Tag Archives: high school

Painting the Memories with Written Word –Linda Knight Seccaspina

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Painting the Memories with Written Word –Linda Knight Seccaspina

Painting the Memories with Written Word –Linda Knight Seccaspina

None of my generation has probably forgotten the year 1963. I already had suffered a loss on September 27th of that year when my mother Bernice Crittenden Knight died from lymphoma at the age of 34. The months that followed were not happy ones for me, but no one could have prepared us for what was to happen on November 22nd of 1963.

I will always remember the somber words of our principal Mr. Bowen over the intercom that Friday. He announced to the students of Cowansville High School that John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, had been assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas. I remember we sat there quietly in our classrooms and then went home to our families.

From what should have been a well-remembered incident, it somehow turned into confusion for me today. Every member of every generation recalls a historic event which in some way affected the world and perhaps their lives: taking them back to that day, that hour and where they were. A lot of hope dissolved that day Kennedy was shot in Texas for a lot of us.

Any time I remember the assination of JFK my two good friends John and Judy Manchester come to mind. Had it really happened? John had mentioned that his father had written some sort of book about President Kennedy early on in our friendship. I had no clue who his father was, and frankly, I never asked.


Later on I found out that John’s father was William Manchester who had written “The Death of a President”. The book was published in 1967 by Harper and Row and became one the great American Classics. Seeing that my likes consisted of celebrities, Madonna, and Sweet Valley High in those days I brushed it all off. All I knew was that these two friends that I called “Muse and his Musette” were great people and we could discuss the world of writing and the hamburger chain IN N’ Out Burger like Olympic champions.

John wrote a blog about his father and how his dad spent 95% of his time locked away writing ”The Death of a President”. For 15 hours a day, 7 days a week, he conducted over 1000 interviews to write about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I read the blog three times, rolled my chair back, and began to think about my daily writings.

Even with 6 published books and 6300 blogs– I will never become even close to becoming a great writer like William Manchester– but I do know one thing. I have figured out that I can tell stories with my words just like the folks that sat around the pickle barrel a long time ago. Actually, I am quite content with that. John told me I got right to the point with my writing – that point being to express emotion. He also reminded me I  minced no words in nailing those who deserve to be nailed and praising where praise is deserved.  But, behind all of those feelings, I always anchor my feelings with love.

John Manchester was a real writer and his words later made a difference to me and everyone else about the life of Kennedy—and that my friends is what it’s all about in the very end. To be able to write well enough to make a difference in someone’s life. Everything else is just icing on the cake. 

That long nightmare weekend in High School after Kennedy died etched my brain forever and still gives me chills when I think of it. It wasn’t possible, it couldn’t have happened — but it did. Memories in our lives and of the continuation of printed words continue the remembrances in life. It just keeps yesterday alive. The written word continues to endure.

Photo- Linda Seccaspina Market Street San Francisco

John’s words to me when we wrote on Open Salon

Lunch with Linda – Love on Haight Street

FEBRUARY 24, 2011 2:07PM

As promised, Mrs. Muse and I shared lunch with Linda Seccaspina at Magnolia Pub on Haight Street.  She has already offered her lovely account.  Due to my nature, mine is more prosaic. Ah well.

The food was great. The company was better.

I have been privileged from time to time to meet people whose work I admire. They fall into two camps. In the first are artists who are a letdown to meet. Whatever spark in their work has opened my eyes, ears or heart is nowhere in sight once I meet them. They seem cold, closed, uptight. Maybe they are just shy in public. But I wonder if it isn’t something else – that it’s only through their art that they can allow a part of themselves to flower.

In the second camp are artists whose work is a natural extension of their lives.  Meeting these people I watch what was just notes, colors or words blossom into a life.  It feels good.

Linda falls firmly in the second camp. We recognized her across Haight Street (her hair is very red!) standing in front of the Magnolia Pub. She smiled and we ran across the street and Linda who loves to “rate with hugs” gave us big non-virtual hugs.

Linda gets right to the point with her writing – that point being to express emotion. Not to vent, or to whine, but to make us feel what she clearly feels so strongly – joy, anger, sadness.  She minces no words in nailing those who deserve to be nailed and praising where praise is deserved. And she’s funny as hell.

Behind all of those feelings she expresses her anchor feeling. LOVE.

She sat before us and I watched all those words I’d read transform into the person who radiated that love.

We had much in common – two sons, nasty exes followed by the miracle of current keepers. Less than perfect parents.  Linda has been dealt a lot of junk from the bottom of the deck, dealt with her share of jokers. But she’s made a fine hand of it.

