Tag Archives: Memories

Community Memories of the Lorimer’s–Stuart McIntosh

Community Memories of  the Lorimer’s–Stuart McIntosh
Charlie Lorimer’s farm, Ledore. Note the milk cans, butter churn and wooden eaves troughs Stuart McIntosh photo

Ben Willis–My Great Uncle Charlie’s homestead. This is “NOT ” The Dunlop Hunting Camp

The Lorimer homestead was east of uncle Charlies approx. 1 mile Building still standing ( Dunlops Hunt Camp) My great Grandfather Joesph lorimer and wife Annie mac Itosh raised 9 children here My mother Jean Bates Willis was born here in 1920.

Stuart McIntosh
January 20 at 2:49 PM  · 

Joe Lorimer, Bert Lorimer, Dave McIntosh, Dave Lorimer. Hunting on the Lorimer plateau 1941. At the home place.

Blair PaulGreat picture and stories! In the 40s and 50s you could see this house from the Poland church steps….before the bush grew up!

Peter EwartRhodena Bell where abouts would the feldspar mine be?

Rhodena BellPeter Ewart the entranceto the Feldspar mine was right across from the corner of ladore school it is all fallen in now My dad used to own Ladore school at one time

Ethel NagleWe used to sell the cream too, remember the truck coming to pick them up

Alice GilchristShelley McLeod Your grandpa picked up the cream at our farm

Leanne WalkerMy Grandmother lived here as a little girl after their home burnt. Hazel MacIntosh. Hazel Cameron would know more.

Peter EwartLeanne Walker the wooden eaves trough is most interesting…

Stuart McIntosh
January 19 at 5:20 PM  · 

Dad hunted with Joe, Doug and Dave Lorimer on what is called the Lorimer plateau.

Rhodena BellThis is owned by Hal Rodgers family from Hughesville PA now and Dunlop hunt camp now

Sandra DunlopJim Willis This farm has been passed down 3 generations now on both the Rogers family and the Dunlop family. At one point Morley Ashby owned it and sold it to Roger family

Kathy GrahamI believe Annie was my great (great) grandmother, I belong to the Lorimer-McIntosh clan, my grandfather Joseph married Elva Doucett, our reunions were held in Clayton, Ontario! I haven’t been to one in years tho’ ! My grandfathers father was Charles I believe! My maiden name is Hewitt my mother was a Lorimer!

Dave Craigthis is where my grandmother grew up. I have my great uncle Alecs pocket watch. Alec and Annie Lorimer never married. My middle name is Lorimer

Barry BatesKathy Graham if you read my cousin Dave’s comment below, you’ll see that Annie and Alec were never married. You must be from another branch of the Lorimer’s. You mentioned Charles. There was an Uncle Charlie and Aunt Virginia that I remember. On a Summer vacation, we visited them in Vancouver.

Kathy GrahamBarry Bates yes I think I must be from a different family! Charles and Annie I thought were married? My grandmother was also related in some way to the Paul’s in Lanark. Or Poland? (Ontario) the people who owned the store!

Cheryl Anne CooperWe used to sell cream too and fed the calves the skin milk.Oh I remember getting bunted by the calves. We shared the chores with in laws.I washed the separator parts every second day and hated it…but it had to be done!!

Photo-Rhodena BellI am trying to find pictures of the Lotimer girls I have stored

Rhodena BellBlair Paul my grandmother in middle her dad Joseph park to left and lorimer girls on either side might be uncle Jim park beside his dad

Cheryl Anne CooperWe used to sell cream too and fed the calves the skin milk.Oh I remember getting bunted by the calves. We shared the chores with in laws.I washed the separator parts every second day and hated it…but it had to be done!!

Blair PaulGreat picture and stories! In the 40s and 50s you could see this house from the Poland church steps….before the bush grew up!

Lodore Road in the winter
The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Wed, Jun 08, 1904 · Page 4

Documenting Ed Pelletier -Photos- Stuart McIntosh

What’s in a Photo — Stuart McIntosh

Mary Stuart Brien –Mary Beth Wylie

David McIntosh –Front Desk Man at the Mississippi Hotel

Remembering and Documenting The Loose Hay Loader

Howard and Olive Giles– Clippings

The Horrors of Wool, Bread Bags, and Red Dye Number 7

The Horrors of Wool, Bread Bags, and Red Dye Number 7

The Horrors of Wool, Bread Bags, and Red Dye Number 7 Linda Knight Seccaspina

During the 50s because of the baby boom, there was suddenly a high demand for more stylish clothing for children. Many boys began to wear jeans to elementary school– but girls of all ages were still expected–if not required-to wear dresses and skirts for school, church, parties, and even for shopping.

Out of all the outfits I wore as a child I remember my 3-piece red wool winter snowsuit. It was a short red wool swing jacket with matching jodhpurs and a hat. That particular red outfit and enduring Toni Perms would have been enough to drive me to a psychologist for years.  

