Tag Archives: neighbours

Memories of Neighbourhood Kids — Larry Clark

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Memories of Neighbourhood Kids — Larry Clark

That’s what friends did in those days-at least I had near-neighbours that were quite belligerent and liked to tease. It was entertainment perhaps-Joe Louis was one of our heroes but we fought, wrestled mostly (I was a good wrestler but at boxing not so good).

On at least one occasion we were paid 25 cents to stage a match-some drinking buddies promoting their much younger (my age) brother. On another, a couple of us, the younger brother and I were horsing around with his older brother and we managed to force him to the ground and when he couldn’t dislodge us he became enraged. We were holding him down as our lives were at stake which enraged him further-neither of us could let go, no way. Fortunately, attracted by the noise, an older, much larger, more mature brother came too our rescue.

“Can you hold him down long enough for us to get away?” he did and we did, avoiding Doug for a couple of days after.  All was well for many years, even participating in the Tarzan caper, until we went our separate ways in the pursuit of life.

Larry Clark

When I was a child, back in the Stone Age your parents were the most important people in the family. They paid the bills, bought your clothes, prepared the food you ate, took care of you when you were sick, drove you to where you needed to be, tucked you in, and kissed you good night. They were essential.

Your parents acted like they were bigger than you were too, like they knew what they were doing and didn’t need your help making decisions. In fact, your opinion really didn’t matter much. When they spoke to you, they didn’t bend down, grab their knees, and ask for your cooperation in a wheedling tone. They spoke in no uncertain terms, and they thought you were smart, so they only said anything once. The rule was very simple: They told you what to do, and you did it, because they said so.

You were a satellite, orbiting around their solid presence. They even told you, on occasion, that you were just a little fish in a big pond. You didn’t understand what that meant, of course, until you got out in the big pond and began to realize that putting oneself into proper perspective greatly improves one’s life and the lives of those around him.

They bought you very little, so you appreciated everything you had. And you took care of it. When your bike broke, you figured out how to fix it. Or your dad fixed it. In either case, you understood you weren’t getting a new one, not any time soon.

Things were just different.

Related reading:

Larry Clark Memories : Billings Bridge, Willow Trees and the Orange Lodge

Skating on Fraser’s Pond and Hobo Haven — Larry Clark

Glory Days in Carleton Place– Larry Clark

Larry Clark — Your Veribest Agent

A Personal Story — Caught in the Ice– Rocky Point- Larry Clark

My Neighbours –Photos of the Cliff- McCann House and Springside Hall

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My Neighbours –Photos of the Cliff- McCann House and Springside Hall

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Summer 2017- The Sweeney family lives here now and the Nephin’s bought it from Laurel McCann.

Mr. W. Cliff and his wife Susannah (Sussie) Cliff once owned this home on the corner of Lake Ave East and Campbell Street.  Mr. Cliff had once been the editor of the local Carleton Place newspaper. The Central Canadian and was said to be a very fluent and flowery writer. The local newspaper was founded in January 1876, under the sponsorship of William Bredin of Carleton Place, with William W. Cliff of Napanee as editor and publisher.  There were 1,800 persons living in Carleton Place at the time. The Man Who Received the Carleton Place Newspaper for Life

The next residents were the Cecil T. McCann family. He was the proprietor of the local downtown pool room and had once been a resident of Westport. He and his wife Laurel (Costello) had a family consisting of: Marilyn, Karen and Thomas. Laurel McCann was my friend, and if you think I am outspoken you never met Laurel. She was one of a kind, and I will forever miss her.

 

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Photo-Susan McCann

The original fireplace in the McCann home. Kate Sweeney says it no longer exists as it was replaced with less ornate bricks and stone and converted to gas. But, the amazing original French doors are still there- Kate says they are really unusual as they’re set at 90 degrees to each other. Structurally, they’re pretty unique from what she has seen.

She also added when the new extension was added the original external windows were kept, so they can see both from the kitchen and sitting room into the sun room.

 

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Cecil on the Campbell Side of the house. My house in the background.–Photo-Susan McCann

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Susan McCann’s Father burning leaves. Remember those days? You can see Springside Hall with the original fence. When we bought it- it had a white picket fence. Originally, there was concrete pillars with pipes as a fence. The carriage house is in the back and we tore it down in 1988 as it was falling down. You can see the white summer  kitchen on the back of the house. That was not there in 1981 when we bought the home. There was just a hole in the ground where it had been, and we built the stone addition and garage where it was. Photo-Susan McCann

 

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Susan McCann’s Aunt Marilyn on the front porch of the McCann home. That veranda was taken down and stored in the garage. I bought it at Laurel McCann’s auction sale when she moved. It is now my side veranda on Campbell Street.

