Tag Archives: women

Childbirth Court Case — Saunders Vs Dr Downing



January 1900 Carleton Place Herald–
Found by Josh Greer- and property of Lisa Occomore and Brad Occomore of Valley Granite and Tile

Without calling upon Mr. G. F. Henderson, K.C., counsel for the defence, to produce argument, Mr, Justice Wright sitting in the Ontario Supreme Court at Ottawa on
Wednesday dismissed without costs the action brought by Mr. M. A. Saunders, who was  a resident of Carleton Place, against Dr. A. Downing, physician, of the same town, for damages -amounting to ‘$10,000, for the death of his wife on December 28th, 1923, which he alleged was due to malpractice on the part of the physician.

Mr. Saunders, through a number of witnesses, medical and lay, sought to prove that Dr. Downing who as the family physician, had been called upon to attend Mrs. Saunders, upon her confinement, had not properly attended upon her with the result that she had died the same day as the birth of her child from an excessive hemorrhage. Downing was also accused that has conduct had been unprofessional in that he had used offensive language towards the sick woman and members of the family assembled at her bedside. Hard to believe, but in those days words came out easy with no thoughts in the heat of the moment.



January 1900 Carleton Place Herald–
Found by Josh Greer- and property of Lisa Occomore and Brad Occomore of Valley Granite and Tile

Mr. G. F. Henderson, K. C., for the defence submitted medical testimony from Dr. Campbell Laidlaw and Dr. Walter whose opinions based upon general medical practice, went to show that she had been subjected to what is ‘known as pulmonary embolism’, which had caused practical asphyxiation, rather than excessive hemorrhage.

Dr. Campbell Laidlaw explained to the court that pulmonary embolism was a rare
occurrence, but was met with in childbirth cases, and that it meant the forcing of a clot of blood through the arteries to the right chamber of the heart where it lodges, causing
suffocation. There is today, no known preventive or cure in medical science for this disease, which almost in every case results in death, it was asserted.

May 23 1924


Dr Johnson House

Address: Bridge Street, Carleton Place, Ontario

Originally owned by Robert Bell, the property first held a white frame home.
The present house was built in 1902 by Dr. M.A. MacFarlane, who fashioned the red brick home after a house in Scotland.
After Dr. MacFarlane’s death, the house was rented to Doctor’s Downing and Ferrill.
In 1924 Dr. Allen Johnson bought the home, and with his wife Annie established a medical practice  that was to last 45 year
October 17 1942

The Sad Tale of Unwed Mothers of Days Gone By — Perth through the Ages Tour

The Trial of Ann Glascott

Women in Peril 1868 — Mathilda Routh

The Very Sad Tale of Hessie Churchill

To Be Manic Depressive in a Rural Town — Kingston Insane Asylum



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

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

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Apr. 26th, 2007 at 11:57 PM

I’m addicted to sugar. It’s my best friend and my worst enemy. When I was little I used to suck on sugar cubes at my grandmother’s high teas once  a week as if they were a part of the top five food groups.


For two weeks I have been trying to get off sugar. A few jellybeans here and there, a few spoonfuls of American Idol’s low fat ice cream.  It doesn’t matter if I think American Idol knows nothing viable about ice cream- ice cream is always an option as it lights up my brain like a pinball machine.


Part of me understands that sugar makes me happy, and that worries me. If you give up both carbs and sugar, isn’t that giving up complete happiness? Much of the joy I get from eating jellybeans is the initial gush of sour and sweetness as I smack those rebellious suckers into submission.


Do you know when diabetics don’t have Dextro pills they take a few jelly beans or jelly babies instead? That tip came from the pharmacist at the local drugstore as she punched me through last week. That’s like saying that 75% of lab rats choose sugar water over cocaine? Now that brings back vague memories of a Two Ronnies sketch about wanting the sweet shop owner to give him just jelly boys, not jelly girls, because they have a touch more jelly.

It’s a common fact that if you eat too much sugar throughout the day you put your body through a roller-coaster ride. How much sugar is “too much sugar” I wonder? Did you know that a pack of M&M’s may be more than you should eat in a day? That bit of info is from the World Health Organization, who I am sure knows that by 3 pm my alter ego Lizzie Borden has appeared and I could become the prolific neighbourhood axe murderer.

I am as useless as the “g” in lasagna while the “white death” sucks me in each day and I will eat anything short of Splenda. I have heard that Splenda kills. I mean I never do anything half-ass as somehow my full derriere is always involved in everything. Coming from a long line of very knowledgeable lunatics- I think I can solve this. Maybe I just need a sugar daddy or a glucose guardian.


