguing with him you ask?

Because, he thought I was letting children play with vibrators.

Was he kidding me?

I may be a few fries short of a Happy Meal sometimes, but that would never happen under my watch.

Flash Cadilac,  as most of you remember, had a small naughty novelty section. It wasn’t huge, and maybe all of three shelves in a plexi glass cube that had a lock on it. It was way before it’s time, and I bought everything from a place of ” ill repute” on Canal Street in New York City. It was harmless stuff in those days. A few cheezy gaping mouth rubber dolls, vibrators, creams, and lotions. Nothing  like on the scales of today.

A customer of mine got so furious I would not take back a dress she had worn a few times. I told her I would give her a credit, but no refund, as it was ready for the trash. I thought I was being more than fair. So, she did what every other angry customer does. She called the Vice Squad and told them I was allowing children to play with sex toys from the case. Because my store was so eclectic and then there were the assumptions that I was created in hell, they believed her. 

A day later after the incident, as I was carrying on a conversation clutching the recipe, a crowd of lumberjack storm troopers came busting through my store looking for the alleged toddlers playing with the battery operated devices. They ravaged the place looking for over an hour.  As I stood there arms akimbo wearing a Dolly Parton wig they tried to bust me for a gift box holding a set of gold balls.

Gold Balls?

Yes, these cracker jacks were mixed up just like I was when I first bought those things.  I thought the Harmony Balls were for hand relaxation at first. Then, I was told the hard cold truth, and realized that the strings attached to the balls were not for Eastern peace and tranquility.

So I asked them to show me where Ben Wa Balls were illegal.They couldn’t, so they moved on.

So Francois, as I shall call him, asked me why I was allowing young children to play with the pleasure goods.I began to laugh, and became furious, and said he was seizing everything that looked questionable. For another hour they pillaged every inch. All they could come up with was one lone item. It was a hot pink vibrator that had a bear climbing up a tree. Turned on, the bear went into motion. The rest you can discuss amongst yourselves. He put it barely three inches from my face and said,

“This MADAM will be seized.”

I began to laugh, and told him if he thought that looked like a realistic male penis, then he had an anatomy problem.

Off they went with the contraband vibrator never ever to be seen again. Myself? I went home and made the brownies.

So that’s today’s story girls and boys. The secret to these brownies is two things:

Do not over bake them, and the frosting. Putting the frosting on top of the hot  brownies makes it turn to a fudge consistency.

          Linda’s Adult Brownies

8 tbsp butter, margarine or whatever you use.

4 ounces of semisweet chocolate coarsely chopped up. I use chocolate chips

2 large eggs at room temperature

Pinch of salt

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 cup  chopped walnuts if you want nuts.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Lightly grease a ‘square’ pan

I melt the butter in the microwave, but you can  also melt the butter in a small sauce pan over low heat.

Next add the chocolate. I take the bowl out of the microwave and add the chips. The  I nuke it for 45 seconds. I take it out and stir and voila, they are all melted.

In a large bowl combine the eggs and salt and bet them for 30 seconds.

Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until light. About a minute or so.

Add the vanilla, the melted chocolate, and butter and beat until smooth.

With a spoon, stir in the flour until just blended. Add the walnuts if you want them and pour into prepared pan.

Bake about 25 minutes.

I wait until they are firm on top, but never crusty and pulling away from the sides of the pans.

Keep them moist people.

Frosting

4 ounces of chocolate either coarsely chopped or again I use the chocolate chips.

A couple tablespoons of butter or it’s equivalent

1  1/2 cups confectioners sugar

1/4 cup of milk, cream or Carnation Milk and keep adding if needed.

I melt the butter and chocolate the same way as the brownies in the microwave.

You do not want a thick or runny frosting.

Medium consistency, so it flows like lava on the top of the brownies.

When the brownies come out of the oven, immediately put the frosting on top. Yes, Immediately.

You need a few hours for the frosting to set, but it is so worth it.

Variations:

I also can put peanut butter chips in the batter, and then sub the chocolate chips in the frosting for the peanut butter ones for a sort of peanut butter cup brownie also shown in the picture.