There was nothing like playing out in the snow with this 3 piece red wool outfit on. I have to wonder what manufacturers and mothers were thinking. It wasn’t warm, and when it got wet it weighed triple its weight. The scratchy wool fabric rubbed my thighs so much that chafing couldn’t even be called a word. 

Red dye number 7 has never been safe for the world, but in the 50s when you removed coloured wet wool your skin matched the shade you had been wearing. It took a lot of scrubbing to get the colour residue off, but nothing was redder than my raw inner thighs. I had matching red rubber boots and sometimes I had to wear bread bags on my feet in those boots to stay dry.

My friends next door hated the snow boots they had to wear. They were black boots with buckles on the front that every male in any generation seemed to wear. They were tough to put on and were even more difficult to remove. Worn over shoes, the heels of your  shoe would tend to become wedged in the narrow neck of those boots.

To remove the boots at school, the boys would have to sit down on the hallway floor and try to unbuckle the now soaking wet buckles, which was difficult to do with cold hands. The boys could never seem to get their feet out of them without a fight. One boot or the other was always stuck halfway off, with one foot seemingly wedged in at some strange angle. Parents thought the solution to this was once again to place empty bread bags over their  shoes before the boots, but it never helped. That idea only caused them to have to deal with wet, empty bread bags along with the boots. At least their parents were there to help in the fight to get the boots on at home, but at school the kids were on their own. By the time those feet got into the still damp boots, the school was nearly empty. 

I hated wearing navy blue school tunics and white blouses and Monday seemed to be the only day I could wear the same white blouse as Friday without anyone knowing. In those days we wore uniforms so everyone would be dressed the same and no one would feel slighted. 

Then there were the tights– yes, the tights. They were so uncomfortable and scratchy that I couldn’t help but complain. I even snuck into one of the church’s closets one Sunday before the service and took the tights off. Unfortunately my Grandmother caught me  without my tights under my Choir robe and told me sternly, ”you have to put them on now!” I told her that they were uncomfortable but she told me I had to wear them for the rest of the church service at least. There just seemed to be something unfeminine about not being able to sit down comfortably with the crotch sagging down to your knees.

Now, most fashion for kids is just as trendy as adult fashion– even more for school. Every style comes back, even if you don’t want it too. Today, you need a small loan to buy a school uniform and as for the bread bags, well, I hear Reynolds Oven Bags, size Large, do a better job than Wonder Bread bags! As for the chafing– at my age my thighs don’t chafe anymore. They just applaud my efforts as I move around.

Stay safe!!

Related reading

Fashion Faux Pas in the Cemetery

The Poker Face of Corsets and Waist Training -1800s Fashion Comes Back in Style

Saved by Her Corset

It’s Electrifying! Dr Scott’s Electric Corset

Everybody Hurts – Sometimes — Linda Knight Seccaspina

Everybody Hurts – Sometimes — Linda Knight Seccaspina

Everybody Hurts – Sometimes Linda Knight Seccaspina– Sherbrooke Record Column

I don’t know if any lollipop in the world could have made me smile after lining up at the town hall, or was it the fire station, on the Main Street in Cowansville in the 50s. There we were– 100s of kids in line for a polio shot with doctors and nurses pushing those ugly needles down in our arms. Loud cries pursued like clockwork, and children were led out with a lollipop in their hands mixed with tears. That image has never left my mind, nor the two hours one Friday night at Dr. Roy’s office on South Street with someone trying to pin me down for yet another inoculation.

At my age now I have been picked and prodded all my life and one more is not going to make a difference. But this week I got a COVID booster and there was no treat for me after I had received it. I seem to miss that little act of kindness after something significant in my life. You go through hours of labour and at the end there is your baby, or you get hit by a car like I did at age 6, and there were stacks of Illustrated Classics Jesus comic books given to me by my Grandfather Crittenden.

So what happened and when?

Enduring a bout of strep throat at the age of 17 my Grandmother asked me what I wanted to eat as a special treat. I told her there was nothing I would enjoy more than KRAFT spaghetti. It had to be KRAFT, nothing else. After hours of dreaming about boxed spaghetti she turned up with a bowl of vegetable soup. Is that where it turned all wrong? Or was it just Mary Knight’s way of saying– everyone that hasn’t felt well should have vegetable soup, bread and butter and a piece of cheese for their first meal. 
All I know is that when I got that COVID booster this week, there was no lollipop, no stickers, just a full shot because I am 70. I could have really used a treat when I had the aftershocks afterwards: you know: “the fever, headache, fatigue and pain at the injection site”. For 24

hours I could not move, and in my mind an ear worm song of “It’s a Small World“ was playing in my head. It’s still playing actually.

My husband Steve understands ‘treats’ and even though I was dead to the world he asked me what I felt like eating. I said,

 “I would like a McDonalds Chicken Burger please”. 

