Tag Archives: humor

Men that Stare at Balls —  Superbowl Sunday February 5, 2102 — Linda Knight Seccaspina

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Men that Stare at Balls —  Superbowl Sunday February 5, 2102 — Linda Knight Seccaspina

 

Men that Stare at Balls– Linda Knight Seccaspina

The things I know about football:

My father cheered for the losing Toronto Argonauts until he died and even when comedian John Candy took over as owner, he still could not resurrect their life-force.

There is a difference between the CFL and the NFL and it has something to do with the size of the field but don’t ask me about it.

Upon leaving a Canadian University, my best friend’s boyfriend got picked up to play for the Edmonton Eskimos and after a week of practising with men that were double his size he left. The town of Cowansville, Quebec talked about it for at least a year.

I once was a cheerleader for the *Cowansville, Quebec Colts, who only won one football game in two years. I had no idea what they were doing on that field but I can still remember the cheers word for word.

American lobbyist J. C. Watts once played for the Ottawa Rough Riders and was dating one of my staff at the same time. He came to dinner one night and absolutely hated my Italian soup. Watts played football the next day and blamed my soup for feeling ill. No one else was sick so I cursed his game.

When the clock says there is 5 minutes left in the game you know that it’s really somewhere in the neighbourhood of at least 22 minutes.

                                                             Superbowl Sunday February 5, 2102

I have always been on a stadium free diet and knew that “The East Coast Bowl” extravaganza would be on all day.  The only thing I cared about on Superbowl XLVI was the commercials and seeing Madonna. My joys would be the halftime show and eyeing the linesmen bend over during the game. Between you and me there is nothing better than seeing a man in tight pants blocking other players.

If it were not for the commercials and Madge I would rather watch a faucet drip or knit a sweater for the Easter Parade.  Tom Brady’s wife, Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen, did send me one of her mass emails begging me to send good vibes and prayers so her hubby could win the game. Stupid is as stupid does.

Of course I have already watched most of the commercials online but still enjoyed watching David Beckham once again for the same reason I like the linesmen. I still think some of the commercials should be more geared to women. Women are the ones who are busy dishing out stadium style snacks with the Slim Jims lined up in the dip like goal posts.

There is nothing worse than listening to hours and hours of male cheering for those on the field that are getting beaten up and tackled. I have also heard them say that the next best thing to being in the stands is sitting on the couch with friends. Their fragile egos are so geared to sports that if they can’t be out there playing then they like to watch. Note to all the women is that particular view on football seems to be the same way they feel about sex.

This year was the best lip synched show thus far, featuring Madonna and friends. The “Like a Virgin touched for the 3000th time” is nothing but an icon to me. People complained that Madonna could have been the mother of any of the players and everyone wanted to hand her a cane. May I remind you of former older entertainers who also did Super Bowl appearances, like Bono, Springsteen, Aerosmith and the list goes on. I scream double standards and age discrimination and was shocked Betty White was not joining her on stage to do squats and ride the male ponies.

If you were not into football there were the alternatives from the puppy bowl to marathons of AbFab and Downton Abbey. Personally I would take Patsy and Edina’s drunken insanity on AbFab over football any day. I did however vote for Maggie Smith from Downton Abbey for MVP.

Does the football game really say that there is less aggression in women or is it really a matter of a man’s dreams and personal glory? I understand men do not like to explain football to women and I have absolutely no interest in asking why the man in my life does the end zone shuffle screaming,

“We’re number 1!” We’re number 1!”

In the end I may not care for the sport, but I do cherish the few moments during a football game when you can watch a loved one “move like Jagger”. Got to love your personal linesman and worth every second of the irritating sporting event.

Notes from the Peanut Gallery:

What “self-respecting guy” would shell out $14.95 for a pair of Beckams briefs? I can get a 5-pack of boxer briefs at Wal-Mart or Target or Costco for about $12.- Walter B

*Yamaska August 8, 1962

Brome-Missisquoi Junior Football League Schedule

Aug 5 Cowansville Colts vs Farnham Frontenac

Aug 11 Farnham Frontenac vs Knowlton Larks

Aug 18 knowlton larks vs cowansville colts

Aug 25 Farnham Frontenac vs Cowansville Colts

Sept 1 Knowlton Larks vs Farnham Frontenac

Seven 8 cowansville colts vs knowlton larks

Sept 15 Playoffs

Sept 27 Playoffs

Oct 8 Playoff

Yamaska, August 29, 1962

Cowansville Junior Football Club, after a long stand, will host its first game in Cowansville on Saturday, September 1st against the Knowlton Larks. This game will be played at the Municipal Playground, located on Bernard Boulevard, and at 2 PM. There will be a parade if the weather is favorable. She will depart from City Hall at 1hr 15p.m. leading Cowansville Youth Harmony, followed by the league, executive club and players in convertibles. If sometimes it rains, there will be no parade but the parade will still take place at the usual time of 2 P.M. The parade will be rescheduled to next week when Cowansville hosts Farnham Frontenacs.

The Colts will try to hold on to the top spot in the league, having a slight lead over the teams.

Come support your local football league.

The Yamaska Sept 5, 1962

Cowansville Colts play their first game at home. Knowlton Larks win 21-18

The Cowansville Colts were hosted by the Knolwton Larks this past Saturday, September 1. The game took place at the Stadium on Bernard Street in C’ville. Spectators witness a football game being held for the first time in Cowansville. Even though the Larks defeated the Colts by a small three-point margin, these teams displayed a well-balanced game.

