Tag Archives: nostalgia

As The ROYAL BURGER Turns — Memories of the Secret Sauce Emporium

As The ROYAL BURGER Turns — Memories of the Secret Sauce Emporium

Paul Gratton

The secret is that they would put the sauce on the burgers once flipped while still on the grill.

Author’s Note- another recipe below.

Lost Ottawa


Royal Burger came up this morning on CFRA. Where were they? This is where they were in 1961. Tache Blvd, Richmond Road, and Montreal Road.

This ad from the Citizen says “Bruce MacDonald Announces.” I’m assuming this is the Bruce MacDonald of the motor hotel in west end as well?

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada07 Feb 1990, Wed  •  Page 40

Lost Ottawa


Mike Robert shares a fabulous photo which may have been shared in the comments of Lost Ottawa before.

It looks like family that would have a lot trouble fitting in to that Porsche, but it really fits with our sign theme of the week.

Behind the family? The sign for the Royal Burger just east of St. Laurent on Montreal Road.

Notes Mike: “love this sign at the corner of Mtl. Road and Brittany Drive where Mark Motors is located now. My mother’s house was the white house in the background that became a vet’s office. I fondly remember the drive-thru at the RB!”

Peter Parsons

Best onion rings ever made. Large sweet onions, my friend worked there and I i Rembrandt correctly they were hand made at one point. Very rare to find this kind of onion ring today.

Paul Devey

Love them. Our family went to the Royal Burger on Richmond Rd. as well as Carling and Woodroffe. Also in the 90s went to the one in Aylmer.

Barb Hughes

I live around the corner and had no idea that Mark Motors used to be a burger place. I still remember the drive up A & W on St. Laurent!😀

Rene H Beauchemin

Worked as a cook at that royal burger

Mike Komendat

Absolutely the best burger and their sauce was delicious!

Carol Booth

There was a Royal Burger at Woodroffe and Carling we went to a couple of times, but usually we went to Capital Burger which was cheaper on Croydon and Carling across from the Fire Station. I used to love the hot dogs, that were curled to fit a hamburger bun.

Lynn Forrest

My parents used to take us to the Royal Burger on Richmond Road where Kristy’s is now. Such a treat on the way home from the cottage.

Sandy Mulloy

I found this recipe for the sauce

Ann Mills Desormeaux

OK … for those of you who asked and messaged me

… it’s pretty easy …. and versatile

Equal parts finely chopped onion and dill pickle, ketchup and mustard … mix together.

Measurements don’t matter … it’s however much you want to make

You can try it out and tweak it however you want.

We like more of the chopped onion and pickle and less of the ketchup and mustard.

sometimes I leave it coarsely chopped and sometimes give it a quick pulse or two in the food processor. Mostly I do it by hand.

It’s awesome on sandwiches 🙂

Dorothy Hill

I remember this Royal Burger. Loved the little pickles the RB put on their burgers.

Gene Hamelin

Best burgers and especially their “Bermuda” onion rings and real shakes to wrap up a great meal. Our daughter worked at the one in Peterborough. It closed and became a DQ. White house also vet clinic of Dr. Carioto. I would not be surprised if that was not the Mark family.

VR Hunter

Our first fast food chain “experience” was at the Royal Burger on Bank just north of Heron. 1963. Eating at a drive-in restaurant

Lost Ottawa


Dining Out in Lost Ottawa, with a sign and a query shared by Al Thompson

Asks Al:

“Does anyone remember the Royal Burger on Montreal Road?”

Bonnie-Dee Racette

I remember it. We used to go there until they closed not long after McDonald’s opened in front of it.

About six years ago, I discovered The Hintonburger’s burgers tasted the same as the Royal’s and biting into one brought back good memories of the Royal Burger. Now, both are closed. 😔

Diane Turpin Pugliese

Loved Royal Burger. I believe they closed around 1973. I was pregnant, had a craving for their onion rings and made my husband drive all over Ottawa trying to find one but they were all closed.

Malcolm Stewart

Bank Street location biggest hangout……and a few doors away used to be the Marco Polo….best egg rolls ever.

Fred Zufelt

They were the first to have an intercom to order your food and have it ready when you arrived at the window. they had a slider window on the side for the carless customers. The special sauce was the taste. We liked the one on bank street, it was close and open late.. Owned by Lou MacDonald.

Wayne R Cunneyworth

No, but I remember the Royal Burger on Bank Street which was managed by Ralph Maves. Great burgers, neat cars but a short-lived location to hang out.

Dave Alburger

When I ate there a long time ago, I said to my date “If we ever have a son, let’s name him Roy”.

Roch Brunette

there is still a RB sign on the 148 highway towards Luskville

Bill Anderson

If memory serves me the Richmond road and Carling Avenue stores were owned by the Bruce family that also owned Bruce Fuels and Frazer Duntile (the quarry on Clyde Avenue). I worked for the Bruce family (old man Reginald and son Bob) in the mid 70s. There office was a big White House on Carling avenue stuck between two tall apartment buildings just next to Carlingwood. It was the longest year of my life. Swore I would never work for a family business again, at least as an outsider.

Sherry Drew

I sure do! My husband and I lived on Montreal Road right across from Royal Burger. Their burgers were the best, as were their onion rings. I remember the Royal burger, with 2 patties was 60 cents, and the burgerette, with one patty was 25 cents. Oh, for the good ol’ days of the 60s. 😀

M Frederick Mason

I used to go to the one just east of the Champlain Bridge when I was a kid. The last one I remember was at the corner of Richmond and Ambleside. I last saw “Mike” at Super Ex running a Royal Burger ‘truck’ that he said was doing the fair circuit at the time. He rememberd both my mom and me and even gave me my burger for free. That can’t be more than 5-10 years ago.

James Jim Taylor

I worked at the Richmond road location as a teen, I remember making the “Special Sauce” in 5 gallon pails that pickles or other food products came in. We would pour all the ingredients in the pail, then stir it with your arm fully emerged in the product.

Barry Lemoine

I worked for a year at the one on Carling at cross if Woodruff Ave. Friday and Sat. Were madhouse. A lit of folks at Britania Drive inn would make food run before second feature and I remember frilling 25 Royales at once for a single order.

Adam McDonald

Yes. That was my grandfather Reg Bruce’s chain of burger places. He also had Royal Donut. The ” Bruce MacDonald ” that someone is referring to is the “Bruce /MacDonald Motor Hotel that my grandfather built on Carling Ave. His business partners last name in that hotel was MacDonald. It’s now called Embassy West Hotel. So there’s some history for you. 🙂

David Sampson

There’s an ad on this CMN chart(From June 1963) in the top left corner with a list of the Royal Burger locations. I’ll post the actual chart below so you can enjoy it too.

Pierre Vachon

Four years after our marriage, in 1964, we rented an apartment on the West end of Hull, on the very street where the first Royal Burger was installed. It was built from prefab components in less than a week. Thereafter, every evening until the wee hours, we were treated to “Yeah!”, “with the works” and wonderful phrases like that, never to be forgotten. Wafts of burning flesh perfumed the air all summer long. Wonderful memories!