He looked at me in the way Mary Knight used to look at me and said,

 “Are you sure you wouldn’t like a bowl of soup?” 

I gave him ‘the look’ which he understood immediately. I don’t know how husbands figure things like that out but there was no other conversation after that. But Steve doesn’t treat me like regular glue anyways, I’m always glitter glue to him.

As I began to eat that chicken burger I realized that was not what my body wanted, and could barely take a few bites. But that was my treat for all this and why didn’t my mind or body want the treat. It was obvious that my body was still in distress and Mary Knight’s remedy of a bowl of soup, bread and cheese would have been better. I went back to bed and never thought about it again.

At 2 am I woke up and my hair was soaked just like I had gone swimming. Obviously the fever had broken and my body was going back to normal. I smiled. Now where was that treat? Yes, I thought, I needed that treat even if it was now cold. I ventured downstairs quietly and looked in the fridge. Nothing there. Then I looked at the garbage pail. Sitting on top was the McDonald’s bag and there inside the box was my chicken burger. Some of you are saying,

“Oh no she didn’t”

I am telling you right now, “oh yes she did!”

Pulling a George Costanza from Seinfeld, I took out what was left in that container and I ate it all. You have heard the saying, “Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight”. It was after midnight, and I was going to have that treat still with the ear worm of It’s a Small World playing through my head.

Let’s Just “Gruel” in the New Year

Let’s Just “Gruel” in the New Year

When I used to watch old movies as a child; gruel was served to orphans as an economic necessity. You certainly couldn’t feed hundreds of children steak and eggs on the city’s dime and Dickens loved using gruel as a metephor for cruelty. The Dickensian delights of the Victorian workhouse, immortalised in the moment when a starving Oliver Twist dares to ask for some more watery gruel.

In my family–the gruel came with much praise and many comments every day in January — undoubting the decision of its wholesomeness along with a small side bowl of prunes for everyone’s constitution. In today’s realm it would be much like yogurt attempts to advertise for the thoughts of regular constitution.

Gruel can actually be quite tasty they say. Mary Louise Deller Knight’s was not. Like the 1976 tune “Give Peace a Chance” I was instructed to give gruel a chance- every single day. The thin porridge has had a bad reputation with me ever since. My grandmother decided the month of January should be dedicated to getting everyone’s body ready for the rest of the Winter and layers of morning gruel lining my intestines would do it.

You know maybe if Grammy had followed the old recipe above I might have given it a chance. But- she made her slushy gruel, containing oats, water, milk and onion. That’s right — onion. As my grandfather would say:

“There’s no flavour at all without the onion.”

I begged to differ.

As she rejoyced about it ‘sticking to my insides’, today I would have retorted, “They call that Dysphagia!” In yesterday’s life it was “eat your meals or starve.”

Today, in these nutritionally conscious times, gruel is an all-rounder. It’s got all the carbs and water you need to barely survive for another day. For the health-conscious gruel can be made more interesting by adding bee pollen, maca, hemp seeds, coconut butter, lentil sprouts or fermented tree-nut cheese. Consider yourself warned this might become a new food trend!

Me? I think I will just eat my ethically-sourced, fair trade hat and avoid it like the Black Plague.

More gruel recipes click here.

Pease Pudding in the Pot, Nine Days Old

 Dugald Campbell Memories of Ramsay Township and Almonte — Town Merchants etc.

 Dugald Campbell  Memories of Ramsay Township and Almonte — Town Merchants etc.

Dugald Campbell of Vancouver who learned his trade in the Gazette office and has been a representative of the Linotype Co. in Western Canada for many years: Vancouver, B.C.

When Dugald Campbell was born on May 9, 1886, in Lanark, Ontario, his father, Donald, was 48 and his mother, Christinia, was 41. he lived in Almonte in 1901. He married Sarah Garret Johnston on September 10, 1913, in Vancouver, British Columbia. They had four children during their marriage. He died on August 17, 1973, in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the age of 87, and was buried there.

Dec. 12th, 1956. Editor of Gazette: ( this was written in the early 1900s)

It is a long time since I left the home environments of Ramsay Township and of the little towns of the Ottawa Valley, and more particularly the town of Almonte. I recall, at this Christmas seeason, the inherent goodness of the people of my youth, of their quiet and simple lives and of the home attachments which was to them and to me, of such vital importance. Ramsay Township was the home, in my youth, of a great host of Scottish folk, many of them had emigrated from the land of the heather and settled there, and there were many, even then, almost fifty years ago, who were second and third generation Canadians.

These people, and the Canadian bom with them, had simple habits, homely tastes and a good philosophy of life. Most of these people had strong church attachments and their Sabbatarian habits, were of such a nature that much of the adolescent wildness was kept in check. Among these grand folk, many of them now resting in peace in the Auld Kirk Cemetery, were the salt of the earth. It is true of the farming folk who contributed so much to the life of the township, equally as with the townfolk who centred their busy hours with the textile industry.

