Tag Archives: montreal

For All You Youngsters Out There… Linda Knight Seccaspina — Sherbrooke Record

For All You Youngsters Out There… Linda Knight Seccaspina — Sherbrooke Record

CLIPPED FROMThe ProvinceVancouver, British Columbia, Canada05 Jan 1966, Wed  •  Page 24

For All You Youngsters Out There… Linda Knight Seccaspina

One of my top ten childhood memories is the late great Eaton’s Department store in Montreal, Quebec. It didn’t matter what province you lived in–everyone made a trip to some Eaton’s, no matter where they lived, and most of us also got the Eaton’s catalogue.

The Eaton’s catalogue was such a valued part of Canadian life and it seemed to offer all things to Canadians. In Lucy Maud Montgomery’s “Anne’s House of Dreams” Anne and Mrs. Rachel argued over the propriety of the Eaton’s catalogue, and so did our family.

Canadians found practical uses for old Eaton’s catalogues. They were used as pads for hockey games; boiled down to colour Easter eggs; used as readers in classrooms– and of course reading material for outhouses.

I remember my Grandmother telling me about one of the local gossipers who worked at the Eatons catalogue office. She told us a story one Friday night on the South Street verandah about two local sisters. Every few weeks they would order dresses and then always returned them without a belt. They would keep the belts and then you would see them walking down Main Street and they would have a dress on with a non-matching belt.

Back in the days before shopping malls flooded the land and when the Bay was still Morgan’s: going to Eaton’s meant taking a trip to downtown Montreal in December. Eaton’s was the Blue Cake counter, the Penny Bank shop, and most of all, Eaton’s was Santa.

The Christmas Wish Catalogue and the Santa Claus parade signalled the coming of Christmas for all of us. Every child that I knew understood there was only one real Santa – and that man of Christmas was only at Eaton’s. My Mother brought me to the Santa Claus parade a few times, and all I can remember was the cold, and then bright lights, and crowds inside Eaton’s as we all pushed our way to go meet Santa. I can still see the frost over the windows as we went up the escalator with my stomach churning from a cold drink that we had at the Honey Dew Restaurant.

In 1968 Eaton’s became the store that liked young people and they were a sponsor for the popular TV show “ Like Young”. I lived right around the corner from the TV station and every Saturday afternoon I lined up outside CFCF-TV sporting my grandmother’s orthopaedic brown lace up shoes and my Le Chateau pants ready to dance. 

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. Eaton’s had become the store for young people and as I was going to fashion design school I spent a lot of time downtown at Eaton’s buying Coro Jewelry, Yardley makeup and mini jumpers with big zippers.

Eaton’s might have been trying to grab the buying dollars of the teen scene, but I know my Father had no love for the store. He hated everything I bought, everything, but somehow he figured out he didn’t have a choice. My father was horrified when Eaton’s started showcasing bell bottom pants. He saw a gal come out of the local soft ice cream store with a white pair on and told our neighbour that his daughters would wear them over his dead body.

I didn’t want my father to die, but I had been a fashionista since I saw daylight at the Brome Missisquoi Hospital in 1951. The next Saturday I took my 10 year-old sister to Montreal. Buying the ugliest Irish Green acrylic pair in Eaton’s bargain basement; ( I’m sure they were rejects) I bought two pairs. I figured if my sister was also wearing them I would only get half in trouble. Trying to spare my little sister he said nothing as we went off to the Big Brome Fair that day. But, his face was bright red for a long time and you can rest assured everyone was hearing about it.

After Eaton’s closed I never really thought much about the store until one Halloween party years later. One of the ladies at the party was wearing a vintage Eaton’s 60’s mini dress. It was way too short and each time she bent over to dip a potato chip we were getting flashes of underwear that were not vintage. Her vintage Eaton’s pantyhose was also riding up in the front and sinking to depth defying lows in the back. When she bent over once again I could no longer look. After the fifth time I decided I could no longer sit there and watch this shady Shindig show.  Suddenly she went in for the next dip and the Eaton’s dress was going up fast for the win. Immediately I thought..

“And that moment Linda, was brought to you by Eaton’s — “the store that thinks young!”