But those are only for a real sweet tooth as they are very sweet, but still luscious.

Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac — A Hello and Goodbye Hawaiian Short Story

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Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac — A Hello and Goodbye Hawaiian Short Story

“Alison Smith-Welsh-Linda Seccaspina, I thought you ‘d like this. I bought it at a Sally Ann’s a few years ago. I loved your store, and remember buying black nail polish , glow in the dark condoms, and Betsy Johnson dresses there”.


Linda says–In 1997 I began to see my clothing at vintage fairs and knew it was getting time to pack it in LOLOL


A Hello and Goodbye Hawaiian Short Story


In 1976 vintage clothing was finally coming into its own and I had many a customer that wanted vintage and silk Hawaiian shirts. Sad to say Canada was not the mecca of procuring vintage clothing in large quantities so I was told the only place to go was New York City to a used clothing processing plant.


Very few of these processing plants exist today with the quality they once had. Now these recycling places pick up public used clothing and it is sent to one of the largest used clothing retailers and after a certain amount of time they are re-baled sent out to third world countries. In the 70’s I could buy a 500 pound bale of Grade AA clothing at 2 cents a pound now it’s a 20,000 and 40,000 lbs. minimum bale at usually 39 – 50 cents a pound depending on the grade you want.


Looking for these places in those days was looking for a needle in a haystack. because of health codes. I was told to go to a certain address on 122nd street but they failed to tell me it was across the bridge in Flushing NY and not in the center of Harlem where I stood in a phone booth trying to find out the companies location.


An hour later found us in this huge warehouse with back loaders piling clothing into a compressor to contain it into bales. We were asked what grade we wanted and within 30 minutes they had a forklift put it on top of our station wagon. I don’t know if you have ever driven hundreds of miles in a car with a 500 pound bale on top of your car but let’s just say the ceiling was caving in.


When we got to the US/ Canadian border at Ogdensburg, N. Y we were instructed to pull over to one of their storage areas. Thinking that they would give it a quick look and tell us to go on our way we were shocked when we were told that the bale had to be opened, checked and to come back in a few days.


When we returned the now uncompressed bale looked like an explosion of clothing and it was three times the size after it was baled. We had to make three return trips from Ottawa to the border to get all that clothing back to my store where it was piled in a small room until it reached the ceiling. After that, thousands of pieces were picked over and ironed. That was my first and very last attempt to bring vintage shirts to Canada. It was a quick ‘hello’ and ‘good bye’ endeavor never to be attempted again. My heart has great admiration for vintage clothing dealers.:)

Friday Nights with Brian Murphy

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Friday Nights with Brian Murphy
Photo by Jim Roy

Every second or third Friday night for a number of years CHEZ-FM DJ Brian Murphy could be found in my store Flash Cadilac talking to me for hours. I will never understand how we became friends, as we were different as night and day. But there he was sitting on a stool next to my cash register, and we always had hours to chat about stuff. Both of us had a love of music, but no one knew more about music than Murph. I loved to tease him about his love affair with Dire Straits, and he would in turn constantly mention my extremely bad taste in music. But sometimes he would admit that some pop music wasn’t all that bad. I wonder what he would have thought of BTS. Murph, I’m going to ask you that when I hopefully got up into rock and roll heaven, unless Hell is Gothic, and well, you know, I might enjoy that.

Brian was never there to shop, and seldom took interest in my customers (even the sexy ones) unless they mentioned music. I always had a Diet Coke or two for him, as he got thirsty discussing life, and sometimes he overwhelmed me with his knowledge. You could never have a 15 minute conversation with the music genius–his musical thoughts came in volumes. He would talk endlessly about his record collection in his basement which was floor to ceiling, as well as covering the stairways and hallways. Brian, you would be happy to know (in later life) I married one of “your tribe” who had 7000 records to get rid of in Berkeley, California to move here to Canada. I know you would have told him what was more important in life LOL.

After Brian was let go amid the big CHEZ-FM shuffle I wondered what he was up to when I no longer saw him anymore. When I read his obituary I was devastated and angry at myself for not reaching out to him and hoped to God his frog collection would be taken care of. He will always be the Sultan of Swing to me and so much more.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I wonder what Brian would have to say about a particular genre of music I’m playing. When he died CHEZ-FM posted the following on their website:

“Heaven has just welcomed its new music director.”

