Tag Archives: usa

The Middleville Chair that Ended up Rocking John F. Kennedy President of the United States

The Middleville Chair that Ended up Rocking John F. Kennedy President of the United States

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  14 May 1963, Tue,  Page 2

The health benefits of rocking were introduced to the American public when President John F. Kennedy was prescribed time in a rocking chair by his physician in 1955 to help relieve his chronic back pain. The President found his rocker to be so beneficial that it accompanied him on Air Force One and around the world. Kennedy also bought rockers for Camp David and the family estate, and was even known to give the chairs as gifts to friends and heads of state.

Screenshot 2017-09-20 at 14.jpg


Stock photo– not the Middleville chair.

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  23 Jun 1979, Sat,  Page 23

The Kennedy Rocking Chair . . . you will recall, some weeks back, I recounted the tale about the famous rocking chair the late president used in the Oval Office in Washington actually originated from the Ottawa Valley. Well, here’s an update. It appears Blake McKend-ry, the well-known former dealer in Ottawa and later the Perth area, was commissioned by the Canadian government to find a suitable gift for the president. Of course, Kennedy’s back problems were well publicized, as was his love for rocking chairs, and it was decided such an example would be ideal. Clayton Hands, the auctioneer, tells me the chair was purchased 20 years ago, in Lanark, by Blake McKendry, at the Bill Langstaff estate auction for $65. The chair must have been a gem to bring a price that high that long ago.


The Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

20 Jun 1980, Fri  •  Page 15

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

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


Why I will Never Write a Book like The Death of a President

The Whiskey Keg Chair of Lanark County

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Is the US Now the Most Dangerous Country in the World?


15657.jpgPhoto–The Canadian National Newspaper


It really happened–and it almost feels like the beginning of a dystopian novel.  I am shock and awed as they say that Donald Trump has become the new president of the United States.  Sure the United States has ensured crappier presidents, worse campaigns, a Civil War, and many houses divided– but I am just hoping fascism does not grip too tightly on our neighbour south of the border.

Last nights win is where America proved it’s okay to sexually assault women, belittle minorities, disabled and veterans, defraud millions, lie about a billion and still hold office. I’d rather have a president who in the past exercised poor judgment, and could be surrounded by those who could steer them right, than one who continually proves to be of poor character.

So what happens now?

-How long will it be before the GOP repeals Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, OSHA, the EPA, and a myriad of  other advances of the 20th century?
-When will the working class wake up to the fact that the GOP sells them guns and God, but will never allow them a raise?
-What about Roe Vs. Wade or gay marriage? Will all this now be turned over to each state?-Will National parks will be sold, and coal ash and poison continue to blacken the air?
-Or even worse– I fear for the changes in the Supreme Court.

If the American electorate wanted change and they think Washington is broken, why are they sending most of Congressional incumbents back up there? Change? That’s a laugh. If things go wrong they will just continue to blame Obama and minorities and ignore the impact of Trump’s disastrous policies.

Along with this election win we have taught everyone that bullies win and women don’t matter. We have shown them racism and sexism is okay. Where did the highly touted values, morals and integrity go?  Parents will now have to explain to their children that someone who possesses none of those things was able to ascend to the presidency. I woke up this morning hoping this was a dream–unfortunately President Trump’s message will last far longer than his 4 years.


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


We Are Canadian– and what’s wrong with that?




Yesterday my American mother-in-law sent me a post about Canadians and I thought I would share. Author Robert Reich wrote a great post and I am posting several comments here from a long list

Robert Reich–Back from Canada, and debating Newt Gingrich and Laura Ingraham. One thing that strikes me every time I visit Canada is now extraordinarily polite Canadians are, and also how they take for granted that the members of a society have certain obligations to one another. The contrast with the America of Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, and Laura Ingraham couldn’t be starker. Yet we live just across the border from each other, and our American accents are almost identical. How to explain the difference?

What do you think?


Dennis MooneyI’m a Canadian living in the USA and I see the difference daily. Canada never had the issue of slavery that in itself divided the country. Slaves dreamed of escape to Canada. We have an east west due but nothing like the north south divide here. Its not about race it color. Canadians differ on matters of economics not race.

People joke that Canadians are always saying thank you or excuse me. We are more polite for sure. No one says “have a good day” which always sounds so insincere here.

Religion is also a big difference. No one says “I’m blessed” or “have a blessed day” because religion does not define a Canadian. Down here in the south we have churches in most corners. Canada had enough but not too to many. Religion is a private matter in Canada. ‘In the USA it colors everyone thoughts.

We are also a country of two official languages. We have a minister of defense who is ex military and a Seikh. We had a national party headed by a person on Indian descent.

We are tolerant. That’s the main difference. We are also well read. W don’t show Fox News. The Toronto Globe and Mail is one of the best most honest newspapers in the world. The CBC is highly rated and impartial.

We carry on conversations that have substance. Its not always about football or reality TV. We actually have dinner discussions about global issues.

Canadians travel more. We vacation in Cuba not the Bahamas.

