Tag Archives: mental-health

There Was Just Something About Larry


Zoomers writing challenge this week was to write about what you do on your downtime. I really don’t have any hobbies, go on trips, or even drive anymore. But the thing that I will never stop doing is talking to people any chance I get. There is nothing more I like to do then learn about their life, and their views about the world.

A few years ago I began writing a series about strangers I met and called it “Horses With No Names.” These were the people I spoke to when life stopped for me for a few seconds out of the day. Saturday, as I sat on a bench in front of the Royal Bank in Carleton Place I met a gem of a soul and here is some of his story.

A very tall man with special needs sat down beside me during the hustle and bustle of The Bridge Street Bazaar on Saturday and looked like he was lonely. I smiled at him, introduced myself, and asked him what his name was. He looked at me and instantly spoke loudly and slow.

“My name is L-A -R- R- Y,” he said as he spelled out his name. I shook his hand and asked,”Your name is Larry?” I asked.

Again he looked at me quite seriously, and spelled out his name once again. I repeated his name once more, and finally he shook his head in agreement. He asked me many questions after that, and hoped I would have the answers.
Why was the white dog was sitting in a chair?

Why was the little girl sitting on the sidewalk with her dog and not walking him?

Was there a man inside the Giant Tiger Mascot costume, or was it a real tiger?

He asked me if I was from Carleton Place and if I knew any movie stars. I in turn asked him where he lived, and he pointed to the old Post Office and said he didn’t really like it. It was no secret that Larry loved music, but wasn’t enjoying what the band was playing. He told me he liked country music, but emphatically said that did not include Taylor Swift. I had a music box on the table and brought it over to him thinking he might enjoy it. Larry had no idea how to use it so I showed him how to wind it up gently, and after the third time he had it down pat.

When the band stopped playing music, Larry slowly turned the key, and held the music box up to his ear and smiled. Immediately, he sprinted the few steps to where he lived to bring his music box home so no one would touch it.

When the gentle giant returned he asked me if I was going to participate in the garage sale next year, to which I nodded my head. He told me he would get up early next time to wait for me to arrive. I wanted to hug him, but didn’t know how he would deal with it, so instead I just smiled.

I watched how people ignored Larry the past few hours because he acted and looked differently than everyone else. Personally, I think any disability is a matter of perception. If someone with special needs can do one thing right, they are needed by someone. As Robert M. Hensel once said about people with special needs: Larry had chosen “not to put the DIS in his ability” and had moved mountains for himself. So why was I the only one that could see that?

My joy in meeting Larry that day was so intense, that just writing about this experience was not enough to celebrate him. Larry carried his sunshine in a different way and even though he didn’t fit in with others he would always be my heroe.

Tilting the Kilt, Vintage Whispers from Carleton Place by Linda Seccaspina is available at Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street, the Carleton Place Beckwith Museum in Carleton Place, Ontario and The Mississippi Valley Textile Mill in Almonte.  available on all Amazon sites (Canada, US, Europe) and Barnes and Noble

For the Facebook Group:

Cancer Always Calls Collect – Part 12 – The Last of The Peonies – Zoomers



Cancer Always Calls Collect – Part 12 – The Last of The Peonies – Zoomers.



“Dear Me,

I never thought I would be last one standing.

I never thought each time cancer came around rearing its ugly head I would be the one peaking through the loose timber.

I never knew that attempting to rescue the good cancer cells waiting to erupt in a bonfire like a stack of rotten wood was sometimes terminal.”