We ought to remember them, in these hectic days, as a race of good folk, who sought to follow the precepts and commandments of the Book, and whose lives were circumspect to a more than usual degree. I recall such folk as the great family of Youngs, many of them living in town and country. Sturdy, genial and kind, their contribution to the community was great.

I recall the town merchants, A. J. McAdam, James Robertson, D. H. Davis, Ben Williams, O. E. Henderson, E. W. Smith, John Donaldson, Alex Allan, James Forgie, John O’Reilly and his son, Eugene O’Reilly, Dan Shaw, Tom White, Manassah Patterson, James McLeod, H.H. Cole, Ed. Scott, Hube McFarlane, Wesley West and many others.

There were several medical doctors—D. P. Lynch, John F. Hanly, A. A. Metcalfe . The lawyers—A. M. Greig, Harry Jamieson, W. H. Stafford. There were the barbers—Geo. Gilbert, Billy Boyle, Paddy Malone, Pete Malone, Jim m y Hogan, all of them social celebrities of no mean degree. On Bridge street were G. W. Willoughby, Geo. Illingworth, Jim Robb, P. C. Dowdall, Mick McCabe, and a few others. The Christmas season gave us great times, what with public and high school entertainment.

Dugald Campbell

BIRTH9 May 1886Almonte, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
DEATH17 Aug 1973 (aged 87)Vancouver, Greater Vancouver Regional District, British Columbia, Canada
BURIALPacific Heritage CemeteryBurnaby, Greater Vancouver Regional District, British Columbia, Canada
PLOT102-01-A, interred 6 Sep 1973

A Tale From Almonte High School –Dugald Campbell

Almonte Christmas Concert 1900 Dugald Campbell

Do You Remember? 1900 in Almonte — Dugald Campbell

Dugald Campbell –Memories of Ramsay Township and Almonte–Ministers Hunters and Schools

Dugald Campbell –Memories of Ramsay Township and Almonte–Ministers Hunters and Schools

When Dugald Campbell was born on May 9, 1886, in Lanark, Ontario, his father, Donald, was 48 and his mother, Christinia, was 41 he lived in Almonte in 1901. He married Sarah Garret Johnston on September 10, 1913, in Vancouver, British Columbia. They had four children during their marriage. He died on August 17, 1973, in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the age of 87, and was buried there.

Dec. 12th, 1956. Editor of Gazette: ( this was written in the early 1900s)

The Sunday School affairs.

There were good ministers and priests as well—Rev. A. E. Mitchell, Rev. O rr Bennett, Rev. Chas. Daly, Rev. Dr. Chown, Canon Low, and the1 venerable old saint of St. Mary’s church, the late Father Foley. We had lots of other interesting characters in and around Almonte. Too many churches now have no evening service. There are scarcely any tea meetings or church socials such as we knew them

There were great hunters such as John Dulmage, Mack Fraser and others. There were some good baseball players—Chippy McGrath, Davy Hart, Hughie Clarke, Alex McGregor, the Grey boys, the Dixon boys, the Nagle boys and so on.

The school teachers—P. C. McGregor, W. C. Black, John McCarter, R. L. McDonald, all the McGregor girls, four of them, J. A. McPhail, J. W. Donnelly, R. E. Tasker and the inimitable Miss Armour, the teacher of French, and the classical headliner of the high school, Miss Margeret Thompson. No wonder the marks of the fellows and girls of those days were good, they had good and splendid teachers. I remember one remarkable character—Johnny Duncan. He was the ice man for years at the open air rink. He also built a boat for the Mississippi. It was quite a wonderful boat, but there certainly was no money in the venture, and its usefulness did not continue.

W. W. Pittard owned and printed the Almonte Times, always a hand set paper. Pitt was really something when the spirit moved, and that was often enough. The Gazette, under McLeod & McEwen, later James McLeod, and from then on to now, always had a good paper. It was always progressive, always Liberal and always considered sound.

The town band also was something unusual. Tom Brown wag leader, and he had a few of the following — Sid McLean, Bob Dodds, Andy Hill, Walter Scrimegeour and his son, Charlie, Josh McCallum, Alf Proctor and Ernie Proctor, and some of us kids were allowed to hold the music when the band played on the town square.

Recently the editor of the Carleton Place Canadian sent me a photo of the Perth Crescent lacrosse team of 1903. The Crescents were champions, and some one had routed out the picture and it was printed in the Perth Courier. In 1905, and it was really a great year under old Jimm y Porritt and Mike Gleason.

The C.P.R. were running wooden cars from Montreal to Vancouver what a difference from the modem ‘Canadian’ which crosses the continent now. Six days from Montreal to Vancouver, now three and a half days by rail; by air from Vancouver to Toronto now 11hours. Modern life has speeded u p greatly, but we ought never to forget that the days of the 1900 era were also good. The horse and buggy days were good days.

