Tag Archives: teenagers

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

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

Linda’s birthday fascinator

Your picture of the hat with the Swan just made me think of this story.

I noticed this picture on my Face Book page, it was put there by my dear friend Linda Seccaspina

Oh my goodness, it did bring back some fond memories, of my gawky teenage years. You know, long legs, skinny hair down, if it was not in French Braids. Anyone who knows me believes me to be somewhat shy, and does not look forward to being the person front and centre. I have been known to walk around the walls rather than just walk right in front and centre. I did not start up conversations but did answer when asked a question. My manners were good, let’s face it I was taught right from wrong by, my parents.

This reminds me of my teenage days, but I was somewhat a gawky teenage kid. Clothes were clean, body and hair sparkled, in fact I did not care if my nose was shiny, as I did not wear make up. What you saw was what you got.

In my early childhood days I was a bit of a tomboy, dressed last to go out anywhere. I usually climbed a tree and tore my good Sunday dress or got it dirty. My mother’s favourite saying to me “WELL YOU CAN’T MAKE A SILK PURSE OUT OF A SOW’S EAR”, it was true.

Well as all teenagers do, I would go shopping my school pals, I would get a lecture before we took the bus to go to downtown Ottawa and the Department Stores, you know: Ogilvy’s, Friemans, and Astor Chapeaus, it all depended on how much money you had as I was used to going to Woolworth’s and Beamish.

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

This one day my girlfriends and I were on a tour to find those beautiful blue bloomer gym suits to wear in School. This suited me just fine as it covered up the undies and that is all you needed, and we all looked the same, like an orphan from the streets with this outfit on.

We had managed to find our gym suit and were about to look around. Well. it started in the Charles Ogilvy Store in the Millinery Department. Now one has to just stop and think of a skinny kid about five foot four, at the age of fifteen and weight of about one hundred pounds. Oh dear the legs were skinny, the knees big, just not a fashion Queen.

Plunking hats on long hair with little style, sure did not do anything for the pretty hats, of the latest style, I should have known better as some family members had worked at Ogilvy’s and I was known by some of the sales clerks. Well the pretty bonnets were just too big a temptation and me, as the class clown, thought I should plunk one of these veiled beautiful creations and then go into the act of modelling. Let’s face it teenage girls do not need much to get giggling and laughing, mind you we were entertaining the sales clerks. We were not rough but we sure did not do the hat justice and it was more of a comedy show.

The dear ladies from the Millinery Department, came over and said,” I know you are enjoying your shopping ladies, but this does not look very professional, so I think it would be best be on your way”. I have to say I did not have to be told twice as I did not want stories coming home.

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Well after wearing out our welcome at Charles Ogilvy Department Store, we left and spotting the Astor Chapeaus Shop, on Rideau Street we went to try our luck there. The store clerks were not of the same character as Ogilvy’s had been and we were asked to leave immediately.

I do have to say trying on hats continues to entertain me when the mood hits and I have just never outgrown the thoughts of fun– but I still do not give a hat a good showing.

Linda, this hat would definitely, be to my liking. Thank you for the memory but I will not come and borrow it from you as me and hats do not suit and I would ruin your hat image.

I do think my head is too small or maybe the hats were too big.

That’s the hat story, and it was a fun time and I did entertain my friends, and the good souls in the millinery Department at Ogilvy’s and no my parents did not find out.

Thank God.

From the ✒
of Noreen
July 24,2020

relatedreading

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

Teenage Years in Almonte

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Teenage Years in Almonte

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and outdoor

All photos from the Almonte Gazette from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Mary Anne Harrison added the description for this : Almonte Hotel. Almonte Old Home Week. 1974-1975 maybe. Could be the bed races. Looks like Greg Hickey, Chris Blackburn, Tony Vaughan and Rod Houston left side of the photo on the porch. Brendan Mullins on the balcony in front of the window. Phil Maynard to the left of the front door. Maurice Sample, Mark Ward and Paul Shane on the right hand side of the porch. There is a plan to have Almonte Old Home Week resurrected in 2018 – July 26-29.

 

 

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Skateboarding Contest 70s Almonte

Kevin Illingworth – left front row- place 1st

Richard Nightingale front centre

Rodney Moorhead- front right

Robert Powers- back right wearing Olympic shirt

Andrea Matheson Buffam- Tall girl

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Photo from Melissa Mills

 

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

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

 

 

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RACK ‘EM UP —Do You Remember George’s Playhouse?

