Skateway Fashion Show– Flash Cadilac bathing suits In 1979 Rose Simpson from the Ottawa Journal reported that my store Flash Cadilac had devoted a lot of their floor space that Fall to ‘seductive spandex’ and Danskins. I told her it was going to be huge for fall, but people must be prepared to lose a lot of weight to wear it properly.
Was wearing Lycra and Spandex out in public just a bad idea from the start? Spandex is a friend, but not a friend of all times. Women slithered into it, and men didn’t care if their junk wasn’t safe in their trunk when they had it on. Wedgies and cameltoes were the norm, and we had to constantly explain to certain spandex offenders, who were in denial, gold spandex pants could be the wrong bold choice. Some could pull it off, and some spandex abusers looked like an exploding can of Pillsbury biscuits.
There were male customers that just loved the feel of the fabric, and they weren’t contemplating superhero costumes either. It was never a surprise to see a man in my store try on a full unitard, with no support, trying to pass it off as an ‘athletic thing’. Right!
I was among the first group of Canadian fashion designers to use Lycra Spandex fabric for my fashion designs in the 80s. It wasn’t an instant successful thing. We went through a slew of machines and types of thread to find the right process that would create a stretchy garment without ripping. When the film Flashdance and Madonna began setting the Lycra fashion trends I had already been into it for a few years. I still had to buy my fabric in the U.S. as no one was producing the Lycra I wanted in Canada. Occasional letters were received from Dupont Canada expressing interest in what I was doing, but it wasn’t until the early 90’s that I could buy basic cotton-lycra from a manufacture in Granby, Quebec.
If someone had not invented Lycra-Spandex, women would still be stuck in the medieval fashion era without an ounce of stretch to those jeans, or lost without their Spanx. As someone once told me: there is nothing that can make 4 inches of fat disappear like Lycra Spandex. Now that is technology!
It was just a matter of time before I was labeled The Spandex Queen in the Ottawa area, and the first on the block to create a ‘one size fits all’ clothing line. If I could take that name back today I would, as gradually I understood/got it that some body types just shouldn’t wear one size clothing. Duh! Some of my customers were constant repeat offenders! No matter how honest we were with them we just couldn’t get their “going out in public Spandex card” revoked. Spandex was never ever everyone’s friend. It doesn’t work like that, and never will–buy your size people, buy your size. After all, wearing Spandex is a privilege not a right!
Some days I am sure all of us wonder if we are making a difference in life by writing words, or with other forms of communication. Through my life I have tried hard to make people understand that they mattered, and hope that maybe I made their day brighter at some point in time. But, I have always wondered if I did enough, and had I really made a difference to anyone.
Saturday I was at Fibrefest and Kym Brown’s Bombshell Revival Designs really wowed me. I loved her creations immediately. There are many of us that see things differently than everyone else, and you probably know someone who is like that in your life. Being different isn’t a bad thing, it just means you’re brave enough to be yourself and Kym’s line was for those that want to make a statement.
I took another stroll around the Almonte arena looking at all the amazing things, and once again I was back at Kym Brown’s stall. When I returned she asked,
“Did you once own Flash Cadilac in Ottawa?”
I nodded my head, and she got quite excited and said,
“I was in my teens when my friend and I shopped at your store in the 80s and your store made a big impact on me. It meant so much to me and my friend and its memory carried on with me in life.”
I felt like crying on the spot as each customer in my store was important to me. I want to stress that I will never take credit for anything–nor do I need thanks. All of the former customers and friends that have told me the same thing had it in them–some more than others. You just needed a wee push. It was always there my lovelies, always there.
Me and Kym’s hat design with Randy Hillier at Harvest Fest in Beckwith yesterday. Photo- Jennifer Fenwick Irwin
I think every person has their own identity and beauty. Being different is really wonderful. If we were all the same, it would be a boring world. All of you that shopped in my stores touched my life, whether it be staff, customer, or friend. I want you to know that you mattered, you helped, and you cared. You will forever be a pivotal name in the book of my life, so carry on Kym Brown, you have so much talent, and I am thrilled I met you on Saturday. You rendered me speechless. (which is difficult) Thank you for making my day and for this wonderful hat design that is now part of my life and collection. It meant a lot.