CLIPPED FROMThe GazetteMontreal, Quebec, Canada22 Jan 1966, Sat  •  Page 24

And the Radical Literary Beat Goes On …

I Was A Free Range Child

The Eaton’s Sewing Girls

Never Miss a Chance to Dance! Linda Knight Seccaspina

Ramblings of a Rebel with a Cause!

Ramblings of a Rebel with a Cause!

Ramblings of a Rebel with a Cause! — Linda Knight Seccaspina

In 1967 I was very excited to go to the London School of Fashion Design in London, England. Sadly my mentor, my grandfather, died that August so all was shot to hell as they say. My Dad was very busy with his business, being a town councilman and a man of the community. I was barely 16 and one thing that had gotten his attention was that I was very different and he didn’t care for it. I dressed in the latest fashion styles that I made and I stuck out like a big sore thumb. In a small town where your father is a prominent fixture word travels around like a brush fire that someone is out of the box somewhere.

I was labeled “the daughter that Arthur Knight had so much trouble with”. Yes, I was probably and admitedly a rebel teeenager, there is no argument to that. But, fashion was my first love, and I knew I would never work in a bank or become a home economics teacher. 

So after heated arguments with my father I left home and headed to Montreal. I attended fashion design school where I instantly became bored. Instead of the great 60’s fashion and styles that I was expecting, my teacher made me make patterns of 1950’s styles. After classes I would go into store after store, just absorbing the culture and the “joie de vivre”  of Montreal fashion.

Graduation couldn’t come fast enough for me. After completing my course, I had to find a job. Twiggy, Mary Quant and all the Carnaby Street styles were everywhere 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. Omar Shariff would have been proud– or maybe not!

When I went for job interviews I had to wear that outfit as my personal fashion budget was bankrupt.  Most clothing manufactures were not yet into the Carnaby look in 1967 and I was told time after time:

 “Kid, get yourself another coat– or you will never get a job!”

Defiant, of course I had to be me and soon got a job at Le Chateau on St. Catherine Street hemming pants. It was the very first Le Chateau store and when I left 6 months later they were opening their second store on St. Hubert. 

With a year long fashion design course under my belt I finally found a job at THE FINE TOGS CLOTHING CO. It was a children’s manufacturer run by Blossom and 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 would have probably been retiring from the company about five years ago. I was raised by my British Grandmother, but there is definitely Jewish blood flowing through my veins and now now I was working for a Jewish firm and I was getting an education, in more ways than one.

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 am  every morning and the man worked me to the bone. I worked in the cutting department, did 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. He was relentless and when he found out about my long lost heritage he made sure I knew about it. When I complained about maybe leaving at 6 pm 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 Place Bonaventure clothing mart. He told me I had to wear something conservative. So I did what every other girl my age did. I went to SEARS and bought THE SUIT. It was a navy blue  matching box jacket, and knee length pleated skirt. I had red shoes and red earrings to match– and I wore it exactly 4 times.

I applaud Saul for everything he taught me and how someone actually got me to wear something that wasn’t black. But, word got around the clothing mart about me and I was soon hired by a competitive children’s wear company which was just one more step on the way to becoming a designer. To this day I never lost control of my fashion life and bought sweatpants. Give a girl the right shoes and the right outfit and she can conquer the world.

Linda Knight Seccaspina 1968 and Saul Cohen

Magic Tom –A Suitcase That Was Full of Illusions

Magic Tom –A Suitcase That Was Full of Illusions

Image result for magic tom auburn

Hello Boys and Girls, it’s time for Magic Tom!

Every afternoon as a child, I was glued to the TV set awaiting my beloved Magic Tom Auburn on CFCF TV out of Montreal. Tom once described himself as a “man who played with silk hankies” but to me and every child he was a man with something new up his sleeve every single day on “Surprise Party”. Canada’s Man of Magic was never fully appreciated by my Father as he constantly said Magic Tom needed to polish up his act. I realized he was never as good as the local circus that passed through Cowansville, Quebec once a year, but you have to remember– to us children magicians were magic.

Magic Tom once said that little girls only wanted to be three things in life: a Mommy, a Nurse, and an Airline Stewardess. It was the same thing I heard a few years later in the CHS Vice Principal’s office when I told him I wanted to I wanted to be a fashion designer, but  in all honesty Magic Tom could say no wrong to me.


download (3)

My grandfather seemed to be friendly with the magicians, ventriloquists and the puppeteers that frequented our small town and and I just got involved with all of it hook line and sinker. Later I became obsessed with great magicians like Houdini and became obsessed with the Westerfield House in San Francisco.

