I saw this picture on Facebook and the tears came down my face. I was raised pretty well by my grandparents and they were the beginning footsteps to making my life a kinder softer world when life wasn’t so grand.
Years have passed since my grandmother Mary Louise Deller Knight died. I was her granddaughter, yet I also was her daughter, as she was always there for me with her comforting hands and warm smile. There was never a day that went by that she did not smell of fresh baking, and Evening in Paris perfume.
I want to sit in her kitchen again with my feet dangling off the chair watching the flames of the wood stove, and smell the first pot of coffee, while I watch the sun come up. I want to see her boil my grandfather’s egg, and watch her tap it exactly four times to break it, while wiping her brow with one of her dishtowels.
I want her to send me to the Dairy at exactly 11:30 am, to buy one quart of milk in a clear glass bottle that has the paper closure tab on top. I want to feel her press that shiny extra dime in my hands that she will give me when I go. I sit here and imagine the cold creamy ice cream I will buy with just a hint of strawberry sweetness, that will slide across my tongue after my lunch.
I want to go grocery shopping with her on Friday nights like we used to do, and watch her ask the butcher for suet to feed the birds. She could never ever just give the birds in her yard bird seed. I want to hear her tell everyone in the grocery store how much she loves her granddaughter. Some of them will not understand, as they only speak French. But, they will nod their heads and smile, and call her ” Madam.”
I want to hear the clock strike nine once more on a Friday night, and watch her put Cheese Whiz on Saltine crackers while the overture for the Tommy Hunter Show begins.Then she will pour me a tall glass of milk to wash it all down while I ask her why we have to watch Tommy Hunter again.
Most of all I want to smell her macaroni and cheese baking in the oven while she dances around to the music on the radio. She will make a huge garden coleslaw to go with it, and everyone will have seconds and we will serve each helping with our matching aprons.
I want to hear her scold me again for messing up the clear plastic cover on her teal blue uncomfortable couch. Yes, the same couch I will make out on, with my boyfriend years down the road, and she will not know. One day I told her I did not want to be left here alone after she died. As she wiped her hands on her apron she told me I had to remain and carry on– so I do.
If I could save time in a bottle The first thing that I’d like to do Is to save every day ‘Til eternity passes away Just to spend them with you
Greetings and Salutations to all our Townships Weekend readers. As you know I have a weekly column on Thursdays, but I am honoured to be contributing once a month to the Townships Weekend. I decided to do something different for the weekend format and entertain you with a short series of stories on a subject, something like the old fashioned serials they once had in newspapers.
So here is Part 2 of…..
I Swear it’s True! Part 1 – by Linda Knight Seccaspina
I am a proud family member from the Knight and Crittenden family dynasty and come from a lineage that not even Heinz 57 would understand. My bloodlines are thick with British and Irish roots and a few other tree branches slipped in between. My mother’s side from the Call’s Mills and Island Brook area were all from England and Ireland, and as a child, tales were told on a weekly basis about our ancestors.
My favourite story was one about my great great aunt fighting off the Fenians during the fight at Eccles Hill on May 25, 1870. According to the Crittenden legend, she fought them off single-handedly using a spoon as a door lock. Knowing my mother’s side of the family, I assumed she probably invited them in to play cards and have a few pints. But, one tale that was told to me was continued on through the years and even the Knight side contributed years later, so here goes.
My grandfather George Crittenden married a lass from Laconia, N. H so we had many ‘International’ stories to mix with the encyclopaedia of family stories. One tale that was told was about one of the Griffin family that did some sewing for the American Civil War. She lived for almost 100 years under six British sovereigns and ended up living most of her life in the Eastern Townships, but part of her life was in Boston,Mass where she learned to sew by sewing for the soldiers. She came to the Townships via Brockville, On. and this was one cracker of a story she once spread for years to come. I am sure the tale stretched a bit here and there but the basis of this story was written in the media.
In 1915 it was said that some of their family in Brockville and the surrounding area were returning from church and spotted something lit in the sky on February 15, 1915. When the mayor of Brockville and three constables also witnessed this incident word quickly spread up and down the valley that the Germans were invading Canada.