If tears could build a stairway, 

And memories a lane.

I would walk right up to Heaven

And bring you back again.

The Brian Murphy Fund
*Application and donation links found below*
A Sub Fund of the Education Foundation of Ottawa and An Endowment Fund within the Community Foundation of Ottawa
This award is in memory of Brian Murphy, host of CHEZ 106 “The Source” “Blues 106,” “Jazz 106” and other programs. He was known as one of Ottawa’s most original people. Brian will be remembered for his encyclopedic knowledge of musi

Please leave comments so I can them all here for permanent doucmentation… thanks

CLIPPED FROM
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
18 May 1991, Sat  •  Page 51

This is Artcetera, speaking from the home of Brian Murphy, host of CHEZ’S The Source, Blues 106 and Jazz 106 programs on Sunday nights. The shows reflect Murphy’s eclectic tastes in music, a subject for which he is wildly enthusiastic. He’s also a champion talker. Let’s listen in.) Now I’m going to get myself in real serious trouble with what one friend calls the jazz ayatol-lahs, and another friend calls the jazz weasels. Because really what jazz is, even though it has become in a sense an art form ta-dah ta-dah, is pop music. MOZART WROTE POP MUSIC, or adapted pop music. And nothing makes me angrier than the jazz ayatollahs or the jazz weasels, or the BLUES ayatollas or the BLUES weasels, people who are so structured in their musical taste.

. . . I’ve always gotten from certain people in the Ottawa jazz scene the ayatollahs, the weasels the feeling that they really can’t take me seriously when it comes to jazz. Why? Because I like rock and roll. (It’s me again. We’re talking to Murphy because May 24 is his 50th birthday, and CHEZ is dedicating the day to his music, and also holding a birthday party for him at the Penguin. The radio station is broadcasting from his house that day, and they’ve asked him to pick 125 to 150 rock songs, and they will make up the playlist for the station that day.) I just took a page for every letter and as songs came into my mind I started going through them … So you got a list that starts A’s: Allman Brothers, Ramblin Man and Animals, House of the Rising Sun. B’s: The Band, The Weight, The Beach Boys, Good Vibrations, here’s a tough one, Beatles, I’ve got two, Am The Walrus and In My Life. And I’ve got Bonzo Dog in here, which will probably come out, and this particular song means a lot to me: Urban Spaceman . . . (Music magazines spill on the floors of Brian Murphy’s house.

There’s barely room on the kitchen table for the breakfast he eats at 4 p.m. he doesn’t go to sleep until 8 or 9 a.m. He collects things in the shape of frogs, and frogs spill along the shelves of his living room in ceramic and plastic and wood. A frog quilt spills off his bed. CDs spill out on top of the thou sands of albums kept in the boxes in his basement. Books spill on his desk. Words spill out of Brian Murphy.) First of all, above all, I’m an entertainer. I’ve got to make people feel good. That doesn’t mean that occasionally I can’t stop and make them think about something or make them angry about something that makes me angry. But at the same time as I’m entertaining, I’m kind of teaching. I’m taking all of this lore, all of this knowledge, all of this listening, and sifting them through this particular body and mind, and what comes out is some kind of synthesis of all this stuff. (May 24 is also the 50th birthday of Bob Dylan.

Above Murphy’s basement sanctuary, where he goes to turn on a record and read some science fiction and think about the connections that run through music, above that sanctuary is a sign: ‘The Most Famous Album Never Released: Bob Dylan & The Band The Basement Tapes.’ Basement. Tapes. Connections.) Dylan was the wordsmith. Dylan was the man, the person who opened the words up for everybody. In a sense, Bob Dylan made poetry acceptable to the masses. What a horrible way to have to put it. (Murphy rocks from leg to leg, from subject to subject. He loves music of all kinds, he hates people who put it into pigeonholes, he wants people to understand . . . There are only kinds of music another line I’m going to steal and it’s been attributed to Kurt Weill and it’s also been attributed to Igor Stavinsky there are two kinds of music, good music and bad music.