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!” .
I 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
“I had no interest in owning a strip club. Heck I was barely in Pandora’s Box”-Harvey Glatt
When I opened Flash Cadilac on Rideau Street in the 70s, I had no idea that the general public venturing into my store would call it “weird or strange”. That opening Friday night I thought I was just “a run of the mill store” and had my first sale that was over $50. It was a vintage raccoon coat being sold to a stripper at Pandora’s Box that she bought along with a black feather boa.
I stared at the glimmer of her bright red hair and just envied everything about her. During our conversation she told me stripping was actually a thrill for her and she invited me to watch her dance. When I saw the photo of Pandora’s Box on Lost Ottawa last week it felt like it was yesterday, only the stage was missing one thing.
That photo was missing the giant round ottoman in the centre of the stage where the girls would seductively display their body in different positions. I once sat there uncomfortably while I watched men in loose clothing stare at the women who I now called my friends.
I remember the oversized chairs on each side of the stage where the VIP customer sat for a birds eye view. It was one thing for someone to walk around the store half naked, but to see it all come 360 was a shock for me at first. But, it was at that moment that I realized skimpy lingerie and heels mesmerized both sexes to mass purchasing, and no one was doing it. Because of these gals stripping at Pandora’s I figured out that males might now assume that their wives and girlfriends should wear heels and skimpy wear too, even when they were cleaning up dog poop. Fashionable seduction was born– someone had to do it. So in 1976 my store Flash Cadilac was the first to sell corsets, stockings and garter belts. Within a few days anything I had bought from Coquette Lingerie in Waterloo, Ontario was sold out. And so it began…
Went there in the 50s to watch laters and the serials – batman etc. Also our church, when Pandoras was active had a phone number that was one digit off the Pandora number so our church secretary got a lot of phone calls looking for Pandoras
In 1972 Michael Johnston and Margaret aboud created a burlesque show at this theatre. The stage, the dance filoor, the supper club atmosphere were Europe meets Broadway, meets the revolution and evolution of Ottawa .
Hundreds of stories and momentous memories took place in the location, that changed names and focus many times.
U2 the Irish group played there and only had a few cover tunes. Bono and the edge loved this Ottawa land mark. Thanks for the picture. Ox
this was ROTHMANS Furniture is the 60s. anyone else remember that ?,Then it becomes Pandora s Box Burlesque club in the 70s but the mayor made in difficult on the sex type operations in Ottawa causing them to disappear one by one. Toronto s Young St got the same civic treatment after the sad “shoe shine boy” murder Aug 77 .
1914 — Imperial Theatre, called “Canada’s Theatre Beautiful,” opens at 323 Bank St.
1930s — Theatre is site of Sunday services of the Metropolitan Tabernacle while congregation awaits completion of what will become Metropolitan Bible Church nearby.
1956 — Cinema closes.
1970, circa — Discotheque operates in former theatre.
1970s — Building is acquired by Dino Antonakos.
1971 — Canada’s first-all nude burlesque house, Pandora’s Box, takes over disco space and operates until late 1970s. Another strip club, Fanny’s Cabaret, would later operate in lower level before relocating to ByWard Market.
1978 — Barrymore’s reopens as discotheque.
1979 — Disco is dead. Club becomes venue for live music.
2008 — New operators are George Syriannis and Vince Simeone. Syriannis later becomes sole proprietor.
2014 — Building turns 100. Petition seeks restoration of facade.
The Naked Truth– a Personal Opinion
How many strippers have you known in your life? Because I met quite a few who shopped at my store for lingerie; I can tell you, very few of them got into stripping because they were on drugs or drinking too much. If anyone walked through my front door with stilettos and bare legs at lunchtime in the dead of winter; I knew it was a gal from the Bare Fax in the market looking for work clothes and accessories.
Their consensus always was: it’s a good gig if you can get hired at an upscale club or are a traveling headliner. Otherwise, it’s a stressful, difficult job, mainly because of dealing with drunks, owners, and wandering hands. The problem with stripping or escorting in my opinion is that you are selling something very intimate.
To some it was a job that was part time, and a big improvement over a full time, low-paying one that included the phrase, “do you want fries with that.” Some customers asked me why any girl would be desperate enough to do this job. Personally, I think the question should be, why are so many guys so desperate to pay to look at a body?