Vivid flashes in a minor lightning storm gave credence that German aircraft were possibly passing over the area. To make matters even more interesting the mayor of Gananoque also said that two invisible aircraft were heard flying overhead. Parliament Hill went dark at 11 pm that very night and the city of Ottawa and most small towns in the outlying areas followed suit 20 minutes later. I have no doubt that many of the Griffin family spent a restless, fearful night.
Newspaper headlines of: Machines Crossed Over St. Lawrence River: Seen by Many heading to the Capital–Fireballs Dropped appeared quickly the next day. Explanations from government officials were demanded by the local newspapers. Was it really a few of the Morristown youths playing pranks? Some asked when a paper balloon was found on the ice of the St. Lawrence River near the town. What about the remains of a few more balloons that were found with fireworks attached to them near the Brockville Asylum? Soon after these items were found; the media that had been so intent on causing hysteria scoffed at their reader’s fear in print.
Opinions differed as to the nature of the mysterious objects. Of course Ottawa had to chime in to assure everyone that Germans aircraft had not flown their planes over Eastern Ontario as the headlines persisted. The Dominion Observatory agreed, adding information about local wind direction and added that everyone just had war jitters. But, in all honesty the generic comments from the Observatory and the government did nothing to quell the fear of the locals. As gossip spread and the story transfer expanded to new highs the German bombers became very real to the public. No matter what the media and the government had said in their morning statements the lights still went out all over the Ottawa Valley and guns were set up on various rooftops that next evening.
If you ask some today they will tell you it wasn’t the Morrisburg kids trying to be funny, but in reality it was UFO’s. This story which has appeared in a number of paranormal books says that as the Valley was “preparing for the arrival of Germans” these strange lights were apparently spotted in towns all over Ontario and in provinces as far away as Manitoba.
When I was a kid I used to let balloons go up in the sky in the backyard of my Albert Street home and always hoped that maybe an alien would find it and it would make him or her smile. Maybe the pranks of those Morrisburg kids caught someone else’s attention in the sky– I guess we will never know will we. Almost out of the X-Files isn’t it? So what happened in the next tale from the family lore?
See you in a few weeks for another chapter…..
I Swear it’s True! Part 2 – by Linda Knight Seccaspina
To recap Part 1- It was the story of seeing UFO’s or the German’s supposed attempt to bomb our fair land in the Brockville area in 1915 by one of my ancestors. If anyone thinks that was strange, it does not begin or end there. It was not that particular moment where the hysteria began in my family about things that go bump in the night. It seems there were other incidents before that.
Housing was sparse in the early 1900s and a group of my ancestors all resided in one home in the Calls Mills area. One night they were suddenly awakened at 3 am in May of 1910 by the voices of the neighbours from a local fire nearby. The barn fire illuminated the sky and Halley’s Comet was also passing that very night. The women seeing the fire in the distance assumed that Halley’s Comet was producing the end of the world which they of course expected.
The three rushed outdoors in their night clothes waving their arms and crying in despair. It took awhile to get the ladies under control and understand what had really happened. No doubt they had read the newspapers about the coming of Halley’s Comet and this was it.
For weeks international and local newspapers literally terrorized their readers. Over 500 Italians in Little Italy in New York fell to their knees in prayer that night when they saw the ball of flame bearing down on them in the sky. In New Jersey locals took the whole day off work to pray in their local churches for their salvation. Fraudsters hawked anti-comet pills, with one brand promising to be “an elixir for escaping the wrath of the heavens,” while a voodoo doctor in Haiti was said to be selling pills “as fast as he can make them.” Two Texan charlatans were arrested for marketing sugar pills as the cure-all for all things comet, but police released them when customers demanded their freedom. Gas masks, too, flew off the shelves.
The whole performance took five hours that night while the barn fire raged. In the rural countryside some folks gathered on top of their rooftops and watched, waiting for the comet to suck them up into the sky.