Curtis Webster photo

Randy Lacey

I must have been 5 or 6 (1969-70) when for a treat my parents would hit the Royal Burger on Richmond rd. It was a drive-through and i was allowed to yell into the order board what I wanted. It was always the same thing “Chip & Coke). Yes, I was very exciteable back then. Can’t say I was upset years later when Harvey’s occupied the same land.

Brian Hilton

I only remember the one on Bank Street. Does anyone remember their display on the Sparks Street Mall with the 1957 Desoto dinky car that continuously ran in a circle?

Patricia Cassidy

What was ever in their special sauce…..if I got a stain on my clothes…..no matter what I used could. to get it out hmmmmm????

Bran Martin

The one in Hull was Royal in name only after Bruce Macdonald shut the doors. My first job (after paper routes) was sweeping the parking lot on Richmond Rd. I impressed the manager that he hired me. I remember getting rides home in his 57 Canary yellow Chevy. Loud and fast, back then not as many cars on the road then. Especially after dropping the takings at the hotel. I remember Harvey’s bedside us. We traded burgs for fries. Funny our meat was fresh and fries frozen. While Harvey’s was the opposite. And our rings were made daily. Double dipped was that procedure. The closest to them would be A&W rings.

Lost Ottawa


Dining Out in Lost Ottawa … at the Royal Burger on Quebec Route 148 as you head up river to the Pontiac region.

Shared by Bruce Mitchell, who says:

“This Royal Burger sign is all that remains of what might have been the last Royal Burger. It is on Highway 148 in Quebec just west of Ottawa before Luskville.

When I started taking this route 12 years ago there was a burned out restaurant and they were still operating out of a trailer.

Both gone now but I did enjoy stopping for the occasional burger!”

Micheline Beauchemin

Actually it is in Luskville, corner Dominicain and the 148

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada17 May 1973, Thu  •  Page 9

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada05 Oct 1963, Sat  •  Page 49

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada04 Oct 1965, Mon  •  Page 13

CLIPPED FROMThe Kingston Whig-StandardKingston, Ontario, Canada21 Oct 1961, Sat  •  Page 12

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada20 Feb 1964, Thu  •  Page 8

popular in the 60s

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada30 Jun 2007, Sat  •  Page 40

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada25 Jan 1972, Tue  •  Page 22

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada21 Aug 1961, Mon  •  Page 32

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada19 Dec 1962, Wed  •  Page 5

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada08 Jan 1966, Sat  •  Page 84

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada30 Jan 1969, Thu  •  Page 43

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada04 May 1988, Wed  •  Page 84

The Maple Leaf Forever —- Maple Leaf Tavern

Fight Over the “Restaurant on Wheels” 1899 — The First Food Truck Fight

Food Review of the Smorgasbord at The Queen’s Royal Hotel 1947

Let’s Have Some Curb Service!

So tonight I made the Old Royal Burger with their secret sauce that was in Ottawa in the 60s and 70s that I wrote about today..


My Shortlived Bushman Farm Career (Bill Saunderson) — Larry Clark

My Shortlived Bushman Farm Career (Bill Saunderson) — Larry Clark

Proof-I could ride. The girls are from the Richmond area-tin the saddle, left to right-Unknown, Elizabeth Wallace, myself, Rodger Wallace (not related), The couple holding the horses remind me of the Costellos, but can’t be. 1957 or so.


Started out to be about the Hackberry-do with what you will. Include some photos of hackberry trees and one other below- (read- The Oldest Living Things in Carleton Place — Hackberry Trees 101)

Although I grew up playing/working in the mill area and spent many hours fishing at the pikehole ( readd-Down by the Old Pike Hole–The Island Bridges of Carleton Place- Before and After), I had not heard of a Hackberry tree previous to you mentioning it some years ago. I was intrigued to the point of visiting the area, to satisfy my curiosity, wondering why I had not been previously aware of them. 

In my youth, I had spent many hours with my dad, working in the bush (on one end of a crosscut saw-not very good at it; going by the remarks that dad made/shouted at me) and knew the names of most of the trees that grew in the area (all but forgotten now). Particularly a small Ironwood tree that I had decided to chop down. I knew that there had to be a reason for the name and after a prolonged effort, which proved fruitless decided, to go chop a cedar, as  I knew that it would bend to my axe.

This tribulation was duly noted by the owner of the farm (Bill Saunderson) since the following summer, he hired me to cut the trees along his fence lines. This appeared to be right up my alley and I looked forward to the undertaking; whereupon, Bill provided me with an axe and a couple of saws (in spite of my previous achievements with a saw). What he neglected to tell me, was that the fence line was really a rock line, populated with stunted  trees, of course, some of which were the dreaded ironwood. Of course, loaded with experience, without trepidation, I set upon the upstarts, ending the day with a very satisfactory swath-at least to me.

Bill came to examine the results of my efforts and while I was proclaiming my success, he was eyeing me strangely; scowling as he stared at the axe in my hand, grabbing it, examining the pointy end-well, it should have been pointy. “You ruined a perfectly good axe”, was his wail. I explained  (or tried to) that the trees were almost as hard as the rocks and you  couldn’t be sure if the trees were at fault or the axe bouncing off the trees into the rocks was the problem. To be sure, this ended my career as a woodsman.

Bill wasn’t sick of me yet and allowed me to work around the farm. He might have been a little bit sick of me as he sent me out to pick weeds from a field of mustard or was it to pick mustard from a field of grain. Anyway, I sucked at that (bending over in all that heat wasn’t to my liking) and looked for opportunities to while away the afternoon and get to the next chore which was more to my liking-also, I had a plan. 

The cows spent most of the day in a pasture that included a wooded area. My job was to collect and herd them back to the barn for milking. It was a long walk-Bill had a horse. Almost every cowboy movie included the round up the cows. It must be easy-at least the horse was-throw on a bridle-find something suitable to allow climbing onto the horse’s back-think it was the horse trough (potentially dangerous). The ride to the pasture was quite calming and I had no trouble locating the herd-that was later. I began the roundup but the cows weren’t co-operating, in fact they didn’t seem to be aware of the concept.

Anytime I brought the horse in to play to set them off for home, they would disperse willy nilly and we (the horse and I, the cows) ended up going in circles until I, at the end of my tether, jumped off the horse and tied him to a branch. At which point the cows joined up and headed for the barn, with me following on foot. I had to return later for the horse! Thus ended my farm/cowboy career.

