April 2nd, 2006 3:31 am
In 1965 I became a stalker– full fledged. I had been stalking my crushes for years, but I perfected it in Grade 9 at Cowansville High School. Stalking is such an intense word– let’s call it ‘intense research of an individual’.
In high school I was in love with a French Canadian boy from Cowansville named Alain Jacques. The male student body of St. Leon’s School would loiter outside Le Patio restaurant in front of Cowansville High School every noon hour. Of course all of us gals would hang out of the open front school windows gazing at the boys even in the dead of winter. What is it about High School– where all your self esteem, innocence and dreams just get to die?
Alain was so fine with his Beatle boots, blonde hair and there wasn’t a notebook of mine that didn’t have his name written all over it. Being limited in French I remember writing a song about him to the Beatles tune of Nowhere Man and he probably wished I was fluent in silence.
I used to believe in writing songs to say things, and in reality sometimes they sound better in your head. I thought I was going to die with this song kept secret inside of me. Instead, one of my friends thought it would be funny to hand it to the crowd of young St. Leon men who had nothing better to do on a lunch hour. I was mortified, and I can still remember the first ludicrous line to this day.
“He’s a real nowhere man sitting on his garbage can”
Rabbits jump and live for 8 years. Dogs run and they live for 15 years. Turtles do nothing and they live for 150 years. I should have followed the turtles and subbed my song writing to holding the refrigerator door open instead looking for answers to love and life. To be old and wise you first have to be young and stupid, and I am sure there was many a person in my youth who wanted to ask me:
“Who ties your shoelaces for you?”
Author’s Note–Even Duct Tape can’t fix stupid- but it can sure muffle the sound. I used to tote around 7 different colours–I wonder why..
Thirty minutes later a doctors in scrubs walks by me half asleep hardly able to open his eyes. They had to call someone to come in, as someone went home sick. He looks at me with one eye open and bangs into the door frame–yes, my son will get good care here.
Ten minutes later the son comes out with a prescription for the infection. He is told the thorn is in deep and not to take it out just yet. Larry King interview over, we leave and drive the two blocks home. By the time we pull into the garage he is almost asleep and I am wide awake. Sometimes you fight being frustrated with your child– for being just like yourself, and remember that years ago– his first breath took yours away–and it still does.
Sept. 4th, 2006 at 1:38 AM
Let it be known I can’t sing. I used to sing in the Trinity church choir in Cowansville- but I was drowned out by really good singers, so no one really heard me. They did however allow me to perform once and that was the end of my dreams of becoming a rock star.
Reverend Peacock would choose one person to sing the weekly solo called Lead me Lord. I was bypassed all the time until the good reverend decided to give me a try. That week I spent hours in front of the bathroom mirror trying to sing, but my voice in reality made dogs lie down and not move for days.
Sunday comes and I hope someone in those church pews will stand up and say ‘Bravo’ at the end of my solo. But, by verse three people began to cough and covered their mouths with their handkerchiefs. By the end of the song half the congregation had excused themselves to go out in the church hall accompanied with a lot of laughter. By the end of the song I am hearing sighs of relief like people have been suppressing themselves.
End of song, no clapping, no bravos, and I go back to my pew and see Reverend Peacock look down at me through his bifocals in bewilderment. Miss Watson, age 69, (spinster for life ) the church organist, also gazes at me through her bifocals the same way, stamps on the organ pedals, and rolls into the next hymn at depth defying volume. Actually, the volume was so high you could no longer hear me sing. As Lillie Langtry once said, “I was so bad I swear I could hear the angels singing”- yup, every path has a puddle.
Sept. 9th, 2006 at 11:36 AM
I never owned any generic clothing or a pair of jeans until 1998. Years ago I used to have two rooms of clothes, 43 pairs of shoes, and 67 Victoria’s Secret bras. Today I scratch my head wondering why I needed so many options in life. Because I have always dressed “not like the average bear” people quickly formed opinions about me. Was I from some Gothic cult, or in the local sex trade?
I once visited the lovely tourist town of Gatlinburg, Tenn. and had on black dress pants, a red blazer, and a black mini bra top under a fishnet top. Walking into a local drugstore four women took one look at me and got down on their knees and prayed for me. I got a little miffed with them –after all, this was fashion to me, so I decided to bother them a bit.
I asked the counter lady very loudly if I could have some “sex gum” that was displayed behind the counter. She knew it was a joke, but those ladies didn’t, and the praying got louder and louder. I turned around very quickly and said,
“Ladies, one can buy a gun at the age of 16 in Tennessee and purchase fireworks 24/7 —but you can’t wear fishnet in Tennessee?”
The whole place just roared, and the ladies kept on praying for my “fishnet covered soul”.
It’s 20 years later now, and at 66 my wardrobe has changed–drastically. Today a cashier began singing hymns while she checked my groceries out and stopped when I left. I thought about it for awhile and wondered if I was really that strange, or am I just some sort of a ‘limited edition’? 🙂
Apr. 21st, 2007 at 4:27 PM
I used to read Seventeen magazine all the time, and in 1966 the popular teen magazine had a contest to win a possible part in the movie The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. At that moment in time I had long blonde hair, and was in one of my anorexic stages, and weighed about 100 pounds.
As I read the article over and over; I thought I would be perfect for the movie so I filled out the contest form very carefully and sent a photo. I was so excited that I bought the Carson McCullers book and practised Mick Kelly’s lines over and over. This was my part, my mind insisted, and every night I would take the carefully folded article out of my drawer and hope that no other gal in the Eastern Townships had entered. One day I got a letter from Seventeen magazine and to my chagrin it said that yes, I could have been a contender but sadly, I was Canadian, and the contest was open to only US citizens.
What? To be denied my chance because I lived on the wrong side of the border? At that time and space I thought my whole world had ended, but today I am relieved I didn’t win. Sondra Locke, who won the Mick Kelly part, began a romantic relationship with Clint Eastwood during the filming of Josey Wales. Okay, so would my fate have been the same? Would I too have lived with Clint Eastwood?
Clint and Sondra lived together for 12 years and her autobiography The Good, the Bad, and the Very Ugly includes a harrowing account of her years with Eastwood. When their relationship ended in 1988, Locke brought a suit against Eastwood and Warner Bros, Inc. In 1999, she settled out of court with Warner Bros. and Eastwood for a reportedly large, undisclosed amount and left Hollywood.
In retrospect I’m glad I never won that contest. The thing is: you can’t control fate, and I guess things happen for a reason. I didn’t get the part, I never dated Clint, and thankfully never experienced any of Sondra’s relationship glitches. Of course Clint is probably relieved too, if he has ever read about my youth. You know the saying: “if you didn’t do wild things when you were young, you will have little to smile about when you are old”– and thankfully I am still smiling.
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)