The world’s greatest scientists assured everyone that no harm would befall and their analysis could not be foretold, but it was concluded that there was no cyanogen gas from the tail of the comet that they were fearful of. Local bartenders were telling their patrons to drink half water and half alcohol and that was an antidote if they breathed any cyanogen gas from the meteor. Local farmers removed their lightning rods from their homes and barns, fearful of dangerous light flashes and substances that might accompany the comet.
Folks got real creative with their anxiety like my ancestors. It didn’t help that a few months earlier The New York Times had announced that one astronomer theorized that the comet would unceremoniously end life as we know it. The Associated Press warned their readers they had observed two rather large black spots on the sun and solar eruptions were viewed and spread even more hysteria.
In Sherbrooke some educators carried bottles so they could contain some of the ‘comet atmosphere’ for future analysis. Meanwhile in the back shops of country newspaper offices, the appearance of a few had never been noted for their extreme cleanliness. There is nothing of an edible nature in these places and the printers went on the principle that composing rooms were useful not ornamental. This was pointed out in a delicate manner, on the Wednesday afternoon, by a business neighbour who was a considerable gossip. The male gossiper came downtown without his colored glasses to see what all the fuss was about, and was unable to view the eclipse with any degree of comfort or satisfaction.
Popping into the back shop of the Sherbrooke Record to tell the printers of his sad plight he chanced to look at the eclipse through one of the windows.
“Well now isn’t that fine,” said he, “you don’t need smoked glasses to shield your eyes when you gaze at the sun through these dirty windows.” He was soon given a pail of water with the other necessary equipment and told to “go to it.’’
In the end there was no collision with earth, none of my cousins got sucked up into the heavens, and life went back as we know it. In the next days in a newspaper it read:
“Some of our citizens claim to have seen the comet Friday night.
There is nothing wrong with their eyesight”– May 27 1910 The Montreal Gazette
That night as the barn burned down few locals thought of Halley’s passing comet as a danger, only my ancestors. The ‘horror’ has carried on through the years and will not end with me. I am called :“Anxiety Girl”- able to jump to the wrong conclusion in one single bond. As I tell my grandchildren: ”99% of your awesomeness will come from me.” Then I get the “look”. I don’t think these stories will help my case.
See you in a few weeks for Part 3 for more of their celestial shenanigans.
I tried to be normal once.. Worst two minutes of my life 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 Ottawa street.
I could have never opened this store if it had not been for Saul Cohen from the Fine Togs Company in Montreal in the 60s. That man worked me to the bone from 7:30 am until 8 pm at night. 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 Julia career. 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 and I thank you Elizabeth.
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
Thanks Amanda Thompson for posting this photo. Flash Cadilac 40 years ago!!! Holy cow..
Clipping CLIPPED FROM The Ottawa Citizen Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 24 Dec 1983, Sat • Page 36
Thanks to Monique for sending in a photo of one of my outfits from my store… Monique Kischel · Linda Seccaspina This came up the other day – 1977-79 skirt and favourite wide leather belt with brass/gold hoops and links (a staple for 3 decades) 100% FLASH CADILLAC, pretty sure the top was as well.
The Flash Cadilac Burlap Bag, thanks to Wanda Jane who sent it all the way from California( see below)
I Bought Your Grandmas’s Clothes
I learned some valuable lessons during my initial employments. One of the most important things I noticed was never let your paramours be involved in your business. I watched short-duration girlfriends be allowed to become fashion buyers and awarded free living quarters for their unqualified work. Eventually, the boss realized running a few residences could drain his finances quickly and make or break any future retail developments in mind.
Sometimes when the girlfriends, aka buyers, were ceremoniously dumped; the style direction their stores took was disastrous. But then again on rare occasions, a change in buyers every few months kept their styles current and fresh. But I watched them as I hemmed pants, and loved it when a few clever ladies brought in recycled clothing to sell. I was impressed that it was made so well that the inside looked almost as good as the outside.
