Tag Archives: friends

I Know You Are Dancing in the Moonlight Kerry Lee Charlebois

I Know You Are Dancing in the Moonlight  Kerry Lee Charlebois

73112780_10156780944836886_1447816244072808448_n.jpg2017- me Patricia Burnett and Kerry Lee Charlebois– “Dance like nobody’s watching”


Last Thursday I heard that Kerry Lee Charlebois’s health was declining.  To tell you the truth I went into shock and fell into complete denial. Kerry fought cancer for many years and kept it at bay, but one day the third episode crept in and took her body over. If anyone could have fought this disease off it was Kerry.  But I  swear that none of us are invincible to this disease. None of us.



I have known Kerry for years– well, more than years– decades, and once Facebook showed up she never lost contact with me. She was a former Flash Cadilac customer, a disco Viva gal, and a loyal friend .

If you didn’t know Kerry she was a behind the scenes person that got the job done, and that is exactly how she treated cancer each time it reappeared. I often told her how brave she was as I would never go that route coming from a family who all lost their lives to cancer.  I would fight it myself and not go the usual diagnosis route. She was Joan of Arc to me.  Kerry was, and will always be a positive influence in everyone’s life– always seeing the good side of life.



Kerry with Karen that won all the contests I swear..:) 


Kerry always labelled me generous with my spirit and actions– BUT, I would say she was describing herself. She had such a strong spirit, such a big heart, and constantly rose above all her issues. Sometimes the strongest among us are the ones who smile through the silent pain, cry behind closed doors and fight battles nobody knows about. When I saw her in 2017 with Patricia Burnett she gave me a plant. It’s a good thing she brought it to my house– as my home is actually where I kill my plants. I honestly think people give me plants to remind me what I am truly capable of. Sorry Kerry- another one bit the dust but– it was awesome while it lived.



We always reminisced about fashion and my old store Flash Cadilac. I will always remember her telling me about one of her first fashion shows at Disco Viva. I believe she told me that not one, but five White Russians were needed for her to hit that catwalk. Kerry’s mother had been a model and had always made her daughters stand tall and never slouch, but I seriously don’t think she never mentioned White Russians — maybe her Dad Patrick Hilson did. Now there was a man you met once and just loved– just like Kerry–driving forces in everyone’s life.



Kerry mentioned her grandmother many times to me. At 80 she was white water rafting and hot air ballooning when she was 70. She was Kerry Lee’s mentor and lived with her for 3 years when she moved to Ottawa.  What was the thing I heard often mentioned  about her Grandmother?  She was just over the moon because her Grandmother gave Kerry her first month’s rent free. As Kerry said, she was awesome.

One of her favourite stories about her grandmother was about a office bachelorette party.  Her grandmother attended and and so did her aunt and great aunt. Well Kerry won the door prize, and it was– to be polite– a rubber pleasuring device. She had to open it on stage, and when she got back to her table, her grandmother asked her what she had received.  When Kerry showed her, she said, “Well, dear, you will never have to do without!”




Kerry Lee always reminded me that I had the most important element in life: not caring what people think, being myself, and dancing like nobody’s watching.

Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt. And live like it’s heaven on Earth.” – Mark Twain

I miss our conversations already Kerry, and I promise I am dancing as fast as I can–as fast as my old broken knees will let me. My love to your friends and family as I know how deeply the loss of this amazing woman will be felt. My deepest condolences.

Linda Seccaspina

Everywhere I go
Every smile I see
I know you are there
Smilin back at me
Dancin in moonlight
I know you are free
Cuz I can see your star
Shinin down on me

Good times we’ll share again

Makes me wanna dance





October 14 2019

Dear friends of Kerry Lee,

This morning, shortly after 7:00 am, Mom left us, after her long and hard fought battle with cancer. She was a wonderful, supportive, loving wife and mother and we will miss her so much.

We are grateful for the many friends who visited and called her in her final days. She was happy to see each of you, an extrovert to the end and always the life of the party.




The sun has set on my closest friend, Kerry Lee Hilson Charlebois. Today is Thanksgiving day in Canada. I’m grateful I had Kerry Lee in my life for 43 years. My life was better because she was in it. Today is very sad day. Wanda Jane

In Memory of Someone You Never Met- Nancy Erwin



Photo thanks to Penny Erwin-Nancy Erwin 1946-2016

As Dr. Seuss once said “Sometimes you will never know the value of something, until it becomes a memory.” A few days ago a beloved friend died and even though the past year or so contact had been sporadic, we still knew each other was there.