Take your pick. . to understand something called Sturgeon’s Law, a law that says that 90 per cent of everything is trash. Mur phy’s Corollary puts Brian Murphy that at 95 per cent. So you shouldn’t be surprised … – -J Pop music is banal and all of those things, but! lot of it more than you realize is great music. It can move you. “I’d be surprised if a lot of pop music is bad- ‘ A lot of everything is bad. But when it’s good; -” we just ask Brian Murphy.) . Part of what I try to do is I go through life trying to find these perfect records. To me the ultimate compliment about a piece of music, no matter what its genre, is it makes you feel good to be alive.

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada18 May 1991, Sat  •  Page 51

Missing Berkeley Series – Larry Thrasher

Clippings of –The Naughty Boys –The Eastern Passage -60s Music

The Canadian Beatles aka The Beavers- Mike Duffy was their Road Manager –Bands of the 60s

Saturday Date with “Thee Deuce” in Almonte

Dance Hall Days with The Coachmen
The Coachmen Return!!! Born to be Wild Circa 1985

The Day I Tried to Long Tall Sally Paul McCartney

Kindle Fire Minutes of “Dancin the Feelin“ with James Brown

Music in the 60s- Memories of Herman’s Hermits

Back to The Future — Twisting Your Dignity Away

Remembering Nash the Slash at The Black Swan Pub

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Remembering Nash the Slash at The Black Swan Pub

Black Swan Pub- Rideau Street- Ottawa

November 18, 2017

Remembering Nash the Slash

There were lots of musicians that signed the Wall of Shame in my store Flash Cadilac, and I think I have a story about each one of them. But the person I remember most and miss was the eccentric but incredibly talented musician Nash the Slash.

In 1978 my friends Bernie and Marion brought me to the now late legendary Black Swan on Rideau Street in Ottawa. I had no idea what I was about to see, but I was promised a real treat. I remember I had on a huge Victorian ruffle style coat with a Snow White collar made out of white PVC. Bernie remarked that I had chosen the right outfit for the concert and I had no clue what he meant until the curtain went up. The whole stage was decorated in white shiny PVC vinyl like my coat and I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation.

Lost Ottawa
November 17, 2017  · 

All of a sudden a man looking much like The Invisible Man in a white tuxedo and top hat graced the stage. As soon as the first notes of his electric mandolin pierced the air I was hooked and in love with his originality. His name was Nash the Slash and he began as a solo artist in 1975 and then founded the band FM. He plays an electric mandolin and violin but also plays keyboards and the glockenspiel. His music moved me so much I had goosebumps up and down my arms for the whole show.

I wrote him a letter after the concert and asked him if he would visit my store the next time he was in town to sign autographs. Sure enough he had someone contact me that he would indeed grace my store and would like to cut up a side of beef with a chainsaw in my store window. Linda being Linda thought this would be the performance art gig of the century.

Let’s remember James Jeffrey “Jeff” Plewman (March 26, 1948 – May 10, 2014), better known by his stage name Nash the Slash.


CLIPPED FROM
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
13 Oct 1978, Fri  •  Page 3

Jaan Kolk

11m  · Linda, the last newspaper listing I see for the Black Swan (275 Rideau) is May 25, 1979. It became Arnold’s in July of that year, and the last lsting I see for Arnold’s is July 1984. The 1991 layer at GeoOttawa shows a very large excavation at that location.
From the Journal, July 11, 1980:

The Wall of Shame — Flash Cadilac Rideau Street Ottawa

1995 Flash Cadilac

Behind the cash register at Flash Cadilac lay the notorious Wall of Shame. There taped to the wall were 100’s of words of wisdom, and autographed photos from the “famous, and not so famous”. What no one knows is the creation of the wall began as a joke.It was a dark Montreal smoke-filled bar on Mountain Street. Idolizing Leonard Cohen, I quoted his poetry to anyone that would listen. It was the 60’s, minds were changing, and I still considered myself part of someone’s, okay, anyone’s, Beat Generation.