I think our culture treats strippers badly even though there is such demand for them *because* we demand them. We’re a badly sex-negative culture, so when we go to fulfill our sexual (bad) needs, and we can easily hate the people providing that fulfillment.
The main reason so many people have a hard time treating sex-workers as people is that for most people sex-workers are a fantasy indulgence. Their services are employed to live out a fantasy, but to treat them as humans is to admit that they have their own personalities, rights, etc. So why do people demonize strippers and sex workers? Because they’re out there, because they don’t show the layers of self-deception, because they didn’t follow the example of the ‘Venerable Prudes’.
Author Camille Paglia once said strippers are proof of personal power, particularly for women. Feminists went berserk. Despite this, many of the dancers I personally knew enjoyed the opportunities they were presented with when stripping for money. Some women enjoyed the dancing, some enjoyed the communication with customers, some enjoyed the freedoms. Just as in any other job, we all have our own reasons. In the end, our job description entails consistent/ near-constant physical activity, sales & customer service skills, and the ability to ooze charisma (sexual or otherwise). It can be very difficult, and it is not for everyone.
I understand many people will not not feel as I do, and I think that’s okay. Everyone has different morals and beliefs which dictate how they view the world. But honestly, no dancer nor escort needs your approval. Regardless of people’s puritanically-steeped biases, stripping and other adult entertainment work is WORK. I thank each and every one of them for the friendship and support they showed me and my stores.
Kindi Dickinson ( Kindi Dickinson is also the model in the black one) at DISCO VIVA!!!
Flash Cadillac swimwear 1979–1990s– I cut and we made so many of these its crazy.. I can remember the pattern numbers.. Black one and I see a yellow one was B34 Leopard wrap was B2 and there 3 more in that group shot but my memory has lapsed-
One of the last photos of Dan and his niece Katrina not looking like the Dan I remember– but it’s all I got and it will have to do:(
UPDATE –-Three years ago this week in April 2017 my forever friend Danny O’Shea died. I lost a little piece of my life that day. From a young age we were friends and yesterday I saw a local auction had a photo of something I used to own. Actually one day in Montreal Danny and I were looking behind a wall of a place he was renovating in Montreal and we found this print. He gave it to me and in 1998 I was short on cash so he told me I should sell it so I did. I have regretted that event each day of my life– and this is the exact printed frame, so tomorrow I am going to the auction to try and get it back so I can be at peace again. Is this a sign from above? I think so!
Where do I start about my love and admiration for Danny O’Shea? I really can’t remember Danny not being a part of life until we lost him to cancer last year. When I first met him years ago I never realized how much he would end up meaning to me. Okay, there was a short span of 15 years where we lost each other– and it wasn’t because I didn’t try to find him. It was because that we were in different spaces in our lives. He didn’t want to be found in the bowels of Quebec, and I was 3000 miles away in another country.
But by year 16 he decided to be found because we needed each other. He had cancer and my husband Angelo was dying of cancer. So that first telephone call went something like this:
“Hey kid, are you hiding from me? (he always called me “kid”)
And that’s all it took.. and we went on like nothing had been missing through all those lost years.
From then on we continued to lean on each other, and each time I heard him take a drag on his cigarette I wanted to tell him to stop– but I knew that was fruitless– as no one ever told Dan O’Shea what to do.
While I was up and down and all over the place Danny was always just that solid line that never broke. He helped me through some pretty miserable times in my life on our almost daily phone calls from 1975- 1997. That’s a lot of years to talk, and a lot of words went down — and you know what? There was never one word of anger ever in our conversations. Maybe he was faking all these years and inside he was a complete mess– but you know what— we will never know, and I would like to remember him that way.
We used to meet each other through those years — at my store Flash Cadilac in Ottawa and in Montreal. There was that great little french restaurant on the corner of Bleury and Sherbrooke Street where he ordered me my first Coquille St. Jacques. We ate fresh carrot soup and once he did try to get me to eat frogs legs and I just looked at him that day and laughed. There are some people that make you smile a little bigger, and laugh a little louder, and just live a little better, and that was Danny.
