Tag Archives: nostalgia

Let’s Just “Gruel” in the New Year

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Let’s Just “Gruel” in the New Year

When I used to watch old movies as a child; gruel was served to orphans as an economic necessity. You certainly couldn’t feed hundreds of children steak and eggs on the city’s dime and Dickens loved using gruel as a metephor for cruelty. The Dickensian delights of the Victorian workhouse, immortalised in the moment when a starving Oliver Twist dares to ask for some more watery gruel.

In my family–the gruel came with much praise and many comments every day in January — undoubting the decision of its wholesomeness along with a small side bowl of prunes for everyone’s constitution. In today’s realm it would be much like yogurt attempts to advertise for the thoughts of regular constitution.

Gruel can actually be quite tasty they say. Mary Louise Deller Knight’s was not. Like the 1976 tune “Give Peace a Chance” I was instructed to give gruel a chance- every single day. The thin porridge has had a bad reputation with me ever since. My grandmother decided the month of January should be dedicated to getting everyone’s body ready for the rest of the Winter and layers of morning gruel lining my intestines would do it.

You know maybe if Grammy had followed the old recipe above I might have given it a chance. But- she made her slushy gruel, containing oats, water, milk and onion. That’s right — onion. As my grandfather would say:

“There’s no flavour at all without the onion.”

I begged to differ.

As she rejoyced about it ‘sticking to my insides’, today I would have retorted, “They call that Dysphagia!” In yesterday’s life it was “eat your meals or starve.”

Today, in these nutritionally conscious times, gruel is an all-rounder. It’s got all the carbs and water you need to barely survive for another day. For the health-conscious gruel can be made more interesting by adding bee pollen, maca, hemp seeds, coconut butter, lentil sprouts or fermented tree-nut cheese. Consider yourself warned this might become a new food trend!

Me? I think I will just eat my ethically-sourced, fair trade hat and avoid it like the Black Plague.

More gruel recipes click here.

Pease Pudding in the Pot, Nine Days Old

Times Of Love and Dreams to Share

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Times Of Love and Dreams to Share

2015

It is December 15th, almost a week before Christmas, and you would never know it. I wrote a piece a few years ago called “Searching For Christmas” and it seems, as the years go by, it disappears more and more. The Martha Stewart Christmas CD plays for the umpteenth time, and after 17 Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel I just can’t watch another. Or can I?


I had something happen to me a few years ago that was life altering. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about it, and it has literally changed my perspective on life. It was almost like learning there was no Santa Claus when I was a child. That innocence that reinforced the goodness of mankind suddenly vanished. So, I sit here and ask myself, how many Christmases do I have left? What if I had not lived, and missed Christmas that year? Well, I did live, and Christmas is almost around the corner.

So I try to snap out of this funk and remember. I remember the smell of Christmas trees and their sharp pine pungent scent, and the smell of home baking in the air. To be honest, the last years of my childhood Christmases were not spent smelling a fresh evergreen tree. It was gazing at the latest model of Sears “best in the line ” decorator trees in my Grandmother’s living room. I remember the delicate fragile glass ornaments that belonged to years gone by and the blue lights on the tree.

I can still hear Miss Watson playing the church organ next to the Chrismtas tree at Trinity Anglican Church, which also shone with blue lights. I felt like it was something that was decided upon one Altar Guild Day in one fell swoop of a pact.  Can I still hear these women talking with their glasses perched on their noses and fluffing their short tight perms? Did these church ladies decide that blue lights, and only blue lights, should be on a Christmas tree? I am positive that’s what happened and then they all went home and changed their lights to blue in a no nonsense way.

Memories then flood my mind of  two weeks after Christmas in 1995 when my sons and I stood on top of a water- soaked carpet looking sadly at a completely black Christmas tree. Staring at the remainder of a horrible fire that burned everything the day before, my oldest son wondered if his purchase of one small TY Beanie Baby monkey started the fire that turned our lives upside down for over a year. He is very much like his mother. We dwell on things and don’t give them up. We are good at that.

But Christmas went on the next year and no one was a Negative Nancy. We still watched Charlie Brown’s Christmas and baked cookies and hung up stockings and I still left small presents on the door steps of the elderly. So what to do? How do I get out of this Downer Dan mood? I decided to make  Butter Tarts–now that would make me feel festive.


Twenty minutes later after listening to Loreena McKennitt singing “Good King Wenceslas” for the umpteenth time, I take the tarts from the oven. They smell wonderful and I know they will be enjoyed. I turn the Martha Stewart Christmas CD off and file it away, not to be played for… let’s say…at least a day. Charlie Brown’s Christmas by Vince Guaraldi fills the air and I dance. I realize the holidays are what you make out of it and not to expect anyone to drop the Holiday spirit outside your bathroom door– because it just isn’t going to happen. Christmas just isn’t a season–it’s a feeling sometimes being torn for the familiar and just a chance to feel old feelings twice. If kisses were snowflakes I would send each and everyone of you a blizzard.

Living in the Past from Noreen Tyers

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Living in the Past from Noreen Tyers
Noreen Tyers—Grandparents in front of Richards Castle, in Snow Road
around the 1940’s John and Charlotte (Mavis) Lahey Summer holidays at the Stone House.


My childhood Memory– by Noreen Tyers

Memory is like a key; it opens a door to spending some time in the past.