18852915Architecture Stories: ‘Once Upon a Time’ -Home of the Kool Aid Acid Test & Other Time Travel Stories


Tom began his career at age 13 with a bout of scarlet fever, a magic book and a lot of time on his hands just outside Cornwall. It is the unspoken ethic of all magicians to not reveal the secrets and once in a blue moon Tom did. Sometimes the kids thought he was cheating and expressed their sentiments– but the next time you saw the same trick, maybe you didn’t see that glass of milk sinking under the red cloth– and wondered if you had been right the first time.

Each day I waited until the end of the show to see the empty silver dish suddenly become full of candy for the kids that were watching with a simple mere tap of his magician’s wand. No matter how hard I looked I could not find out how Magic Tom did this trick. I found out however that this same trick was performed in WW11 by a small group of French Patriots who were being held prisoner by the Germans. They made a deal with their captors that if they performed this trick they would be let go. There was a happy ending and they were freed but their captors were shot in the morning for making such a bad decision.


Image result for magic tom auburn


Magic Tom’s fans were everything to him and one day he played at the NAC in Ottawa and told reporters he had to cut the interview short as there was an 8 year- old waiting in the wings for Magic Tom to look at his magician’s wand. The young boy had told Tom that his wand must be defective as it just couldn’t seem to do anything, so Tom was going to offer some helpful suggestions.


Magic Tom and his wife Dolores have long passed and are buried in the Cornwall region at the St. Lawrence Valley Cemetery near Long Sault/Cornwall. I hope people remember Magic Tom as a  kind man who brought magic to the people as he pushed the boundaries of wonder for all of us. Some people say there isn’t magic. Some people say there is. I say there always will be— as in a way, we are all magicians.



Linda Nilson-Rogers Magic Tom Auburn! Saw him at a “White Elephant” sale my Gran used to take me to somewhere in Verdun,I think! I was under 6…he amazed me then

Rosemary Jones I loved Magic Tom as a kid. He was a regular on our TV and I saw him perform as a child.

Paula Theriault Wow, lol. I didn’t think anyone besides me knew of him. I got to be on the show when I was 5 or 6yrs old. You had to sing a song and i sang ” I Can Sing A Rainbow” lol. It not long after we moved to Montreal from England in ’71 or ’72. I have that exact same autographed photo somewhere . Forgot about it

Ann Brady OMGosh, have not thought of Magic Tom in decades!

Nancy Bourdeau Loved the part of his show when he would note viewers birthdays. He would put his magic top hat upside down on a table and tap it and candy would spill out of it 🙂 He was a gentle man..always admired him.



Johnny Jellybean– CFCF TV


Judy Goyette-Marsh Man I remember him . Also Johnny Jellybean.

John Dykeman My wife’s dad worked at CFCF in entertainment group; Magic Tom and Johnny Jellybean were visitors at there home. JJ at lunchtime in 1966-67

Emily Turpin He was great, loved his show and raced home every day to watch. Also Johnny Jellybean at lunchtime. xx

Helene McSween He came to the Christmas party for kids at my father’s company in Beauharnois in 1968 approx. When I was 4 years old. I still have a signed post card with his picture! He was great!

Sue Frechette Had to accompany my cousins, Sandi and Peter Singleton to one of his shows, as per request of Aunt Theresa.

Shirley Ann Mewett I was 6 coming out of Eatons in downtown Montreal with my mum, and he was on the side walk. I remember telling mum look it’s Magic Tom. He heard me came over and I was so shy I couldn’t say anything. Mum told him how much I loved his show. He was very nice!

Penny Dustin Rodrigues I went to see him in Montreal for my birthday…can’t remember which one, I think I was 8 or 9. so much fun!

Christine Et Pierre Rousseau My sister was on his show.

Shirley Nortcliffe I was once on his show! To talk about my postcard collection! In appreciation, he sent me a copy of “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss.