The ride was preceded by a parade that rocked City Hall formed by the Cowansville Junior Harmony. She was followed by convertibles carrying Brome-Missisquoi Junior Football League executive and Cowansville Colts Club executive, as well as Horseman M. Armand Beauregard reppin’ the city. Plus the Cowansville players in their blue and white uniforms followed.

The referee was under Mr. Hubert Dubois former Assistant Chief of SRFU and assisted by Dick Ferris of Farnham, Rupert Dobbin of Sweetsburg. A large crowd of supporters were present to support the local club, as well as supporters from Knowlton Larks and Farnham Frontenacs. The latter being the club that will meet Cowansville this week on September 8th at 2 p.m. in the Cowansville township.

Thank you to Cowansville Junior Harmony for showing out during the parade as well as at halftime convertible owners who provided their free help during the parade. Thanks also to Mr Hubert Dubois of the QRFU Montreal has provided his good competition in terms of professional arbitration and it is understood that he will come for future parties. Although the Cowansville Colts lost this game, they are still a great team in the league, and that will be proven at the next game in Cowansville Saturday, September 8th at 2 p.m. vs. Far Frontenacs. Lava.

Come along and support our local club.

The Yamaska 19 Sept 1962

Farnham Frontenacs defeat Cowansville Colts in the last minute it was a surprise 21-19 definite record

COWANSVILLE – In a surprise final, the Farnham Frontenacs lined up to make the winning touch over the Cowansville Colts who will play strongly into the end of the game or the Frontenacs made the final touch to do so win the game. It was apparent that near the final minutes Cowansville’s defensive line was considerably weakened and Farnham’s backfield used a bit of strategy to lock in all the winning points. Colts scored 6-0 in the 1st quarter, 7-6 in the 3rd 19-15 But in the end, the Colts just didn’t look like they were able to go ahead enough to stay near a touchdown margin.

While it was another disappointment for the Colts who just missed a loss to the Knowlton Larks last week, the Colts will play next week for a semi-final first leg, the first ever will be held in Knowlton next sat 15th sept. The second leg will be held at Cowansville, the semi-final will be the series total points between the two clubs. The semi-final winner will play first place with the Farnham Frontenacs in a 2 of 3. Today’s points were counted for Cowansville by: M. Liberty (13), D. Peacock (21), each having a touch, and P. Jordan scores a hit. Farnham was G. Harrison (31), one touchdown, R. Pie (25) two touch, D. Root (27) and H. Takeda got one and two points, respectively.

Colts cheerleaders supported their club perfectly like Farnham’s well organized. M. H. Dubois de Montreal QRFU referee was umpiring the game with the help of Dick Ferris from Farnham and Rupert Dobbin from Sweetsburg. M. A. Just from cowansville was taking minutes and M Ray Tetreault of Farnham was the corrector on these. Young football fans are invited to go to Knowlton for English school semi finals.

Come and support your local club.

Yamaska Oct 17, 1962

In the Brome-Missisquoi Junior League Farnham’s young representatives finished their season in style by winning the Grand Final at Knowlton Larks 24-19

Outliving the Warranty–Linda Knight Seccaspina

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Outliving the Warranty–Linda Knight Seccaspina

Outliving the Warranty–Linda Knight Seccaspina

Everything I do these days seems to get a roll of the eye from the younger generation. I honestly don’t know how I got this old, but it beats being dead.  I’ve been told by my sons on previous birthdays the candles on the cake cost more than the birthday cake itself now. So what?

Of course it is a different world these days, and there is no just turning on the AM radio in the morning, or listening to weatherman Percy Salzman at night on the black and white television with only three channels. Now we have computers, social media and cellphones to babysit until we doze off in our living room chair at night.

According to my sons I drive way too slow and should not be on the road. Well, there is the fact I drive only in the radius of the county, but either I am not pushing the gas pedal hard enough, or I am talking and pointing to something without checking what is coming my way. Yes, sometimes that can be a problem, I admit it.

Then there are my oversize glasses. I bought them specifically for style as it hides the bags under my eyes and I am getting more bang for my buck with large lenses for vision. Yes, it is one step under needing a seeing eye dog. However, one day my eldest drove by me on the road and my glasses were way down on my nose, and he said the next time he saw me like that he would disown me. I told him someone must have sent out a memo stating that after 65, wearing huge glasses is in.  I reminded him that people start to shrink as they get older, and glasses need to grow in the opposite direction. He wasn’t buying it!

I have also learned that in most cases if you call your kids and leave voicemail, good luck to you. If you send a text you should get a return message in 3-4 working days if you are lucky. It’s similar to laundry: washing- 30 minutes, drying-60 minutes and putting it away-7-10 working days.

How can you convey to your kids that we are now older? It takes longer to get out of the chair, or off the couch with possible sound effects. They need to understand we have aches and pains and maybe cleaning my fridge is not at the top of my list.  Yes, I am not a young Mum anymore— but that’s the journey talking and one day their strange noises will be a lot louder than ours.

Then there is the debate about Instagram and Facebook. Yes, I am on Instagram so I can see my grandkids photos where the younger family hangs out, but I am, and have always been, an enthusiastic Facebook user. Instagram just doesn’t seem to have my age-group variety of Memes, photos of other folks’ grandkids and funny cat photos.