Just Beat it! The Carnival Riot of 1969–Newspaper Articles

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Just Beat it! The Carnival Riot of 1969–Newspaper Articles

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If you read the article I wrote last year with information from Duncan Rogers Carleton Place was abuzz with hoses and fireman and fighting teenagers and carnival workers. Click here–Just Beat It! Carnival Riot in Carleton Place

Today  I found the newspaper articles

 

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal14 Jul 1969, MonPage 1

 

 

 

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

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

Woodstock in Carleton Place Letters — Those Dirty Hippies!

Woodstock in Carleton Place Letters — Go Back to Your Holes!

Woodstock in Carleton Place– Let the Tambourines Play and — And About That Junk Pile!

 

 

 

The Benefits of Having a Large Human Chassis for Traction

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This is dedicated to my late father Arthur Knight from Cowansville who always drove the worst in Ford vehicles and went nowhere without a sandbag in the trunk in the winter.
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One snowy New Year’s Eve I remember leaving a dinner with friends that invited me to crowd into a Mini Austin for a ride home. It was not exactly an invite per say – it was actually more of a dare to see how many people we could fit into the “Cooper”. One by one we piled into this tiny car with me scoring a seat riding shotgun.

Since I seemed to have the largest “chassis” in the group it was only fair that I house a couple more people on my lap. There was no way in the world we would ever reach the Guinness World’s Book of Records total of 21. We had no super smart Malaysian students that had once figured out the solution and no one volunteered to sit in the boot of the car.

Packed to the rafters with 9 people the driver attempted to leave and immediately the wheels spun in the fresh new snow. We were all pretty uncomfortable at this point and voices of desperation start to surface to the top.

My father Arthur Knight who drove Pinto’s and Gremlins etc. most of his life always insisted that you keep bags of sand or salt in the trunk for traction in case you got stuck in the winter. However there was no sand or salt in the back end of this car, only a bunch of lightweights.

I sat in the front seat slowly losing the feeling in my legs due to the human load being forced upon me and suddenly had an idea. I could be the “living” bag of sand in the rear and hopefully that would help. After shouting out my idea everyone agreed and the doors opened with people literally falling out into the snow. I immediately got into the back end and the passengers reassumed more uncomfortable positions. With a huge push from a passerby we were off.

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The car swerved and slipped in the snow but, one by one we were safely dropped off and had enjoyed a life experience we would never forget. Arthur Knight’s bag of sand, who was really his daughter in this case, had saved the day.

I decided to look this traction myth up on Snopes.com and the page was completely blank. Had Arthur Knight had it all wrong? I found a few discussions on a few automotive boards and one man had this to say.

“So while extra weight generally improves traction, the only safe place to put it is in between the wheels. That’s why, for traction, we suggest car-pooling. In fact, when recruiting car-poolers, you could start by putting up a sign at Weight-Watchers.”

 
After more research I decided to go back to Snopes when I found another link about the topic. Again the page was blank and the lone entry was about a woman called “The Human Couch”.

Legend goes that a 500 pound woman had to be brought to the ER after she had experienced shortness of breath. While they attempted to undress her an asthma inhaler fell out of one of the folds of her arm. A shiny new dime was under her breast and a TV remote control was found in one of the folds of her lower extremities. Her family was extremely grateful they found the remote and the doctor said it was the first time he had found buried treasure.

No wonder it had been an entry selection when I typed in “sand weight and car”.  I sit here and giggle about what I have written and wonder if people reading this will consider my story legend or lore.  At least I wasn’t listed as “The Human Couch” because losing a TV remote is a felony I hear in some countries.

Notes from the Peanut Gallery
Sometimes I look at “it” and wonder if “it” has its own orbit. -Susan Saturn

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News

Remembering 1964 — The Columbia Record Club

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In 1964 I began to get myself into financial trouble with a mail-order company called The Columbia Record Club. At 14, I had a huge passion for music, and all I had to do was tape a penny to a card I found in the back of a comic book. I happily picked out what I thought was 12 free music selections– after all, Columbia House had shipped 24 million records to other teenagers that year. Nothing could go wrong, could it?

I, similar to other kids in greater North America had failed to read the fine print. Along with other Beatle fans I never understood the “music appreciation club” wanting me and other music aficionados to purchase a certain number of monthly selections that were not even in our genre of music. Of course, had it not been for Columbia House I never would have had an appreciation for Barbra Streisand had I not listened to the records they shipped me without consent some months before.