Like most of my forever friends I met Nancy Erwin online when she bought a purse from me years ago on EBay. Through the years we laughed, we argued, and and we got along like long lost sisters. Why? Because the both of us were what she called–“stubborn horses asses”, but we both knew we would always have each others back

Nancy was a tough nut, no doubt about it, and just like me, she had her opinions and loved her jewelry, American Idol and college football. But one thing that was always clear to me is that she loved her children, Charlie and Jenny, and her Grandchildren dearly. Nancy’s dogs were the love of her life, and when she got sick later on she worried about her beloved Chuckie, but knew Doc was taking good care of him.


Through the years I felt like I personally knew all the Erwin family.  Some days after talking to Nancy I  got off the phone thinking her sister Jackie was my best friend too. It’s so very hard to explain how her family became my family.  I even called her late father “our Dad” and also mourned with her when he died.

During one of her bouts of sickness when I talked to her son Charlie it was like I had known him all my life. In my last book I quoted Nancy as she meant the world to me and I wanted everyone to know that for eternity. No matter what each of us went through we were always just a phone call away.

“You were without a doubt the most stubborn woman I have ever met, but then you had a heart as big as the sea, and as wide as the ocean. We met by accident but you absolutely picked me up from the edge of hell. I can never forget you for that. I knew you would always be there no matter what. I always wanted to be the one that died first because I don’t want to be here without you..you stubborn horses-ass.” Nancy Erwin..Pelham, Alabama

I  didn’t want you to die first Nancy, as I don’t want to be here without you either.  I know Nancy now flies with the grandest of wings that she never knew she had. My memory loves you Nancy, and it will ask about you all the time.

In Memory of Nancy Erwin of Pelham, Alabama, and much love to her family who I feel is almost like my own.



 Sharing our love of Adam Lambert



Is There Anything Better Than Old Friends?


 coneyisland (2)good

My childhood friend Sheila Wallet kept every letter and piece of paper that I had ever sent to her from 1973-1989. Sheila emailed me a few years ago and asked me if I wanted all the old letters and newspaper clippings I had sent her throughout the years.  When I received them they were neatly piled and carefully dated with the envelopes stapled to the letters. 





Sheila had always been the loyal friend that I waited for every morning, at approximately 8:35 on Albert Street, to walk to school. She had experienced most of my life first hand and was one of the very few friends who turned up at my father’s funeral in Quebec. We have not seen each other in years but deep down we both know that the other is still there and both of us still value and cherish our friendship

There has not been a day that has gone by that I do not think of Sheila and her family. Her father taught me how to ride a bike, and her mother always had nothing but kind words. Just because you lose contact from time to time, does not mean that you forget.




 I read about the beginnings of my stores in the early 70’s and then saw clippings from magazines and newspapers with my designs in it. I wrote about wanting a child at the age of 25. In reality my first born, Schuyleur, arrived in my life when I was 35.



The very last correspondence was a fax dated Sept 03, 1989. I had told Sheila that I was planning to close my store in 1994 which eventually did not close until eight years later. Sheila had told me it was a good idea and that I should pursue a career in politics.

Years had flown by, yet it all still seemed like yesterday. It felt like we were still in her old basement and her mother was banging on the floor above us with a broom because she had endured enough of the song, “Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones.





I stood next to the dryer today waiting for the cycle to end with tears flowing down my face. How did life go by so fast? Where did it go?

I sighed and pulled the clothes out of the dryer. It felt like I made a 360 as they say and had briefly visited my past life for a few fleeting hours like “A Christmas Carol”. But, there were no ghosts and no evil deeds that had been done. It had just been our life and it had not been such a bad life. We had both survived and that, my friends, is a feat in itself. 








Sheila and I both tried to make a difference to people in our lives. Who knew when we first became friends at the age of 2, what our destiny would be like.  But if I die tomorrow, I know that I have tried.  Just like Sheila and all the rest of my die-hard friends, who have never given up on me no matter what. I know that we are all grateful for everything, including each other. From the bottom of my heart I am blessed  to call these people and others my friends for the past few decades. Memories always last even if the contact has lost some of its screws. Friends are the family we choose for ourselves, and— I just can’t seem to get any satisfaction without all of you.:)

Today is a day to salute your friends!




Linda Knight Seccaspina and Sheila Wallet Needham- 1950s Coney Island

Marion, Linda and Jacki 2015 –30 year reunuion

Jimmy, Ron and Linda 2015

Sheila Wallet Needham and grandchildren 2014

Wanita Bates

Catherine Landry

Daniel Richer dit Lafleche 2015

Daniel Richer dit Lafleche 2015 Carleton Place Santa Parade

Daniel Richer dit Lafleche and the late Michelle Cadieux with my Fred

Gabrielle Studor

Wanda Jane and Michael Lefleur

The Mysterious Shawn Scallen ? (hates photos) so no photo of him LOL

Dennis Charlebois

Denis de Laviolette



Sharing History With Friends – Jennifer Fenwick Irwin


You have met Amanda McNeely, Tiffany Nixon, and Teri White who are part of our working team for your Ladies Who Lunch date on June 6th. Here is another one of our members ready to put this shindig all together.