Linda told us of someone she knows who’s very religious who likes to tell Linda she’s not going to make it to heaven.  Linda refers to this artfully as “going to the beach.”  As far as I can tell she’s already there, as much as any of us get.

She surprised me with gifts, saying she liked the bottles. I like them too, which is why I post them here:  I’m sure they will be even more enjoyable once we uncork them.

I first came to Haight Street the summer of 1970.  Mrs. Muse got there earlier, though she can’t remember the year (!)  We both had the same experience – of looking on every corner for something that wasn’t there, that had gone, or never been there in the first place.

What were we seeking? Little things. Joy. Peace. Enlightenment.  Above all, LOVE.

We finally found it in each other.  And we found it yesterday, finally, on Haight Street.

Linda wore a great big heart on her jacket: Not as big as the one inside.

Carleton Place High School Photo 1954-1955 Name those Students- Larry Clark

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Carleton Place High School Photo 1954-1955 Name those Students- Larry Clark

LindaThese photos are a scan of a picture I recently received from my sister Eleanore Eliopoulis. I put as many names to the individuals as I can remember but they are not all accurate due to the more than 60 years that have passed since that time. Some names that I think should be there are missing because I am not sure.. Faye Robertson, Beverly Emerson etc. I, of course, am not in the photo as  (for whatever reason) I always managed to avoid these photo sessions. I don’t see John Clifford, Sam Saunders, Wayne Ormrod-

BUT there must be some of us left from that era that would be able to add some names. I will eventually get the photo to Jennifer-if she is interested, and perhaps it can be restored somewhat. From time to time I will go back to the photo as some name or other pops up for no reason, ie. I struggled over “Pauline Burns”, whom I recognized but for the longest time, her name escaped me but when I opened the photo this morning-there it was. I hope I am right. There are many others that I knew but still struggling with the names.

Like us all Larry and thank you and Eleanore!

Ray Paquette said:

Because of the technology available at the time, the picture was taken twice: the left hand side and then the right. This provided an opportunity for the late Bill Hendry to appear in his assigned position on the left then to quickly speed to the right side and reappear standing and smiling impishly, appearing in the photo twice!!!

Langtry’s Dairy Carleton Place Larry Clark

D & L Slade Co.– Way of Housekeeping Larry Clark — A Tide Mill

Remembering an Accident 1966 Larry Clark

Ritchie Feed and Seed Part 3– The Egg Grading Station-Cecil Hicks — Larry Clark

Tales from Ritchie Feed and Seed — Larry Clark part 2

Tales From Ritchie’s Feed and Seed — Larry Clark — Story 1

Memories of Ritchie Feed and Seed Carleton Place

Home Boys and Family–Mallindine Family — Larry Clark

1963 Riverside Park — Stills from a 8 MM Movie Camera — Larry Clark

Dowdall’s Esso and Hank’s Tire- Jo-Anne Dowdall-Brown and Larry Clark

More Photos of the Hazwill Pony Farm… Larry Clark — Wylies– 1962-1963

Photos of Carleton Place — Larry Clark— Findlay Memories

Memories of Larry Clark’s Photos- Bonds Horricks and Tombstones

Riverside Park Comments Larry Clark ‘The Dip’

Larry Clark Photos Documented 1963 Parade

Get me to the My Future Wife On Time — Larry Clark

I Was Axed — Memories of Larry Clark — Bell Street

1954 CPHS Graduation Pictures — Larry Clark

Cruisin Through the Dance Halls- From Carleton Place and Beyond!! Larry Clark

The Summer of 1956- Larry Clark

The Carleton Place Night Patrol: Aka Skin Dogging — Larry Clark

Larry Clark — Upper Bridge Street in Carleton Place

Memories of a Photo — The Forgotten Canadian Forestry Corps, Booze and a Mud Quagmire

Update to the Charles Lindbergh Story — Larry Clark

 Tales You Did Not Know About—Charles Lindbergh Landed in Carleton Place

Memories of Neighbourhood Kids — Larry Clark

Larry Clark Memories : Billings Bridge, Willow Trees and the Orange Lodge

Skating on Fraser’s Pond and Hobo Haven — Larry Clark

Glory Days in Carleton Place– Larry Clark

Larry Clark — Your Veribest Agent

A Personal Story — Caught in the Ice– Rocky Point- Larry Clark

Women of the Red Cross — Mary Slade –Larry Clark

Old Notebooks Larry Clark and I Once Had a Math Teacher like This!