Not too long ago, someone said to me you seem to dwell in the past.  I have found out since doing my family history, there is so much I do not know about family matters.  At my senior age maybe I will dwell on it,  as it can be so interesting.   In both my family history and my husband’s history I have gone back to the 1700’s, in my process, it goes back to discovering his great-grandfather was a Huguenot from the Guernsey Islands who settled on the Plains of Abrahams, in Quebec, in the late 1700’s. 

In our home sits a Desk made on the Plains of Abrahams which was created in the Late 1700’s, during that time, by my husband’s Great Grandfather.  The family also changed their name from LeLacheur to Lusher.  When one has the use of a Laptop there is just so much information to be found to fill in some gaps to ones heritage. Connections were made and we found some new kissin cousins we did not know we had.

Huguenots were French Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who followed the teachings of theologian John Calvin. Persecuted by the French Catholic government during a violent period, Huguenots fled the country in the 17th century, creating Huguenot settlements all over Europe, in the United States and Africa. Mar 16, 2018

In my Dad’s Family,  history was a sad upbringing and beginning of life he had.  His Mother and Dad left him and a sister in England, and came to Canada, his Grandparents brought him up.  His father died in the first world war when my Dad was four.  He went to work at the age of eight at a Mill in Rochdale, Lancashire.  He worked in the same Mill as the War Time Singer, Gracie Fields. More than once when she would come on the Radio, he would say “Many a lunch time I spent singing with Her.”  My Dad had a beautiful Irish Tenor Voice, needless to say we had some old 78″ records, with Gracie Fields songs.  My Dad did live a lonely life until he met and married my Mom and he finally found out what Family was all about. He sailed to Canada when he was seventeen, to find his Mom.  The outcome was not positive for him, his mom had remarried.

There is one thing about looking into your heritage: it is very difficult to wrap your head around some of the knowledge you gain.  I have to say that you take on a very different attitude on what is important.  I do find that when you learn more about the early years of your parents life it does make some dates far more important.  As a Child I do remember going to Remembrance Day, and finding out about my Dad’s Family.  The Service at the War Memorial in Ottawa was much more meaningful.  It did answer the question of the tear in my Dad’s eye, I have to say I noticed it and would look for it on the following services held at the War Memorial that I attended. 

I do remember being told about the flags around the National War Memorial.  My Mom was a winner at her school, Lisgar Collegiate, for an essay, on how to improve the appearance of the area of the War Memorial.   Her idea was flags around the outside area, and for many years as a child, I would come home from the service and say to my Mom, your Flags are still flying Mom.  In the 40’s it was the Union Jack Flag. I do have a newspaper  clipping showing that My Mom’s Idea was a winner.  I do have to admit it became a bragging right as a child, and I did brag to my Classmates every November 11th. I am quite sure they grew tired of hearing it from me.

You know with Covid hanging around the world, one tries to come up with idea’s to keep busy, but out of the worry of covid invading the being, you keep busy.   Years ago I started to mark down some lines and put together a series of stories of a Holiday at Richards Castle in Snow Road.  These stories were generated by Childhood Memories of Summer Holidays at the Old Stone House.  This was a holiday with the whole extended family.  It started out in 1936 when Grandpa arranged for a holiday for two weeks, each year for over fifteen years. They would travel to Snow Road and Richard’s Castle.  I did have such a good time as a young girl,, along with Prince Freddie the Frog, He sat on a lily pad in the Mississippi River.

The holiday trip in the back on an old Charles Ogilvy Department Store truck driven by an uncle or taking the old K & P Railway – Kingston – Pembroke or as it was dubbed by the locals the Kick and Push.  As children, it was a horrible trip up as we would all get motion sick on both the trains in the back of the old delivery truck.  It was a castle and we were a family of meagre means and if you could fantasize many stories could be generated, and with me they did and have lasted a good long time.

I then started to mark down stories from my childhood from living on Gardner Street.  The houses on this street could have used a paint job and some repairs, but being war time and very few men around, and a Landlord who did not like to spend money or just may have been, she did not have it.  So repairs seldom ever made it to be done, and the list of repairs just kept getting bigger and never addressed.

During the Covid shut-in time it was used to work on the Family history book, I did a write up of Family Treasures and where they came from, and who they belonged to.  When one starts a project like this you also learn by it.  In both sides of our family there were talented individuals and in most cases a lot of thought, love and technique went into the item.  Some might think they were nothing more than trinkets yet there was a story and memories with each item.  To me they are priceless and have priceless value.  I still have my doll house, with a little circular table and two chairs, and a fireplace with a mantle clock that my grandparents created and gave me at the age of around nine.  Grandpa made it and it has been special ever since.  It has gone through family, and children have used it, with the specification it came back to me.  It did and sometimes it might come out at Christmas, when one gets the desire for a Hallmark type Christmas.

My latest little pleasure is doing a family story book for kids, from the stories of Snow Road.  I do not think of myself as a writer, but I do believe I am a storyteller, who just can recall memories from a picture or an item.

If you want to think of me as living in the past, maybe I do, but over the years I have built up a lot of memories.  I do find pleasure, and my time in the past was very pleasant.  To tell you the truth, with all the spare time I have and lack of seeing too many people and being alone so much, it does fill in a void, and childhood returns, if only for a while.

No I do not spend all my time in the past, but in my pleasant thoughts and yes they were, I travel back to some happy times.  It does keep the mind active and the fingers nimble, marking them down..  One just never knows, what you might find out, something you never knew of, and maybe someone needs this information for a project they are working on. Family Tales, it’s a treasure and priceless,  to find something and check it out.  I am no Princess only at Richard’s Castle the name was Princess Pigtails, yes that’s what my Grandpa called me, and he was a wise man.