In the 70’s vintage clothing began to evolve, and some of the cool stores I went to in NYC like Reminiscence on MacDougal Street mixed surplus and vintage together to create a unique fashion style. There was such an upsurge in the vintage fashion trends that Caterine Milinaire and Carol Troy came out with the great book called Cheap Chic in 1975. This particular book, considered a fashion Bible is worth almost 100 dollars if you find it and re-sell it today.
When I opened my store Flash Cadilac, there were very few thrifts stores in Ottawa except for The Salvation Army, Ste. Vincent de Paul, and Neighbourhood Services. Local vintage fashion stores included: “Yes We Have No Bananas” on Elgin Street, Paddlin Maddlin’s, and Ragtime on Bank Street, and of course my friend Catherine Landry’s shop’s “Pennies From Heaven.” The quest for good vintage finds in Canada was sparse and I used to go to Flushing, N.Y. and buy 500 pound bales of “silks” which cost me 50 cents a pound. The first time we bought such a bale we crushed the roof of the rental car we were driving when the forklift put it on top of the car. We had no clue about customs forms, and when the agent at Ogdensburg, N.Y. didn’t want to deal with us, he sent us to Prescott Ontario.
Arriving at the Prescott border the agent looked at us and the load on top of the car we had just driven 12 hours with and dryly said,“Ya got forms for this?”We had no idea that all commercial products brought into Canada needed forms and duty had to be paid.Needless to say the Canadian customs also made us cut the compressed clothing bale open. I don’t think I need to tell you what 500 pounds of compression looks like when it’s finally free. Three trips to the Canadian customs office on Carling Avenue and 10 station wagon trips later made from Prescott, N.Y. to Ottawa– we learned about importing the hard way.
At that point fashionistas were just beginning to realize that vintage was just not wearing old clothing. The fabrics and quality of vintage clothing were better because they were all made here. Gradually through the years what’s old is new again and today’s malls seem to contain stores of endless disposable clothing. When I was a child of the 50’s my mother used to say, “you dress appropriately because nobody likes an eyesore”. After all Grandma didn’t wear Pink stretch pants that had the word “Juicy” plastered across their rear ends.
The Flash Cadilac Burlap Bag, thanks to Wanda Jane who sent it all the way from California
I was pretty naive when I opened the store in 1976. Ordered 5000 bags from a salesman thinking they would be in customers hands in a month. LOLOL
Had no idea they werebeing made in India and they took the slow boat to China back to Ottawa. Little over a year later they arrived. Boxes and boxes and boxes… and yes we had to go to customs to pick those up too.
Click on photo to see description…
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
04 Dec 1986, Thu • Page 56
Amanda Lynne Jamieson —– Linda Seccaspina! I thought I’d share a fun childhood memory with you. I was only about 6 years old so some of the details are vague but just the same, I remember it fondly.
One hot summer day, our teenage babysitter decided to take my brother and me on the bus from Gatineau to downtown Ottawa so she could go shopping. Our adventure included a stop in at your store Flash Cadilac which in turn became a very fun glitter fight! My babysitter then tried to rush us home to get cleaned up before my mom got home. But we were caught when we ended up on the same bus as mom! Sorry for the mess but thanks for the memories!
After Carleton Place Coun. Linda Seccaspina was questioned for wearing a handmaid’s costume to a public event where she volunteered her time decorating Smile Cookies, a group of local ladies decided to bring the issues of women’s rights, equality and discrimination to light.
Resident Laura Piggott organized Blessed Be the Vote, which saw women dressed as handmaids attend the Carleton Place Public Library voting kiosk Oct. 18 to cast their ballot in the 2022 municipal election.Piggott claimed Seccaspina was “publicly shamed and subsequently bullied for wearing a handmaid’s costume and ironically accused of perpetuating the ideals of oppressive regimes when the handmaid’s costume has come to represent the fight for women’s rights.”
Was it Because I Have AB Positive Blood? Element #1
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.
When I was a child we had to sing God Save the Queen each and every day at school. When we sang the words: “Long live our Noble Queen”, I always thought it meant Queen Elizabeth would live a long long time–and she did.
Between the two Queens: Elizabeth and Victoria, one looms larger than the rest — longevity.