 

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Laurel McCann’s front veranda is now my side vernada on Campbell Street.

 

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This photo was on the McCann pool room wall–Susan McCann sent this to me last night along with some photos of my home.. This is a blast from the past in Carleton Place. This would be the iconic Cecil McCann and the other old lads in the restaurant. The sign says Dorothy’s Tea Room which became The Eating Place. Photo-Susan McCann

 

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Tom Edwards Lori Rothwell. Bought lots of Howick jeans there from her and Mrs McCann at the Korner Kupboard. (She had great taste)–Elenor Rothwell is in the edge of the pic as well. Photo-Susan McCann

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Photo thanks to Wendy Healey 1973-1974

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Springside Hall was once an entire block belonging to the Morphys and the Crams. The home was built in three cycles. The Morphys  in 1867. The Crams added an addition in 1910 and my family in 1988 and 1995. The Cram family ran the local tannery on the site of the present senior building on Sussex Street. Their family consisted of a son Arthur,  who passed away in a motorcycle accident on High Street in the 1920s and two daughters.

After the Cram parents died the girls moved to McArthur Avenue into a home formerly owned by Franklin Abbot. Mr. George Raeburn a CPR station agent and his wife Mae Finlayson bought the property and later had it surveyed and sold the back portion to J. Arthur Hobbs and his wife Kaye McLeod who built a house on it. After the Raeburns, it fell into another family’s hands for a year until the bank took it over.

We bought it in 1981 and the first person I met was Muriel Simpson who just walked up to the back of a tall ladder Ange was standing on. Laurel came out of her house with her constant cigarette in hand telling Muriel to go back in the house and give us a breather LOL. Update on the Time Capsule in Springside Hall

 

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ 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.

relatedreading

Reusing the Past of Carleton Place — The Morphy’s and the McCann’s

In Memory of Tom McCann

Memories of the Bracewells of Carleton Place

The “Margaret Thatcher” of Campbell Street

Reusing the Past of Carleton Place — The Morphy’s and the McCann’s

In Memory of Stuart White of Carleton Place

October 13, 1977 George W. Raeburn of Lake Ave East— Artist and C. P. R. Man

The Brotherhood and Community of Carleton Place

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I think I have told this story before but you are going to keep hearing it from me until the day I die. It was a cold January day and the kids were flooding the rink outside when I noticed our German shepherd, Snoopy racing in from the greenhouse with a huge plume of black smoke trailing him. If there is an emergency I am not the one to send to an EMT unit as I panic easily. I screamed for someone to call 911 and we simply thought a hose spraying a steady stream of water into the basement window was enough to contain the fire.

Within five minutes the basement was engulfed with flames and I attempted to go into the greenhouse to save the birds and my ferret. Smoke quickly turns into a blackness that cannot be measured on a colour chart and within seconds I was trapped. A fireman came in to search for me and ended up saving my life as I could no longer find my way out.

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My sons and I were sent over to a neighbour’s home, The Nephins, and we sat there, shivering and watching the firemen try to save our house. I wanted to cry but I couldn’t and the kids kept asking me if everything was going to be alright. In my irrational mind I thought things would return to normal once the fire trucks were gone and life would go back to the way it was.

The fight for our home was not over for another 18 hours. The firemen left at about 5 pm overwhelmed with the intensity of the smoke and one ended up in the hospital. They had done their best and thought the fire had been put to rest but Angelo and his father sat guard all night watching for hot spots. Sure enough at 1 am a wall in the living room went up in flames and had they not been there the house would have been a total loss. Two local firemen ended up in the hospital that day trying to save my home.

So, what does does it mean to be a “good neighbor”?

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In an article titled “Being Neighborly Without Being Nosy,” Rose Alexander explained it this way: “Depending on your personal preferences, being neighborly might mean staying invisible except for a quick wave while getting the mail. Or you might think of someone being a good neighbor when he or she is available to help out with any unexpected need, whether it is to lend an egg or give your child a ride to soccer practice when your car won’t start.”

I am lucky to have great neighbours– and I also miss the ones who have moved or passed away. Muriel Simpson, who was Howard McNeely’s sister ruled our neighbourhood with the hand of Margaret Thatcher. No one dared cross the line with her, not even Gerald Hastie. So why I am writing this?