Just some thoughts and a few lines, on a quiet Sunday 

from the  ✒Of Noreen Tyers

For the Love of Fungi and Leprechauns By Noreen Tyers

Hair Attention — Noreen Tyers

The Handmade Tablecloth — Noreen Tyers

Cutting a Christmas Tree at the House of Old at R. R. # 4 — Noreen Tyers

Making the Fudge for that Special School Affair 1940s Noreen Tyers

The Teeter Totter Incident Noreen Tyers

Childhood Movie Nights at Reliance Motor Court in Eastview — Noreen Tyers

Hats, Ogilvy’s and Gaudy Teenage Years — Noreen Tyers

Sending Thoughts of Winter to You, from my Wee Dog Ruffy Noreen Tyers

A Trip in the Carrying Case– Noreen Tyers

Just Me Growing Up in the Early 1940’s Noreen Tyers

Grandma and the Cute Little Mice– From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

Another Broken Bed Incident — Stories from Richards Castle — Noreen Tyers

Lets Play Elevator- Charles Ogilvy Store — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

At Church on Sunday Morning From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

Jack’s in Charge-Scary Stories — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

Adventures at Dalhousie Lake at the Duncan’s Cottages —- From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

I am Afraid of Snakes- From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

Hitching a Ride Cross Town — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

My Old Orange Hat –From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Out of the Old Photo Album — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

Snow Road Ramblings from Richards Castle — From the Pen Of Noreen Tyers

Summer Holidays at Snow Road Cleaning Fish — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Snow Road Adventures- Hikes in the Old Cave — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Putting Brian on the Bus– Stories from my Childhood Noreen Tyers

My Childhood Memory of Richard’s Castle –From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Grandpa’s Dandelion Wine — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

My Wedding Tiara — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Art of Learning How to Butter Your Toast the Right Way — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Smocked Dresses–From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Kitchen Stool — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Flying Teeth in Church — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Writings of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Memories of Grandpa’s Workshop — Noreen Tyers

Cleaning out Grandmas’ Fridge — Noreen Tyers Summer Vacation at Richard’s Castle

My Flower Seeds — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

My Barbra Ann Scott Doll –Noreen Tyers

Greetings From Ruffy on Groundhog Day Noreen Tyers

That Smell Of The Lanark County SAP Being Processed — Noreen Tyers

Adventures at Dalhousie Lake at the Duncan’s Cottages — Noreen Tyers

The old Sheepskin Slippers Noreen Tyers

The Table from St. Andrew’s in Pakenham

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The Table from St. Andrew’s in Pakenham

St. Andrews United Church Pakenham

St Andrew’s Church Pakenham-

It was just an old kitchen fall-leaf table, made of hardwood and still in its raw state with never the stroke of a painter’s brush to mar the beautiful, natural grain of the wood, but what a historic background it had. What tales it could tell of the pioneer days if it could only speak, tales of frugal repasts set on its broad surface, tales of well laden Christmas dinners with a happy family gathered abound, or perhaps of the minister’s visit when it was covered with a snowy white table cloth and the children were put on their best behavior.

But the greatest tale of all would be the time it was used, over 102 years ago. as a pulpit for the first Presbyterian service held in this district. The service was held in a blacksmith’s shop long before a church was built, and this old table, a cherished souvenir of those early days, now reposes in the basement of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian church, a strong link in the life of the church from the first Presbyterian missionary from Scotland to the present day.

Pakenham was the central point of the parish, which embraced Fitzroy, Torbolton, Pakenham. McNab and Horton. But to go back to the old kitchen table which is in as good a state of repair today as it was one hundred years ago there is a wealth of sentiment connected with it. Only the spiritual life of the church can endure and go on through all the ages to eternity, but when we look back over the long trail of time and follow the lives of those who have taken up the challenge of the cross, there is little wonder that the spiritual life of the church endures and strengthens with the years.

The material things of life crumble and fade away, but the spiritual endures forever.

The story about this table was told in 1940 and I wonder if it is still around.

St. Andrews United Church Pakenham
August 23, 2020  · 


Thank you Marilyn for extravagantly sharing your time and talents with St. Andrew’s and our community for over 50 years.
I was speaking with Ken Hastie today and he told me that St. Andrew’s in Carleton Place also used to have a table like that and it is now at the Carleton Placeand Beckwith Hertage Museum

The Handmade Tablecloth — Noreen Tyers

 If You Don’t Have a Perfect Tablecloth Your Husband’s Eye will Wander

The Dack’s Jewellery Store Checker Table

Mary Cook and her Telephone Pin

Never Miss a Chance to Dance! Linda Knight Seccaspina

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Never Miss a Chance to Dance! Linda Knight Seccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina 1968 and Saul Cohen working at Place Bonaventure from-Ramblings of a Rebel with a Cause!

Never Miss a Chance to Dance!

No one in this world wanted to take over tap dancer Ann Miller’s job more than I did. After 70 long years of random attempts, all that remains is a pair of silver tap shoes tucked away in a cupboard long forgotten. I used to wear them on a day to day basis for many years as I always believed one should be on call if someone had the odd tap dancing job. In life I have always winged it: life, eyeliner, just everything.