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Sep. 24th, 2007 at 11:15 AM

Last night there was another drive by shooting on 63rd Street. They say that crime is up in Oakland, California by 50% this year. Having lived on a drug corner for years it is actually no great surprise to us. When I went to the Post Office and saw all the candles, cards and teddy bears outside Sonny’s place I began to worry I knew the victim because everyone knows everyone here.
Lorenzo was sweeping the street by his car getting ready to set up for another day of selling bootleg CD’s. I asked him point blank who died last night. He said, “It was my nephew” and I started to cry. I knew he was barely 19 years-old and just another neighbourhood kid that thought he didn’t have a chance in life and relied on crime to get him by. I gave Lorenzo a big hug and told him how sorry I was.
I asked him,
“Lorenzo is there going to be a hood war now?”
He shook his head and said, “I just don’t know.”
I felt overwhelmed and went home and got a teddy bear, wrote a sympathy note and placed it with the others on the makeshift memorial. People in the hood don’t send sympathy cards–they set up memorials with lit candles, teddy bears, notes, and yes, the odd empty liquour bottle.
People marvel why I still live in an area that has constant crime. I wouldn’t have it any other way. The people here are real, and no one cares about the latest movies or trends. Each day is a trial just to get by.
I appreciate that and have respect for all of them especially the women that raise their families single handedly. I think I am the strongest I have ever been in my life and have proved to myself I can exist without a lot of money and appreciate everything in life now. I have learned that no one in life gives you a chance- you have to take chances. The cry of the ghetto is being heard by a nation with their fingers stuck in their ears.
The neighbours don’t call me Linda anymore- they baptized me “Lisa in da Hood”. It’s because I am getting my education on the streets of Oakland, and I now surround myself with people that can hear and appreciate the sound of my soul.
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Sep. 25th, 2007 at 8:44 AM

They say it isn’t so much what’s on the table that matters, as what’s on the chairs. Since I didn’t own a table when we first moved into our loft there was definitely no chairs. I was once what was called a freegan, and if I couldn’t find it in a thrift shop or in a dumpster– I didn’t need it. Every week I would scour a local salvage company for things and one day a spectacular chrome glass topped industrial table waved at me in one of the aisles.


It was 12 feet long by 6 feet wide and I figured the former lab table weighed about 100 pounds. For 40 dollars it was mine, but how was I going to get it the 10 blocks home? Paying the 80 dollars delivery was way out of my budget and I really wanted this table. So there were only two options-pay the delivery charge, or push it all the way home as it had roller casters.


I have never been shy of chaos, so I embraced my situation and began to push that baby home. The first part of my journey consisted of cobblestones, train tracks, and oncoming traffic on a one way street. As I approached the main street I was asked many times if I had a license “to drive that thing”. The worst was attempting to cross a pedestrian cross walk–no one would stop–and it wasn’t like they couldn’t see the darn thing. Suddenly I was playing a personal arcade game of Frogger with this table and traffic was not stopping for me.  I just had to keep this glass tadpole safe. Common sense is like deodorant, the people that need it most never use it. So I forged on and let the drivers decide if they really wanted to hit a glass table.


The glass top vibrated all the way home and on each block I would stop and talk to the table. Was it a sign of impending mental collapse? I just took it as comparing expert advice between each other to get us both home safely.


Finally, I was home and pushed it up the handicap ramp and thought I was home free until I got to the front door. Suddenly I realized I was missing 8 inches to push it around the corner. It was the old ‘whenever something is wrong- it’s always too big’ dilemma. The front door flew open and a burly man covered in tattoos solved the issue by moving the table sideways, and in it slid- glass top intact.


It in the end the table took its rightful spot in the empty kitchen and looked fabulous. I, on the other hand, had vibrating hands that were part of a sweaty body that looked like it had been in a monsoon. My motto is that if we spend all our time worrying about what might be, then we will never have what is– like the table.



Cowansville Quebec Legion- Branch #99

November 10, 2014 –7:44 PM

War was a serious business in the Knight family– even when we were at peace. From a young age I was lectured from time to time on the devastation of war. My Grandfather had lived in the muddy trenches of France for long periods of time and then spent the rest of his living years dealing with the repercussions of being gassed. He called the use of gas “a cynical and barbarous disregard of the well-known usages of civilized war”— even though they had no idea what had happened to them at the time.