As the months passed I found myself with a lot of unwanted music and a growing bill that my allowance could not cover. My father had warned me, as he too had been taken in by something called “The Book of the Month Club” and caught by something called “negative option billing”.

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A man called Les Wunderman had taken “The Book of the Month Club” to new heights and created such novel marketing ideas as: the database, the 1-800 number, the ‘buy 12 items for a penny’ and postpaid insert cards.  Many teenagers had no idea about all of this, as all we knew was that we could order records for free without the cost of even a stamp.

There was nothing like receiving something free in the mail, even if they were hounding you for the $25 you didn’t have. The collection agencies began to send the obligatory nasty letters for the outstanding records I owed. I began to respond to the letters and argued they charged full list price for the records plus a very large “postage and handling” charge, usually $2.98 per record.  A $4.98 LP that you could get for $2.79 in most record stores would cost $7.96 with the club.

Columbia House kept sending the records and bills until one day I decided to ask for the help from the smartest kid in the 9th grade, Alan Barker. Word on the street was that he was some “boy genius” and was filled with all sorts of facts.

It took me days to gather up the courage to set up “an appointment” during school lunch break, and finally one day I took the plunge. As I told him of my dilemma he lowered his glasses and read the letters carefully and said he might have an answer the next day.  Forty-eight hours later he summoned me to his desk. By that time others had gathered, as it seemed they were ‘under the boardwalk’ with Columbia Record House too. The young man with the razor sharp haircut was tapping his fingers on his desk and began to smile broadly and said,

“Linda, I have an answer to your problem and it’s quite simple!”

Gasps could be heard around the room that we had someone so smart in our school that could save us all. He held up the collection letter and began to laugh,

“Just tell them that contracts like this are not legal tender for anyone that is fourteen!”

With that everyone clapped their hands, and that very night letters from all the corners of Cowansville, Quebec were sent to Columbia Record House. In later years some of us still found ourselves caught in the clutches of other “kissing cousins clubs” that sold CDs, video and cookbooks. But, it always made us remember that day when we learned that you could not force ‘little children’ to buy Ray Charles Singers records, but negative option billing would always be legal in some shape or form.

The Benefits of Having a Large Human Chassis for Traction

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Fifteen young women crammed into an Austin Mini, bringing to Britain the new world record for the number of people in a Mini. This effort beats the previous record set by US college students.   (Photo by Ron Case/Getty Images)

Fifteen young women crammed into an Austin Mini, bringing to Britain the new world record for the number of people in a Mini. This effort beats the previous record set by US college students. (Photo by Ron Case/Getty Images)

One snowy New Year’s Eve I remember leaving a dinner with friends that invited me to crowd into a Mini Austin for a ride home. It was not exactly an invite per say – it was actually more of a dare to see how many people we could fit into the “Cooper”. One by one we piled into this tiny car with me scoring a seat riding shotgun.

Since I seemed to have the largest “chassis” in the group it was only fair that I house a couple more people on my lap. There was no way in the world we would ever reach the Guinness World’s Book of Records total of 21. We had no super smart Malaysian students that had once figured out the solution and no one volunteered to sit in the boot of the car.

Packed to the rafters with 9 people the driver attempted to leave and immediately the wheels spun in the fresh new snow. We were all pretty uncomfortable at this point and voices of desperation start to surface to the top.

My father Arthur Knight always insisted that you keep bags of sand or salt in the trunk for traction in case you got stuck in the winter. However there was no sand or salt in the back end of this car, only a bunch of lightweights.

I sat in the front seat slowly losing the feeling in my legs due to the human load being forced upon me and suddenly had an idea. I could be the “living” bag of sand in the rear and hopefully that would help. After shouting out my idea everyone agreed and the doors opened with people literally falling out into the snow. I immediately got into the back end and the passengers reassumed more uncomfortable positions. With a huge push from a passerby we were off.

The car swerved and slipped in the snow but one by one we were safely dropped off and had enjoyed a life experience we would never forget. Arthur Knight’s bag of sand, who was really his daughter in this case, had saved the day.

I decided to look this traction myth up on Snopes.com and the page was completely blank. Had Arthur Knight had it all wrong? I found a few discussions on a few automotive boards and one man had this to say.

“So while extra weight generally improves traction, the only safe place to put it is in between the wheels. That’s why, for traction, we suggest car-pooling. In fact, when recruiting car-poolers, you could start by putting up a sign at Weight-Watchers.”

After more research I decided to go back to Snopes when I found another link about the topic. Again the page was blank and the lone entry was about a woman called “The Human Couch”.