As a child my mother told my father that I had natural rhythm and would probably belong to a professional dance troupe. Actually, what she really wanted me to be was one of the dancers on American Bandstand, but I had other goals in mind. When I was eight I wanted to fluff out my tutu and be the Sugar Plum Fairy so badly that I accidentally bumped the reigning fairy off the stage during practice. Seeing the stage was a foot off the ground, she was luckily not hurt, and I was to remain a Waltzing Flower forever.

At 17 I had my first “break”. I became one of the regular “crowd” dancers on a Montreal based TV show called “Like Young”. Every Saturday afternoon I lined up outside CFCF-TV sporting my grandmother’s orthopedic brown lace up shoes, ready to dance. Those borrowed shoes were just super for dancing and they looked fabulous with my floor dusting Le Chateau gabardine pants. I was nothing but double-trouble on the dance floor.

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. It was the “all ages” place to be, that was right across from the Greyhound Bus Station in case you had to leave town quickly. Each week I resumed my Sugar Plum Fairy dreams of long ago– only this time it was for the coveted title of go-go cage dancer. The elevated cages were about twenty stairs up a shaky ladder and it became a weekly goal to try and fight the others to be queen of the dancing soul-castle.

One weekend James Brown was the headlining act and even though I had issues with vertigo I decided I was finally going to be dancing in that cage that evening.  As I stood in line waiting my turn I told several people that the lead singer Bruce from “Les Sultans” was soon to be coming in the front door.

“Les Sultans” were the French Canadian version of the Beatles in those days, and I tell you that line stopped being a line in about two seconds flat. Smiling a very large sinister smile I climbed those twenty stairs wearing a short print mini dress, white boots and a huge white bow on top of my head. I never looked down once and realized quickly there was no lady-like way to climb that ladder without flashing my underpants. Remember, there is always a wee bit of insanity in dancing that does everybody a great deal of good.

James started to sing, “I Feel Good,” and it couldn’t have been a better song. I stayed up in the cage as long as I could and danced my boots off. Others got tired of me hogging the limelight and tried to climb up and get rid of me. I threw my boots down one at a time.  Last song, bootless, and eyeliner running down my face James threw me a kiss in the air and sang “I Got You”. I would never live my mother’s dream of being one of Dick Clark’s dancers, but finally, I was the Sugar Plum Fairy of Soul and covered in a “Cold Sweat”!
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here, we should dance. When you are sixty and still dancing, you become something of a curiosity. If you hit seventy and you can still get a foot off the ground, you’re phenomenal. Now, with a cane, dancing can be difficult, but I still dance like nobody’s watching. Because, in reality, they aren’t watching you. That’s because they are all too busy checking their phones. Why be moody, when you can shake your booty!

Memories of Joe Banks– The The Buchanan Scrapbook Clippings

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Memories of Joe Banks– The The Buchanan Scrapbook Clippings

With files from The Keeper of the Scrapbooks — Christina ‘tina’  Camelon Buchanan — Thanks to Diane Juby— click here..

Also read- Johnny Erskine at 90 — Joe Banks

Mr. Mississippi Beauty Pageant 1982 Joe Banks

onte.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 —
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 


Janet I. ScottLoved swimming there

Jenn MckayWe called it the bubble!

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

Russ ThompsonThe 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

Jim Gilhulyand the water was very clean then !

Deborah DoeDo you remember granny Barr chip truck and the paper cone fries. I didn’t come from Almonte but our family went there a lot. Pancake breakfast at the fire hall, highland dancers, chicken BBQ, snow hill, parades, ice cream at Peterson’s, V&S and amazing town with kind loving people

Christian DoyleMost exciting place to swim and or jump. OMG “TV shows”, what a game. Totally remember that at the Beach.

Susan Elliott ToppingI forgot about the game-TC Shows!! lol Lots of fun at the beach!

Darrin BreeLots 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

Andrea GallantI even remember swimming there…With Froggy.. God Rest His Sole..!!!

Christine Moses photo–
Gayle Richards Stanley
I took swimming lessons there in the mud sixties. We’d head to the beach at 8:30 for lessons at 9:00 and eat our lunch and play TVTag until it was safe to go in the water. (As we all knew it wasn’t safe to swim for an hour after eating). We’d arrive home in time for supper. Good times!

Sharon SavardLoved the beach I was there everyday along with almost every kid in town. Then I took my own kids for swimming lessons would bring our lunch and stay there most of the afternoon. Those were the days ❤️💖

Glenn ArthurThe Canteen was there boys!I can always remember the lemon lime drinks to go along with a Fudgesickel😜

Tracy LambLoved going to the park and the swimming lessons were just part of the summer experience 😊 remember the raft/dock in the river? It was such a big deal to be allowed/ and able to swim out to it … it became a ‘milestone’ in swimming ability and levels LOL

Joe Vaughan
August 9  · 




Here’s a neat online application that lets you colourize old photos like this: (works better if higher quality): https://hotpot.ai/colorize-picture

I enjoy looking at all these old photos Linda Seccaspina thx for posting these

The Human Seal or Polar Bear Comes to Carleton Place and Almonte

Remembering the Past — No Swimming in the River Before the 24th of May Weekend and Other Things

Swimming at the Dam, St. James Park and Other Things

My Fondest Memories of Almonte –Marty Taylor

For the Love of Fungi and Leprechauns By Noreen Tyers

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From childhood I have been fascinated with all different fungi.  Being a child who climbed trees and would sit for a time and take in her surroundings, I was conscious of Nature and growing things.