Rob Forster The Vilas Company in Cowansville hired him annually to entertain at their families’ Christmas party, which of course he did very ably and in both languages. (We Vilas kids were BTW allowed to leave school early to attend that, which made it a party indeed.) A more adult memory of Tom was when I was in my 20s and he did a series of shows that I watched before leaving to do the 3-11 shift at my summer job. It was a series of local travelogues where he did some ordinary stuff like visiting the Granby Zoo, but also a long sequence where the premise was that he was lost in time inside the old Frontier Town theme park in upper NY State. He wandered around for weeks meeting the various characters there, all of it set to the tune of ‘Duelling Banjos’ from the then-recent movie ‘Deliverance.’

Oh yeah, and at one of the Vilas affairs Magic Tom had me up on the stage and made me a magic paper party hat out of a glass of milk or something. Upon examination later, I was mildly disappointed to find it was made from ordinary glue and crepe paper. I don’t know what I was expecting. I do remember that it got harder for him to do his show as the baby boom kids aged, we always knew where the bunny had really gone even if we didn’t know how.

Finally I remember seeing Magic Tom interviewed a long while after his show had been cancelled on CFCF. He was very sad that he hadn’t known what turned out to be his last show (I think it was the Frontier Town sequence) was to be his last one; he said that he would have made a very special good bye episode if he’d known.

Nelson Wyatt One of my assignments when I worked for the Sherbrooke Record was to cover Magic Tom when he did an appearance at, I think, Camp Garagona. I showed up ready to interview him and take a few pics and then he told me that was fine but then asked me if I’d mind helping him out with a few tricks so I became Magic Tom’s assistant for the show, which was a kick after watching him for so many years on CFCF. He was a really nice guy and the kids loved him.

Sharron Raymond I remember going to see Magic Tom at the St. Therese girl’s Catholic school in Cowansville one Saturday or Sunday afternoon. It was packed full. It must have been winter because the floors were a mess with slushy dirt and sloppy. Magic Tom was late arriving probably because of the roads. That must have been between the years 1960 and 1962.

Darlene Dover I remember him being at the Princess Theatre in Cowansville when I was young. He was doing a magic show, and I think I still have his little card.

Wayne Kemp Magic Tom rented a cottage next door to ours at Selby lake for several summers the cottage belonged to my uncle Charlie Buchanan who lived in cowansville it was so neat because all the kids enjoyed his magic shows quite often

Kathy Taylor I remember being on his TV show. My sister Susan and I were showing our Dalmatian, Kerry. I was so terrified I couldn’t speak.

John Farrell when my father was in charge of the dance hall at the Pinnacle Lodge in Selby Lake he would have Magic Tom come out and perform there…maybe that’s when he would rent the cottage that Wayne Kemp mentions….my father and Magic Tom grew up together in those triplexes they have in Verdun…there were two Tommies…Tommy upstairs, and Tommy downstairs, one of those Tommies grew up to be Magic Tom.

Watch some episodes of the old Magic Tom Show here.. CLICK HERE


Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.



Architecture Stories: ‘Once Upon a Time’ -Home of the Kool Aid Acid Test & Other Time Travel Stories

Kindle Fire Minutes of “Dancin the Feelin“ with James Brown

eBay Bans Love Potions, Magic Spells and Curses – Haunted Dolls Okay!

Did Anyone Find the Lost Barrel of Silver Coins That Lies at the Bottom of the Rideau Canal?

Beware of the Lanark County Fairy Rings

The Lost Island– Now You See it- Now You Don’t!

“The Old Eaton’s Penny Bank” Comes to Carleton Place

“The Old Eaton’s Penny Bank” Comes to Carleton Place

Screenshot 2017-11-28 at 15.jpg

December 2 1949-Montreal Gazette

Janice Martin from Wisteria--When I was a girl, growing up in Montreal, Eaton’s had “The Penny Bank Shop” at Christmas time so children could go and shop for their family without them seeing what they bought. It was a small shop within the store just for children. I know it dates me, but I remember it vividly.

Back in the days before shopping malls flooded the land and when the Bay was still Morgan’s, “going to Eaton’s” meant taking a trip to downtown Montreal. Eaton’s was the Blue Cake counter, the Penny Bank shop, and most of all, Eaton’s was Santa.


It may be hard for anyone younger than 35 to understand what it was like when the arrival of the Eaton’s catalogue came to the door. The Christmas Wish Catalogue and the Santa Claus parade signalled the coming of Christmas for all of us. Every child that I knew understood there was only one real Santa – and that man of Christmas was at Eaton’s.