Legend goes that a 500 pound woman had to be brought to the ER after she had experienced shortness of breath. While they attempted to undress her an asthma inhaler fell out of one of the folds of her arm. A shiny new dime was under her breast and a TV remote control was found in one of the folds of her lower extremities. Her family was extremely grateful they found the remote and the doctor said it was the first time he had found buried treasure.

No wonder it had been an entry selection when I typed in “sand weight and car”. I sit here and giggle about what I have written and wonder if people reading this will consider my story legend or lore. At least I wasn’t listed as “The Human Couch” because losing a TV remote is a felony I hear in some countries.

Notes from the Peanut Gallery

Sometimes I look at “it” and wonder if “it” has its own orbit. -Susan Saturn

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

So are the High School Cool Kids still Cool?

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DIFFICULT RECORD TO BEAT – These three Carleton Place pupils can boast an all-time record for school attendance. They are, left to right, Clinton, Marlene and Elwood Drader, children of Mr. and Mrs. Clinton Drader. Clinton has four years to his credit, while Marlene completed nine and Elwood (Joe) has seven straight years. In all, they have 20 consecutive years of perfect attendance to their credit. White attending high school Marlene was an outstanding track star, while Joe’s hockey ability is attracting attention from several junior coaches in Ontario- September 7, 1953.

 

 

When I read one of my friend’s essays last night I felt the pain in every single word she wrote. Looking back at her life she felt she was never one of the cool kids in school and sadly I felt the same way.

I got blacklisted in grade one when Mrs. Dougherty told the class that if they had been quiet like Linda, they would not have missed recess. It was the ultimate kiss of death for most of my elementary school years and I never lived it down. After that when the teacher asked who was talking while she was writing on the board I raised my hand thinking it might change my reputation if I took the blame.

I was the kid that came to school on time, did not talk much in class, and smiled at everyone like a rabid beaver. I sat in my seat worshiping the cool kids, the smart kids, and the ones I lusted to be.

Some of us could never be pretty like Jill Smith who got all A’s on her report card. As much as I tried I knew I would never speak with million dollar words like Bobby Piers. Dragging a personal large caboose I would never excel in sports like Marianne Trent. Linda would forever be labeled as the one that almost failed gym.

Average in school, except for writing, I failed math every single year after my mother died in grade seven.  One year it was so bad, I only got twenty nine out of two hundred and my father queried if they also gave me marks for neatness.

All I wanted to do was hang out in the cool kids group, but instead I was an oddball, and the older I got, the stranger I became. I began wearing my clothing designs at the age of thirteen and hung around with the French Canadian kids after school. The latter was enough to spread rumours through church that some girls in the parish were ‘loose’ and hanging around with the wrong kind.

After deciding early on I was going to become a fashion designer, I was ridiculed by my peers. They told me the only occupations women could achieve were teachers or nurses. Thinking possibly about joining an up and coming occupation called, “a stewardess” they also mentioned I might be too large to fit in the aisles of a TCA plane.

At the school dances even the Buddy Holly look alike who was ten years older than everyone else would not even ask me to dance. In grade ten I had enough, left school, and dropped seventy five pounds. All of a sudden High School guys who had never shown interest in me wanted to date. I refused, solely on the premises that they had been bullies to me and my friends in school.

I went to Montreal after I left school and studied to become a fashion designer.  Proudly working at the very first Le Chateau store on St. Catherine Street I even tried to hang out with “their” cool kids.  Still not good enough for them either because I would not wear pants that dragged on the ground and smoke pot I became annoyed. Who were these people who continued to think that they were better than everyone else?  Then and there I stopped desiring to be a cool kid and decided just to be myself. I followed that rule for the rest of my life and never looked back.

Twenty years ago I was invited to go back to a reunion at Cowansville High School. I decided that life had been difficult enough in school that there was no sense in dragging it back into adulthood. My late sister did go, and came home early, quite annoyed. When I asked her why she was so flustered she looked at me straight in the face and said,

“Linda, no one wanted to hear what I was doing. Everyone kept asking me where you were, and what you were doing! They drove me nuts with their chatter, so I came home.”

I started to laugh and began to wonder if maybe all of us were really cool kids in school and we just never figured it out. In the end maybe it was a good thing, because we learned to love ourselves and realized we did not need the acceptance of others to get by.

Notes from the Peanut Gallery:
I hear you! When I joined Facebook, I reveled in the fact that no one is looking for me.

 

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Look at those salaries– 1958!