If you could just see some of the farm lands of western Canada, with their tractors and gas propelled machinery, scarcely a horse on the vast prairie country now at all. Times have changed and the wheat farm ers are taking off — wheat crops of 500 and 600 million. Down in the fruit valleys of British Columbia they take off several million boxes of apples per year, nearly everyone has their own home and their own car.

There are too many centralized TV picture shows in every home, most of them and no wonder there is world trouble. We are getting plenty of Hungarian refugees coming in air lifts over the Arctic to Voncouver these days, starving people, without any of the North American comforts, who are coming to us from hunted Europe.

Let us give thanks in Canada at this Christmas time for all the blessings which we enjoy. Let us be very sure that we deserve them because war clouds are gathering which are anything but good.

Times Of Love and Dreams to Share

Times Of Love and Dreams to Share


It is December 15th, almost a week before Christmas, and you would never know it. I wrote a piece a few years ago called “Searching For Christmas” and it seems, as the years go by, it disappears more and more. The Martha Stewart Christmas CD plays for the umpteenth time, and after 17 Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel I just can’t watch another. Or can I?

I had something happen to me a few years ago that was life altering. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about it, and it has literally changed my perspective on life. It was almost like learning there was no Santa Claus when I was a child. That innocence that reinforced the goodness of mankind suddenly vanished. So, I sit here and ask myself, how many Christmases do I have left? What if I had not lived, and missed Christmas that year? Well, I did live, and Christmas is almost around the corner.

So I try to snap out of this funk and remember. I remember the smell of Christmas trees and their sharp pine pungent scent, and the smell of home baking in the air. To be honest, the last years of my childhood Christmases were not spent smelling a fresh evergreen tree. It was gazing at the latest model of Sears “best in the line ” decorator trees in my Grandmother’s living room. I remember the delicate fragile glass ornaments that belonged to years gone by and the blue lights on the tree.

I can still hear Miss Watson playing the church organ next to the Chrismtas tree at Trinity Anglican Church, which also shone with blue lights. I felt like it was something that was decided upon one Altar Guild Day in one fell swoop of a pact.  Can I still hear these women talking with their glasses perched on their noses and fluffing their short tight perms? Did these church ladies decide that blue lights, and only blue lights, should be on a Christmas tree? I am positive that’s what happened and then they all went home and changed their lights to blue in a no nonsense way.

Memories then flood my mind of  two weeks after Christmas in 1995 when my sons and I stood on top of a water- soaked carpet looking sadly at a completely black Christmas tree. Staring at the remainder of a horrible fire that burned everything the day before, my oldest son wondered if his purchase of one small TY Beanie Baby monkey started the fire that turned our lives upside down for over a year. He is very much like his mother. We dwell on things and don’t give them up. We are good at that.

But Christmas went on the next year and no one was a Negative Nancy. We still watched Charlie Brown’s Christmas and baked cookies and hung up stockings and I still left small presents on the door steps of the elderly. So what to do? How do I get out of this Downer Dan mood? I decided to make  Butter Tarts–now that would make me feel festive.

Twenty minutes later after listening to Loreena McKennitt singing “Good King Wenceslas” for the umpteenth time, I take the tarts from the oven. They smell wonderful and I know they will be enjoyed. I turn the Martha Stewart Christmas CD off and file it away, not to be played for… let’s say…at least a day. Charlie Brown’s Christmas by Vince Guaraldi fills the air and I dance. I realize the holidays are what you make out of it and not to expect anyone to drop the Holiday spirit outside your bathroom door– because it just isn’t going to happen. Christmas just isn’t a season–it’s a feeling sometimes being torn for the familiar and just a chance to feel old feelings twice. If kisses were snowflakes I would send each and everyone of you a blizzard.

Living in the Past from Noreen Tyers

Living in the Past from Noreen Tyers
Noreen Tyers—Grandparents in front of Richards Castle, in Snow Road
around the 1940’s John and Charlotte (Mavis) Lahey Summer holidays at the Stone House.

My childhood Memory– by Noreen Tyers

Memory is like a key; it opens a door to spending some time in the past.

Not too long ago, someone said to me you seem to dwell in the past.  I have found out since doing my family history, there is so much I do not know about family matters.  At my senior age maybe I will dwell on it,  as it can be so interesting.   In both my family history and my husband’s history I have gone back to the 1700’s, in my process, it goes back to discovering his great-grandfather was a Huguenot from the Guernsey Islands who settled on the Plains of Abrahams, in Quebec, in the late 1700’s. 

In our home sits a Desk made on the Plains of Abrahams which was created in the Late 1700’s, during that time, by my husband’s Great Grandfather.  The family also changed their name from LeLacheur to Lusher.  When one has the use of a Laptop there is just so much information to be found to fill in some gaps to ones heritage. Connections were made and we found some new kissin cousins we did not know we had.