Image result for eaton's christmas

My Mother brought me to the Santa Claus parade a few times, and all I can remember at this very moment was the cold, and then bright lights, and crowds inside Eaton’s as we all pushed our way to go meet Santa. I can still see the frosted over windows as we went up the escalator with my stomach churning from a cold drink that we had at the Honey Dew Restaurant.


December 2 1949-Montreal Gazette


Image result for eaton's christmas

I think I remember Santa’s sidekick Punkinhead– but in my mind he was a strange creature. I never remember the Toyville Express train, which wound around the fourth floor as I can still see as clear as day my mother shaking her head when I “lost” the Honey Dew drink. The orange stain on my red velvet dress still rings prominently with me today.


This next Saturday, December 2nd,  Janice Martin will attempt to re-create the same idea at Wisteria. From 10-3, children between the ages of 5 and 12 will be able to purchase presents for their family members for $5 and $10 tax included. Their purchases will be wrapped for them also.

(613) 253-8097

Screenshot 2017-11-28 at 16.jpg

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)




People of Lanark County– Sharon from The Christmas Hut

The Eaton’s Sewing Girls

Memories of Eaton’s

Memories of Woolworths and Chicken in a Van




unnamed (1)

To the Man on the Other End of the Line- Dan O’Shea With Love

To the Man on the Other End of the Line- Dan O’Shea With Love

Please play while reading.

16114359_10158125834660301_6861794044985795809_n (1).jpg

One of the last photos of Dan and his niece Katrina  not looking like the Dan I remember– but it’s all I got and it will have to do:(


Screenshot 2019-04-21 at 16.32.22.jpg

UPDATE –-Three years ago this week in April 2017 my forever friend Danny O’Shea died. I lost a little piece of my life that day. From a young age we were friends and yesterday I saw a local auction had a photo of something I used to own. Actually one day in Montreal Danny and I were looking behind a wall of a place he was renovating in Montreal and we found this print. He gave it to me and in 1998 I was short on cash so he told me I should sell it so I did. I have regretted that event each day of my life– and this is the exact printed frame, so tomorrow I am going to the auction to try and get it back so I can be at peace again. Is this a sign from above? I think so!


Where do I start about my love and admiration for Danny O’Shea? I really can’t remember Danny not being a part of life until we lost him to cancer last year. When I first met him years ago I never realized how much he would end up meaning to me. Okay, there was a short span of 15 years where we lost each other– and it wasn’t because I didn’t try to find him. It was because that we were in different spaces in our lives. He didn’t want to be found in the bowels of Quebec, and I was 3000 miles away in another country.

But by year 16 he decided to be found because we needed each other. He had cancer and my husband Angelo was dying of cancer. So that first telephone call went something like this:

“Hey kid, are you hiding from me? (he always called me “kid”)

And that’s all it took.. and we went on like nothing had been missing through all those lost years.

From then on we continued to lean on each other, and each time I heard him take a drag on his cigarette I wanted to tell him to stop– but I knew that was fruitless– as no one ever told Dan O’Shea what to do.

While I was up and down and all over the place Danny was always just that solid line that never broke. He helped me through some pretty miserable times in my life on our almost daily phone calls from 1975- 1997. That’s a lot of years to talk, and a lot of words went down — and you know what? There was never one word of anger ever in our conversations. Maybe he was faking all these years and inside he was a complete mess– but you know what— we will never know, and I would like to remember him that way.

We used to meet each other through those years — at my store Flash Cadilac in Ottawa and in Montreal. There was that great little french restaurant on the corner of Bleury and Sherbrooke Street where he ordered me my first Coquille St. Jacques. We ate fresh carrot soup and once he did try to get me to eat frogs legs and I just looked at him that day and laughed. There are some people that make you smile a little bigger, and laugh a little louder, and just live a little better, and that was Danny.



The altar from a church that was being demolished in Montreal in my solarium

He found a picture of Queen Victoria one day hidden in a wall in some loft on St. Denis Street that he knew I would want. Later when I needed money I reluctantly sold it. But he came up with an old antique altar that still sits in my solarium today and each time I look at it I will remember the day he brought it to me in Ottawa. The snow was coming down in buckets and there were road closures everywhere– but Danny wanted to make sure I got that altar.