Bottom line is, even if my kids think I am old and out of touch, that’s nonsense. In our heads we are anything but. We are just all enthusiastic, and just love remembering and telling stories about our childhoods:

“Jell-O moulds with fruit trapped inside, and drinking out of the hose and the outdoor street lights being our guide to go home at night. Those are experiences that kids today just won’t have”.

At my age I am going to continue to fumble and mumble and tell people to speak up for the rest of my life. Criticisms of me slowing down will not bother me at all either. Last week I wore my underwear backwards all day for some reason, but I knew in my heart it didn’t matter. That’s because I still remember the old days of  being told to make sure you have clean underwear on– no matter which way it faces. In the olden days it was the fear of accidents, now it’s the possibility of meeting up with a full body scanner somewhere. It’s cheaper anyways to go through the airport than setting up an appointment with your doctor.

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

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

January 30,2022

The Lasagne

I have been sick the last few days and I decided to order my groceries online. I always make lasagne, but in that particular moment I was feeling like I just couldn’t. So seeing a special in the Independent Grocers flyer I decided to order one this week.At 4:05 Pm I get a concerned call from Steve who is picking up the groceries, saying he thinks they might have screwed up the order as there is a frozen lasagne in one of the bags. I reassure him all is well with the order and just bring it home please.Unpacking the groceries I see that the lasagne is FAMILY size and frozen like a very hard chunk of ice. There is no way we are going to eat all of that in one sitting so I sit on the chair at the kitchen island fretting what to do. It’s suddenly like me and this giant Lasagne against the world.How do I do this?How do I make it into meals?I wish my Grandmother was still alive. Mary Louise Deller Knight was a pro at things. She knew what to do, and would have handled this for me. She had a freezer that was the size of a case of canned drinks and yet could fit the neighbourhood’s frozen food into it.Sometimes she would be outside the kitchen door with her axe. A prime turkey or any other large food item would be sitting on a tree stump and she would cut that sucker in half with one fell blow. There she had it– all good for a few meals and easy to fit in the freezer.After the final blow she would take out my Grandfather’s round shaving mirror and pluck her chin hairs. It was a weekly tradition to the soothing sounds of Mantovani because the light was better outside. That is something I learned from her— to try and tame growing forest on my face, good lighting is the answer. However, I guess I should have watched her more for the keeping of large frozen items as this Sunday morning I am still thinking of what to do with it LOLOL. It looks like it has more horsepower than my car.

Linda Seccaspina

January 10 at 12:57 PM  · “Skyler Seccaspina1h · New colleague. First day on the job.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Words About Not Smelling Like Teen Spirit….Linda Knight Seccaspina

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Words About Not Smelling Like Teen Spirit….Linda Knight Seccaspina

Words About Not Smelling Like Teen Spirit….Linda Knight Seccaspina

Just about every home in the world had a bottle of “Evening in Paris” somewhere in someone’s bedroom. Once upon a time even the perfume machines in women’s restrooms had them. If you put in a coin and pushed the buttons a big squirt of perfume would come out.  My Grandmother would always get a bottle for a gift when I was a kid and I never heard her say she didn’t like it. 

My Grandfather would take one of us girls to Varins drug store on South Street on Christmas Eve to buy a gift for her. We would come home reeking of many perfumes he had tried on me, but he always bought Evening In Paris as a special gift to win Grammy’s heart with its enticing scent. 

How wonderful I felt when Grammy dabbed the fragrance from that cobalt blue bottle on my wrists and behind my ears before sending me off to school. I also remember when the vial shattered and spilled inside her coat pocket —-you could smell her long before she approached you in the preceding months. 

One of my favourite flowers, Lily of the Valley, grew everywhere and after my Mother died they sent home her belongings in a blue Samsonite suitcase. When I opened it a bottle of her favourite perfume Coty’s Lily of the Valley had broken inside. For years, each time I opened that suitcase, I relived the rare hours spent with my Mother, in the many hospitals she lived in during my childhood before she died. Fragrances made me feel loved. Nothing is more memorable than a smell, sometimes it’s the key to our memories. 

This is exactly where I should pump the brakes in my written journey about scents you remember. Last week I told my 7 year-old granddaughter that when I passed she and her cousin could share my collection of jewellery and hats. She was ecstatic, and then she turned to her mother and said,

“Mum, are they going to smell like Gammy?”

I was shocked and wondered if I had begun to smell musty or bad.

They say when a person approaches old age, they are more likely to start suffering from a distinctive whiff which is often described as a greasy or grassy odour, or ‘old people smell’. I remember going into my grandfather’s bedroom and it always had a certain scent to it. Concerned, I looked it up and they report it’s called– wait for it–Skin Gas. Apparently it’s  2-Nonenal gas, emitted by skin, which is a byproduct of the normal ageing process. Of all the things I thought I’d be thinking of in the new year, this wasn’t one of them. But, last week’s conversation with my granddaughter really made me think about what she was going to remember what Gammy smelled like. Getting to the bottom of it– she just didn’t  care for my perfume. 

Evening in Paris contained “bergamot top notes and middle notes of jasmine, Turkish rose, violet, iris, ylang-ylang, and a hint of peach and woody cedar that gave way to a sensual, powdery base of soft vanilla”. My Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet on the other hand, was supposed to be a  “peony-rose sprinkled with some juicy apricot, an airy floral scent with clean white musk” wrapping it up. The first word that comes to my mind when I wear it is “celestial”– to her I smelled the opposite. 