I came from an Irish background and a grandfather that did instill the magic of the imagination.  I travelled on many adventures with him, touring his workshop and watching him create his many talents and thoughts. Grandpa always found a lesson in everything he did and always shared his knowledge.  

He was a man of many talents and one thing he did was make Dandelion Wine.  He had his recipe which had been in his family for years.  Come Dandelion season, he would be getting ready to pick his blossoms, he would ask if I would like to help.  Out to the woodshed he went and picked up an old apple basket and away we would go,

It seems to me the best place for the blossoms was the green space by the railway track.  We did have to walk the path at the end of the field across on the other side of Gardner Street.  The field/bush had many things to be discovered and one thing I had noticed was the fungi growing on the side of the tree. Because my Grandpa was always so smart and had the answers, I asked him about it.  As we were walking, we passed an old tree and there it was a charming growth on the trunk of the tree. When I asked about it, he said well you see that is where your leprechaun lives.

Laura Logan

Now I did believe that this is where my interest came from.  He explained that every little person had a leprechaun to watch over them, but they were hard to find, as they sometimes became invisible.  They did not like to be found as they were always watching out for your well being.  He told me if you approached the fungi and looked under it you might just find your little leprechaun sitting there. I do have to admit as we were on a mission for those yellow blooms from the dandelion, I did not get the chance to look.

I have to admit I never did find my Noisey O’Really in all my time of looking, although there were times I felt someone on my shoulder. 

You know things do come back into your life again and teachings you received as a child do come back to be.  When my nephew was about six years old he would come to visit for a week during the summer and stay at our home.  He was a delightful child.

At the time we had a dog I would walk and Kevin  would come with me on a tour of our walk around the block.  One day on a tree by the spot between the sidewalk and the street there was a fungus on the trunk of the tree.  It was much too close to the ground for me to bend and look for the leprechaun.

Like any Irish descendant, Aunt would pass the story on,  and she told him that If he was quiet and did not make too much noise, he might find a leprechaun.  It seems to me whenever he visited he would come on my dog walk.  The only thing was the leprechaun also eluded Kevin.

I guess we were not quiet enough and I am still waiting to find my Leprechaun.

From the ✒ of Noreen

October 2021

Hair Attention — Noreen Tyers

The Handmade Tablecloth — Noreen Tyers

Cutting a Christmas Tree at the House of Old at R. R. # 4 — Noreen Tyers

Making the Fudge for that Special School Affair 1940s Noreen Tyers

The Teeter Totter Incident Noreen Tyers

Childhood Movie Nights at Reliance Motor Court in Eastview — Noreen Tyers

Hats, Ogilvy’s and Gaudy Teenage Years — Noreen Tyers

Sending Thoughts of Winter to You, from my Wee Dog Ruffy Noreen Tyers

A Trip in the Carrying Case– Noreen Tyers

Just Me Growing Up in the Early 1940’s Noreen Tyers

Grandma and the Cute Little Mice– From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

Another Broken Bed Incident — Stories from Richards Castle — Noreen Tyers

Lets Play Elevator- Charles Ogilvy Store — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

At Church on Sunday Morning From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

Jack’s in Charge-Scary Stories — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

Adventures at Dalhousie Lake at the Duncan’s Cottages —- From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

I am Afraid of Snakes- From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

Hitching a Ride Cross Town — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

My Old Orange Hat –From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Out of the Old Photo Album — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers

Snow Road Ramblings from Richards Castle — From the Pen Of Noreen Tyers

Summer Holidays at Snow Road Cleaning Fish — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Snow Road Adventures- Hikes in the Old Cave — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Putting Brian on the Bus– Stories from my Childhood Noreen Tyers

My Childhood Memory of Richard’s Castle –From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Grandpa’s Dandelion Wine — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

My Wedding Tiara — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Art of Learning How to Butter Your Toast the Right Way — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Smocked Dresses–From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Kitchen Stool — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Flying Teeth in Church — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Writings of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Memories of Grandpa’s Workshop — Noreen Tyers

Cleaning out Grandmas’ Fridge — Noreen Tyers Summer Vacation at Richard’s Castle

My Flower Seeds — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

My Barbra Ann Scott Doll –Noreen Tyers

Greetings From Ruffy on Groundhog Day Noreen Tyers

That Smell Of The Lanark County SAP Being Processed — Noreen Tyers

Adventures at Dalhousie Lake at the Duncan’s Cottages — Noreen Tyers

The old Sheepskin Slippers Noreen Tyers

Life Before the Remote……Linda Knight Seccaspina

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Life Before the Remote……Linda Knight Seccaspina

Life Before the Remote……Linda Knight Seccaspina

The first TV program I remember watching as a child was the Mantovani Show, and not only was it boring, but it was in black and white. Because we lived 14 miles from the Vermont border in Quebec we were lucky to be able to receive some American television, and not just the staple Canadian three.

Cartoon Corner and Howdy Doody were favourites of mine back in the day on CBC. I also remembered having to unplug the TV when a thunderstorm occurred as my Mother said it was “going to blow the house up if one of those bolts wrapped around the venetian blinds”. Of course, I still think of that when it’s storming outside sitting in my lazy boy chair that’s pointed at the television along with every other piece in the room, and still with decorative venetian blinds.

Every night at 5 in 1961 I would watch the CBC TV show Razzle Dazzle hosted by Suzanne Somer’s husband, Alan Hamel. I had entered a writing contest and was eagerly waiting to hear if I won a pen with my “meatless meat pie” essay. A few weeks later I found out that I had indeed won a Razzle Dazzle pen for my story along with a photo of Howard the Turtle.