Years later, on my way to a Heavy Metal Convention in Los Angeles,to do a remote for CKCU and 54 Rock my friend Andrew Searle and I spotted a few celebrities on board. Cohen himself was on our flight to Los Angeles with his much younger girlfriend Rebecca De Mornay. When the plane landed, we pushed our way to the front to get a glimpse of him. I remember taking his hand while we both stood by the baggage turnstile, and gushed like a smitten teenager. Completely ignoring Christopher Plummer on the other side, I told him about my never ending love for him. He smiled, in that Leonard Cohen sort of way and said softly, “My dear the years have been kind to you”. Leonard then autographed one of my manila envelopes, and when I returned to Ottawa

I cut out his autograph from the envelope and taped it to the wall. I turned, and jokingly said to my staff: “Can you believe that man is dating someone years younger than all of us?”

Now, that’s a damn shame!”And so, “The Wall of Shame” was born. My Nash the Slash autographed album was part of it.


CLIPPED FROM
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
17 Dec 1977, Sat  •  Page 46

Sue WilliamsLost Ottawa see print out below for our aging eyes LOLOL

Victoria Lidia IlgacsWorked there as a cocktail waitress from what it open to closure. Made about a 100 bucks on a good night. Sharon Nate, Daughter of the owner of Nate’s delicatessen, managed the place. Saw Heart there as a bar band, Minglewood, Rough Trade, Dominic Troianno, Goddo, Dave Wilcox, The Action, Larkspur, Downchild Nlues Band, Nash the Slash, April Wine, etc. Got punched out by a couple of Satan’s Choice chicks one night. Was eventually shut down when the Choice overtook the place.

Journal interview by Christopher Cobb

Sometimes we tend to forget that , most of -today’s rock superstars started their careers in small bars, light years away from the massive arenas that. most are now associated with. Somewhere in the dim and distant past, bands like the Rolling Stones, The Who, Pink Floyd and-hosts of others were swinging their guitars in holes in the wall, struggling to make a living. Public- health regulations wouldn’t allow many of those dives to even open their doors nowadays, but still, there continues to be a need for such places platforms for young bands to work and grow”, from.

For the past couple of- years, Ottawa’s Black Swan has been filling the gap in this city. Bands playing at the former Rideau Street garage, are invariably a cut above those usually found at high school dances, yet not of the stature to be playing big concerts, even as an opening act. The Swan with its capacity of 220, is a place for showcasing upcoming acts.

Some of them die early deaths and others go on to greater things. Either way, they rarely return once the listening public has made its decision. For travelling bands, the old bar is a place of discovery or a stage in development, and for its audience a place to go and check out the new stuff.

Sal Khan, owner of the Black Swan, (Squires and the Commercial Tavern), hasn’t had too many money losing weeks since he opened the bar a couple of years ago. Which proves something. . . . “During the past couple of years, Ottawa audiences have matured considerably,” says Khan. “At one time you could put any band In the club and you’d fill it every night. Now it’s a different story. The  audiences now are particular about what they hear and knowledgeable about the music.

Some bands we hire die an early death, but they usually deserve to. Monday nights at the Swan are always free and as such usually the most popular. The success of Tuesday onwards often depends on the reports spread around by the Monday crowd. Khan hires lots of Canadian bands who are on the regional bar circuit. He wants to provide an outlet for Canadian talent but at the same time is concerned about new restrictive immigration laws which are making It difficult for foreign artists of a certain level to get into the country.

“Many club owners are worried about this,” he says. “Immigration officials are tending to consult the musicians unions and automatically the unions are saying that there are Canadians around capable of doing the job. “What these people don’t realize is that you often need a certain number, of foreign artists to keep bars alive for the Canadians to grow in. To deny a foreign artist a work permit just because he or she is a foreigner is nonsense.” Despite awkward Immigration policies, the financial and musicial future of The Black Swan looks bright enough for improvement and expansion: And if Canadian music ever becomes a world force, the dingier, unglamorous establishments like the Swan can probably take a lot of the credit.