The altar from a church that was being demolished in Montreal in my solarium
He found a picture of Queen Victoria one day hidden in a wall in some loft on St. Denis Street that he knew I would want. Later when I needed money I reluctantly sold it. But he came up with an old antique altar that still sits in my solarium today and each time I look at it I will remember the day he brought it to me in Ottawa. The snow was coming down in buckets and there were road closures everywhere– but Danny wanted to make sure I got that altar.
I think we both had years we wanted to forget in life, and when we talked we knew each other’s best stories as we had both had lived them. Each of us had led crazy lives and Danny used to run Viet Nam War deserters hidden in a secret desk and I was busy protesting the war at Place Ville Marie and writing to soldiers that were dying left and right in Viet Nam. We both had lived the “computer room fiasco” at Sir George Williams University, the FLQ years, and were living just streets apart in Montreal, but we never knew each other much then. I guess it’s just the friends you meet along the way that are the ones that help us appreciate the journey.
Now you’re gone Danny and I’m still here. You made my life better just by being in it. My biggest regret is that we never took a picture of each other together. There just were not selfies in those days I guess. But in reality, I guess we never ever thought we would need the memories.
On your birthday your ashes will fly like the wind on top of Mount Royal. Hopefully that day the air in the clouds will be pure and fine just like you, and why shouldn’t it be– as Mark Twain said, “it is the same air the angels breathe”— and you were my angel all those years.
When I count my blessings Dan O’ Shea- I count you twice.
“Here’s looking at you kid–I’ll see you soon!”
You will always be the brother of my soul and the friend of my heart.
Dan O’Shea died last year after a valiant fight with cancer in Montreal. For years he was the one that made all my leather belts and accessories for my store Flash Cadilac. I would send him a design and he would just create it–he was that good. He was my friend from day 1 and always will be.
His ashes are being scattered on top on Mt. Royal in Montreal and I cannot be there. So I send my words so that his son Kyle may be comforted to know that his Dad was one hell of a man. Kyle, you were the sunshine in his day, the joy in his soul and the love of his life. Always remember that. Just follow his example– not his advice:)
Much love to you Kyle and the O’Shea family
If you would like to hear me read this please check out the video below.
Pictured is Gabriella Studor with some of Danny’s leather stuff. Photo from my book “Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac”
1985 Ottawa Citizen– Belt by Danny… we sold the skirts ( mini and ankle length) and tops in black red and white. Could never keep them in stock and the belts from my late friend Danny Dan O’Shea. Memories of Flash Cadilac 1985
For public appearances, the best place in Ottawa to Madonna-fy yourself is Flash Cadilac upstairs at 172 Rideau St “Madonna?” asks owner Linda Seccaspina. “Which video?” You can have the bad-girl-at-the-prom look of a strapless flouncy dress like the one the big M wears in the Material Girl video (popular for high school formals, says Ducharme-Seccaspina)
From Lost Ottawa on Facebook– Photo of Linda Seccaspina–19 years ago Flash Cadilac closed after 21 years on Rideau Street. Photo by Wanita Bates
Yes, this is a rambling “turning every corner” sort of piece, but it comes from my heart– and I will get to the point at the end–I promise. LOL
Last night I watched The Devil Wears Prada for the 100th time and wondered again why character Andy Sachs put up with that awful Runway Magazine editor. When I got up this morning I realized I too had once been an “Andy Sachs” and today I thanked my lucky stars that I had these “Miranda Priestlys” in my life.
Some of you might not know that once upon a time I had a cutting edge fashion store on Rideau Street in Ottawa called *Flash Cadilac. I designed 85% of the clothing in a store that was featured in many Canadian fashion magazines and an attraction on the downtown street.
A few of my designs from the late 80’s in Flare Magazine
I could have never opened this store if it had not been for Saul Cohen from the Fine Togs Company in Montreal. That man worked me to the bone from 7:30 am until 8 pm at night in the 60s. Some days I just wanted to walk out of there. But, if it had not been for the ‘education’ from someone who had been in the schmata business for years I would have not learned that stamina, hard work and creativity keeps a business alive. Was I crazy? Probably, but that’s how badly I wanted to learn, and when I became a writer I encountered another ‘devil’ in my life.