Hand guns are not something anyone thinks about. We don’t worry about kids getting home of their parents gun. Ever.

We are so different and we fight to keep it that way.


Sarah DoyleI think the increased taxes we pay in Canada for socialized healthcare etc. are a worthwhile investment to look after each other as a community, instead of the USA lower tax option to look out more for “number one”.

Jim FriendA few things. Our Parliamentary system means more parties and more ideas coming into the mainstream. No insane gun laws. Canadian winters mean everyone helps each other, because everyone get’s stuck. Did you know that it was our 3rd party who brought about Universal healthcare in Canada ?

Jay SremmusHaving a conversation w/ a Taxi Driver in Toronto one day, I commented how pleasant Canadians were. He said “Because we’re a content society.”

How could so much could be summed up in 5 words.

Should Canadians Not Have a Say in the New Proposed American Neighbourhood Fence?


We take a break from the Carleton Place news to hit our head against the wall about what I would call stupidity.

“WASHINGTON – Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is putting a new twist on the topic of securing the border, a staple among the GOP candidates running for president, by pointing north.

Walker said in an interview that aired Sunday that building a wall along the country’s norther border with Canada is a legitimate issue that merits further review.”- August 29, 2015 Toronto Star


Dear Mr. Walker,

The Toronto police figure that 95% of all illegal fire arms come the ‘States’, so knock yourself out. Yes,Mr. Walker please built it. Let’s put it across the Rockies, Great Plains, Great Lakes, St. Lawrence. I figure it will cost approximately $23/ft, labour and materials included. Cost should be $631.5 billion dollars. That does no include maintenance and supervision costs. To keep the price down, may I suggest an inexpensive Papier-mâché dome? Oh, and don’t forget to change your tin foil hats and call your mother ship for additional instructions.This guy is so stupid he doesn’t know if beach balls are blown up or stuffed. I will repost what I said in 2011.

                                               (Photo by Tanya Harrison)

2011 written by Linda Secaspina- nothing ever changes does it?

Hot off the CBC news yesterday was an item that the United States is ‘mulling over’ building fences along the border with Canada to help keep out terrorists and other criminals. “The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency has proposed the use of “fencing and other barriers” on the 49th parallel to manage “trouble spots where passage of cross-border violators is difficult to control.”



Does a fence really keep anyone out? I remember watching Ange work on one for almost a day years ago to keep our dog from running away. Hours later as the dog had also watched “the builder” intently, I clapped my hands for Zarry Boy to come. The dog took a long slow look at the new 12 ft. fence and within three seconds he cleared it and was free.

While I applaud anything that will keep our countries safe I wonder if this is the right way to go. There are no proposed drawings and they do not provide details about what the fence might look like. Will it blend in with the neighbourhood and “complement the natural landscape” and might Yogi Bear or other wildlife have problems migrating?  Of course like most neighbours when someone is upgrading their yard there are many views on this subject and I though that I might share some:

“Will Americans build the fence? Or will they outsource the panels to China and use cheaper Mexican immigrant labor to install it?”

“Can we put ramps on both sides so that cars can jump the fence?”

“Maybe they can fence my backyard first?”

“It’s sad, when the fence goes up, no more cardiologists will be sneaking across in the middle of the night with H1 visas.”

“It won’t work in the wintertime because once the snow builds up around those things, sports minded terrorists can just snowmobile right over the top.”

“The great wall of China didn’t keep the Mongols out. Don’t any of these idiots ever study

“The USA can’t build a levee to protect New Orleans, how can they expect to build a wall along the Mexican border let alone the Canadian border.”

”Some of the country the border passes through has not seen any human contact since the last time the U.S. Customs guy (landscaper) came through.”

                                                  (photo: CBC News)

“A wall down the middle of the Great Lakes and a part of the St. Lawrence Seaway would be an engineering marvel.”

“Shouldn’t the US be focusing more resources near the violent border on the south end instead? I mean a few Canadian moose on the loose crossing the border never hurt anyone.”

“If they build a fence we can keep out all the illegals out as well…..like Randy Quaid!”

“Does the wildlife get a say in this? Will they have tunnels for toads and hedgehogs?” Won’t this fence kill more birds than wind mills and God forbid it should be electrified. It will  just end up becoming a giant wildlife zapper.”

“Whats next a shark ditch?”

“While they are at it they might as well build a fence around Hawaii too!”

“I can’t even keep cats out of my backyard with a mega-fence!”

“Will the fence extend over the top of the country so people won’t throw rocks on the other side?

“Are they afraid more Canadians will cross the border to buy cheaper booze?”

“Remember the movie ‘Escape from New York’? You just know Snake Plisskin will beat this!”

“Which will they build first, the fence, or the Keystone Pipeline? Well, I guess they’ll have to find a way to get that big oil pipeline over the fence. Not to worry we will install a number of shut off valves in the oil pipe.”

                                         “All in all, its just another brick in “the wall”…

              Photo by Linda Seccaspina 2011- Thousand Island Bridge- US/Canadian border

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