Trying to evoke my scented nostalgia for her memories would never be possible. Every once in a while a gal gets a yearning for a little powder, roses, and violets.  Now, all I think about is that older people’s skin and smell will contribute to greenhouse gasses.

Things Borrowed from my Grandmother — Human Hair Nets

The Stack Perm or the Disco Wedge ? 1970s Hair Fashion

Stories of a Talking Trudy Doll ..

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Stories of a Talking Trudy Doll ..
1954 Almonte Gazette
1954 Christmas Linda Knight Seccaspina– at Grammy Knight’s home on South Street in Cowansville, Quebec.

I don’t have many photos from my childhood, but this photo above is a favourite of mine. I have often wondered what this doll was as I have never come across it in my research journeys until last week. There it was, staring at me from the 1954 pages of the Almonte Gazette. I remember my doll talking, but it wasn’t 24 inches long so I assume it was a fake Trudy doll bought at the local 5 and 10 “The Ritz Store” situated on the Main street in Cowansville, Quebec.

My people didn’t travel much, so my beloved doll was a knock off, just like the knock off purse I got myself last week. But, my friend Stacey says we shouldn’t call anything fake anymore— you call it “designer inspired” as it’s all about the verbiage. Sovthe Trudy doll I had was “designer inspired” LOLOLOL.

This doll meant a lot to me as my mother was in the hospital a lot so she was a constant friend. I even used her on my book about cancer, because I never forgot her.

Trudy is long gone, so when I tried to find about the doll I found out that one of the Trudy dolls became haunted. This is nothing new to me– seriously…. read-The Spirits Are Alive and Well

On one of my excursions, we headed to a well known haunted area of the Maine coast called Wiscasset. Naturally when I saw a lawn sale at a run down house directly next door an old run down cemetary I had to stop. The toys were being ‘sold’ by the girl in the family who was maybe 7. She had all her items displayed on a blanket and was sitting with them. I thought it was strange that she had a doll in a box it didnt go in so I decided to ask this girl about it! I asked how much she wanted for the doll, and asked her if that was her original box, knowing it wasnt.

She looked at me point blank and said: “No, I put her in the box to keep her still at night”. I said, “Well did it work”? She said, “Not until I put the tape on it”. I have left this this taped up and have never opened the box.I could tell this girl was dealing with something supernatural in her life. She felt that whatever entity was in this doll had been contained to the box. There is immediately something scarey or strange about this doll in the box. The box was made of tin & plastic and I did not buy it.

I later saw a similar crazy doll on EBay (in a box) sell for $500.

Double, double, toil and trouble; no more Love Potion Number 9’s but we can still buy these silly dolls. I wonder if the sales of “Jesus or Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich” will now have restrictions? Cheesus Christ!

Well at least each eBay sale is protected through PayPal;  but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been scammed by a Craigslist soul. Sadly these people that once bought these new prohibited items are now going to have to settle for an out-of-eBay experience. I used to think these things were scary– I realized real people are LOLOL

The Dolls of Queen Victoria 1899

Dolls We Have Known and Loved- Photos

Hocus Pocus —Untangling The Sutherland Sisters

One of the Funniest Stories of the Year 1944 –Marian 25-20 Rifle

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November 1944- Almonte Gazette

Advertising is the greatest sales force that ever has been discovered. Of course it must be admitted that advertising will not sell an article that isn’t in demand, is of poor quality or priced too high. But let those three requirements be met satisfactorily and advertising will produce the buyers in numbers that are sometimes embarrassing. Take for example an experience we had at The Almonte Gazette office recently.

A farmer living a few miles out of town brought in a Marian 25-20 rifle and advertised it for sale in the columns of the newspaper. Rifles are hard to get, the season was right, deer hunting days being at hand and foxily enough he threw in an offer of 7Q cartridges as an extra incentive. Because he lived in the country and it would be difficult for prospective purchasers to see the rifle at his home, the owner of the weapon asked us if we would keep it in the office and show it to such interested parties as they turned up.

In a moment of weakness we agreed to this arrangement and then hell broke loose on wheels. No sooner was the paper published than the parade started on foot, over the telephone, and through the mails. We were called out of bed late at night by the shrill summons of the telephone bell to answer a voice demanding to know how much we wanted for “that there” rifle. Phone calls came from Calabogie, Carp, Balderson, Lanark and many intermediate points. We even received a telegram from Sharbot Lake and several air mail letters from eager sportsmen who felt that the rifle might spread its wings and sail away before they could get their offers on the record.

But, it was the boys who walked into the office asking to see the gun who really got us down. Knowing nothing about a rifle we had to produce this weapon for inspection and tell each prospect to look it over and judge for himself as it wasn’t our property and we were incapable of hazarding an opinion on its condition. It was a revelation to watch and listen to these great hunters as they put the gun through its paces. We thanked a kind person over and over again that the owner had left no shells around or the demonstrations would have taken on a truly terrifying complexion. It was bad enough anyway.

Believe it or not during the week the gun was in the office it was nothing for the editor or his assistants to look up from their work and find themselves gazing into the muzzle of the 25-20. Now even if you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that a gun is not loaded you still get a funny feeling in the pit of your stomach when you find yourself confronted with the business end of a wicked looking black barrel.