I had been blogging for years on an American site that began Julie Powell’s Julia and Juliacareer. I was a popular blogger, but just not really learning that much. During that stint I met a woman called Elizabeth Coady in Chicago. Elizabeth Coady, was a former Harpo producer, who tried in 1998 to write a book about her time as a senior producer for Oprah. In the end Coady was stopped by the courts, which ruled that her hands were tied by the agreement she signed. So she began a celebrity gossip site and she took me under her wing and I became her lead writer.
If I thought Saul Cohen was tough Elizabeth was 100% worse- and again I wanted to throw in the towel. But, I learned how to write quickly, efficiently and prolifically, and my story links were in USA Today, Huffington Post, Time Magazine and the list went on. I learned for the second time in my life that anything you want badly enough has to come hand in hand with hard work.
So I’m rambling here ( I am good like that), but I wanted to make a point. I do what I do writing about our area because I want to see our towns come alive and be as good as they can be. So I work hard and prolifically hoping that just someone will get the point of what we have in Lanark County and support.
I don’t get paid for what I do– and I will never ever step on eggshells to get my point across. Yesterday Brian DK Smith said on Facebook that I sound angry when I write about the ‘shenigans’ of Carleton Place. He is absolutely correct in that assumption because things never seem to change, and it began with the Rosamonds being turned down for their mill on Bell Street and taking their business to Almonte, and it has continued to this day through the years.
So I stopped a few months ago– because no matter how hard you try you become the enemy on some folks list, and believe you me that is not on my agenda one bit. Have I given up hope? Yes, absolutely–which again changing the subject, brings me to yesterday.
Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday and yesterday was the kickoff to our local events in Carleton Place at the *New Year’s Levee Skate. Many people worked their butts off: the downstairs was packed because of the free skating, but the top floor of the arena should have been jammed. It wasn’t, and there was confusion to what was happening when and where. I know a lot of good people worked long and hard, but where was the public support– and is this the face of things to come for organizing the upcoming 150th events?
As someone asked me yesterday:
“What was that all about, and what was the point?”
I was disappointed, and yes, as Brian said, angry, and this will be my last word– for I have made myself a promise that from now on I am just writing about history– at least I know how that ends. No matter how hard I try, no matter what I was taught by my personal “Miranda Priestlys”, nothing seems to get through. I deeply love my town, but from now on I will let someone else take a whack at it.
Always remember– ‘the truth is out there’!
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition-– Steve Jobs
If you read my post Everyone Needs a little “Devil Wears Prada” in their Life– Even Towns it was an official notice that I will no longer spend hours a day trying to promote my town. Of course I will still be writing daily history but after serious reflecting– that after 722,102 views and 590,692 visits from 131 countries this year– the town still remains the same I am going to spend that time now doing what I love best– writing. I have officially resigned from the Carleton Place Farmers Market and know that I love you all. That never changes. It never will. I love my town and always will. Thank you for always supporting me.
*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 husband Angelo. The emporium was one of the longest running stores in downtown Ottawa and Linda ended the chapters of Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in 1997.
*The Carleton Place 150 celebrations will kick off with the New Year’s Day Levee Skate, which will include free public skating and refreshments, a variety of kick-off activities (still being finalized) and a Children’s show with Zip-E the clown.– Lake 88
I have had several people email me this morning asking where you can buy my books. I guess I’m not very pushy because I seldom put my links on the bottom of my stories, but it is in my bio on the bottom of each story.
So here are the details– I have 6 books out and a new one will be out soon. It will be a compilation of all the stories I have written about Carleton Place and Lanark County the past year.
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 on all Amazon sites, Barnes and Noble and Ebay all over the world.
An empty store became available across the street from my store– positioned between the ultra swanky men’s shop Luna and the coffee shop that made the best bacon sandwiches ever. I wasn’t really enthused about opening up Flaming Groovies, but Ange was. It just didn’t make sense having two stores so close. Granted, Flash Cadilac was still on the second floor, and he thought we would have more exposure on the ground floor.