Larry Clark

Down by the Old Pike Hole–The Island Bridges of Carleton Place- Before and After

The Oldest Living Things in Carleton Place — Hackberry Trees 101

Larry Clark

Larry Clark Photos Documented 1963 Parade

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

A Gift for a Teacher 1939 Larry Clark

Carleton Place High School Photo 1954-1955 Name those Students- Larry Clark

Langtry’s Dairy Carleton Place Larry Clark

D & L Slade Co.– Way of Housekeeping Larry Clark — A Tide Mill

Remembering an Accident 1966 Larry Clark

Ritchie Feed and Seed Part 3– The Egg Grading Station-Cecil Hicks — Larry Clark

Tales from Ritchie Feed and Seed — Larry Clark part 2

Tales From Ritchie’s Feed and Seed — Larry Clark — Story 1

Memories of Ritchie Feed and Seed Carleton Place

Home Boys and Family–Mallindine Family — Larry Clark

1963 Riverside Park — Stills from a 8 MM Movie Camera — Larry Clark

Dowdall’s Esso and Hank’s Tire- Jo-Anne Dowdall-Brown and Larry Clark

More Photos of the Hazwill Pony Farm… Larry Clark — Wylies– 1962-1963

Photos of Carleton Place — Larry Clark— Findlay Memories

Memories of Larry Clark’s Photos- Bonds Horricks and Tombstones

Riverside Park Comments Larry Clark ‘The Dip’

Larry Clark Photos Documented 1963 Parade

Get me to the My Future Wife On Time — Larry Clark

I Was Axed — Memories of Larry Clark — Bell Street

1954 CPHS Graduation Pictures — Larry Clark

Cruisin Through the Dance Halls- From Carleton Place and Beyond!! Larry Clark

The Summer of 1956- Larry Clark

The Carleton Place Night Patrol: Aka Skin Dogging — Larry Clark

Larry Clark — Upper Bridge Street in Carleton Place

Memories of a Photo — The Forgotten Canadian Forestry Corps, Booze and a Mud Quagmire

Update to the Charles Lindbergh Story — Larry Clark

 Tales You Did Not Know About—Charles Lindbergh Landed in Carleton Place

Memories of Neighbourhood Kids — Larry Clark

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

Women of the Red Cross — Mary Slade –Larry Clark

Old Notebooks Larry Clark and I Once Had a Math Teacher like This!

Memories of Mulvey’s Candy Store and Joie Bond — Larry Clark

My Family – Larry Clark — Hilda Strike — Olympic Medallist

Finding Treasure — Larry Clark

The Girl Who Gave Birth to Rabbits — Magazines from the 50s Larry Clark

 Hackberry Tree on the right is on Rosamund to the right of the bridge– Larry Clark

Memories of my Grandmother

Memories of my Grandmother

I saw this picture on Facebook and the tears came down my face. I was raised pretty well by my grandparents and they were the beginning footsteps to making my life a kinder softer world when life wasn’t so grand.

Years have passed since my grandmother Mary Louise Deller Knight died. I was her granddaughter, yet I also was her daughter, as she was always there for me with her comforting hands and warm smile. There was never a day that went by that she did not smell of fresh baking, and Evening in Paris perfume.

I want to sit in her kitchen again with my feet dangling off the chair watching the flames of the wood stove, and smell the first pot of coffee, while I watch the sun come up. I want to see her boil my grandfather’s egg, and watch her tap it exactly four times to break it, while wiping her brow with one of her dishtowels.

I want her to send me to the Dairy at exactly 11:30 am, to buy one quart of milk in a clear glass bottle that has the paper closure tab on top. I want to feel her press that shiny extra dime in my hands that she will give me when I go. I sit here and imagine the cold creamy ice cream I will buy with just a hint of strawberry sweetness, that will slide across my tongue after my lunch.

I want to go grocery shopping with her on Friday nights like we used to do, and watch her ask the butcher for suet to feed the birds. She could never ever just give the birds in her yard bird seed. I want to hear her tell everyone in the grocery store how much she loves her granddaughter. Some of them will not understand, as they only speak French. But, they will nod their heads and smile, and call her ” Madam.”

I want to hear the clock strike nine once more on a Friday night, and watch her put Cheese Whiz on Saltine crackers while the overture for the Tommy Hunter Show begins.Then she will pour me a tall glass of milk to wash it all down while I ask her why we have to watch Tommy Hunter again.

Most of all I want to smell her macaroni and cheese baking in the oven while she dances around to the music on the radio. She will make a huge garden coleslaw to go with it, and everyone will have seconds and we will serve each helping with our matching aprons.

I want to hear her scold me again for messing up the clear plastic cover on her teal blue uncomfortable couch. Yes, the same couch I will make out on, with my boyfriend years down the road, and she will not know. One day I told her I did not want to be left here alone after she died. As she wiped her hands on her apron she told me I had to remain and carry on– so I do.

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day
‘Til eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you 

I Swear it’s True!  Part 1 and 2 – by Linda Knight Seccaspina

I Swear it’s True!  Part 1 and 2 – by Linda Knight Seccaspina

Greetings and Salutations to all our Townships Weekend readers. As you know I have a weekly column on Thursdays, but I am honoured to be contributing once a month to the Townships Weekend. I decided to do something different for the weekend format and entertain you with a short series of stories on a subject, something  like the old fashioned serials they once had in newspapers.

So here is Part 2 of…..

I Swear it’s True!  Part 1 – by Linda Knight Seccaspina

I am a proud family member from the Knight and Crittenden family dynasty and come from a lineage that not even Heinz 57 would understand. My bloodlines are thick with British and Irish roots and a few other tree branches slipped in between. My mother’s side from the Call’s Mills and Island Brook area were all from England and Ireland, and as a child, tales were told on a weekly basis about our ancestors.

My favourite story was one about my great great aunt fighting off the Fenians during the fight at Eccles Hill on May 25, 1870. According to the Crittenden legend, she fought them off single-handedly using a spoon as a door lock. Knowing my mother’s side of the family, I assumed she probably invited them in to play cards and have a few pints. But, one tale that was told to me was continued on through the years and even the Knight side contributed years later, so here goes.

My grandfather George Crittenden married a lass from Laconia, N. H so we had many ‘International’ stories to mix with the encyclopaedia of family stories. One tale that was told was about one of the Griffin family that did some sewing for the American Civil War. She lived for almost 100 years under six British sovereigns and ended up living most of her life in the Eastern Townships, but part of her life was in Boston,Mass where she learned to sew by sewing for the soldiers. She came to the Townships via Brockville, On. and this was one cracker of a story she once spread for years to come. I am sure the tale stretched a bit here and there but the basis of this story was written in the media.

In 1915 it was said that some of their family in Brockville and the surrounding area were returning from church and spotted something lit in the sky on February 15, 1915.  When the mayor of Brockville and three constables also witnessed this incident word quickly spread up and down the valley that the Germans were invading Canada.

Vivid flashes in a minor lightning storm gave credence that German aircraft were possibly passing over the area. To make matters even more interesting the mayor of Gananoque also said that two invisible aircraft were heard flying overhead. Parliament Hill went dark at 11 pm that very night and the city of Ottawa and most small towns in the outlying areas followed suit 20 minutes later. I have no doubt that many of the Griffin family spent a restless, fearful night.

Newspaper headlines of: Machines Crossed Over St. Lawrence River: Seen by Many heading to the Capital–Fireballs Dropped appeared quickly the next day. Explanations from government officials were demanded by the local newspapers. Was it really a few of the Morristown youths playing pranks? Some asked when a paper balloon was found on the ice of the St. Lawrence River near the town. What about the remains of a few more balloons that were found with fireworks attached to them near the Brockville Asylum? Soon after these items were found; the media that had been so intent on causing hysteria scoffed at their reader’s fear in print.