Some protest that royalty is irrelevant in today’s world, outdated, and anti-democratic, but in all honesty, I admire this woman for her character and resilience. During WW2 she and her mother stayed with their people. Through all the turbulent years she has remained devoted to her duty.
Personally, I have known a few that have had a sense of duty like the late Queen Elizabeth, and I can’t imagine how hard it is to be stoic all these years. I was told a story in my life awhile ago about another person that was devoted, and today I feel like I should tell that story.
I was once great friends with a gentleman named John Manchester and his lovely wife Judy when I lived in Berkeley, Ca. I thought I knew everything about John, but I didn’t. I came home after one delightful outing and told my husband that John’s father had written some sort of book about President Kennedy. Steve gave me one of his looks and asked me if I knew who his father was.
In the next five minutes I was told 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 in those days consisted of celebrities, Madonna, and Sweet Valley High books, I brushed it all off.
Later that week John wrote a blog about his fatherand how he spent 95% of his time locked away writing. For 15 hours a day, 7 days a week he continously conducted over 1000 interviews to write a book about the assassination of John F. Kennedy behind locked doors. I read the blog three times, rolled my chair back, and began to think.
How does someone become so devoted? I will never be William Manchester, but I am very persistent in my goals. I begin at 7 am and sometimes finish around 8 pm researching and writing history, posting it on social media, and devoting a lot of time to my community as a councillor.
Some days I am sure all of us will wonder if we are making a difference in life. Throughout 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 have done enough. Had I really made a difference to anyone? Could a gal that grew up in the Eastern Townships of Quebec and now lives in rural Lanark County, Ontario ever make a difference?
Was I obsessed with my work ethic like William Manchester? Am I a writer now? Of course not; even with 6 published books– I will forever be a blogger and 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 people that sat around the pickle barrel a long time ago and I am quite happy and content with that.
John Manchester was a real writer and his words made a difference to me—and that my friends is what it is all about in the very end; to be able to make a difference in someone’s life. My purpose in life is making things better for people. That’s all–everything else is just icing on the cake.
No matter how you look at it, Queen Elizabeth maintained a dignity and class that has fallen by the wayside around the world. This has taken a great strength of character that few are capable of. For that alone, she deserves to be recognized, respected and admired. Queen Elizabeth, in death as in life, has joined the tiny band of monarchs who have genuinely made a difference to history. I celebrate all those that show endurance and if anything, you have to give her one thing—this woman never missed a day of work.
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.
Feb 21, 2022
It’s 10:03 am and I am just doing my email. Once upon a time I was up at the crack of dawn ready to seize the day– not anymore. My eyes still red from weeping during the ‘chick flick’ marathon last night on the E channel. Favourites such as: Pretty Woman, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail, still have most of my senses.
My routine has changed, no doubt about it. I have to sit on the edge of the bed for a spell every morning. The old engine and brain needs to warm up, and sometimes I wonder if I should just go back to bed. Then I get up and wander to the next bedroom and sit down to get my clothes for the day. I remember the days I did not make sound effects when I got up to go up anywhere.
‘Sit down’ seems to be the key word these days. I glance at my phone, get the day’s news and realize that it’s okay to get up as the world will not end today. Maybe tomorrow…. I’ll take my chances today.
I throw my underwear and pants down the stairs to the bottom floor so I can put them on without falling over. You know what they say: If you get your leg through one pant leg and not fall over, it’s a really good day.
The bathroom is next and I purposely do not bring my phone in there, or I might not be out of there until 11. I sit there and decide what I am going to feed Steve for breakfast and lunch. I know we are going to my daughter-in-law’s mothers for dinner, so one last thing to wrap my brain around, as it’s still not up to mid speed.
Underwear is on– with now mandatory protection –as the TV ads are true, and I will not go any farther with that information. I open the door and go sit on the couch. Pants on, I am ready to seize the day. Maybe.
Steve has been sitting there for probably a good 30 minutes, but he says nothing. I remove the butter to add to the frying pan and a giant chunk flies up in the air and lands on the floor. I quickly pick it up, examine it and throw it into the frying pan. Glued to his phone he begins to laugh having seen that stunt of mine. I tell him it wasn’t dirty, and then ask if he has eyes in the back of his head. He laughs and tells me he would have done the same thing.