What a procession of experts passed through the office during those hectic days and examined the fierce looking weapon! There they were peering down the muzzle to see if the rings were all right; holding the hind end of it up to the light or putting a piece of paper into the magazine to increase their powers of detection. We don’t know yet what the idea of holding the paper to one end of the breach was but we know we tore up several reams of newsprint in our efforts to accommodate our visitors.

“Ah, it doesn’t look too bad,’ one chap would say, gazing down the barrel as if he had a telescope and was searching for a new heavenly body. The rings don’t look very clean they may be leaded,” another prospective customer would opine hoping we would soften the price if he cried down the condition of the firearm. “I have one like it, only it is a Winchester,” said another pal of ours. “With my gun I have often shot two deer with one bullet. Do you suppose I could shoot two deer with this gun if they were standing end to end.”

My accounts of prowess in the woods evoked by the inspection of that gun were truly edifying. We asked on several occasions if it would be all right for us to publish stories describing their deeds in the great hinterland. Without exception they thought, and hastily exacted a promise that we would not mention either their names or their claims. This seemed passing strange to us because it is certainly no disgrace to be able to kill a deer a mile away or knock two over with one shot. We concluded that the huntsmen were very modest -a trait that somehow or other we never before associated with hunters or anglers.

There seemed to be a unanimous —old and young—who inquired about the gun that its owner wanted too much for it. So finally the man called and took his rifle home. We could have sold it a dozen times if we had had the authority to cut the price a little. Since then we have been directing traffic out to the farm occupied by the owner of the rifle. For all we know he may have sold it to some chap who is killing deer a mile away or knocking them over two or three at a time.

Any man who says advertising doesn’t pay is all wrong. This incident proves it although we will admit that an advertisement for a man to do a little hard work at moderate wages or for a furnished house to rent is not apt to produce the stampede that would be created by a printed intimation that you had a rifle and shells for sale just prior to deer hunting season or that you were prepared to give away a bottle of gin or a case of beer on Rooney’s corner at high noon.

The Almonte Gazette in Manitoba

June Dalgity 1999 Almonte Gazette Clippings and Comments

Jim Muir — Almonte Gazette Editor

Doug Lorimer Almonte Gazette- Kathy Dunbar

The Almonte Gazette is sold to John Graham of Carleton Place 1965

Social Note Shenanigans from the Almonte Gazette June 1899

Going to the Chapel –Drummond Whalen and Johnson of Carleton Place

The Funniest Anti-Dog Letter to the Editor–Almonte Gazette

Tips From the Almonte Gazette “Travel Section” 1874

Withered Family Found– Almonte Gazette– A Media Mystery

Cancer and Family 1903- Almonte Gazette

Hey Even Journalists Can be Sick! Influenza 1918

Stewart Hanna –The “Angry” Journalist of a Rural Town

Men Without Socks – An Opinion- Linda Knight Seccaspina

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Men Without Socks – An Opinion- Linda Knight Seccaspina

Men Without Socks–An Opinion– Linda Knight Seccaspina

It is pretty obvious I don’t hang out with the Millennial fashion crowd. Last Saturday I went to a lovely outdoor event where 90% of the crowd were Millennials. Most of them were at least 3 decades younger than I. There were trendy young petite women looking like they just came off a fashion runway, and most of the men were wearing no socks. I was surprised, because basically we are only about a generation out from the belief that women should always wear hose or stockings with heels

Of course I have seen this style on Sonny Crockett  on Miami Vice in the 80s but I had no idea the style had resurfaced. They say it’s a fad, but I always thought socks were considered the condoms of feet. Is it laziness, fashion, or the casual look pushing its way back into office attire now?  If you think you are “The Wolf of Wall Street” I suggest you not give this a try as you probably will be taken aside in the boardroom and handed a pair of socks. But, maybe I’m wrong as every woman in the western world has owned at least one pair of ballet flats in the last decade and gone sockless. I remember being one of them.

I know for a fact there is nothing worse than the squelchy damp sensation that comes from a day of going barefoot in shoes. Shoes without socks are often rewarded with an odour, and let us not speak of what might be growing down in the dark linings of shoes. So these gentlemen that appeared to ooze confidence last week as they walked around with a glass of Chablis in hand, were being stylish, or maybe some had forgotten to bring their yachts to the vineyard. But, I had to remind myself, it was just socks and it wasn’t like they were trampling the Constitution of Canada with their bare feet– they were merely socializing.

Most of their pants hit about two inches above the shoe and exposed the bottom of their ankle. I have heard if you choose to wear them any higher than that people will assume you are wearing Capri pants and that’s a definite faux pas. I could not stop looking at these gentlemen’s feet, mesmerized, and wondered if both the wearer and his partner had nasal issues which would ensure they did not notice odour. But once again I assured myself they were at an outing and not running two marathons from 9-5 in their shoes. But the stories from my grandfather in the trenches in World War 1 reminded me about a young man’s plight a few years ago who worked in a car wash developing what my Grandfather called “Trench Foot”.

I discussed this with my sons who are in the same age group and I asked them what they thought about these new lack of feet garments. They both laughed at their mother who had obviously in her fashion design career not heard about the discovery of “no-show” socks. That was a huge “OH” moment for me and I suddenly remembered all the ‘low cut”  socks I had bought for their birthday presents–the low-cut invisible kind that’ll keep you fresh and won’t ruin your look-so they say. 