Huguenots were French Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who followed the teachings of theologian John Calvin. Persecuted by the French Catholic government during a violent period, Huguenots fled the country in the 17th century, creating Huguenot settlements all over Europe, in the United States and Africa. Mar 16, 2018

In my Dad’s Family,  history was a sad upbringing and beginning of life he had.  His Mother and Dad left him and a sister in England, and came to Canada, his Grandparents brought him up.  His father died in the first world war when my Dad was four.  He went to work at the age of eight at a Mill in Rochdale, Lancashire.  He worked in the same Mill as the War Time Singer, Gracie Fields. More than once when she would come on the Radio, he would say “Many a lunch time I spent singing with Her.”  My Dad had a beautiful Irish Tenor Voice, needless to say we had some old 78″ records, with Gracie Fields songs.  My Dad did live a lonely life until he met and married my Mom and he finally found out what Family was all about. He sailed to Canada when he was seventeen, to find his Mom.  The outcome was not positive for him, his mom had remarried.

There is one thing about looking into your heritage: it is very difficult to wrap your head around some of the knowledge you gain.  I have to say that you take on a very different attitude on what is important.  I do find that when you learn more about the early years of your parents life it does make some dates far more important.  As a Child I do remember going to Remembrance Day, and finding out about my Dad’s Family.  The Service at the War Memorial in Ottawa was much more meaningful.  It did answer the question of the tear in my Dad’s eye, I have to say I noticed it and would look for it on the following services held at the War Memorial that I attended. 

I do remember being told about the flags around the National War Memorial.  My Mom was a winner at her school, Lisgar Collegiate, for an essay, on how to improve the appearance of the area of the War Memorial.   Her idea was flags around the outside area, and for many years as a child, I would come home from the service and say to my Mom, your Flags are still flying Mom.  In the 40’s it was the Union Jack Flag. I do have a newspaper  clipping showing that My Mom’s Idea was a winner.  I do have to admit it became a bragging right as a child, and I did brag to my Classmates every November 11th. I am quite sure they grew tired of hearing it from me.

You know with Covid hanging around the world, one tries to come up with idea’s to keep busy, but out of the worry of covid invading the being, you keep busy.   Years ago I started to mark down some lines and put together a series of stories of a Holiday at Richards Castle in Snow Road.  These stories were generated by Childhood Memories of Summer Holidays at the Old Stone House.  This was a holiday with the whole extended family.  It started out in 1936 when Grandpa arranged for a holiday for two weeks, each year for over fifteen years. They would travel to Snow Road and Richard’s Castle.  I did have such a good time as a young girl,, along with Prince Freddie the Frog, He sat on a lily pad in the Mississippi River.

The holiday trip in the back on an old Charles Ogilvy Department Store truck driven by an uncle or taking the old K & P Railway – Kingston – Pembroke or as it was dubbed by the locals the Kick and Push.  As children, it was a horrible trip up as we would all get motion sick on both the trains in the back of the old delivery truck.  It was a castle and we were a family of meagre means and if you could fantasize many stories could be generated, and with me they did and have lasted a good long time.

I then started to mark down stories from my childhood from living on Gardner Street.  The houses on this street could have used a paint job and some repairs, but being war time and very few men around, and a Landlord who did not like to spend money or just may have been, she did not have it.  So repairs seldom ever made it to be done, and the list of repairs just kept getting bigger and never addressed.

During the Covid shut-in time it was used to work on the Family history book, I did a write up of Family Treasures and where they came from, and who they belonged to.  When one starts a project like this you also learn by it.  In both sides of our family there were talented individuals and in most cases a lot of thought, love and technique went into the item.  Some might think they were nothing more than trinkets yet there was a story and memories with each item.  To me they are priceless and have priceless value.  I still have my doll house, with a little circular table and two chairs, and a fireplace with a mantle clock that my grandparents created and gave me at the age of around nine.  Grandpa made it and it has been special ever since.  It has gone through family, and children have used it, with the specification it came back to me.  It did and sometimes it might come out at Christmas, when one gets the desire for a Hallmark type Christmas.

My latest little pleasure is doing a family story book for kids, from the stories of Snow Road.  I do not think of myself as a writer, but I do believe I am a storyteller, who just can recall memories from a picture or an item.

If you want to think of me as living in the past, maybe I do, but over the years I have built up a lot of memories.  I do find pleasure, and my time in the past was very pleasant.  To tell you the truth, with all the spare time I have and lack of seeing too many people and being alone so much, it does fill in a void, and childhood returns, if only for a while.