A few years I wrote a blog about my forever friend Sheila Wallet Needham, and there isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t remember the happy times we had. Do you remember your past friends each day? Two weeks ago Marian MacFarlane told me all about her childhood friend in Packenham. Late last week she asked me to add to it as she remembered more of what she enjoyed with her visiting friend.

So today as my person of the day, and also a member of the Ladies Who Lunch organizing group, I proudly introduce to you my friend Jennifer Fenwick Irwin, curator of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.

Jennifer grew up in the city of London, Ontario. She had a life I longed for, with her professor and iconic artist father, and her mother also was a talented artist. She and her older brother Graeme resided in an old rambling house full of art students, easels, rising loaves of bread, spinning wheels, and music.

After graduating from High School she traveled around Europe for 6 months then moved back home and in with a boyfriend who played guitar for a punk rock band. Jennifer spent her days working in bookstores, and evenings were spent next to an amplifier in whatever venue he played. As she said, “after two years, hence the deafness”.

Through the wire in 1988 she heard about a Museum studies program and moved to Ottawa. By the third year she had landed a great job at the Museum of Civilization, and met her future husband Pete Irwin. She actually spent a year living in a log cabin right downtown in the market.

Jennifer spent the next two years working at the Museum of Civilization and then at the Library and Archives Canada for another year until her first daughter Olivia was born. Daughter Bridget soon followed, and she landed as she said, “another great gig” working at home for the Glebe Home Day Care program. Each day was tea time and dress up with 5 little girls, including her own.

Jennifer and Pete wanted to set down roots for their family and chose Carleton Place as their destination. Her brother lived here, and they felt they could get “more home for their money” in this area, and bought an ancient 4 bedroom home. The day they signed the final papers Jennifer found out she was pregnant with baby number 3 and newborn Henry took over the room that had been planned as an office.

The Irwin family has lived in Carleton Place for just over 18 years. Jennifer has done her share of jobs from: working at the IGA, Scotiabank, commuting to the Textile Museum in Almonte, and the Library and Archives in Gatineau. During a sejour of unemployment she began volunteering at our Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. When they received a substantial private donation, Jennifer was hired to catalogue and organize all the artifacts in their collection. Do you know there are over 10,000 and counting?

As she said, somehow they have managed to find the money to keep her employed there for almost 4 years, and she is now officially the Museum Manager/Curator. She takes care of every aspect of running the museum with about 10 regular volunteers and an elected Board of Directors. Between the administration, grant writing, exhibit design, event planning, fundraising, and research, it keeps her busy. If that wasn’t enough, she has recently been tasked with assisting the Roy Brown Museum, the town’s Municipal Heritage Committee, and being the liaison to Council for all three groups. By the way, she still hasn’t finished cataloging all the artifacts!  After all, *”a Museum should never be finished, but boundless and ever in motion” like Jennifer.

Files from Jennifer Fenwick Irwin


Ladies Who Lunch Carleton Place Town Hal June 6th

My Friend Naomi de Plume – I Still Call Her Kate – Zoomers



My Friend Naomi de Plume – I Still Call Her Kate – Zoomers.



“A few years ago I met a young gal by the name of of Kristen Thomas Easley who also writes under the pen name of Naomi de Plume. Years younger than I, and political views separated by the size of the Pacific Ocean I consider her a sister and nicknamed her Kate for some ungodly reason.”

What Makes you Happy? – Zoomers



What Makes you Happy? – Zoomers.




I think people should make a list of everything that makes them happy and then look at it each time they feel down.  Even if it’s just a small thing that you might think is insignificant — in the end it will make you feel better. Trust me– you only have to look at my dancing video –seriously.

All videos and photos by Linda except where noted.

Russell Brand and Me – The Homeless and a Cart – Zoomers



Russell Brand and Me – The Homeless and a Cart – Zoomers.


“Russell Brand was driving around Hollywood in his Range Rover around November 15th when he accidentally smashed into a homeless guy’s shopping cart, filled with recyclables and other stuff. But Russell knows when he makes a mess — he quickly jumped out of his car and helped the homeless guy pick up the stuff and place it back in the cart. The homeless guy wasn’t hurt — and went on his merry way.”

Are you sure that arrow pointing at Russell was not the homeless guy as I can never tell the difference.