Memories of Mulvey’s Candy Store and Joie Bond — Larry Clark

My Family – Larry Clark — Hilda Strike — Olympic Medallist

Finding Treasure — Larry Clark

The Girl Who Gave Birth to Rabbits — Magazines from the 50s Larry Clark

1970 FUN FUN FUN at ADHS

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1970 FUN FUN FUN at ADHS
all photos from 1970-Photo from Joy Sadler Baetz-Dad Norman Sadler owned and operated NT Sadler Ltd out on Highway 29 in Almonte–
Photo from Joy Sadler Baetz-Dad Norman Sadler owned and operated NT Sadler Ltd out on Highway 29 in Almonte–

Know Your ADHS Principals –Benjamin A. Upshall -1926– Human Smuggler

The First Date ADHS- 1969 –Unknown

ADHS 1969 Honours List

The Mikado ADHS 1956 Fran Cooper

Gym? I Thought You said Gin!

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Gym? I Thought You said Gin!

by Linda Knight Seccaspina

Kids today have no idea what some of us older folks went through in gym class back in the day. I am not ashamed to admit that I’m not a huge sports fan except maybe synchronised swimming. In school I would have sold my soul to be exempt from gym class. The classes were stereotypical – tough gym teacher, tense atmosphere and I stunk at everything. I hated the bloomer uniforms and I swear I still have nightmares about them at age 69. In today’s day and age gym classes are slowly disappearing from schools, yet no one really complains about it. Is it because most people hated them like I did.

If I close my eyes tight I can still remember the box horses and really, if you google them now all you can find is stories about equestrians. Those oddly shaped wooden boxes expected me to run and springboard on top of them like The Flying Willendas. Let’s get the initial facts straight: I became an instant circus fan after seeing those high wire folks at Belmont Park. However, box horses were not made for people who loved cupcakes and the sports bra had not been invented yet. There was still no resistance training available for us growing young gals. Dodge ball stills scares me as it just seemed to be an excuse to hit each other in the back as hard as you could. I knew some kids who used to have panic attacks the day before Dodge ball events and dreamed about the gym teacher looking like a talking bicep.

Honestly I tried to have a positive look, but all that was offered to me in that gym class besides good intentions was going to the bathroom a lot and getting a ‘ Linda is improving‘ each report card. I have no idea what I was improving in, but I just remember the gym teacher always seemed to shake his head in dismay. It’s the same exact dismay I seem to now feel on an exercise bike while I watch the Pioneer Woman serving pasta with a giant cup of cheese and God only knows what else on that plate.

There was never a class photo that involved myself and anyone else participating in sports unless I was photo bombing it. Friends and I are also positive that none of the jocks or jockettes would have recognised me even if they hit me with their bikes. That’s just how it was, and I had to admit that part of my life would always have its ups and downs. Those exact feelings today would be called squats. I am sure there are still a few of us that were traumatized by gym class and being the last person picked for teams. Again, that feeling would be like wearing NIKES when you just can’t do it.

Sometimes I wonder if the gym classes from the past are now like a psychological block when it comes to exercise. I have always been under the belief that calories should scream like bloody heck when you burn them. In the end you will always have to rationalize that memories of your old gym class will always follow you around. There will always be that someone that thinks they are going to the Olympics instead of the local gym. Or, when someone shouts the word ‘exercise’ do you think you just heard the words ‘extra sides’?

It’s not like I have not tried to be more active, but if I ever had to run for my life, and believe me I have thought about this often- I would be dead.  One should always remember that Zombies like to eat the untrained ones first. When I used to run before my knees fell apart I thought I heard people clapping for me on the trails. It was one heck of a great motivation, but actually it was just my flapping inner thighs cheering me on.

Maybe I should have tried harder in gym classes in days gone by and not given the gym teacher a hard time. But at my age now it’s only memories and no matter what– if I can walk and talk at the same time now I am a rock star. My family always knew and still know that I will never be an athlete and that’s okay. I have learned to try and do everything 100% —except if I’m donating blood, and well, that’s another discussion.

Cruisin Through the Dance Halls- From Carleton Place and Beyond!! Larry Clark

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Cruisin Through the Dance Halls- From Carleton Place and Beyond!! Larry Clark

We ranged far and wide, to investigate the gals of Almonte, Perth and the Smiths Falls. Beside the point, the Almonte girls and twelve girls in Perth likewise Smiths Falls’ girls were not likely to have anything to do with a carload of boys from Carleton Place, however our dreams took us! The boys grouped in a car, probably because they were too timid to approach a girl on her own and the girls grouped for protection from these roaming boys: a protection that was hardly necessary (not considered by either).

Along came recognition that the weekend dances were a better opportunity to actually socialize with the opposite sex- no pressure; you could participate if you found the courage or just watch from the sidelines until something/someone moved you to contemplate an approach to a girl bereft of her protectors (six or dozen)-it happened.