Opinions differed as to the nature of the mysterious objects.  Of course Ottawa had to chime in to assure everyone that Germans aircraft had not flown their planes over Eastern Ontario as the headlines persisted. The Dominion Observatory agreed, adding information about local wind direction and added that everyone just had war jitters. But, in all honesty the generic comments from the Observatory and the government did nothing to quell the fear of the locals. As gossip spread and the story transfer expanded to new highs the German bombers became very real to the public. No matter what the media and the government had said in their morning statements the lights still went out all over the Ottawa Valley and guns were set up on various rooftops that next evening.

If you ask some today they will tell you it wasn’t the Morrisburg kids trying to be funny, but in reality it was UFO’s. This story which has appeared in a number of paranormal books says that as the Valley was “preparing for the arrival of Germans” these strange lights were apparently spotted in towns all over Ontario and in provinces as far away as Manitoba.

When I was a kid I used to let balloons go up in the sky in the backyard of my Albert Street home and always hoped that maybe an alien would find it and it would make him or her smile. Maybe the pranks of those Morrisburg kids caught someone else’s attention in the sky– I guess we will never know will we. Almost out of the X-Files isn’t it? So what happened in the next tale from the family lore?

See you in a few weeks for another chapter…..

I Swear it’s True!  Part 2 – by Linda Knight Seccaspina

To recap Part 1-  It was the story of seeing UFO’s or the German’s supposed attempt to bomb our fair land in the Brockville area in 1915 by one of my ancestors. If anyone thinks that was strange, it does not begin or end there. It was not that particular moment where the hysteria began in my family about things that go bump in the night. It seems there were other incidents before that.

Housing was sparse in the early 1900s and a group of my ancestors all resided in one home in the Calls Mills area. One night they were suddenly awakened at 3 am in May of 1910 by the voices of the neighbours from a local fire nearby. The barn fire illuminated the sky and Halley’s Comet was also passing that very night. The women seeing the fire in the distance assumed that Halley’s Comet was producing the end of the world which they of course expected.

The three rushed outdoors in their night clothes waving their arms and crying in despair. It took awhile to get the ladies under control and understand what had really happened. No doubt they had read the newspapers about the coming of Halley’s Comet and this was it.

For weeks international and local newspapers literally terrorized their readers. Over 500 Italians in Little Italy in New York fell to their knees in prayer that night when they saw the ball of flame bearing down on them in the sky. In New Jersey locals took the whole day off work to pray in their local churches for their salvation. Fraudsters hawked anti-comet pills, with one brand promising to be “an elixir for escaping the wrath of the heavens,” while a voodoo doctor in Haiti was said to be selling pills “as fast as he can make them.” Two Texan charlatans were arrested for marketing sugar pills as the cure-all for all things comet, but police released them when customers demanded their freedom. Gas masks, too, flew off the shelves.

The whole performance took five hours that night while the barn fire raged. In the rural countryside some folks gathered on top of their rooftops and watched, waiting for the comet to suck them up into the sky. 

The world’s greatest scientists assured everyone that no harm would befall and their analysis could not be foretold, but it was concluded that there was no cyanogen gas from the tail of the comet that they were fearful of. Local bartenders were telling their patrons to drink half water and half alcohol and that was an antidote if they breathed any cyanogen gas from the meteor. Local farmers removed their lightning rods from their homes and barns, fearful of dangerous light flashes and substances that might accompany the comet.

Folks got real creative with their anxiety like my ancestors. It didn’t help that a few months earlier The New York Times had announced that one astronomer theorized that the comet would unceremoniously end life as we know it. The Associated Press warned their readers they had observed two rather large black spots on the sun and solar eruptions were viewed and spread even more hysteria.

In Sherbrooke some educators carried bottles so they could contain some of the ‘comet atmosphere’ for future analysis. Meanwhile in the back shops of country newspaper offices, the appearance of a few had never been noted for their extreme cleanliness. There is nothing of an edible nature in these places and the printers went on the principle that composing rooms were useful not ornamental. This was pointed out in a delicate manner, on the Wednesday afternoon, by a business neighbour who was a considerable gossip. The male gossiper came downtown without his colored glasses to see what all the fuss was about, and was unable to view the eclipse with any degree of comfort or satisfaction.

Popping into the back shop of the Sherbrooke Record to tell the printers of his sad plight he chanced to look at the eclipse through one of the windows. 

“Well now isn’t that fine,” said he, “you don’t need smoked glasses to shield your eyes when you gaze at the sun through these dirty windows.” He was soon given a pail of water with the other necessary equipment and told to “go to it.’’

In the end there was no collision with earth, none of my cousins got sucked up into the heavens, and life went back as we know it. In the next days in a newspaper it read:

“Some of our citizens claim to have seen the comet Friday night.

There is nothing wrong with their eyesight”– May 27 1910 The Montreal Gazette

That night as the barn burned down few locals thought of Halley’s passing comet as a danger, only my ancestors. The ‘horror’ has carried on through the years and will not end with me. I am called :“Anxiety Girl”- able to jump to the wrong conclusion in one single bond. As I tell my grandchildren: ”99% of your awesomeness will come from me.” Then I get the “look”. I don’t think these stories will help my case.

See you in a few weeks for Part 3 for more of their celestial shenanigans.

Halloween Hangover Memories — Linda Knight Seccaspina

<strong>Halloween Hangover Memories</strong> — Linda Knight Seccaspina

Halloween Hangover Memories– Linda Knight Seccaspina

In the 50s and 60s when I grew up in Cowansville, Quebec socks were darned, baths shared, kids roamed wild, and we licked the cream off the paper tops of milk bottles. As a kid, my mother and I spent the entire month of October, being excited for Halloween and costumes were planned. There was happiness in the air Halloween night with lots of “thank you,” and “please come again” as doorbells rang and the words “Trick or Treat” were heard in the air.

I don’t think in those days that we got that much candy at home so the biggest pillowcases we had came out for the anticipated haul. Our neighbourhood was full of families up and down Albert Street, so we would get apples, Tootsie Roll pops and some paper bags full of candy. Most of the kids that lived on Albert Street climbed the big hill to William Street first. Word on the street was “the best candy in town” was located there. It was the first place I ever saw treat-size chocolate bars, and you could barely move because there were so many children.

My grandmother Mary Louise Deller Knight was not like anyone else. She would have what was called: The Halloween Buffet. She had trays of marshmallow cookies and all sorts of things that parents would advise about taking these days. She would fawn her hands over the table almost like a Price is Right model to all the trick and treaters on South Street.

In 1962 I officially became a Beatnik at the age of 11. There were no official notices, no immediate black clothing; I just got up one morning and started to write bad poetry, and that was that. The primary inspiration was the fact that my father said that Jack Kerouac was a bad influence on young people, and that was enough for me.