One day in the 60’s my father went to Keith Lachasseur’s Appliance store on the Main Street in Cowansville and came home with a colour TV. I didn’t really care one way or the other as I was actually used to the rainbow hues of “the plastic sheet” on the front of the television. It ‘simulated’ full colour along with rabbit ears covered in tinfoil to stimulate even better viewing. Of course it was sold as a cheap alternative to buying an expensive colour TV and its promise had sucked my father in. I think he immediately knew he had the wool pulled over his eyes, but never knowingly admitting a mistake, he insisted that it was ‘just as good’ as the real thing.

In our family he was the only person allowed to touch the new TV and he was always up on the roof adjusting the antenna to get the best

picture. After seeing everything in black and white while we simultaneously hunted dinosaurs in those days my world had now progressed to technicolor with a new neighbour coming in every night to see ‘the TV.’ Some of the highlights were: ‘Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Colour’ when Tinkerbell would splash colour on the screen and of course the burning map on the TV show Bonanza was priceless.

One night my father went out to a Lodge meeting and my friend Sheila came over to watch The Man from U.N.C.L.E. David McCallum, who played  “Ilelya Kuryakin” on the show, had been dubbed the “British James Dean” and was the only reason I watched that show. The fact that I had always seen him cast as a delinquent was a bonus for me since there is nothing like a bad boy. Sheila and I sat down and got ready to watch. The NBC Peacock came on and it remained in black and white. Where was the colour?.

Was my father really not at  the Lodge meeting and adjusting the roof antenna so I could not enjoy the show? The Man from U.N.C.L.E began and I started fidgeting around with the buttons. Instead of black and white the show suddenly turned red and then blue and I wondered if the rainbow plastic sheet had found its way inside the TV. Was I doomed?  After fidgeting some more the picture started skipping and I had to play around with the “horizontal hold” button. I think all of you remember that particular button with joy and happiness.

Illya still stared at me in glorious black and white, and I stopped playing with the buttons. Fifteen minutes before the show ended my father came in and tweaked his magic and it turned from black and white to colour.

Once you had colour TV you never went back to black and white- you just went to “upgrade”. Some of my friends in the late 60’s used LSD instead, and their whole lives became Technicolor — without television. My family just continued to ‘upgrade’ and in lieu of Don Messer’s Jubilee we watched Tommy Hunter on Friday nights. Who knew a

Hoedown, Tommy Hunter and Brenda Lee could all exist in colour together?

McLuhan once said,“The medium is in the message”– or was that ‘the massage’.   But now we are confronted with all sorts of media so pardon me while I check my Facebook Twitter and Instagram and watch a season of something on Netflix real quick. Just remember if someone had not invented the TV we’d still be eating frozen radio dinners.

Sock it to me!

Found in the Floors of my Summer Kitchen — Amy Thom

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Found in the Floors of my Summer Kitchen — Amy Thom

Hi Linda, my name is Amy Thom, my husband, Wes Thom, and I bought a place on Ramsay Conc 8. Our summer kitchen is now a play area for our kids. When we looked through the floor boards on one side, it revealed years of ‘recycling storage’ and many many old cans/bottles/ointment containers! Today when looking through , I found this receipt and was wondering if you had any info on ‘Almonte Cold Storage’. Thanks! Amy

Cold Storage Plant Almonte

Memories..The largely attended funeral service for the late Lester Boyd Jamieson who passed away on Friday, February 14th, 1975, was held on Sunday afternoon, February 16, at Almonte United Church. Mr. Jamieson suffered a heart seizure and passed away a short time later. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. Robert McCrea of Almonte United and Rev. Ray Anderson, a former minister of the Almonte Church. Interment was at the Auld Kirk Cemetery. The well-filled church was a fitting tribute to one who had served his church as an elder for some 50 years and as clerk of the session for 35 years. Mr. Jamieson was born in North Dakota on October 23, 1890, and came to Canada as an infant. He was a son of the late Robert Jamieson and his wife, Sarah Dworkin. He received his early education at the school at Hopetown and later learned the art of cheesemaking at Kingston dairy school. He was married at Watson’s Corners in 1912 to the former Mary Euphemia McDougall, and for the next 13 years resided in such places as Perth, Prospect, Malakoff and Clayton, following his trade as a cheesemaker. The following 28 years were spent farming on the farm outside of Almonte where his son Boyd now resides. After moving into Almonte, Mr. Jamieson was for three years in the Registry Office, followed by some time in the Almonte Cold Storage plant. In later years, he worked at refurbishing old furniture at the Pinecraft shop. Besides his wife, Mr. Jamieson is survived by a son, Boyd, of Almonte; two daughters, Mrs. Eileen Russell of Kingston, and Mrs. Beryl Riddell, Cardinal; a brother, William, at Hopetown, and two sisters, Mrs. Clara Miller of Timmins and Mrs. Percy Currie of Radisson, Sask. He was predeceased by a son, Lionel. Pallbearers at the funeral were Ross Craig, Larry Command, Weldon Kropp, Wilbert Monette, and nephews Melville Dowdall and Mac Dowdall.

Almonte-Cold Storage Plant in Almonte- Meat Locker Trivia

Carleton Place-The Family Freezer Locker

Photo-Amy Thom

Hudson’s Bay- TorontoRaw Fur Dept.