I now know that today’s fashion was no different than men wearing knee socks and dress shoes with Bermuda shorts in the 50s. Or men getting up to mow the lawn at 8 am with socks and sandals on, or not wearing compression socks when you want to live dangerously. I asked my husband if he would consider wearing this style of socks and he shook his head immediately. He said he had no issue with odour but the ankles had to be protected. I then remembered a man who once shined shoes for a living on the Main Street in Cowansville, Quebec. He told my father that he would tell his clients with no socks on their feet that they just might as well be wearing a pair of skunks.They say that fashion is a language that creates itself in clothing  to interpret reality. You could have fooled me!

That Four Letter Word.. Linda Knight Seccaspina

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That Four Letter Word.. Linda Knight Seccaspina

That Four Letter Word.. Linda Knight Seccaspina

I have a love-hate relationship with IKEA. Whether you’ve just moved into a new place or are planning on renovating, you have to admit that IKEA has just about every piece of furniture you’ll ever need–if you can make it out of the store. I can sit for hours and read their old out- of- print catalogues at home and never get bored. Yet, when I enter that store I have to walk miles through areas I have no interest in. But, as I stroll casually through each department I realize the place is nothing but an obstacle course and somehow I find myself yet in another dead end. A dead end I don’t want to be in.

Do you list your next of kin address as IKEA on official documents and do you dream of Swedish meatballs? I have literally seen people bless themselves before entering those blue and yellow holy grail gates. It’s a well known fact that once you’re inside it’s fairly hard to escape, and once you do; you end up with a lot of things you didn’t even know you needed.I’ve heard customers complain about this same issue at Costco too: “Just came for milk and eggs” and $800 later, I still don’t see the milk and eggs. Sometimes I just like to stand in the IKEA parking lot and watch people try to fit everything into their small cars.

I must argue with the person who wrote that anyone that cannot assemble something from IKEA should go back to kindergarten. When no text is used in assembly instructions this should be the first warning that the bed you just bought that morning is not going to be slept in that night. I am sure whomever else is assembling the same product in another part of the world is having the same dilemma. Exactly what is that little illustrated Swedish man pointing at? Is he eating Salmon with Wheat Pilaf?  A word of warning to remember is that your completed furniture is only as good as the “chosen one” who has volunteered to put it together. Welcome to IKEA, the people that sometimes throws in extra instructions, or nuts and bolts to mess with you. How about that Swedish plywood? Or is it really Swedish?


IKEA sells over 16,000 products online, of which they say approximately 9,209 items are now being resold on Kijiji. Half are dresser drawers that are missing knobs which have long fallen off and are lost. Most folks lose the instructions, so you know your end result will look like something conjured up by IKEA hackers working solely with tea lights guiding their way.

IKEA started making homes in Europe in 1996 called “BoKlok”. It was a move to allow first-time home buyers to have a chance at a cheaper place to live. What if the owners of one of these homes divorce? Who gets custody of the Allen wrench? Do they share?  Didn’t that Allen wrench once put together the Eiffel Tower?

In the end it’s about who you want to spend the day at IKEA  with, and the ultimate purpose of going to IKEA remains just as mysterious as the little dots they put over those very strange names. Even IKEA knows the struggle we mortals face when assembling their furniture! I would love to tell you more jokes about IKEA, but in the end the setup is too long and the final product is probably mediocre. 

Yes, IKEA is a wonderful place, and no matter how many times we pay a visit, there always seems to be an endless array of new treasures to discover. Our children no longer want our old sturdy old furniture and antiques and insist on buying new things. I keep telling my kids my furniture was new when I bought it. At the end of the day, one does not simply ‘like’ IKEA – you either live and breathe it, or you don’t speak of it at all. I say everyone’s lips are sealed.

On the Download…. The “Lan” Before Time

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On the Download…. The  “Lan” Before Time

To say that I was born in the wrong century is an understatement. I know that I should have lived during the Victorian period where the most complicated thing in life was having your corset tight enough or making sure you got to tea on time.

Easy transitions from musical 8 tracks to cassettes, to a CD, were a snap for me. Harder, but bearable, were: the BETA to VHS then to DVD. Don’t ask me to program anything though–but putting the item in, playing it, and then removing it was painless.

Lo and behold the computer era began and I either ignored it or condemned it. Someone who couldn’t put gas in her car tank from 1974 to one ill fated snowy day in the 1990’s isn’t necessarily going to warm up to a computer. After all, the woman who invented the first computer program is often overlooked in history and also probably couldn’t hold the reins to the wagon. The daughter of renowned poet Lord Byron, Ada Lovelace actually discovered computer programming 178 years ago. That was long before we knew ‘a memory” was just something we lost a lot with age.

I used to volunteer at Caldwell Elementary school in the early 90s and one day Grade 3 teacher Mrs. Richardson assigned me to help in the computer library. The young students knew more than I did, and she couldn’t believe that I was petrified to go near the computers. This from a gal who loved to pause and marvel at the girls typing in the typewriter class beside the girl’s bathroom at Cowansville High School in the 60s.

One night I sat down at my son’s computer terminal and marvelled at the world before me. It suddenly became the bicycle of my mind. That was it, I was hooked, and a keyboard was no longer just related to the piano. The next time I had to volunteer I was “cutting and pasting” with the best of the 9 year-olds. Mrs. Richardson smiled and said,

“Linda, I see you are computer friendly now, I  think I will give you a gold star”. That made me smile, as sometimes adults need gold stars too.