That year my Halloween costume was a green wool mohair sweater that barely covered my derriere, thick red tights, and a red beret. Yes, I was dressed as part of the Beat Generation. As one of my friends said it was Halloween and everyone was entitled to one good scare– and I was it he said. It was that time of year that there was a great chill in the air and sometimes it rained, and other times snow challenged us. However, most of us wore a coat over our costume, but I remember never wearing a coat with that Beatnick costume. If I remember it was basically just a sweater, tights and no pants. It was definitely the costume without dignity.

High school came and it was now that part of my life where I wanted to be accepted. Unfortunately fitting in on Halloween included toilet paper, soap and shaving cream. We teepeed quite a few houses with one ply and eggs were thrown. I knew repenting later would not cure mischief, so I declined to participate after that. Thankfully nowadays, deer destroy the carved pumpkins, and eggs are hopefully being celebrated as part of a local food drive.

Nowadays kids seldom know the past joys of trick or treating we enjoyed. Along with non-flammable costumes they only accept gluten free, non GMO, and locally sourced candy. There’s no “App” for the past to portray the scary plastic costumes of witches, vampires or ghouls of days gone by. 

When I was attending Cowansville High School we would get a free morning pass to attend All Saints Day services at our local churches the day after. The reality of it all was a lot of us were tired from Halloween the night before, and it was a good way to be “out of focus” for an hour or two. While the drone of the minister’s voice carried through Trinity Anglican Church, there were some of us fast asleep in the back pews.

It took a long time to go through that bag of Halloween candy. By the end of November there was nothing left except those hard taffy kisses wrapped in orange and black wax paper. I can’t remember anything like the Pumpkin Spice flavour to keep the memories of October alive. Now I hear we might even have Pumpkin Spice Xanax for your seasonal anxiety.

Once upon a time, when Halloween came it seemed a great excuse to watch horror movies and eat candy. Now, as the last leaves fall we watch Pumpkin Spice say its last goodbyes and say hello to Eggnog and Gingerbread Lattes and the latest scare fest on Netflix. Gone may be the memories of tomorrow but never stop be-leafing. Don’t forget to turn your clocks back soon– I’m actually changing mine back to when I was 11 and the era of no pants. I’ve heard your pants won’t get too tight if you don’t wear any.

Happy November!

And a One, and a Two….. Linda Knight Seccaspina

And <strong>a One, and a Two….. Linda Knight Seccaspina</strong>

And a One, and a Two….. Linda Knight Seccaspina

For nearly 28 years I think I watched every single episode of the Lawrence Welk Show– or, sometimes it felt like I did. Lawrence Welk was the musical voice of my Popeye candy cigarette generation. His shows carried on for almost 30 years, and after I stopped watching them I knew that my Grandmother and others had not stopped the tradition. In all honesty, Lawrence Welk never ever really went away.

Through the magic of syndication and of course the internet, the late Lawrence Welk still blows his signature bubbles to this day. I was born from a generation that has long forgotten Welk’s music, comparing it to music found in second hand shops or those occasional visits to your granny’s home. Then there were some of the odd things that I will never forget about the program. Maybe they weren’t strange to some, but I couldn’t figure out what kind of allure those Irish tenors had. Or, was there ever really a wrong time to get up and polka?

But, really it was the innocence of it all, something the whole family could watch and enjoy– especially those Lennon Sisters. It was a very different era when they were known as America’s sweethearts with their sugary smiles and angelic voices. Actually, did you know that most of Welk’s  musical numbers consisted of pre recorded lip- and finger-sync performances? Finger -synching means accordion player Myron Floren was just tickling those accordion keyboards and not really playing.

Those were the days of no remote control and you had to get up to change the channel. My grandfather not only got up to change it, but he also adjusted the “rabbit ear” antenna on the top of the television set. I can still remember the clicking as it turned to one of the 5 channels we had.

What was watched on television was determined by the elders in your family. Evening television wasn’t watched until dinner was done, dishes put away, and the only television was in the living room.

We watched specific programs at night and never really strayed. Lawrence Welk was a favourite, but so was Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday nights. Then there was the Sunday afternoon Hymn Sing, Ed Sullivan and Bonanza on Sunday evenings, and of course Tommy Hunter’s Country Jamboree on Friday night.

Every Saturday night my grandfather would cross South street to Varin’s Pharmacy and buy a large bar of chocolate. In the winter he would sit in his chair and carefully break apart the bar so we could all share while watching the Admiral television. In the summer the treat would be a bag of Laura Secord Fruit Flavoured Jelly Slices.There are many cosy memories of huddling around the TV set with my grandparents that I will never forget. 

My grandfather would only sit in his upholstered chair beside the old radio that he listened to the BBC news on. My grandmother was in her well worn armchair on the left with a stack of Reader’s Digests on the small table along with whatever needed darning that week. I sat on the long blue couch that was covered in plastic that had never been removed since its entry into the house decades ago. It made a loud crunch each time you sat on it, and the plastic stuck to you in the summer heat. But, everyone covered their couches in those days to preserve its beauty, and it was as normal as having a daily cup of tea. Today, I wondered if they all had been secretly preparing for a virus.

I still occasionally watch Lawrence Welk on PBS and memories of my ageing neighbour comes to mind who loved this show too. In the mid mark of her dementia a few years ago she and I were watching a rerun of the famed bandleader and she turned to me and quietly said during a commercial,

“You know dear, I’ve always liked Lawrence Welk. But, I think he was better before he died.”

Now that statement was worth any bar of accordion music any day of the year. Thanks for the memories Mr. Welk!

Music in the 60s- Memories of Herman’s Hermits

Back to The Future — Twisting Your Dignity Away

The Day I Tried to Long Tall Sally Paul McCartney

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

In the Flume of the Almonte Flour Mills Ltd

In the Flume of the Almonte Flour Mills Ltd

Swimming in Almonte

Boys who are good swimmers are having a great time these hot days in the flume of the Almonte Flour Mills Ltd. This is a great place for swimmers who can look after themselves because it is deep and clean and affords facilities for diving and jumping from the railway embankment. The flurne has been a popular place for swimmers over a long period of years. It is said in the old days some of the good divers used to climb up on the roofs of boxcars on a standing train and take headers into the river. They would have to be good to do that. Whether they are a nuisance to the proprietor of the plant is unknown but not likely they are as their howls of enjoyment will be drowned in the sound of the machinery.

Also read-Robert Bryson and Stuart Dunn — Canoeing Down the Timber Slide

My mothers name was Victoria Lee-Cavers,my grandparents were Everet & Pearl Lee they were the Janitor of the Post Office in Almonte.I am so glad to see the Superior Restaurant is still there. I go home every year to put flowers in Auld Kirk Cemetary .I miss the old days. Jumping off the bridge swimming in the Flume, Chip truck , the movie theatre. squashing pennies under the train wheels —

Jenn Mckay I knew the Flume to be the deeper water by the mill (the fancy one where people live now)

Jn Mck

Anna Nitschke, I thought so. Just saw the pic was of the bubble. Lol

Russ Thompson

The bubble was the shallow side the flume was the deeper area by the mill. What a great childhood fry and gravy at the soup or the old hotel a swim in the bubble a jump from the bridge to the flume then head to Peterson’s for ice cream. Life sure was better back then.