Raw Fur Dept

The grader depicted here is measuring a pelt as part of the grading process to determine its overall quality which will establish its value and subsequent sale price at auction. The grader’s ability is the result of years of experience.

After a few years spent apprenticing in the North, fur trade employees were sent to the Fur Training School. The School opened in the late 1940s to provide instruction in all aspects of fur buying such as grading, pricing, and more. Originally six months long, the course was later shortened to three. Beaver was always the primary focus of the curriculum but all species were covered. Graduates went on to store management in the North or to work in the Raw Fur Department or Fur Sales Division.

And in 1991, faced with dropping sales due in large part to the anti-fur movement, the Hudson’s Bay Company announced it was ending its fur business.

With that announcement, it  brought to an end nearly three centuries of its connection to the fur trade.

 © HBC

Mum was the first brand of commercial deodorant. Containing a zinc compound as its active ingredient, it was developed in Philadelphia in 1888. It was named for the term “mum” meaning “to keep silent” as in the popular phrase “Mum’s the word” Mum was originally sold as a cream in a jar and applied with the fingertips.

Amy said:”The Mum deodorant actually still has a little in it, and you can see the marks from fingers having swiped through it!”

Rexall Milk of Magnesium


Soon
 after its invention by Charles H. Phillips in 1873, Milk of Magnesia became Phillips’ most popular product.

REXALL Bronchial Syrup

Remember the Rexall ONE penny saled?

MAZON

Coal tar was one of the active ingredients in Mazon. Mazon Cream is a by-product of coal processing.
The skin cream does not appear to be available in the U.S. but can be ordered online ..

Medicated anti-itch cream for effective and long-lasting relief of itching and scaling of Eczema and Psoriasis.

Carnegie Drugstore- Miss McKee

The prescription bottle has ‘Miss McKee’ on it, my understanding was before the Morton’s bought the farm, it was owned by his uncle Issac McKee, they had a daughter who passed away as a child? So the prescription bottle would of been hers from when she ill? Pretty interesting! -Amy Thom

Amy, we found her.It looks like she died from Tuberculosis

McKee’s Daughter

Name:Agnes Jane McKee
Gender:F (Female)
Birth Date:1932
Birth Place:Ramsay, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Death Date:8 Jan 1952
Death Place:Ramsay, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Cemetery:Auld Kirk Cemetery
Burial or Cremation Place:Mississippi Mills, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Has Bio?:Y
Mother:Elizabeth Jane McKee


Agnes Jane McKee

BIRTH1932Ramsay, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
DEATH8 Jan 1952 (aged 19–20)Ramsay, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
BURIALAuld Kirk CemeteryMississippi Mills, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
MEMORIAL ID212463540 · View Source

1952, Thursday January 17, The Almonte Gazette page 8
Miss Agnes McKee
On Tuesday, Jan 8th, Agnes Jane Isabel McKee, only daughter of Mr and Mrs Isaac McKee, passed away at the home of her parents, followed an illness of four month’s duration.

Carnegie’s Drug Store

Joan ArmstrongA lot of memories, I wish I could remember it all ….Irval motors where Don Coady is, oh – before that Snedden’s drugstore, NS Lee Hardware – across the street Peterson’s Icecream, Hydro office – McCormick’s ladies wear, Proctor’s shoe store on corner of Brae and Mill.BMO, I forgot Carnegie’s drug store before now

😊

The Misses Hogans had a military shop somewhere in the area of Baker Bob’s today.Going past BMO all I can remember is Needham’s shoe store, Graham’s drugstore, The Superior.Of course the Pool room corner where Subway was (across from Keepsakes:Cashmere Rose)A garageLots of ???StedmansI hope someone can fill in the blanks.Oh, forgot the Almonte Gazette!

Dr. Schulte

The highlight of the year was the birth of David at the Rosamund Memorial Hospital on February 17, 1954. The doctor was Dr. Schulte, a German doctor who eventually returned to Germany. (His associate was Dr. Rolf Bach who remained a friend for many years until he died in 2010) Doug was busily teaching a class at school the afternoon that David was born. He was a wee one but the delight of family and new-found friends in Almonte. Read FAMILY TIME: 1956 – 1964 (PART 2)

NEW HOSPITAL’S 1ST BABY

On Friday, May 12th, the first baby was born in the new Almonte General Hospital. She was Katherine May Eriksen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Eriksen, nee Olive Elliott of Almonte. Dr. 0. H. Schulte was the doctor in attendance. The Eriksens also have a son Jimmie, aged two years.

McKee Family

Name:Isaac McKee
Gender:Male
Age:25
Birth Year:abt 1907
Birth Place:County Town of Ireland
Marriage Date:24 May 1932
Marriage Place:Almonte, Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Father:Thomas McKee
Mother:Agnes Herlip
Spouse:Elizabeth Jane Woodell
1964
1932

Elizabeth Jane Waddell McKee
BIRTH
5 May 1899Ramsay, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
DEATH
21 Nov 1964 (aged 65)Ramsay, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
BURIAL
Auld Kirk Cemetery
Mississippi Mills, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada

1964, Thursday December 3, The Almonte Gazette page 4
Mrs Isaac McKee
Elizabeth (“Bessie”) McKee, wife of Isaac McKee passed away on the afternoon of November 21 while at her home on Ramsay eighth line. Throughout the day she was vibrantly energetic but was seized suddenly and deceased quickly and quietly. Mrs McKee was born on May 5, 1899 near Almonte, attended local public schools and Almonte High School, and lived her entire life in this area. She was the eldest daughter of Thomas and Jane Waddell. Isaac McKee, then just recently immigrated from Northern Ireland, and she was united in marriage on May 24, 1932. To them was born a daughter, Agnes who predeceased her mother. Left behind are her husband, Isaac, two sisters, Jeanette and Lillian Waddell and a brother, John Waddell. Services were conducted at the Comba Funeral Home on Tuesday, November 24 at 2:30 p.m. by her pastor, the Rev Robert More, Jr., Th.M., and former minister, Rev Dr F.F. Reade. Interment was in Auld Kirk Cemetery. The pallbearers were: Alan Burns, Earl Caldwell, Thomas Frazer, Thomas MacDougall, John Morton and Emerich Torok. As evidenced by the large turnout for the funeral, Mrs McKee will be greatly missed. Her sensitivity to the Lord working in His Kingdom was an encouragement to all. her enthusiastic labours, manifested in the country V.B.S. and on behalf of the Bible Society, are affectionately recalled by all who knew her.
Child of the 80s here…it never occurred to me that sliced bread wasn’t always packaged in plastic bags 🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️ this paper is in shockingly good condition to say it has to be at least 65 years old?! Amy Thom-

Remembering Courage Strength and Love- Linda Knight Seccaspina

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Remembering Courage Strength and Love- Linda Knight Seccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina 1953 Cowansville, Quebec

Remembering Courage Strength and Love- Linda Knight Seccaspina

By the 1930’s 90% of the urban population was dependent on a wage or salary, and most families you knew lived on the edge. Living in the city meant reliance on a male family member with a job to stay alive, and if you lived on the farm you counted on what you grew to feed everyone.

As a child, my Grandmother used to tell me all sorts of stories about the Depression. Each morning she made sandwiches for the hungry people knocking on her door, and her weathered screened verandah sometimes became a shelter for homeless people during rainy nights.  The train station was just a few blocks down from where they lived on South Street in Cowansville, and those that rode the freight trains would get off daily to see if they could find work or food. 

I was always told that we had a hobo mark on our side door, and Grammy Knight would also take in needy families until they got on their feet. Grampy once said that he never knew who would be sitting across from him nightly at the dinner table. Each time my Grandmother asked him to go to the grocery store to get another loaf of bread for someone in need he went without complaining.

One day Grammy hired a young homeless woman named Gladys who worked for her until she died. I was barely eight years old when Gladys passed, but I still remember her like yesterday. Gladys was an odd looking woman who tried to hide her chain smoking habit from my Grandmother. The manly-looking woman would talk up a storm while she cleaned with stories that young ears should have never heard– but I always did.

Gladys would tell me all about her days during the depression as a teenager, where she would hide along the tracks outside the train yards. She would run as fast as she could along the train as it gained speed and grab hold and jump into the open boxcars. Sometimes, she missed, and sometimes she watched some of her friends lose their legs, or their lives, as they jumped off as the train was reaching its destination.

There was nothing left at home for her during those horrible years of the Depression. One Sunday they were without money for the church collection plate and under one of the old rugs they finally found a dime which they proudly placed on the collection plate. 

There were just too many mouths to feed and Gladys knew she wasn’t going anywhere if she remained at home. So she just rode the rails as it was free and she knew she would find food somewhere, which was more than she was going to do at home.  She cut her hair, wore overalls and a cap, and survived life on the road until my Grandmother hired her.

Gladys ended up dying in her sleep in ‘the back room’ of my Grandparents home. After she died, my Grandmother promptly labelled it ‘Gladys’s room’. When I was older and came home on weekends, that very same room was where I slept. You have no idea how many times I thought I saw Gladys in the dark shadows scurrying around with her feather duster, and yes, still chain smoking.

When I was older my Grandparents would make a simple dinner for themselves. My Grandfather would cut up tomatoes, add mayo like a dressing with salt and pepper. While I watched him eat,  I would say, “is that all you’re having !!?? He would reply to me,

“I’m from a time when you looked in the icebox and you put together what was in there and that’s what you had. Remember that “my birdie” … it isn’t always right there for you when you get home . Money was scarce and we had to survive on what we grew in the garden. We learned to use everything and had no waste”.

My Grandparents taught me a lot about life. I never thought I would be my Grandmother, but here I am now. They taught me to count my blessings, not my troubles, and to “show up” for people. Your ancestors that lived through those times were brave and they never judged a book by its cover. You just never know as they say, the things you take for granted might be something others are praying for.

Fred and Mary Knight Cowansville Quebec – Photo from Linda Knight Seccaspina Collection

Do Gopher’s Regrow Tails? Tales of the Depression

Ramsay 1927 — The Depression

345 Franktown Road- Wave’s Inn– photo Lorie Paul
Hi Linda. My name is Lorie Paul. I moved to Carleton Place last October, but have had a family cottage on the lake for over 60 years. My Dad (Kenneth Paul) grew up on Napoleon St. I have this picture of my Dad working at what was a lunch counter at 345 Franktown Road (Wave’s Inn). He would have been around 14 or 15 at the time, so early to mid 1930s.
I have always wondered who the other gentleman in the picture was. Wondering if I should post the picture to see if anyone knows who it is, and perhaps a family member would like to see it as well. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to post in any of the Carleton Place FB pages. My dad is standing on the left in the picture. Thanks so much, and have a great day.