To Frederick J. Knight of Cowansville, Quebec who had valiantly fought in the British army there was something more soldierly about using a sword or a gun. Gas had a profound psychological impact on soldiers – it terrified and killed many of them. Watching him hold his temples in pain from migraines every few days upset me and constantly made me question if war had been worth it. The mind of a child wondered if it had led to a better tomorrow, or had it just been a terrible waste of life to those who had lost family.

Watching my Grandfather and Father walking proudly on Remembrance Day with their medals pinned on their overcoats with the rest of the Branch #99 Legion I could feel their emotion. For me it was just a day of having cold feet and hands with the rest of the Brownies as we stood on the frozen ground in front of the cenotaph during the ceremony. For my Grandfather, Father and the rest of the former soldiers it was a chance to represent those who were no longer with us.

When my husband died my oldest son inherited a plain ring made from a spoon that was made by a friend of his Grandfather Seccaspina. He had spent two years in a German prison camp called Bergen Belsen and on April 15, 1945, Eliseo Seccaspina was liberated with 60,000 other prisoners. Unfortunately he came home with the sad news that his brother Angelo would not be coming home. Angelo had both his hands cut off by the Germans as he attempted to join his brother on the back of a truck. His body lies somewhere near the border of Italy and was never found. Some will be forever lost, but we will remember all of them and tell their stories. Each time I put a poppy on I remember–because their spirits never die– they just live on through us.

For the living and the dead we must bear witness- Eli Wiesel




Friday November 16, 9:30 pm 2007

I walked out of the subway and hauled my cart up the escalator. I had bought a lovely black bag to put in the red cart to hold anything I might find on my journeys. Actually, I got the cheapest thing I could find at the dollar store and it had a picture of “The Last Supper” on the front and back. Last week an eager young lady asked me where I got the bag and I told her where I bought my holy economical find. She told me that Jesus was her “homeboy” and we both high-fived each other. It was definitely a Hashtag #Blessed moment!

Today was to be different.

I had already seen a “Rico Suave” sort of Latino gentleman in the subway earlier in the day and he was still in the same spot, now eating a lunchtime snack. He approached me as I got off the escalator and screamed at me,

“Where did you get that bag and how can they put a picture of something so holy like that on one of those cheap bags?” Are you a Catholic?” he screamed at me.

I became aggravated and knew we were causing a scene— and then it happened– the hot dog, or should I call it an assault wiener he was munching zeroed in on me and my bag. Let’s be frank– we were covered in condiments. Was this in reality “food for the soul”?

Oh well, if God is watching I can at least be entertaining right? And with that I wiped off what I could and threw my hands up in the air. I suddenly said the first thing that came to mind:

“Lettuce praise and relish Him!”

What can I say, “the spirit” might have been with me that day, and I would like to think he approved of the message. I had it “my way”!



January 18, 2008

Three weeks ago I had the dilemma of wondering what to wear to a Christmas party. I pulled out two of my favourite jackets and tried them on. I just stood there with my mouth open. There was no doubt that the shoulder pads rivalled those of Joan Collins on Dynasty. That goes to show you how long I have had these jackets and how I just can’t seem to shake the 80’s when it comes to jackets or clothes for that matter.

Recently, someone approached me with an intriguing question:

“Did you ever wear clothes with shoulder pads?”

I looked back with curiosity and wondered where this question came from.

“Yes,” I answered.  “In fact, I still have a few jackets that have shoulder pads.”

They gasped slightly, almost in complete  shock, and their eyes were went wide like the Margaret Keane’s “big-eyed art” hanging on my wall. I silently wondered what was so horrible about shoulder pads. Did I not know shoulder pads were such a major fashion faux pas? Okay, maybe I did.

It’s hard to come to the realization that as time goes on I’m just not as “cool” as I once thought I was. Still in disbelief that in 2008 that shoulder pads were still in my closet, I realized that I was packed more than a quarter back.

Later in the day I saw a trendy looking woman with a big padded shoulder jacket on in the subway. It was an over-size number, and I thought  she looked cool until I saw she had things hidden under her jacket. In fact, huge bumps were very conspicuously protruding. The gal looked nervous, and then I saw her take one of the duct taped packages out.

Those were no pads in those shoulders– there were  drugs under that jacket!! In fact they were wrapped as Christmas packages with festive paper and duct tape! She removed her jacket and packed the items back in the over size interior pockets. Suddenly I noticed she had track marks on her arms. She was a drug dealer– but was she a drug dealer in a good way because she had padded shoulders? I guess your fashion style is a way to say who you are without having to speak. As soon as I got home I threw the darn jackets out and knew I could never look at a shoulder pad again. On a bad day there is always lipstick. 