It’s 10:30 now and instead of posting history I have wasted 30 minutes writing about getting older. At least I am not as old as I will be next year. But I live and forget my age, I can still ‘drop it like Im hot”– I just may now need a little help getting up these days!!!
Today I thought about my Grandmother and her insistence on wearing clean underwear on a daily basis. These days I can’t seem to find anything decent in my drawers. There’s just something about a pair of well worn granny panties that makes me feel safe, so I stick with what I know best.
My late mother constantly carried on about my underwear. In her case it wasn’t so much if they were clean or not, but whether they had more holes than swiss cheese. I always told her not to worry, that I would just pretend they got torn in whatever accident I had if need be. But she never stopped..
“What will they say if you get into an accident?” she frequently repeated mimicking my Grandmother.
Each time they mentioned the underwear situation I began to worry. If you are in an accident, do they refuse you at the hospital for having unattractive underpants? Do the gynecologists have coffee among themselves and talk about what underwear they have seen that day? Does medical staff prefer granny panties or thongs?
To encourage me I was given 7 day underwear for my birthday when I was 5. Did you actually wear Monday on a Monday? Did it really have some deep meaning that we did not know about? If you got in an accident did someone quietly mention to you on the ambulance gurney that you were wearing the wrong day of the week?
At age 6 I actually did get hit by a car and was carried into the house by neighbours. I woke up on the living room couch with Grampy Crittenden handing me an Illustrated Classics comic book about the story of Jesus. My Grandfather quietly asked my mother if I was okay. My mother said,
“I think so, but I am so worried she didn’t have good underwear on and we don’t want the town to talk. Her underwear was so stretched out and worn she could have fit the whole town of Cowansville in them!”
Yes, those enormous baggy briefs are regularly thought to be everything you wouldn’t want in an undergarment. To make it worse the younger generation lumps them into a category of being only for the Golden Girls set. I am proud to say that when I had my heart attacks a few years ago I am sure the medical profession was still not impressed by my underwear choice and talked for days about it. Anyways at my age thermal under is now considered really hot underwear and I am too busy thinking about the afterlife now. Question to self- Should I bring a change of clean underwear?
April 30, 2019 ·
The Story of the Green Pea– A Linda story from the past…
Today at the CPDMH fundraiser at St. James Linda dropped a pea down her cleavage. She felt it there but she could not reach it– especially with folks around. So she endured it and walked over to the dessert table. She told her friend Francis from St. Marys that she had a pea down her and if it fell out of the bottom of her dress it was hers. It still did not come out. So she walked back to the table and felt it travelling down her. She knew the pea would free itself soon. As she sat down out came the green pea from out of her crinoline and she said to everyone at the table. “Ive got it!” — In all occasions you have to give ‘Peas a Chance’ right?.. peace out my friends and have a wonderful day!! Keep history alive no matter what it is..:)
I used to 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
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!”
Today I got my “HOBIpalooza” shirt in the mail and I was smiling like a young girl with a David Cassidy poster on my wall. For those of you who don’t know who David Cassidy is, that’s your Google homework today.
Who is HOBI ?– well, he is J-Hope from the South Korean band BTS. I love this band as they make me smile and their music is infectious. So when J- Hope performed in Chicago a month ago, this senior citizen wanted to go.
The very last time I had been to Lollapalooza was in the 1990s in Barrie, Ontario.That was decades ago when I had seen Rage Against the Machine at least a couple of times and was a huge Jane’s Addiction fan. Years have passed, and now I don’t think I could bring myself to walk into a very used porta potty, or stand for a few hours– even with a trendy glitter cane.
I’m in the Netflix portion of my life now sadly and there isn’t a day I don’t miss the excitement of a good live concert. BUt, I’m not going to pay triple digits to listen to that one good song– even if J-Hope has many.