Thinking back, if I had been smarter, I should have just taken all the adult ‘entertainment devices’ and made that the focus. But, it was was still too early to have something like that in broad daylight with constant exposure. It would have opened up a huge can of worms with the public and the powers-to-be. We really tried to make that store work, and it even got featured on the CTV National and Local news with all the live fashion shows we did in the window. But even a name change to “Nightmares, by Linda Ducharme” couldn’t save it, and we sadly leased it out to Spinables.
Flash Cadilac, Yonge Street, Toronto 1980-1984
We had been wholesaling out some of our merchandise to Yorkville stores in Toronto, and had a great deal of public interest. There were a lot of rock bands out of Toronto shopping at the Ottawa store, so when a location became available three blocks from the Eaton Centre, we grabbed it.
I was always concerned about hiring staff for a location that was 5 hours away from us. One of my Ottawa staff, Julie, agreed to go and manage the store, and that was a relief to me. Sadly, my beautiful wandering gypsy tired of the store quickly, and one year we went through 42 staff. We had installed an alarm system that monitored when they opened and closed, and soon reports were showing openings at 3pm some days, and closing very late at night. We could never figure out what was going on in that store during those hours and did get a clear answer.. Was it private parties? Drug dealing? Tales of the unexplained.
Even if the sales were not that great, there were benefits. The local fashion media lapped us up and we had constant exposure in videos, Flare and Style magazine, and the Toronto Star. Former epitome of hot sexy 80’s hard rock queen Lee Aaron wore our clothing. She posed in one of our famous suspendered wrestler bathing suits on the cover of the men’s magazine OUI in 1982. Hugh Hefner’s Canadian girlfriend- Carrie Leigh also sported some of our fashions.
I wish to add that none of our clothing was involved when Leigh sued Hefner for $5 million in palimony after the two broke up. “He promised to marry and support me,” she said at a press conference. The Playmate of the Year later got married to someone else, dropped the suit, and as far as I know never shopped at our store again.
In 1984 I became pregnant with Schuyleur, and between the mental anguish, and draining overhead, we sold the location and called it a day. Like Carrie Leigh we had to move on. But, if anything came out of that store beside publicity then it was a ‘clothing friendship’ created between our store and Yonge Street’s famous Cat’s Cradle. Third generation twins, Jo-Anne and Caryl Citron took their store on a journey of cotton knitwear fashion in the 80’s, and our designs were proudly carried by them for a few years. That was an honour in itself.
Zillions of years ago on of my quarterly buying trips to New York City my friend Melinda decided I should experience the iconic Limelight Club at least once in my life. Watching me groove along with the band, one of her friends dared me to jump on the stage and tap dance.
One must never ever challenge a Leo with a glass of wine under her belt sporting brand new silver Capezio tap dance shoes. Leo’s always take the challenge no matter what the peril might be. So peril be gone, I crawled up on that stage and started tap dancing along side the band. I had no clue in the world who the death metal band was, and they most certainly were not too impressed with me either. Soon security was coming my way, and the only noise I heard beside the clickety-clacks of my taps was the word “jump” from the front row. The chant grew in numbers as it traveled down the dance floor until it was a deafening roar.
“JUMP!” “JUMP!” “JUMP!” screamed the crowd.
So I did.
I took great care not to leap into a less populated part of the crowd remembering how a friend had broken his arm at a recent Soundgarden concert. Instead, I hurled myself right into the centre of the packed mosh pit crowd where greeting hands caught my body. I was passed down the dance floor like a tsunami and felt like every pair of hands in the city of New York was touching me. After what seemed an eternity, I ended up at the back of the room with a thud on the floor. My now concerned friends said all they could see were silver tap shoes peeking out and a whole lot of underwear. Deep in my heart I was not worried as I had always remembered the solemn underwear oath my mother had always told me,
“Make sure you have clean underwear on in case you have an accident.”
Thirty minutes later, and another glass of wine down, I was summoned to the VIP area by management. Behind the red velvet cords stood extremely well dressed people. Hookers, pimps, and drug lords all looking very glittery just like my shoes. Apparently a few wanted to meet the girl that rode the human wave–with Granny Panties on.
A large man sporting a dark suit with blondes hanging off of him like scarves motioned me to come forward. He handed me a crisp one hundred dollar bill and told me no one had ever made him laugh so much in his life. He said in a very low voice similar to that of Marlon Brando,
“Take the 100 dollars kid (I was 43) and go to some fancy lingerie store and buy yourself some real underwear.”