Russ Thompson

The river always smells when the water drops been doing it for as long as I can remember. I remember as a kid swimming at the bubble bath ( train tracks for those new to town, that’s when the town had tracks and trains) and there would be green slim on the rocks every summer when the water levels dropped. Eventually the sun would dry it out. 


Martha Sheldrake

It might be somewhere on ‘the island?’ Or maybe the lower river looking at the bottom of Bay Hill? It’s definitely a bridge – which might be the railway bridge, but I can’t remember any tall structure like that in the background in town.

Ken MacDonald

Maybe if the photographer was standing on the bridge by flour mill looking downstream with the island on the left and the dairy property on the right.

Along the left side of photo next to the edge might be a lamp post on the bridge. The power plant to the rear of the photographer on his left and flour mill to the rear right. Depending on the time frame maybe a smoke stack or chimney from one of the mills in the background.?????

If you drive across the bridge today and look down stream the new replacement bridge should be there!

Sean O’connor

Lana Lackey when you take the riverwalk path from old town hall parking lot heading down to when you get under the old railway bridge the chutes between the pillars where the small drop in river churns the water up that’s the bubble bath. The picture is just upstream of the bubble bath.

Bobby Gallant
I swam there and at the bubble bath and at the flume all my child hood and through my teens. Played a lot of a game call earth and also a game called tv shows at the Almonte beach
Phot othe millstone

Ron Finner

Spent many a day at the flume just swimming and enjoying being a kid !! 😎🤠

Laureen Horton-Robinson

As a girl we weren’t supposed to but I swam at the flume and the bubble bath as well. Loved it.

Darrin Bree

Lots of swimming at the bubble bath. Jump in behind the fire station and slid down to the bubble bath .then floated to the post office jump out and started over again

july 1970

July 1971

Robert Bryson and Stuart Dunn — Canoeing Down the Timber Slide

Young Girl Nearly Swept into Appleton Flume — Mahon

Murder or Accident — Bates & Innes Flume

Remembering the Old Log Timber Slide

Here’s to Verna May Wilson Hadlock’s Shoes Linda Knight Seccaspina

Here’s to Verna May Wilson Hadlock’s Shoes Linda Knight Seccaspina

I was a child who missed the saddle shoes of the 40s and the 50s by a few years, but my High School friend and neighbour Verna May Wilson Hadlock made up for me. I really don’t wander around beginning conversations about saddle shoes these days, but when the subject comes up I once again express my opinions. It seems the more I age, my bag of opinions overflows solely supported by personal observations of course.

I do remember hearing Verna telling me how her Mother became hysterical at the sight of the new saddle shoes when she returned home after her first day at school. They were scuffed and gave the appearance of having gone through a small war, but that was the “in” way to wear saddle shoes.

Some of you will remember the old days of saddle shoes when you bought them sparkling white and clean, and then you tried your very hardest to get them dirty before the kids at school got the chance to do the job for you. Seems nice white saddle shoes just weren’t the thing in those days, and it was very painful to have your friends trying to take every inch of “bark“ off the uppers of your saddle shoes.

Day after day a bit more wear and tear became noticeable. Just about the time you really got the uppers of your saddle shoes to the point where they were socially acceptable with the “In” crowd the main part of the shoe began to deteriorate– and it was time to get a new pair.

There were all sorts of things Verna Wilson did with saddle shoes. She would change her laces to match an outfit and I swear some neighbours peeked out of their Albert Street Venetian blinds on a daily basis to see what she had done. But, this was a girl that came home at lunchtime to change into another fresh white blouse that she wore with her navy blue school tunic, and she was just so perfect in my eyes.

Verna mentioned there was a professional scuffer at Cowansville High School that would scuff your saddle shoes for a nominal price. I heard that his scuffing business was so popular that you had to wait as long as three or four days to get his attention.

In 1972 the style of saddle shoes came back.There were those of my friends who thought the return of saddle shoes was the best thing since Lucky Charms and Lava Lamps. Then, there were two or three, and myself, who said they didn’t care for the entire situation. As would be expected, there were a few old timers that had to throw in their two cents and tell “us kids” about the “olden days” of shoewear.

My style, once older, never followed Verna, but it did involve my Grandmother’s borrowed pearls, lace up brown orthopaedic shoes with a scent of Evening in Paris. I was also so mesmerised with tap dancing that sometimes I taped nickels on the bottom of my shoes. The coins also  came in handy for a call on an emergency payphone. Can you even imagine– a nickel? But, after months of wearing them my father began calling them “clodhoppers”– as that’s what they used to call big shoes that just didn’t fit well anymore.

In Grade 7 I wandered into Hashim’s Clothing store on South Street and fondled the most god awful shoes you can imagine. They were vinyl lime green elf shoes trimmed with fringe. What I saw in those shoes I have no idea, but I had to have them. My father relented and came to Hashims and spoke with the salesclerk about the possibilities of getting deformed toes from being squeezed into those pointy shoes. She assured him of course with the words of a podiatrist that I should be fine. As I glance at my large claw toes today that look like they grew like wayward tree roots I am reminded that yes, those shoes had something to do with my toes after wearing them in the rain sleet and snow.

Shoes have always been part of everyone’s lives and they can either afford you the adoration of your peers, or jeers from the cool kids table in the lunchroom. Should we get back into the Hush Puppies era, or can we just stop now at Saddle Shoes and Loafers? Did you know that the shoes we wore actually changed the shape of our feet over the course of our lives? As Leonardo DaVinci once said, “The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.”  Maybe so, but after a lifetime of fashionable shoes, my feet are no masterpieces– they in fact looked like very scuffed Saddle shoes that no one would want– and that my friends is going easy on them.

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 11

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 11
Grandaughter Tenley

South Street Cowansville, Quebec

Linda Seccaspina

January 10 at 12:57 PM  · “Skyler Seccaspina · New colleague. First day on the job.”

As I see my granddaughter Tenley sit at her Dad’s desk I remember my days of sitting at the desk at the F. J.Knight Company on South Street in Cowansville. My grandfather and dad had a business of being electrical contractors for over 60 years. They also had a retail store where they sold fixtures and whatever you needed for electrical work in the front of the house. I sat at the front desk in that store every Friday night for 14 years selling lightbulbs and whatever while my Dad Arthur, chewed the fat as they say, with his customers.When I was 12— I was promoted to working summers typing out invoices with carbon paper (three layers). There were so many pieces sold per invoices it drove me nuts. I also did the window/ window sills display for them… pretty funny when you think of it. At 3 pm every day my Grandmother Mary Knight came into the store with cheese and crackers and a glass of milk. Friday nights,when the store closed– it was Tommy Hunter on TV and then more cheese and crackers. I was always trained to work hard, respect people, but have a damn opinion please LOLOL– So it gives me great joy to see Tenley ‘helping” her Dad, and I already know she has opinions.

Linda at age 2

Feb 21, 2022

It’s 10:03 am and I am just doing my email. Once upon a time I was up at the crack of dawn ready to seize the day– not anymore. My eyes still red from weeping during the ‘chick flick’ marathon last night on the E channel. Favourites such as: Pretty Woman, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail, still have most of my senses.