No I do not spend all my time in the past, but in my pleasant thoughts and yes they were, I travel back to some happy times.  It does keep the mind active and the fingers nimble, marking them down..  One just never knows, what you might find out, something you never knew of, and maybe someone needs this information for a project they are working on. Family Tales, it’s a treasure and priceless,  to find something and check it out.  I am no Princess only at Richard’s Castle the name was Princess Pigtails, yes that’s what my Grandpa called me, and he was a wise man.

Just some thoughts and a few lines, on a quiet Sunday 

from the  ✒Of Noreen Tyers

For the Love of Fungi and Leprechauns By Noreen Tyers

Hair Attention — Noreen Tyers

The Handmade Tablecloth — Noreen Tyers

Cutting a Christmas Tree at the House of Old at R. R. # 4 — Noreen Tyers

Making the Fudge for that Special School Affair 1940s Noreen Tyers

The Teeter Totter Incident Noreen Tyers

Childhood Movie Nights at Reliance Motor Court in Eastview — Noreen Tyers

Hats, Ogilvy’s and Gaudy Teenage Years — Noreen Tyers

Sending Thoughts of Winter to You, from my Wee Dog Ruffy Noreen Tyers

A Trip in the Carrying Case– Noreen Tyers

Just Me Growing Up in the Early 1940’s Noreen Tyers

Grandma and the Cute Little Mice– From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

Another Broken Bed Incident — Stories from Richards Castle — Noreen Tyers

Lets Play Elevator- Charles Ogilvy Store — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

At Church on Sunday Morning From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

Jack’s in Charge-Scary Stories — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

Adventures at Dalhousie Lake at the Duncan’s Cottages —- From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

I am Afraid of Snakes- From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

Hitching a Ride Cross Town — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

My Old Orange Hat –From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Out of the Old Photo Album — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

Snow Road Ramblings from Richards Castle — From the Pen Of Noreen Tyers

Summer Holidays at Snow Road Cleaning Fish — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Snow Road Adventures- Hikes in the Old Cave — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Putting Brian on the Bus– Stories from my Childhood Noreen Tyers

My Childhood Memory of Richard’s Castle –From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Grandpa’s Dandelion Wine — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

My Wedding Tiara — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Art of Learning How to Butter Your Toast the Right Way — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Smocked Dresses–From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Kitchen Stool — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Flying Teeth in Church — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Writings of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Memories of Grandpa’s Workshop — Noreen Tyers

Cleaning out Grandmas’ Fridge — Noreen Tyers Summer Vacation at Richard’s Castle

My Flower Seeds — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

My Barbra Ann Scott Doll –Noreen Tyers

Greetings From Ruffy on Groundhog Day Noreen Tyers

That Smell Of The Lanark County SAP Being Processed — Noreen Tyers

Adventures at Dalhousie Lake at the Duncan’s Cottages — Noreen Tyers

The old Sheepskin Slippers Noreen Tyers

Once Upon a Time it was Yesterday —- Linda Knight Seccaspina

Once Upon a Time it was Yesterday —- Linda Knight Seccaspina

Once Upon a Time it was Yesterday Linda Knight Seccaspina

They say if you time travel in your dreams you might end up in a continuous loop, and if it were possible to go back a few years maybe we could undo our mistakes. Last night I found myself once again breathing in the past.

Sitting on a bench outside the old train station in Cowansville, Quebec in a dream, it seemed like forever, but in reality it was probably just a few minutes. Nothing had changed as the lunchtime whistle blew from the Vilas factory across the way, and the ghosts of workers past streamed out of boarded up doorways and broken windows.

The Gazette
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
22 May 1987, Fri  •  Page 3

I saw the Realmont building and remembered it being such a mysterious place to some of us as teenagers. Whispers of what went on in that building were always on my mind and the secretive hygiene products of what we thought they sold were now irrelevant in my life.

I looked at the old bowling alley across the street and remembered the evenings spent in a cigarette smoke filled basement dancing to 60s music and the friends I will never forget.

Sitting on the cement steps of the old Voyageur Bus Terminal I watched my late Father trying to calm the owner, telling him to ignore the teenagers with their transistor radios as they were never going to take his jukebox business away. In reality all of us are just full of hot air and I had to giggle at my father’s lack of faith in technology. I snapped a photo of the two of them realizing it would probably only end up becoming memories and kept on walking down South Street stopping to peer into Hashim’s window.

I had spent a great deal of my youth shopping in this store and loved the smell of new clothing and running my hand down the long wooden counter on Friday nights. In those days you trusted your retailers, and so did my Father when I purchased a pair of lime green ‘leprechaun’ shoes there in the 60s for $7. I remember those shoes as being the most outrageous, but incredibly uncomfortable shoes I had ever worn. 

My Grandmother was sitting on the screened verandah and I waved as I walked by and said I would be back. She pointed to the big Shell truck that was unloading gas at the corner gas station. Every Friday evening the truck would pull up and the heavy smell of gas would invade the air. Grammy would put her hands on her hips and tell the driver that the next smoker who lit up was going to blow us all to kingdom come. My grandparents never owned a car so they had great difficulty understanding those who did.