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada02 Jun 1978, Fri  •  Page 32

In 1978 my brother Dale was manager of the black swan and the squires and the Nozzle. Sal Khans general manager. My brother Donn was manager at the Vendome for a few years. Dale ran the swan and the squires and Nozzle as well as the commercial at one time. Sal Khan owned a few bars. My brother Dwight bought the old wizard pub on bank street and made it the bankbridge arms until he sold it to the barleymow guy. Danny Delahunt

Jamie DunlopSpent too many nights at the Swan in my youth. Nash the Slash, Cornstalk,Songship, Rough Trade, even Heart managed to get mis- booked and had to play a weekend there while their first major hit album was breaking. I know Vicki Ilgacs well and handed over wads of cash to her in return for beer. It always amazes me that at the time you could afford an apartment and go out to these dives a few times a week while working a single job. Good times.

Sue JarvisGreat nights there in my day when Eugene Smith & the Warm-up band played.


Missing Berkeley Series – Larry Thrasher

Clippings of –The Naughty Boys –The Eastern Passage -60s Music

The Canadian Beatles aka The Beavers- Mike Duffy was their Road Manager –Bands of the 60s

Saturday Date with “Thee Deuce” in Almonte

Dance Hall Days with The Coachmen
The Coachmen Return!!! Born to be Wild Circa 1985

The Day I Tried to Long Tall Sally Paul McCartney

Kindle Fire Minutes of “Dancin the Feelin“ with James Brown

Music in the 60s- Memories of Herman’s Hermits

Back to The Future — Twisting Your Dignity Away

I Lived in Pestalozzi College – Life in Ottawa 1972

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I Lived in Pestalozzi College – Life in Ottawa 1972

Looking at the unassuming apartment complex now, who would’ve known that a college once existed here at 160 Chapel Street? Known as the “People’s University,” Pestalozzi College was a student-run cooperative residence that existed in the late 1960s and into the 70s as a free-thinking, open-concept school, based on the model of Toronto’s infamous student-run Rochdale College. Some of the extracurricular activities that occurred in the building included literary readings and the Ontario Provincial Gay Liberation Conference in 1973 as well as Ottawa’s first public gay dance, hosted by GO (Gays of Ottawa, who also had their headquarters there). Existing as an alternative school, the entire building was a strange mix of open education, residence, and “free love and good drugs” that eventually fell apart in much the same way that Rochdale did. By the late 1970s, both school and building existed as a community centre of sorts, offering facilities for artists’ studios and yoga classes before the entire building (with very little notice) was converted by its owners into an apartment complex, Horizon Towers. A holdover from the Pestalozzi days, the Sitar Indian Restaurant on the ground floor still exists (417 Rideau St., 789-7979). The Water Tower Project

Photo from-https://www.villagelegacy.ca/items/show/118

It was 1972, and I was being transferred from Au Bon Marche in Sherbrooke, Quebec to their new Liberty Stores just after the Cummings Bridge in Ottawa which connected Rideau Street to Montreal Road in Vanier. The Vinebergs, who were the owners, were taking a big chance on opening that store as gossip said Ottawa people did not cross the bridge into Vanier.

I needed a place to live and the kind store owners had decided I was to settle in with a nice family in Alta Vista. Well, that thought went into the dumpster, and the only place I wanted to live was Pestalozzi College on Rideau Street. Being a former weekend hippie, 23 years-old and the future owner of the “den of sin clothing emporium” called Flash Cadilac on Rideau Street–well, you can see where this was going to go. I rented a room in a 10-man unit with 9 other men because I knew this was where I was meant to be. One-bedroom apartments at Pestalozzi went for $145 monthly; two bedrooms, for $180. Single rooms in four, five and 10-man units rented for $85 monthly; double rooms, for $65 per person. How could you beat that price to live in what I considered “the place to be”.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
16 Mar 1971, Tue  •  Page 31

When I first got there they had a volunteer system to do some of the chores like vacuuming, but 1/3 of the building did not agree with that. Similar to the piano that I once practiced on the 6th floor, well, the thought of volunteering left the building and the minds of the 650 residents. I have no idea why they thought that would work out because even if we all got along, cleanliness was not a priority in our unit, or any other unit by the looks of them. But there was still the 22nd floor library reading room in the $7.5 million building at the corner of Rideau and Chapel Streets with the television room next to the reading lounge to make you feel like you belonged.