My routine has changed, no doubt about it. I have to sit on the edge of the bed for a spell every morning. The old engine and brain needs to warm up, and sometimes I wonder if I should just go back to bed. Then I get up and wander to the next bedroom and sit down to get my clothes for the day. I remember the days I did not make sound effects when I got up to go up anywhere.

‘Sit down’ seems to be the key word these days. I glance at my phone, get the day’s news and realize that it’s okay to get up as the world will not end today. Maybe tomorrow…. I’ll take my chances today.

I throw my underwear and pants down the stairs to the bottom floor so I can put them on without falling over. You know what they say: If you get your leg through one pant leg and not fall over, it’s a really good day.

The bathroom is next and I purposely do not bring my phone in there, or I might not be out of there until 11. I sit there and decide what I am going to feed Steve for breakfast and lunch. I know we are going to my daughter-in-law’s mothers for dinner, so one last thing to wrap my brain around, as it’s still not up to mid speed.

Underwear is on– with now mandatory protection –as the TV ads are true, and I will not go any farther with that information. I open the door and go sit on the couch. Pants on, I am ready to seize the day. Maybe.

Steve has been sitting there for probably a good 30 minutes, but he says nothing. I remove the butter to add to the frying pan and a giant chunk flies up in the air and lands on the floor. I quickly pick it up, examine it and throw it into the frying pan. Glued to his phone he begins to laugh having seen that stunt of mine. I tell him it wasn’t dirty, and then ask if he has eyes in the back of his head. He laughs and tells me he would have done the same thing.

It’s 10:30 now and instead of posting history I have wasted 30 minutes writing about getting older. At least I am not as old as I will be next year. But I live and forget my age, I can still ‘drop it like Im hot”– I just may now need a little help getting up these days!!!

I’m not dead yet!!!

Happy Family Day!

Linda Seccaspina

Linda at Grammys on South Street in Cowansville, Quebec.

Today I thought about my Grandmother and her insistence on wearing clean underwear on a daily basis. These days I can’t seem to find anything decent in my drawers. There’s just something about a pair of well worn granny panties that makes me feel safe, so I stick with what I know best.

My late mother constantly carried on about my underwear. In her case it wasn’t so much if they were clean or not, but whether they had more holes than swiss cheese. I always told her not to worry, that I would just pretend they got torn in whatever accident I had if need be. But she never stopped..

“What will they say if you get into an accident?” she frequently repeated mimicking my Grandmother.

Each time they mentioned the underwear situation I began to worry. If you are in an accident, do they refuse you at the hospital for having unattractive underpants? Do the gynecologists have coffee among themselves and talk about what underwear they have seen that day? Does medical staff prefer granny panties or thongs?

To encourage me I was given 7 day underwear for my birthday when I was 5. Did you actually wear Monday on a Monday? Did it really have some deep meaning that we did not know about? If you got in an accident did someone quietly mention to you on the ambulance gurney that you were wearing the wrong day of the week?

At age 6 I actually did get hit by a car and was carried into the house by neighbours. I woke up on the living room couch with Grampy Crittenden handing me an Illustrated Classics comic book about the story of Jesus. My Grandfather quietly asked my mother if I was okay. My mother said,

“I think so, but I am so worried she didn’t have good underwear on and we don’t want the town to talk. Her underwear was so stretched out and worn she could have fit the whole town of Cowansville in them!”

Yes, those enormous baggy briefs are regularly thought to be everything you wouldn’t want in an undergarment. To make it worse the younger generation lumps them into a category of being only for the Golden Girls set. I am proud to say that when I had my heart attacks a few years ago I am sure the medical profession was still not impressed by my underwear choice and talked for days about it. Anyways at my age thermal under is now considered really hot underwear and I am too busy thinking about the afterlife now. Question to self- Should I bring a change of clean underwear?

April 30, 2019 ·

The Story of the Green Pea– A Linda story from the past…

Today at the CPDMH fundraiser at St. James Linda dropped a pea down her cleavage. She felt it there but she could not reach it– especially with folks around. So she endured it and walked over to the dessert table. She told her friend Francis from St. Marys that she had a pea down her and if it fell out of the bottom of her dress it was hers. It still did not come out. So she walked back to the table and felt it travelling down her. She knew the pea would free itself soon. As she sat down out came the green pea from out of her crinoline and she said to everyone at the table. “Ive got it!” — In all occasions you have to give ‘Peas a Chance’ right?.. peace out my friends and have a wonderful day!! Keep history alive no matter what it is..:)

Remembering Allan Code—
When I was interviewing Nancy Code Miller years ago I told her how her father had saved someone’s life. In the early 90’s I taught aerobics at the Sussex Club in Ottawa. One of the members was on the verge of depression. Her husband had left her, she had two small children, and was destitute. When a friend was driving her to Smiths Falls, she saw Alan Code’s dealership and stopped to look at the cars. She had advised Mr. Code she would probably not be able to afford it, but he patiently sat down with her, and they picked out her car from the colour to the upholstery. The delivery date of 6 months was her goal to get her life in order. I don’t think she ever did pick up the car, but she eventually got a job, and all was right in the world. She told me she credited her success for the future to Mr. Code. He had given her hope. In talking with Nancy today, I can see the apple has not fallen far from the tree. Tip of the hat, and a big hug to you both, for believing in our small town of Carleton Place.

It “Depends”

I used to watch a lot of channel 700 with the Vintage Songs from the Past. They just played Gino Vanelli’s “I just want to stop” and I stopped typing- yes I stopped posting and typing. It brought me back to the day when I was buying purses for my store Flash Cadilac from this gal from England who was staying with a friend below Gino Vanelli’s apt in Old Montreal. He heard us talking about him and came downstairs and sang this song to me. I almost peed my pants. Time has flown by, and as for peeing my pants? I just stare at the Depends commercials now and realize time is drawing near. LOL

Photo– 1995? After the 54 Rock Fashion show I put on. LOL Exhausted

Just Like Me– They Long to Be Close to You

I am sitting here listening to The Carpenters realizing that no song today will ever give me the same reaction their songs did. If silk had a sound, it would sound like Karen Carpenter. I am fighting back the tears right now as their songs echo through my headphones. The Carpenters were played continuously for times of angst in my life, and  honestly, sometimes left me more depressed than I already was.

Then I remember one summer evening driving back to Ottawa from a White Zombie concert in Montreal and trying not to fall asleep at the wheel. I was bringing three other people home, and everyone was fast asleep- that was no help. I began to laugh at my shenanigans at the venue that night screaming in zest at Rob Zombie that “I wanted to bear his children”. Giggling at those minutes of nothing but pure insanity could still could not keep me awake.

Insert- one Carpenter’s Gold CD in the car CD player and I begin to sing at the top of my voice with the windows open. Surely that would keep me awake! First track ends and the song “Close to You” comes on. Immediately I hear three voices in the back seat begin to sing the song together in great harmony. I was shocked — these folks knew every word of The Carpenter’s song. I realized then and there that when Karen Carpenter sang– she touched everyone’s soul. After that night I was never sad when I heard the Carpenters melodies because I realized life is a gift–don’t be sad—as someone, somewhere, is still wrapping it up for you as “We’ve Only Just Begun!”