I thought that was going to be it in my lifetime trying to figure out new fangled things, but no, 7 years ago my sons gave me my iPhone on Mother’s Day. I treated the phone like the black sheep of any family. I tried to ignore it, but it would not let me, and I feel like I am never alone. Granted it was my choice to get rid of the landline and finally move into the 21st century like everyone else.

Texting was easy as I already had several weeks of repetitive training/cajoling on my iPad– but my brain no longer wants to attempt any mental feats of strength that were not needed. Instead of texting back, most times I answer the text on my laptop with an email. Friends told me I would get used to it and end up loving it. Was I secretly sabotaging myself? I didn’t set up voicemail for months because others told me they had an issue retrieving messages, so I used that as an excuse.

I watched my oldest son use both his thumbs to text as I have seen many times. I marvelled at the precision and speed he used and thought of my texts with misspelled words that even spell check could not pick up. I remember the 4 year-old-girl on the Apple commercials and how she whizzed through feats of technology without help. How I wish I could be smarter.

I have in my hands a fabulous piece of communication that I sometimes shun like the Amish. It attempts to entice me daily to use it like a prosthetic for the rest of my life. I refuse to let it become the bearer of my vital signs and continued activity in my brain. So how do I use my cellphone now? Unlike my laptop which has become a vital organ for writing and communicating on Facebook I use my phone in these percentages:

50% to check the internet

20% to text to my sons

15% to take photos

10% to check the time

5% to actually call someone 

Without my cell phone now I feel I would never find my way in the dark or read, now that doctors have removed all their magazines in their offices. I would have no idea there are 76 tiles on my bathroom floor when I forget my phone. 

But, is there a middle ground to all this? 

Has cell phone and computer dependency resulted in compulsive communicating? 

Are cell phones called cell phones because we are prisoners of our phones? 

Is the best relationship I have now with my wi-fi because all my friends live inside it? 

One good thing to remember, and there is some salvation to us mere mortals, computers and cell phones die twice as fast.

Oh Dear, William Penfold and my AB Positive Blood

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Oh Dear, William Penfold and my AB Positive Blood

William Penfold—my 4th great grandfather

In researching my lineage it seems I just can’t get a break. I am the way I am for a reason. I come from a bunch of colourful characters that my gynaecologist warned me about. My gynaecologist ?? Yes, when you are researching your ancestry talk to your gynaecologist. Don’t you?

My great grandfather was in charge of British Music Halls then ran away to America leaving the family. Another was a lady in waiting to Queen Victoria with loose skirts. A great grandfather was a lawyer who took on scalawags and now it seems William Penfold my 4th great grandfather was a bit of a smuggler. How is your day going?

So I blame AB positive blood……

Was it Because I Have AB Positive Blood?

I was told by my doctor once that 10% of the world’s population has AB Positive blood and it’s where I get my “oddness” from. Funny, I never thought I was odd! All I knew was I didn’t want to end up in the military like my Father had daily visions of. It had come to his attention many times that I was different, and I stuck out like a sore thumb in my rural hometown in Quebec. When your father is a prominent municipal fixture, and the only electrician in town, word travels around like a bush fire that your daughter is weird or a character as they called me. Honestly, there are lots of people like myself, and then there are those that pretend not to be.

My friend Wanita Bates said something once that made complete sense to me after all these years.

‘Linda, some of us have gifts to feel what is going to be in style, and you and I are one of them.” When I had my store I was way ahead of fashion trends, but when major retailers grabbed on to it and money making was involved–I was long out of it. 

So after heated arguments with my father, I left home and headed to Montreal, Quebec. I attended fashion design school on Bleury Street where I became instantly bored. Instead of great 60’s fashion and styles that I was expecting my teacher made me make pattern after pattern of 1950’s styles. After classes, I would venture into store after store, just absorbing the culture and the fashion.

After almost completing my course, I decided I needed to find a job. Well Twiggy, Mary Quant, and all the Carnaby Street styles were afloat and guess who was wearing them? My Dad was getting remarried and gave me $75 dollars to buy something for his wedding. Being the drama queen I purchased a black velvet Twiggy mini dress and a black floor length Dr. Zhivago style coat. It was a real floor duster with black faux fur trim, and Omar Sharif would have been proud.

So when I went for job interviews I insisted on wearing the same “ultimate”outfit I wore to the wedding. Most clothing manufactures were not into the “Carnaby look” yet and I was told time after time, “Kid, get yourself another coat”. In layman’s terms I was scaring all these fashion people with my wardrobe. Defiant, I kept wearing it.

A few weeks later I got my dream job. It was working for trendy Le Chateau on Ste. Catherine Street hemming pants. It was their first store, and their clothing styles were worn by anyone who wanted to be someone. I was right up their alley– or so I thought.

Sadly, I only got to work there for about 6 months, as I was basically hired for the Christmas rush. In those few months I got to meet the Montreal trendsetters, wore “Gabardine Mod” pants, and so began my lifetime eating disorder. But, it was a time I will never forget, and believe fashion has never been so exciting. Just being able to sneak into the Boiler Room on Crescent Street and watch fashion happen was mind blowing.

For some reason only known to God, I was just not ‘cool” enough to work as a salesperson in their store, and rent had to be paid. In the middle of the coldest winters ever I hauled my derriere all over the Island of Montreal looking for a job.