So allow me to be thrilled to have one of the concert T Shirts that didn’t cause me to sprain a tendon or stand in a line to pee. Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional– and I’m never going to grow up.
What was it with Peter Fonda in 1969? I never did watch the film Easy Rider until the 80s, but I sure loved Peter Fonda. One could say he was the ‘cutest, easiest rider’ of the many icons. Fonda and Dennis Hopper didn’t just play cocaine-dealing motorcyclists riding their way across a fast-changing America. Both became poster boys for an equally fast-changing film industry. To me he was a lanky, long-haired icon of countercultural rebellion of which I was certainly part of. Peter Fonda and I were both “born to be wild”.
It was near Christmas in downtown Montreal that last year of the 70s. I was searching for the perfect gift for my friends and I soon found IT at the very back of Simpson’s Sears. There in the camera section were black and white posters on the back wall of Peter Fonda sitting on his bike. When I asked about them the salesclerk said they had just come in and the stock had not been brought down yet. I was determined to have one of these cherished items for my friends and I to put on our walls, so I asked if I could wait. She rolled her eyes and agreed while she called the stock room.
That day was December 21, and you can imagine the crowds at the counter buying film to take holiday photos, and I was definitely in the way. Each time a different salesclerk asked if they could help me I just smiled and said: ” I’m waiting for Peter Fonda!” . I glued myself to that Simpson Sears floor for the next 90 minutes. I was not leaving without Peter.
I knew my father was not going to be happy seeing another thing going up on my walls, but posters to me were brand new. Posters had been originally a method of advertising and promotion, but in the 1960s, a new crop of psychedelic signs became the signs of the counterculture, and I was involved. My stepmother, who was so enamoured with Pierre Trudeau. She had put his poster up on the living room wall to annoy my father who was a campaign manager for Jean Jacques Bertrand who served as Member of the Legislative Assembly for the District of Missisquoi in Quebec. If Pierre could be up on the wall so could Peter! I mean they had the same name after all LOL.
The posters eventually came downstairs and plopped on the counter, and I happily bought 6 at the price of 99 cents each. I will never ever forget that day and the 60s. Easy Rider was never a motorcycle movie to me– it was about what was going on in our lives as teens and freedom. Today, I still try to be who I am, but every day it’s harder to “get my motor running and venture to the highway”– but there is no doubt I was born to be wild LOLOL.. That never changes.
Today is Saturday, August 6th as I write this and I am back to what one could call normal?
Day 4–a Recap
I am not hiding the fact that I have “the plague” as they call it– as it is nothing to be ashamed about. This is a new reality we have to live with and I know now that I also had it in January of 2020. My doctor could not put his finger on it because there were no antibody tests then. But, having it now just reaffirms what I had in 2020 before the surge. Instead of a few days, it was two horrid months long. We have come a long way, but these are the facts now. We have to live with it. It is the new flu– and it’s awful–hands down.
Looking in the mirror this morning I look like Bette Davis on a bad day with a semi swollen face and bags hanging under my irritated eyes. I decided to write a blog called “I Look Like Shrek” and then chose not to share it with anyone. Do I really want people to have that impression of me? If I really was Bette Davis I would have ‘my people’ helping me get through this awful day. But I am not her, so instead I daydream about how I longed to be a movie star when I was very young.
Most of my friends know that my favourite actress is Bette Davis. There is absolutely no one that can get her point across in three seconds or less like she could. As a child I used to buy Popeye candy cigarettes and flash them back and forth yelling in my mother’s high heels,
“It’s going to be a bumpy ride!”– or something to that effect.
But, Bette Davis is not wetting her pants today and doing a laundry load of underwear. The sheer force of nature is running through my body with each sneeze. Only I am feeling the true warmth of being sick and trying to sit in various positions tobe comfortable. I am suddenly longing for the time I can stop crossing my legs when I sneeze. As Bette once said: “Old age is no place for sissies!” and maybe I would be dry as the desert now if I was 31 and not 71.