When my sign was vandalized yesterday, I didn’t have the brains or force to put it back in the ground. So along came Eric Lockheart today and he put it back in. He will forever be my hero. He is part of the brotherhood of kindness that exists in Carleton Place. Thank you!

 

SUNDAY UPDATE– It was ripped out again and thrown on Caldwell Street. Thanks to Sandra Hurdis Finigan for rescuing it.

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Actually I Train Woodpeckers for Search and Rescue!

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Now that Spring has sprung I am reminded about the day a former neighbour complained about my squirrel collection. I love to feed the black squirrels that gather in my yard and she became convinced I had trained several ninja squirrels to enter her garden after dark and tear up her budding flowers.


Instead of arguing I jokingly told her I had trained some beavers to do some pretty good tricks, but squirrels were a lot harder to educate. I also reminded her that squirrels were simply polished yard rats that are going to dig up flowers anytime they want and there are countless documentaries on a squirrels perseverance to conquer a bird feeder or outwit a cat.

The angry neighbour did not give up and insisted I had trained the squirrels to wait until it grew dark to do their damage. Well – unless it was a flying squirrel with a friend named Bullwinkle, that would be just about impossible. Laughing, I told her that it was probably a leftover squirrel recruitment from the government’s top secret ‘Squirrel Lethalization Program’ to train squirrels to be assassins, but they still had not mastered running back and forth safely in front of cars.


Weeks later she insisted there were tiny scratches on her windows, disappearing bird food in the feeder, and her garbage cans were tipped over in the night. Had anyone even questioned the squirrels she asked? Have you ever tried to interrogate a squirrel I replied? They never provide a straight answer, always bounding all over the place.

So in retaliation my neighbor began to train her cat to poop and pee on my property and sometimes I saw the feline driving her car around the neighborhood watching me. To top it off I think she actually persuaded a random local raccoon to tear up my garbage.

Finally she insisted I must do something about the problem or she would call animal control. Was there a training manual for squirrels I asked? This whole story began to sound a little squirrely to me so I attempted to train a squadron of local birds to defile her windshield when her cat drove by- who was now trained to steal my mail.


Finally the irritated neighbour moved away and there were no more thoughts until I remembered this story today. Actually I’m dictating these comments to an earthworm who sits on my keyboard and types it in for me. It’s slow-going, but we get there eventually.

Absolutely true story except the cat- he was a slow learner. The earthworm is currently a project in motion.

The Hatfields and McCoys of Carleton Place

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Last night I watched the Hatfields and the McCoys on the History Channel and marveled how anyone could create something minor into a lifetime feud. Surely that could not happen here in Carleton Place, or anywhere else again? I began to dig in the newspaper files and came across dated local squabbles that ended up in stabbings and drunken quarrels. But what I found buried under the yellowed internet files was one that just left me stunned.

Years ago a nearly two-year-old quarrel between two local love-struck Carleton Place High School teenagers resulted in nine Carleton Place girls and two of their parents being charged with a variety of crimes. A feud over a boy between two school girls spiraled so out of control that other youngsters in the community took sides and even adults were dragged into the dispute. In the end, over 11 appeared in court and were released on the condition that they stay away from each other and keep the peace.

 

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Police say there were threats of physical violence and death. Most parties agreed to admit their mistakes, but some of those involved in this escalating feud refused to participate and moved away. I began to wonder how things like this could happen in this day and age.

So what kind of neighbor or citizen do you want to be in Carleton Place? How many arguments have begun from lawn lines, or kids fighting? I know two long-time homeowners with a simmering feud, the origins of which no one can recall. They fought over everything — their property line, the fence between their properties, who can park where…you name it. If you’re going to be a good neighbor, what does that entail? It may start with something as simple as sharing some cookies. You have no idea how a small kindness can lead to so much more.

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What about an annual tradition of throwing a block party once a year? These events are a great way to introduce yourself to neighbors you’ve never met and to reconnect with neighbors you rarely see. Get out of the car and walk around your own neighborhood streets and meet new friends or neighbors you have only waved at.  I can’t personally save anyone at the end of the block from their bitter feuds or nonsense. But, at the end of the day I am hopeful that if more neighbours were to engage with each other, any type of discord could be a thing of the past. And that would be a good thing. Wouldn’t it?

Photos- Google Image of the Hatfields and McCoys

second photo– Gillies McLaren Mill 1896 Carleton Place– From RootsWeb

Twas the Night Before Christmas- The Bad Neighbour Jazz Edition – Zoomer

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Twas the Night Before Christmas- The Bad Neighbour Jazz Edition – Zoomer.