Tag Archives: power-outage

Hallelujah and a Haircut —Faces of St. James 1976


An actual “Letter to the Editor” with “a few slight additions” thrown in from The Carleton Place Canadian files Carleton Place, Ontario: December 16, 1948 edition-photos 1976 except the last one. Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


In a letter to the editor of The Carleton Place Canadian newspaper in December of 1948 a concerned citizen simply known as J.R.P. wrote a scathing letter about the ongoing power shortages. He was furious about the outage the day before and said it was a complete joke. J.R.P. was angry the lights had gone out while he sat relaxing in the barber’s chair. Apparently his “tonsorial artist” as he called him, was in the middle of trimming his beard, an appendage he admires, even though the ladies don’t like how it tickles.



The barber informed him he could continue trimming J.R.P.’s beard in the dark and so he did. As our fair gentleman strolled down Bridge Street later several friends greeted him with a hearty “Good Evening George!” His name was not George, and as he looked at his reflection in Oklilimins he realized the barber had made him look like an exact facsimile of George Bernard Shaw. Not bad for a power outage he thought, but when the cleaner told him he had only pressed one leg of his trousers due to the blackout he began to change his tune.


J.R. P. had enough and as the children dressed as shepherds opened the Parish Hall door and marched towards St. James Anglican church he had some serious thoughts. Was this power shortage business just a political stunt or could God be at work in this force? Is this force God? Will learning more about electricity bring us closer to God? Maybe electricity is the Holy Spirit? I’m going to have a shot of whiskey he thought and then I’ll see if I can figure this out. After all I learned long ago from George Bernard Shaw, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.

I am NO Laura Ingalls Wilder — The Power is Out!


Power Outage Saturday Night June 13th, 2015.

The faint beeping of smoke alarms go off, and I as peer outside from my comfortable bed I realize it has to be about 5 am. The night light in the hall is not on and it doesn’t take a scientist to realize the power is out. I slowly fall back to sleep and in my mind I am wondering what I will cook for breakfast. If Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of Little House on the Prairie was here she would instruct me to get my derriere out of bed and stoke up the gas BBQ right now to cook breakfast.

As much as I want to do the right thing, sleep beckons me, and I doze off for another hour. Suddenly, I have the urge to get up and check things. My grandmother always instructed me to “check things” during power-outages, snow storms, and just when things don’t feel right. I grasp my tiny flashlight and venture into the dark bathroom worrying how many flushes I have before the toilet bowl goes dry. I know, I know- I am a constant worrier!

Each room I go into I instinctively turn the light on hoping one of them will magically provide light. The dog seeing the world in black and white doesn’t care why I am following the beam of a flashlight and neither do the squirrels outside who will be waiting for food soon. I wonder if we had a storm somewhere last night, as this is not usual, even in rural Ontario. My plan of cooking breakfast on the BBQ falls through as there are no farm hands to be fed, so a bowl of cereal will be the only thing on the menu here at Chez Seccaspina.

Easily I find a candle and matches, as I always make sure I have necessities, but the dim light does little to lighten the room in this dark ancient house that is always shrouded by towering trees. I have a story in mind that I want to write but wonder if my laptop still has enough juice in it.

Of course I forget that last night there were many computer updates, and this morning the laptop spends much valued time configuring, wasting the battery.  I see the neighbour exiting his home, and I know if there is anyone that knows what happened during the night he will. I run down the slippery stairs and slip on the wet bricks. As I grab a tree so I don’t splat on the ground he is backing out the driveway and waves as he goes by.

I venture into the garage and suddenly realize I am trapped, as the doors will not go up without power. A newspaper might be nice I tell myself, and long for days gone by when my life was not consumed with anything that needed electricity. What kind of society have we become that we cannot do anything ourselves and without help. While the laptop is still configuring I decide to crank up the BBQ and suddenly notice the lights come on in the kitchen.

Immediately I turn on the television, grab my power cord and pop bread into the toaster. Why are we not smart enough to live without power? What happened to all those science experiments with balloons and a comb or how about powering things with a potatoe?

The people on Facebook alert me there was a planned power outage last night- I shake my head. As I pull up my internet newspaper under the brightness of my kitchen light I realize how dim we now are that we can longer see the world without the help of a single 60 watt bulb. Have we now lost our interior power?

Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac by Linda Seccaspina available at Wisteria 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place or on Amazon.

All Linda Seccaspina’s books here