I think we both had years we wanted to forget in life, and when we talked we knew each other’s best stories as we had both had lived them. Each of us had led crazy lives and Danny used to run Viet Nam War deserters hidden in a secret desk and I was busy protesting the war at Place Ville Marie and writing to soldiers that were dying left and right in Viet Nam. We both had lived the “computer room fiasco” at Sir George Williams University, the FLQ years, and were living just streets apart in Montreal, but we never knew each other much then. I guess it’s just the friends you meet along the way that are the ones that help us appreciate the journey.

Now you’re gone Danny and I’m still here. You made my life better just by being in it. My biggest regret is that we never took  a picture of each other together. There just were not selfies in those days I guess. But in reality, I guess we never ever thought we would need the memories.

On your birthday your ashes will fly like the wind on top of Mount Royal.  Hopefully that day the air in the clouds will be pure and fine just like you, and why shouldn’t it be– as Mark Twain said, “it is the same air the angels breathe”— and you were my angel all those years.

When I count my blessings Dan O’ Shea- I count you twice.

“Here’s looking at you kid–I’ll see you soon!”

You will always be the brother of my soul and the friend of my heart.



Dan O’Shea died last year after a valiant fight with cancer in Montreal. For years he was the one that made all my leather belts and accessories for my store Flash Cadilac. I would send him a design and he would just create it–he was that good. He was my friend from day 1 and always will be.


                                                           Kyle O’Shea 


His ashes are being scattered on top on Mt. Royal in Montreal and I cannot be there. So I send my words so that his son Kyle may be comforted to know that his Dad was one hell of a man.  Kyle, you were the sunshine in his day, the joy in his soul and the love of his life. Always remember that. Just follow his example– not his advice:)

Much love to you Kyle and the O’Shea family


If you would like to hear me read this please check out the video below.



Ron Dagenbach


I met Danny in around 1976 at his store ,Farkles on St.Hubert in Montreal.He was a close friend to a family I knew and still know.In fact,Danny joined us for a party in September of 2015.He had changed,of course,but we had some nice exchanges in the weeks leading up to that party.He seemed so pleased that he had been able to make it and see all these people from his past.I shared with him a little piece i had composed based on an old Cars song (Candy-O became Danny-O) from the late 70’s. I had adapted the words to portray the experiences that I and a couple of my friends had when we were making those belts,halter tops and other leather items for him.This Saturday May 6th we are celebrating the 80th birthday of Jean Leonard,once close friend of Danny and the reason that I knew him as he is the father of the friends who introduced Danny to me.Danny will be in our hearts and thoughts on that day.
“Danny-O’Shea needs you
To make some belts on every size
Danny-O’Shea needs you
To glue some ties
Concho belts,assorted styles
Halter Tops with rings
And for the guys,some studded belts
And other things
Danny-O’Shea needs you so!
Danny-O’Shea needs you so!
Make it fast
Must be done by six
He’ll pay you cash
You’ll smoke some hash
Don’t get the orders mixed
Danny-O’Shea needs you so….Danny-O’Shea needs you so!!
Danny-O’Shea needs you so!!!”





Pictured is Gabriella Studor with some of Danny’s leather stuff. Photo from my book “Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac”

No photo description available.

1985 Ottawa Citizen– Belt by Danny… we sold the skirts ( mini and ankle length) and tops in black red and white. Could never keep them in stock and the belts from my late friend Danny Dan O’Shea. Memories of Flash Cadilac 1985
For public appearances, the best place in Ottawa to Madonna-fy yourself is Flash Cadilac upstairs at 172 Rideau St “Madonna?” asks owner Linda Seccaspina. “Which video?” You can have the bad-girl-at-the-prom look of a strapless flouncy dress like the one the big M wears in the Material Girl video (popular for high school formals, says Ducharme-Seccaspina)



Kyle and Danny

A trip to Montreal in 1841


Perth Courier, April 3, 1891

Fifty Years Ago 1841


Photo- Ville de Montreal On top of Mount Royal


The boy of today scarcely realizes the situation of 50 years ago.  Few had seen a steam boat and as for the railroad they were only known as wonders of foreign lands.  Occasionally one impatient of parental controls would ship on the Jolly Bower” or “British Queen” and after a voyage of from four to six weeks would return and recite with embellishments the wonders of the city.