I finally found a job at The Fine Togs Clothing Co. It was a childrens manufacture run by Blossom and her husband Hy Hyman. Actually Blossom ran the company and Hy smiled a lot and played golf. They thought I was a spunky kid and if I had stayed there, I would have probably be retiring from the company about now. They were good people.

If my grandmother Mary was my foundation for my hard working ethics, then Saul Cohen was the drywall. He expected me to arrive at 7:30 every morning and I had to ask to leave around 7:45 pm at the end of the day. The man worked me to the bone, and I just chalked it up to experience. I worked in the cutting department, sewing, swept floors, did book work, and worked in the show room. There was not one stone that he did not make me turn over, and turn over again.

‘Sauly” was relentless, and when he found out that my Mother had been born to a Jewish Mother  he made sure I knew about my heritage. Anytime I asked to leave early he would turn around and say to me,

“Do you know how our people suffered?”.

Enough said.

One day he decided that I was ready to represent the company selling their clothing line at the Place Bonaventure clothing mart. He told me I had to have, no, must wear, something conservative.

So I did what every other girl my age did. I went to Sears and bought “The Suit”. It was navy blue, a box jacket complete with a knee length pleated skirt. I had red shoes and red earrings to match. That was the last time I wore something so conservative. It just wasn’t me.

I applaud Saul for everything he taught me and how someone actually got me into something that wasn’t black. Word got around the clothing market about me and I was soon hired by a competitive children’s wear company run by Palestinians. Yup, I was no peace maker between the people of Israel and Palestine, but this was a time I will never ever forget.

Was it Because I Have AB Positive Blood? Basic Element #2

I finally got my wish to be an assistant fashion designer, and quickly found out I was going to collect a pension before I became a designer. Lessons that were learned: when management says your designs basically stink– don’t believe them. A year after I left a certain firm, I saw my ‘unsuitable’ designs in the Eaton’s catalogue making lots of money for them.

Disillusioned, I left Montreal for love in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Again, mentors in life were: my Grandmother, Saul Cohen, and owner of Au Bon Marche–Morty Vineberg. I learned the retail trade from the bottom up from him, and to this day, if there is a spot for just 50 items, and I have 300; I can whip that into shape as fast as you can say “bargain designer clothes”.

Morty opened a discount clothing store in what he called “the dark side of Ottawa”. Today, I believe they call that Vanier, or is it part of Ottawa now? He told me how people would not cross the Cummings Bridge and shop in Vanier. Mr. and Mrs. Vineberg wanted to be the first, besides the seasonal swans, to get Ottawa consumers to cross that darn bridge. I think if there hadn’t been an “interior crime spree” going on in the store, again, I would have stayed.

Each day I had to turn my eye, and to be honest, I did tell Morty in certain terms, that all was not well in that former Bingo hall. But, it had gotten to a point that I needed to spread my wings, and so barely a year after the Vinebergs had transferred me, I quit. Ange, was working as a project manager for Olympia and York’s fabulous 240 Sparks, but he encouraged me to open my own business and a week later he too left his job.

Was it Because I Have AB Positive Blood? Basic Element #1

Flash Cadilac was created and flourished through creativity. I was lucky I was able to pursue my dreams– but I had never taken the word “no” for an answer. In fact I had never listened to anyone who tried to talk me out of my views on life, fashion, and being yourself. At age 15 I marched into the Vice Principal’s office who doubled as a guidance counselor and told him I would not be returning to school the next year. I also asked for my $10 dollar school book deposit back.

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

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

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

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

Jesting?Jesting?

I quickly realized had I told him I had gotten pregnant by the Keebler Elves it would have gone over better. He continued in a loud monotonous drone telling me young ladies became either nurses or teachers. 

The elderly gentleman suggested maybe I look into the world of home economics if “I enjoyed sewing”. Seeing most of us either skipped our “Home Ec” class because of the Suzy Homemaker recipes or stared at the teacher’s legs while she spoke because we knew it made her uneasy, that notion was definitely out.

With that I stood up and again I asked him to cut me a cheque for $10.00. With my Grade 9 education, a shake of his hand, and $10.00 the world was now my oyster.

William Penfold—my 4th great grandfather

When William Penfold was born in 1791 in Itchingfield, Sussex, England, his father, John, was 32 and his mother, Elizabeth, was 32. He married Hannah Humphrey on February 18, 1821, in Hartfield, Sussex, England. They had 12 children in 23 years. He died on April 13, 1872, in Hartfield, Sussex, England, having lived a long life of 81 years.

The Standard
London, Greater London, England
24 Oct 1857, Sat  •  Page 3

What is a Chandler-

a dealer or trader in supplies, provisions, etc., of a specialized type:a ship chandler.a retailer of provisions, groceries, etc.

CLIPPED FROMThe Standard
London, Greater London, England
01 Feb 1850, Fri  •  Page 8

  1. William Penfold (1791-1872)4th great-grandfather grandfather of me…
  2. Emily Penfold Hider Friend (1823-1900)mother of …
  3. Harriet Hider Crittenden (1850-1910)mother of …
  4. Arthur Crittenden (1873-1954)father of …
  5. George Arthur Crittenden (1896-1970)father of …
  6. Bernice Ethelyn Crittenden (1927-1963)mother of …
  7. Linda Susan Seccaspina (1951-)You

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