Pestalozzi was a lot of small communities combined into a village, like our 10-man unit– it was a series of communal units. Sometimes the residents were sitting horizontally grouped around a floor reading and talking–or there might be a group of parents or those that love bicycles, you name it. It seemed that each group knew what they were doing, like ours, but no one had no idea what was going on in the building except when the continual abuse of the garbage shoot set on fire each week.

There was a board of eleven members and the hired maintenance, security and bookkeeping staff. I was immediately labeled a ‘wacko’ in my unit as I have never been the ‘average bear’. I wore floppy hats and vintage clothing being an eclectic fashionista since a very young age. Then there was the fact that I have lots of opinions and am not afraid to speak them. But, soon they overlooked the freakiness and became like brothers. They were the first to defend me with Halloween masks and fake axes to rid me of bad dates. But, I still felt safe even with the occasional break and entry, stolen bicycles, drunks and once in a while, drug dealing. I guess I moved there too late to see the nude parties on the roof and the most eccentric thing I ever saw was some of the male students in my unit trying to teach their dogs to climb trees. Maybe I just didn’t want to see it, as this is where I felt I belonged, good or bad.

A year and a half later, one gentleman from the 10 man unit (Angelo Seccaspina) and I were a couple and we moved to one of the one bedrooms in the building. I can’t begin to tell you how bad it got after that. You have heard about the miracle of birth? Well, cockroaches can do that too. Seeing one on the floor or your counter is no problem, but when they disappear you know you have issues. I swear the building became ground zero in Ottawa and they had military training. We tried everything known to mankind to get rid of them but those cockroaches moved up floor by floor until they reached the top and raised a victory flag. The dream was over, and we moved to the farthest point in Nepean to get rid of them.

There is still not a day I don’t regret living there. It came after protesting the Vietnam war, and standing up for what was right, which I still do. It was a great dream they had, and I can say I was part of some of it. But sometimes dreams don’t pan out quite like you want them too and the building lost money each of its first five years with the utility and mortgage payments regularly going unpaid. After losing more than $5 million, the college was finally taken over by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. in 1976.

Comments-

I visited Pestalozzi in the summer of 1971, IIRC, looking to stay there for my first co-op work term in Ottawa from U of Waterloo, but it did not work out. (I don’t think they were really organized yet.) In Waterloo, I stayed several terms with Waterloo Cooperative Residence, which was the most successful of the student co-ops in Canada. I see it’s still going.- Jaan Kolk

You might enjoy this photo from WCRI, Phillip Street, in the 1970s. It was the first warm day of spring 🙂

No description available.
You might enjoy this photo from WCRI, Phillip Street, in the 1970s. It was the first warm day of spring 🙂
-Jaan Kolk

Linda

I completely forgot about Pestalozzi and Rochdale, until reading your article.

I came to Ottawa from Montreal in 1969, on my way to Vancouver, but never made it out west. I rented a room at the 30 Gilmour co-op, now it is a halfway house. Ottawa was much different then, I remember going to a school on Lisgar street, for a free meal everyday. You’ve brought back memories that I’d forgotten about. I do remember your store Flash Cadillac, but I don’t think I ever visited.

I’ve often wondered what became of all the folks that came and went from 30 Gilmour. There were people from all over, including a few draft dodgers, one of which actually came here with his Dad. We all got acting jobs as extras for a couple of days, in a film that was being done here. There happened to be a neighbour who worked for Crawley Films and came over to ask if we would be interested in making a few bucks. We even had to join ACTRA to make it legal.

Those were the days…we thought they would never end.

Cheers Bill Shattuck

Angelo and I stayed together off and on until 2014 and he helped me open Flash Cadilac at 174 Rideau Street in 1976 and closed in 1997. Sadly, he passed away in 2014 from cancer. During his bout with cancer I continued writing on what it was like to live with cancer and then turned to history. Who knew after writing for decades and being printed in the U.S. for years I would have turned to history, but that is where my heart is and will be until I die. To pass the past along is an honour.