The steamers of Montreal, the sailors from distant climes, the cathedral of Nelson’s monument were set forth in magic description.  The perils of the early traveler were many.  The Hon. Roderick Matheson thought himself fortunate if he could reach Montreal in 48 hours and then was obliged to ride in eight different conveyances.  It was, therefore, an event of a lifetime of the writer—then a lad of 13—when a trip to the commercial metropolis was suggested.



Photo from Perth & District Historical Society -Tay Canal


The preparations for the journey were by no means meager and was the talk of the school for several weeks previous.  On a fine morning in September as the day was dawning the rude vehicle which conveyed the tri-weekly mail from Brockville to Perth drove up to the door of my parents residence.  The postman’s horn called us from an unfinished breakfast and as speedily as possible I was in the seat with the driver then well known in Perth and whose gilt ear rings will likely be remembered by some of our readers of this article.


After driving around our town our load was completed and consisted of a lawyer going to attend the assizes at Brockville, a merchant making his semi-annual trip to Montreal, an axeman bound to the same place, a young man of Dalhousie 20 years of age on his way to western Canada to look up a future home, a young lady of Scotch descent from Pennsylvania who had been visiting relatives in the neighborhood of Perth and the driver.


After the stage drove up to the post office door the postmaster appeared in “dishabille” and threw the bag into the street.  The driver lobbed it over the seat, blew his horn, and we were cheered on our departure with a bass solo from one of the “Rana Pipers” troupe who gave daily concerts at the old Tay Canal basin.  The stage vehicle was little better than a lumbering wagon and an eight hour ride in it would not be endured by the traveler of the present day.


A quite speedy drive up “Job’s Creek” hill, round by the head of Ottay Lake, winding round hill and over swamp brought us to Oliver’s Ferry. Here the steamer “Beaver” appeared with a load of soldiers and a fine band that treated us to a serenade.  The approach to the old scow that ferried us over were humble and the passengers had to get a ride or run the risk of being thrown out.  It was forest from the ferry to Lombardy.  At Kitley Corners we had a rest of about 30 minutes while the horses were changed.


Photo– Kitley Township 


The last half of the trip was made more speedily, the roads were better. From the Tin Cap school house to Brockville was a good macadamized road probably about 6 miles and the only piece of good road in the two counties.  Some things are always remembered and there was a public house in Kitley that attracted my attention.  It had a rebus on the sign and meant “The Best Liquor Under the Sun” by Septimus Soper the first three words over a picture representing the sun.


We arrived at Brockville in about eight hours from Perth and had to wait until the next morning for the regular steamer.  As we waited in Brockville in the evening a smaller steamer arrived, the “Pioneer”.  Capt. Hilliard and some of the guests of the hotel at which we stopped took passage on her.  We only made Prescott that night and had to stay there so as to have daylight to run the rapids.

097 View of the harbour, Montreal, QC, 1884.jpg

View of the harbour, Montreal, QC, 1884-The photographs from the Notman Photographics Archives .



The next night we laid to at Coteau du Lac and 39 hours from Brockville arrived at Montreal.  Abler pens than mine have described this majestic city.  There are nobler rivers in the world but the St. Lawrence from Kingston surpasses them all for beauty and grandeur.  The wonders of the city, the view from the mountain, the great Quebec steamers, the vessels “Atlantic”, “Tam O Shanter” and “Souter Johnnie”, were a continual feast to my eyes.  After a two week stay in the city we returned to Perth with a feeling that I had seen more of the world than fell to the ordinary mortal.


Township of Elizabethtown-Kitley

The Bed Bugs are Jumpin’ — The Beginning of the End….

The Bed Bugs are Jumpin’ — The Beginning of the End….



A “Some What” Fictional Story — Oakland 2013

Everywhere I go I see mattresses tossed out on the sidewalk, and there are some in my area that have been sitting outside for a couple of weeks. While I know they have to go somewhere- they are not making the town’s esthetics look good by sitting there. I am not going to mention where they are, but the photos that are on here are from a clean-up campaign I helped with in in Oakland, Ca. But no one is blind.