I longed to see the shoes in Brault’s window as I had always admired their quality and cutting edge. The Anglican church beckoned me to pay homage to the place that I had spent a great deal of time in. The usually locked door was open and I looked inside and remembered the sound of the choir and the smell of the vestry that my Grandmother and I worked in every Friday night. I saw apple blossoms on the church pews for someone’s wedding and this seemed all too real and better to relive this just once more and not a thousand times again.

It was a debate where to stop next– Cowansville High School or Le Patio restaurant across the street. Both had been instrumental in my growing pains and I swore I heard the song “These Boots are Made for Walking” on a continuous loop and the smell of “patates frites avec sauce” filled the air.

I looked down the street and saw the shattered glass of the Mademoiselle Shoppe and knew I could not cross the bridge and go further because I was caught in a loop of that Winter day in 1959. Many children were hurt in a terrible accident which I am sure they too never ever forgot.

Sometimes you have to travel a long way to find what is near and life now has to begin at the end of my comfort zone. My past has given me the strength and wisdom I have today and some things are better left in yesterday along with all the mistakes and regrets. What happened yesterday is just a story, and I accept the result of once having had the time of my life and know that you can always go back home– somehow.

Never Miss a Chance to Dance! Linda Knight Seccaspina

Never Miss a Chance to Dance! Linda Knight Seccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina 1968 and Saul Cohen working at Place Bonaventure from-Ramblings of a Rebel with a Cause!

Never Miss a Chance to Dance!

No one in this world wanted to take over tap dancer Ann Miller’s job more than I did. After 70 long years of random attempts, all that remains is a pair of silver tap shoes tucked away in a cupboard long forgotten. I used to wear them on a day to day basis for many years as I always believed one should be on call if someone had the odd tap dancing job. In life I have always winged it: life, eyeliner, just everything.

As a child my mother told my father that I had natural rhythm and would probably belong to a professional dance troupe. Actually, what she really wanted me to be was one of the dancers on American Bandstand, but I had other goals in mind. When I was eight I wanted to fluff out my tutu and be the Sugar Plum Fairy so badly that I accidentally bumped the reigning fairy off the stage during practice. Seeing the stage was a foot off the ground, she was luckily not hurt, and I was to remain a Waltzing Flower forever.

At 17 I had my first “break”. I became one of the regular “crowd” dancers on a Montreal based TV show called “Like Young”. Every Saturday afternoon I lined up outside CFCF-TV sporting my grandmother’s orthopedic brown lace up shoes, ready to dance. Those borrowed shoes were just super for dancing and they looked fabulous with my floor dusting Le Chateau gabardine pants. I was nothing but double-trouble on the dance floor.

After the show was over we would all head downtown and refresh our spirits at the Honey Dew restaurant on Saint Catherine Street. One giant glass of Honey Dew along with a hot dog and then it was off to Place Du Soul. It was the “all ages” place to be, that was right across from the Greyhound Bus Station in case you had to leave town quickly. Each week I resumed my Sugar Plum Fairy dreams of long ago– only this time it was for the coveted title of go-go cage dancer. The elevated cages were about twenty stairs up a shaky ladder and it became a weekly goal to try and fight the others to be queen of the dancing soul-castle.

One weekend James Brown was the headlining act and even though I had issues with vertigo I decided I was finally going to be dancing in that cage that evening.  As I stood in line waiting my turn I told several people that the lead singer Bruce from “Les Sultans” was soon to be coming in the front door.

“Les Sultans” were the French Canadian version of the Beatles in those days, and I tell you that line stopped being a line in about two seconds flat. Smiling a very large sinister smile I climbed those twenty stairs wearing a short print mini dress, white boots and a huge white bow on top of my head. I never looked down once and realized quickly there was no lady-like way to climb that ladder without flashing my underpants. Remember, there is always a wee bit of insanity in dancing that does everybody a great deal of good.

James started to sing, “I Feel Good,” and it couldn’t have been a better song. I stayed up in the cage as long as I could and danced my boots off. Others got tired of me hogging the limelight and tried to climb up and get rid of me. I threw my boots down one at a time.  Last song, bootless, and eyeliner running down my face James threw me a kiss in the air and sang “I Got You”. I would never live my mother’s dream of being one of Dick Clark’s dancers, but finally, I was the Sugar Plum Fairy of Soul and covered in a “Cold Sweat”!
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here, we should dance. When you are sixty and still dancing, you become something of a curiosity. If you hit seventy and you can still get a foot off the ground, you’re phenomenal. Now, with a cane, dancing can be difficult, but I still dance like nobody’s watching. Because, in reality, they aren’t watching you. That’s because they are all too busy checking their phones. Why be moody, when you can shake your booty!