Flash Cadilac, Ottawa, Ontario.Flash Cadilac was a unique store before its time. It opened in 1976 at 174 Rideau Street in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It was owned by fashion designer Linda Seccaspina and her late husband Angelo. The emporium was one of the longest running stores in downtown Ottawa and Linda closed down everything in 1996. (I had Savannah Devilles after Flash for a few years –The Last Skull of Savannah Devilles

The store was not without controversy. It was deemed a den of sin by some, and had a large wall that carried photos and autographs of many famous people that had shopped there.Their clothing was often featured in Flare Magazine, and the beginning TV years of CJOH-TV’s “You Can’t Do That on Television”. Canadian music stars such as Lee Aaron, Alanis Morisette, Glass Tiger, Toronto(band) and many more wore Linda’s designs. She was also a great supporter of street kids and helped as many as she could to get them off the street.Linda went on to open another store after Flash Cadilac for two years called Savannah Devilles, closed it, and seemed to disappear out of sight. She was featured on the Canadian Women’s Channel “W” before her store closed and declared an icon of Canadian fashion. The Ottawa Citizen upon the closing of the store called her “The Mother Theresa of Punk Rock”.

That was lovely, but if I had to pick a bio for the store I have always loved the following written by blogger, chef, and friend: Doff Doppler aka Devin Goulden.In the beginning there was Flash Cadilac, a store notoriously known for its apparel: leather, lace, whips, chains, tattoos, and piercings. I would say that sums it all up folks!

Jaan Kolk–You might enjoy this photo from WCRI, Phillip Street, in the 1970s. It was the first warm day of spring 🙂

Yesterday’s Glitter is Today’s Unicorn Food! Do NOT Try This at Home!

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I’ve always said that Glitter is the herpes of craft supplies, that stuff just never ever goes away. I used to sell it for years in my store Flash Cadilac in Ottawa — I bought in huge bags and then put it in pillbox containers. When I closed the store I donated all the glitter left to Caldwell Elementary School in Carleton Place. They too had it for years and years.

They say all people are drawn to sparkly things, and modern science believes it’s because our ancestors learned to associate sparkling with life-saving water, like a lake appearing in the distance. For our ancient ancestors, noticing and being drawn to sparkling things in the distance is often what saved their lives by bringing them to (hopefully fresh) water. This likely also contributed to the perceived value of gold and certain jewels in earlier times, because these too sparkled.

Then somewhere a few years ago things went totally wrong……

It all started when an Ohio-based company started selling glitter pills which supposedly, would make your poop sparkle and glittery! I have a corny question but— will this now make corn obsolete now? I know, I know– I am moving on.

What is a glitter pill?

In one sense, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a transparent gelatin capsule filled with glitter. What’s the point of a glitter pill? We have no idea– as far as most of the Internet is concerned, glitter pills are nothing more than a crappy punchline—and we do mean “crappy” both figuratively and literally. If you take one, rumor holds, you’ll poop glitter.

items are not meant to be consumed
-Do not consume.
this item is not meant for consumption

Swallowing these is a horrible idea. I would imagine that glitter probably isn’t made with the types of chemicals you’d want putting into your body. On top of that, these tiny glitter fragments can imbed themselves throughout your intestine, or our sewers.

“The Impact Of Glitter On The Environment Environmentalists around the world insist that humans need to reduce the use of glitter as it is glutting our oceans at the rate of eight million tons every single day!”

A Flash Cadilac Story

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
04 Dec 1986, Thu  •  Page 56

Amanda Lynne Jamieson —– Linda Seccaspina! I thought I’d share a fun childhood memory with you. I was only about 6 years old so some of the details are vague but just the same, I remember it fondly.

One hot summer day, our teenage babysitter decided to take my brother and me on the bus from Gatineau to downtown Ottawa so she could go shopping. Our adventure included a stop in at your store Flash Cadilac which in turn became a very fun glitter fight! My babysitter then tried to rush us home to get cleaned up before my mom got home. But we were caught when we ended up on the same bus as mom! Sorry for the mess 😬 but thanks for the memories!

This is an actual toy that is sold in Walmart and your local toy stores