Today I got my “HOBIpalooza” shirt in the mail and I was smiling like a young girl with a David Cassidy poster on my wall. For those of you who don’t know who David Cassidy is, that’s your Google homework today. 

Who is HOBI ?– well, he is J-Hope from the South Korean band BTS. I love this band as they make me smile and their music is infectious. So when J- Hope performed in Chicago a month ago, this senior citizen wanted to go.

The very last time I had been to Lollapalooza was in the 1990s in Barrie, Ontario.That was decades ago when I had seen Rage Against the Machine at least a couple of times and was a huge Jane’s Addiction fan. Years have passed, and now I don’t think I could bring myself to walk into a very used porta potty, or stand for a few hours– even with a trendy glitter cane. 

I’m in the Netflix portion of my life now sadly and there isn’t a day I don’t miss  the excitement of a good live concert. BUt, I’m not going to pay triple digits to listen to that one good song– even if J-Hope has many.

So allow me to be thrilled to have one of the concert T Shirts that didn’t cause me to sprain a tendon or stand in a line to pee. Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional– and I’m never going to grow up.

What was it with Peter Fonda in 1969? I never did watch the film Easy Rider until the 80s, but I sure loved Peter Fonda. One could say he was the ‘cutest, easiest rider’ of the many icons. Fonda and Dennis Hopper didn’t just play cocaine-dealing motorcyclists riding their way across a fast-changing America. Both became poster boys for an equally fast-changing film industry. To me he was a lanky, long-haired icon of countercultural rebellion of which I was certainly part of. Peter Fonda and I were both “born to be wild”.

It was near Christmas in downtown Montreal that last year of the 70s. I was searching for the perfect gift for my friends and I soon found IT at the very back of Simpson’s Sears. There in the camera section were black and white posters on the back wall of Peter Fonda sitting on his bike. When I asked about them the salesclerk said they had just come in and the stock had not been brought down yet. I was determined to have one of these cherished items for my friends and I to put on our walls, so I asked if I could wait. She rolled her eyes and agreed while she called the stock room.

That day was December 21, and you can imagine the crowds at the counter buying film to take holiday photos, and I was definitely in the way. Each time a different salesclerk asked if they could help me I just smiled and said: ” I’m waiting for Peter Fonda!” . I glued myself to that Simpson Sears floor for the next 90 minutes. I was not leaving without Peter.

I knew my father was not going to be happy seeing another thing going up on my walls, but posters to me were brand new. Posters had been originally a method of advertising and promotion, but in the 1960s, a new crop of psychedelic signs became the signs of the counterculture, and I was involved. My stepmother, who was so enamoured with Pierre Trudeau. She had put his poster up on the living room wall to annoy my father who was a campaign manager for Jean Jacques Bertrand who served as Member of the Legislative Assembly for the District of Missisquoi in Quebec. If Pierre could be up on the wall so could Peter! I mean they had the same name after all LOL.

The posters eventually came downstairs and plopped on the counter, and I happily bought 6 at the price of 99 cents each. I will never ever forget that day and the 60s. Easy Rider was never a motorcycle movie to me– it was about what was going on in our lives as teens and freedom. Today, I still try to be who I am, but every day it’s harder to “get my motor running and venture to the highway”– but there is no doubt I was born to be wild LOLOL.. That never changes.

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 10

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 9

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 8

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 7

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 6

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 5

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 4

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 3

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past — Part 2

Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past Part 1

My Grandfather’s Knife- Noreen Tyers

My Grandfather’s Knife- Noreen Tyers
who carved these initials in the picnic table at Metcalfe Park in Almonte? 🙂

Linda, I just had to write this. On carrying a knife on a dateNoreen Tyers

Back in the 1950’s and earlier from my childhood, I was used to the sight of the pocket knife .  Most men, and boys always had a pocket knife, in their pocket.

My Grandpa always had a pocket knife, and he did amazing things with it.  While Grandma rested her leg on the footstool he built after dinner, he would sit on the veranda and whittle.  He whittled amazing things like a little axe placed in a slice off a branch of a white birch tree.

It fascinated me as a child, what could come out of an old branch or a piece of wood from my Grandpa’s waste bucket, and it was created by a pocket knife.  I was so enthralled with the little axe in the branch, that one evening when I skipped down the street to visit my grandparents, there was the finished product.  A little axe in the branch. He said, ” Would you like it?” and I said yes.  I still have that little axe in the birch, slightly worn and dried out a tad.  It has seen the dab of glue when it was accidentally knocked off the fireplace mantel, by one of my children and snapped at the grain.  My little axe still sits in the corner shelf my grandfather also made.

Richards Castle near Snow Road

My Grandpa always carried that knife in his pocket, and I can remember it did get a lot of use when we went on our Summer Holidays at Richard’s Castle.  It did do amazing things, like sharpen a pencil when it broke, cut a flower on our walks that I happened to admire. He usually brought along an apple and he would wipe off the knife and cut off a slice of apple.  

I have to say that when he went fishing the pocket knife sat on the seat beside him.  There just might be a need to cut a piece of fishing line off his spool of line and whittle a little stick and make me a fishing pole.  I have to admit after a couple of sunfish catches the stick might have broken, but no tears, as another fishing pole could be created in no time.

I have to say many a screw was tightened when the screw driver was not present and an emergency happened.  I even watched him cut a piece of cardboard out to place in his shoe when it developed a hole in the sole and he didn’t have time to take to the Shoemaker—-at least that is what he said.  There was also those times Grandma would fold a piece of waxed paper for something and say can you cut it on the crease, out came the pocket knife and he slid it on the crease.

Now on a picnic one never knew what the pocket could cut, fruit, the top of something, and funny thing is he always wiped  it off with a little hunk of rag.  I have to say that the item the knife created that took my interest, was a chain he whittled out of a branch.  Every evening, one summer the chain was whittled out and the shavings from the wood was dropped into an old large can.  The chain was also put in the can behind Grandma’s Adirondack chair where he would bring it out while he sat on the edge of the veranda. Another link would be started.  I did learn a lot of things could be done with that little knife.

As a young person, I learned that a knife was not a toy, it was not to be misused and when I was a little older I was taught how to sharpen it.  Now, be careful do not cut yourself.

When I was seventeen I met my husband and he carried a knife in his pocket, like my grandfather, and the knife was always used for doing things that just came up.  Cutting off a taste of fudge off a larger piece of fudge you might have bought.  Yes we went fishing, we cut fruit and cut off a hunk of rope to tie something together.  He also carved with his pocket knife, and I have a Donkey he carved when he attended Hopewell Avenue Public School.

You know fear of my boyfriend carrying a pocket knife never entered my mind, nor did I ever see him misuse it.   It is sad to think that these thoughts now enter a young girl’s mind when and if they go on a date.  Give me the olden days when a knife carved our initials in a tree, at the cottage in the summer and thought of love not to hurt or use as a weapon.  The idea just never entered my mind and I am glad it didn’t.   It is a shame we now have to.

Noreen Tyers

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