But, once upon a time I was young and every part of me worked. My mother Bernice Ethylene named me Linda Susan after her two favourite actresses: Linda Darnell and Susan Hayward. From her hospital bed to her wheelchair at home she commanded my father to enroll me in every dance class known to man. Mother Bernice wanted me to become another Joan Crawford as she was her favourite actress and lived, ate and breathed Crawford.
My mother, who was also tone deaf, thought I was born to sing like Deanna Durbin. Every week Reverend Peacock would choose one person to perform a solo at Trinity Anglican Church in Cowansville, Quebec, and my mother called him and suggested that I participate.
Sunday came way too fast and barely standing next to the choir I began to sing. At the end, I hear no bravos in the congregation, but by verse three people are covering their mouths with their handkerchiefs. At the end of my song Dickie Miner in the front pew breaks out into a fit of laughter and ends up on the floor.
I go back to my seat and see Reverend Peacock look down at me through his bifocals in bewilderment. Miss Watson, age 69, the spinster church organist, stamps on the organ pedals and rolls into the next hymn at death defying volume. My musical career ended that day, but Bernice kept insisting that it was okay because they always had stand-in singers for Joan.
Daydreaming over, I come to the conclusion that I’m going to use up a box of Kleenex every hour and it’s going to be a bumpy ride for the next few days. There is no one that is going to stand in for me like Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, but I am lucky it’s only for days and not months or maybe even worse. For the first time in history we can stay inside and watch as much Family Feud (Canadian or American) as we want while chasing it down with a cup of Chicken Noodle Soup. Being sick has made us realize the things we take for granted in life are never to be ignored again, not to mention life itself.
Linda (Darnell) Susan (Hayward) Knight always hated her name, because in class there were at least three girls with the very same name. So, much to her Dad’s opposition, she decided to change the spelling of her name to Lynda. After all, if she was going to be a famous fashion designer, her name had to be slightly cool or have an edgy spelling.
She was so enamoured of the way her name looked now that she began sending away for free stuff. Every day after school she would walk across the street, march into the Post Office, and open up the family’s mail box. Her father would not touch the mail addressed to Lynda because he thought she was being ridiculous.
Most days, the box was full of the many free travel brochures she had requested; all addressed to someone named Lynda not Linda. She decided that once she got out of school, she would travel the world designing for the rich and famous, so she really needed this incoming travel information.
Lynda entered contests daily by the loads, all with her newly made up name. She won a pen on the Canadian TV show, “Razzle Dazzle,” hosted by Alan Hamel and a talking turtle named Howard. She loved Howard and he read her winning story aloud on the air, and then carefully spelled out her name as L y n d a.
One day, while reading Seventeen magazine, she saw that a movie studio was having a contest seeking someone to play a part in the upcoming film, “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter”. The movie was to be based on the Carson McCullers novel of the same name, which she absolutely loved and had read many times. Lynda had long blonde hair and was in her anorexic stage, weighing approximately 105 pounds, and of course, she had a great name now. She read the instructions over and over and thought she would be perfect for the movie.
One day, a letter from Seventeen magazine arrived in Box 35 and Lynda opened it with glee. To her complete misery it said that yes, she could have been a contender, but sadly she was Canadian and the contest was only open to US citizens. Lynda became very upset as she had been denied the chance simply because she lived on the wrong side of the border. Had they not seen the way her name was spelled?
In that time and in that particular space, Lynda thought her whole world had ended, but years down the road, she was relieved. You see, the part went to someone named Sondra Locke. Sondra, being a skinny blonde, ended up shacking up with the co-star in her next film called “The Outlaw Josey Wales”. His name was Clint Eastwood.
Sondra and Clint had a nasty relationship that ended up so badly, she wrote a book called “The Good the Bad and the Very Ugly.” If Lynda had gotten that part and ended up with Clint, she felt he would have made her change her name back pronto. Clint was a pronto sort of man.
Eventually Sondra ended up leaving Hollywood so no doubt Lynda would have made the same decision. Yes, Lynda would have returned home miserable and gone back to her old name, as nothing is forever is it?
As Clint might have said; “that would not have made Lynda’s day.” No, not made her day indeed because young hearts always run free, no matter how they spell their names.