We went as far afield as Constance Bay, Rideau Ferry, a variety of Fall Fairs, upstairs at the Richmond arena and all of the aforementioned towns, but the favourite for me was Mulligan’s barn; located on the Carp road (long gone).  

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
05 Jun 1957, Wed  •  Page 34

We drove to these places in our jalopies amid a myriad of hiccups- 39 Plymouth, the exhaust/ muffler fell off onto the highway, so hot had to be kicked to the side and picked up on our rather noisy return. The repair was a bendable pipe that left the noise behind us. Same car (not mine); armed with a bucket and on arrival at Mulligans, placed it under the rear of the car. The plan was to not get so involved in the dancing and socializing that we would forget to return to the car and empty the gasoline that was dripping into the bucket- some close calls. Another close call was my getting kicked off the dance floor for, “swinging to hard”. (rock and roll in its infancy was not always appreciated). A really close call not ending in my favour either, was when we were cooling off after a dance, a girl and I decided to visit the car (ostensibly to check the bucket), had hardly settled in when there was knock at the door, which I reluctantly opened, to face a young lad about ten years old, speaking the dreadful words;-“Mom wants you to come with me and you are going home” I forgot about the bucket! Never saw her again, which turned out to be a good thing!

I must have had a reputation.

Constance Bay dancing the night away with my girlfriend (future wife) while trying to ignore her sister (our chaperone). Venturing from the hall, I had trouble finding the car, the fog was that thick and finding the road, problematic but I had to get the girls home. Settled on winding the window down and steering by white line, creeping along for what seemed like hours. Finally able to transfer from Hwy 7 to Ashton’s main street? and made the right turn at Campbell’s house, but I must have been so tensed with the drive that I didn’t t let go of the wheel after the turn and ended up in the ditch-I had a reputation for ditches at the time and this just added to the history.

Now my brain is getting foggy and will end.

Thanks Larry Clark

Related reading

read– Lanark County Dance Halls 1950s, 60s & 70s Arlene Stafford

The Dawn Patrol on Local Dance Halls

Dance Hall Fire Blakeney

Dance Hall Days with The Coachmen

Down At the Twist and Shout–Wave’s Inn

Straight Outta Carleton Place High School — Wava McDaniel Baker

Lanark County Dance Halls 1950s, 60s & 70s

Larry Clark Stories

The Summer of 1956- Larry Clark

The Carleton Place Night Patrol: Aka Skin Dogging — Larry Clark

Larry Clark — Upper Bridge Street in Carleton Place

Memories of a Photo — The Forgotten Canadian Forestry Corps, Booze and a Mud Quagmire

Update to the Charles Lindbergh Story — Larry Clark

 Tales You Did Not Know About—Charles Lindbergh Landed in Carleton Place

Memories of Neighbourhood Kids — Larry Clark

Larry Clark Memories : Billings Bridge, Willow Trees and the Orange Lodge

Skating on Fraser’s Pond and Hobo Haven — Larry Clark

Glory Days in Carleton Place– Larry Clark

Larry Clark — Your Veribest Agent

A Personal Story — Caught in the Ice– Rocky Point- Larry Clark

My Grandmother’s Photo Album — Scot Langstaff

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My Grandmother’s Photo Album — Scot Langstaff

From Scott Langstaff–Here is another photo from my grandmothers collection: CPHS June 1926: Doris McNeely, Emily W, Marion T, Bessie W, Betty McGregor, Violet, Bessie McE. Annie R, Ethel F, Mary W, Phyllis Reid–

CPHS-Photo- a couple more from CPHS around the same time i am guessing- from Scott Langstaff no names-Here is another photo from my grandmothers collection: CPHS June 1926:

More photos from Scott Langstaff–CPHS-Photo- a couple more from CPHS around the same time i am guessing- from Scott Langstaff no names-Here is another photo from my grandmothers collection: CPHS June 1926:

Riverside Park as I can see the Findlay homes on the other side through the trees

Photo- a couple more from CPHS around the same time i am guessing- Scott Langstaff no names-Here is another photo from my grandmothers collection: CPHS June 1926:

Llew Lloyd In the 30s it was said to be the best ball diamond between Toronto and Montreal.The Detroit Tigers placed some of their prospects here.

Here is the old ball park once again…Photo from Scott Langstaff-Photo Found this old photo in my grand mothers photo album. She grew up in Carleton Place. Guessing this is from the 30’s?

Dan Williams Yep the old ball park. I scraped those base lines and lined that field a few times with my dad. I remember going to watch him catch on the Legion ball team and the little ticket window coming in. Also remember watching the odd game from the roof of the stands.

Joann Voyce 3rd from the right, back row looks like Glen Miller but I could be wrong