Was my underwear that bad? Was it not the norm? Were they only worn by Canadian women wanting to keep their lower extremities warm? After all, my late mother had always told me that’s what American Bandstand dancers wore. Dick Clark insisted they wear Granny Panties, and who would ever argue with Dick ? No one would!
I snatched the crisp 100 dollar bill out of the man’s hand as I knew I wasn’t performing an encore for anyone. As I tapped down the stairs I asked myself what was really wrong with Granny Panties. Personally, I’d rather have baggie underwear than a string up my butt!
Author’s note- Sad to say some of this was going to be used on the Carrie Diaries, but I was contacted on Facbook and it fell into my other message box. Always check your other box-lesson learned.
This is a true story about someone that was near and dear to me
Alice read the personal ads that had been thrown down on the floor by the bed. She knew that Bob’s mind was living somewhere else these days besides inside their 2 story home. Putting on her glasses she slowly began to read them until one grabbed her by the throat and did not let go.
“Attractive athletic guy with a fun down to earth personality and married seeking an attractive married lady in my same or similar situation. I am not looking for a divorce or to be a home wrecker only looking for an attractive married lady who understands that I am NOT available to go out on weekends and usual times that people date.”
It seemed that was her husband and his very organized life had allotted no tom foolery on the weekends as they practically lived at the country club. God forbid he lose his social status on his way up the society ladder.
Night after night after she had read that very first personal ad, he failed to come home after work until almost dawn. Alice listened to excuse after excuse until one day she could take no more. She filed for divorce and threw him out of the home that she would ultimately lose six months later because she could not pay the mortgage. He continued to send her emails screaming of the love he still had for her along with missing his beloved home. Bob continued to speak about his needs and wants in the personal ads and one day she read the following and again knew it was him.
Losing these (.) (.) in the Divorce
Yep, we are losing the house, she took the car, our credit is in the toilet and all I miss about her is the TWINS – those luscious 40DD beauties.
After she read that she was disgusted she had lost so many years with him as it was obvious he only seemed to miss her boobs. Bob continued to drag the paperwork and the lawyers were costing more than anything they had ever saved. Alice was now living with her mother at the age of 41 and each day crawled by with emails from lawyers and more delays. Finally Bob promised her an ending if she gave him some first edition books that he wanted. Alice agreed as she would sell her soul to put an end to this dragging divorce.
She dressed that day with care in hopes of finally celebrating the end of a relationship with someone she now hated. Alice sat down on one side of the table and he sat on the other. The piercing dark looks they exchanged said it all. He wanted more and demanded the only thing she now had left. If she gave him her car then and only then would he would finalize the divorce. Alice was in a rage as she walked down 23 flights of stairs and wondered what she had initially seen in him.
The next day as she glanced at the personal ads she read the following:
Today in Divorce Court on the 23rd floor.
This is a long shot but I’ll give it a try. You were on the 23rd Floor today of the 175 Smith Building in Divorce Court at 1:30pm. I was wearing a black long sleeve shirt with the cuffs rolled-up and jeans. We glanced at each other a few times…but it’s an awkward place to approach someone. If you had blonde hair and were wearing a short black dress please contact me.
With that Alice started to draw and did not stop until she finished. She scanned the cartoon and emailed it to the newspaper. The next day she opened her paper to the personal ads and started to smile. She suddenly felt in charge of a situation that had gone so very wrong.
“Bob Reggie- remember us years ago?”
“I gave you everything I had, you decided to build a steamroller and run over me. It’s been 2 years since we’ve lived together, and over 6 months since we’ve seen each other. Finish the damn divorce paperwork, please.”
“Danny-O’Shea needs you
To make some belts on every size
Danny-O’Shea needs you
To glue some ties
Concho belts,assorted styles
Halter Tops with rings
And for the guys,some studded belts
And other things
Danny-O’Shea needs you so!
Danny-O’Shea needs you so!
Make it fast
Must be done by six
He’ll pay you cash
You’ll smoke some hash
Don’t get the orders mixed
Danny-O’Shea needs you so….Danny-O’Shea needs you so!!
Danny-O’Shea needs you so!!!”