Free Bay Area mattress, box spring drop-off points now open – The Mercury  News

Bedbug infestations in Montreal are at an all-time high, say exterminators who can hardly keep up with demand.

“There’s more than last year,” said Harold Leavey of Maheu Extermination Ltée. His company employs 25 full-time exterminators.

“In 2000, I would handle one or two bedbug cases a year,” he told CBC’s French-language service, Radio-Canada.

 “Now it’s 50 to 100 a day.”

Here is a story I wrote a few years ago that could happen.

   The Bed Bugs are Jumpin’ like Jumpin’ Jack Flash 

The bed bugs are going all literary on us now and now have been spotted in the bowels of  Montreal. They were last seen on the reference desk of the Grande Bibliothèque and also checking out the words of the latest True Blood novel.


The library user who wishes to remain anonymous due to fear of her landlord finding out about the pesky bug enjoying the latest Sookie Stackhouse book had no vendetta against the Montreal Library system. She placed the infiltrated book in a zip-lock bag and complained to management, yet the library matron didn’t really care and said,


“We’ve had reports [of bed bugs] from all over the place. We’re spraying all over. But we hadn’t heard they’d gotten to Literature yet.”

So what happens next ? If they are not careful the inhabitants of the library might end up like the two subjects of my fictional story. Or is it fictional?




It was the beginning of the end…… Linda Seccaspina

Matt and Steve sat there wide eyed as they watched their regular Friday night viewing of Dateline. They could not believe what they saw, and were literally shakingThe NBC program had put it all out there in black and white for everyone to see. All those mattresses people threw out everyday never went into landfill sites. They were picked up by mattress dealers and taken to special places to be recycled into new ones. 

Apparently, they had been doing this for years and stripped the fabric off, and then sprayed them with a pestitcide.  Newly recovered, they were sent to bargain mattress places to be resold.



Matt gulped his beer down quickly and remembered yesterday in technicolor. They both had fought a vicious house fire and bed bugs had been everywhere. The little Hannibal Lectors had run like bandits away from the flames and had latched on to their equipment and gear. They screamed as the bugs crawled all over them. When they got back to the fire station they had to quarantine all their stuff so the bugs would not infiltrate them.

There was not a place in the city of New York where you could walk now without being bitten. Toronto was next, and half the population of Montreal had been destroyed by the super bugs.  It was only a matter of time that every city would be literally be eaten alive.

People were blaming the Clinton administration as pesticides had been used for years and then they decided to ban it. Now the world was slowly dying because of it.  The reality of it all was that Clinton was not to blame – it was actually a company called *”Monsanterino”.

download (51)    For years Monsanterino had controlled the seeds which created the food that people consumed.They had introduced a lot of genetic horrors to the world’s food chain, and they did not seem to care. People started getting sick with celiac disease because their insides could not digest the hybrids. It was only part of a larger plot to take over the world.


Secretly they had bred the bugs and introduced them slowly into the cities. They knew they would make money hand over fist manufacturing pest control products. The mattress dealers, thinking they were spraying the Monsanterino pesticides, were actually spraying a hormone to attract the pests.

Steve looked at Matt and had tears in his eyes. He started to speak softly and then his voice grew into hysteria.

“Matt, the bugs have doubled in numbers since yesterday, what’s next?”

Matt looked at him and said,

“I guess you didn’t hear, senator Mike Duffy died yesterday. His office became so infested he did not get out in time. He’s dead Steve, he’s dead!”


They both looked at each other and realized that there was no hope now, and they were everywhere! It was only a matter of time now. Matt looked outside and saw a huge billboard that had a giant bed bug with an exterminator’s address on it. It was now officially the city that never sleeps. The national crisis was not unemployment now, it was bed bugs.

It was time to go to sleep and they headed up to their separate rooms. They each put on their newly purchased protective flea collars made by “Monsanterino” and crawled into bed. They would be safe for another night. Sadly, they were the last tenants alive in the building. All it takes is one pregnant bed bug to fill a building, and within three weeks most of the tenants had met their match.

“Don’t let the bed bugs bite,” had now become reality everywhere.

 Images (except the bed bugs thank you very much) and Text: Linda Seccaspina 2013

The story about the mattresses being picked up and reused is true and was on Dateline. I have never bought a discount mattress again:)

Click here for story