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)


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

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

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

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

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April 2nd, 2006 3:31 am

In 1965 I became a stalker– full fledged. I had been stalking my crushes for years, but I perfected it in Grade 9 at Cowansville High School. Stalking is such an intense word– let’s call it ‘intense research of an individual’.

In high school I was in love with a French Canadian boy from Cowansville named Alain Jacques. The male student body of St. Leon’s School would loiter outside Le Patio restaurant in front of Cowansville High School every noon hour. Of course all of us gals would hang out of the open front school windows gazing at the boys even in the dead of winter. What is it about High School– where all your self esteem, innocence and dreams just get to die?

Alain was so fine with his Beatle boots, blonde hair and there wasn’t a notebook of mine that didn’t have his name written all over it. Being limited in French I remember writing a song about him to the Beatles tune of Nowhere Man and he probably wished I was  fluent in silence.

I used to believe in writing songs to say things, and in reality sometimes they sound better in your head. I thought I was going to die with this song kept secret inside of me. Instead, one of my friends thought it would be funny to hand it to the crowd of young St. Leon men who had nothing better to do on a lunch hour. I was mortified, and I can still remember the first ludicrous line to this day.

“He’s a real nowhere man sitting on his garbage can”

Rabbits jump and live for 8 years. Dogs run and they live for 15 years. Turtles do nothing and they live for 150 years. I should have followed the turtles and subbed my song writing to holding the refrigerator door open instead looking for answers to love and life. To be old and wise you first have to be young and stupid, and I am sure there was many a person in my youth who wanted to ask me:

“Who ties your shoelaces for you?”

Author’s Note–Even Duct Tape can’t fix stupid- but it can sure muffle the sound. I used to tote around 7 different colours–I wonder why..



Is life really like an episode of Seinfeld? Today’s “Linda’s Nickel Opinions — Blasts From the Past”
Jul. 5th, 2006 at 5:31 PM
Summer in Carleton Place and major road work going on Franktown Road. Instead of backing up on a side street, I assumed I could just make a tiny turn and go.  I drove forward and the car went up in the air over a tall curb with the worst scraping noise you ever heard. It was just gut wrenching, and I thought I had damaged the car. I  also knew I had to get it off the curb, so I put it in reverse. Same awful scraping noise as I backed off of it and I thought for sure the front fender was gone.

This is a spanking brand new car, and I swear they makes these new cars way too low. among other things. Backing out of the front driveway three weeks ago I didn’t know my late husband had shut half of the heavy black wrought iron gate five minutes prior. I backed up quickly and ran smack dab into the gate.There is a tiny tiny black mark where I hit it, but my oldest son keeps looking at me every day and says,

“Mom whats this?” as he pretends to drive a car backwards and makes screeching and banging sounds.

So here I am, car finally off the tall curb and my heart is pounding.

I fear the worst.

I get out and don’t see a darn mark.

I look under the car and don’t see shreds of metal or leaks and I almost pass out with happiness. I just do not want to go through another incident with this family as you just can’t win. So I think to myself, how can I cover my derriere–what would Jerry Seinfeld do?

I think back to a Seinfeld episode where George and Elaine damaged Jerry’s car. I can’t say a wild pack of teenagers wrecked the car, but I have an idea.

Sky and my late husband come home for dinner and I say,

“Boy, you would think these yahoos would put a construction sign at the top of Rochester Street. I got up to the top of that street and the whole street is ripped apart. I couldn’t turn around as there were cars behind me so I was forced to go over those large exposed curbs. I hope I didn’t do any damage to the car”.

My late husband said,

“Yeah its a big mess and they should have a sign there!”, they said.

I smile, and again, it’s not a lie if you believe it– or it’s a carefully edited truth. Of course there are two sides to every story– right? Right? Well that’s my story and I am sticking to it 🙂

Aug. 6th, 2006 at 10:38 AM
Around 2:30 am this morning a large shadow lurks inside the doorway of my bedroom and wakes me up.

“Mom, Mom, have you got any tweezers?”

Mothers have to be prepared, but somehow I think I can be excused if I am not carrying tweezers in my PJ pocket at that time of the morning. The son shows me his hand that has swollen up very badly. Seems he got mixed up with some brambles and thorns on his ATV, and it is definitely causing some sort of infection.

I look for Benadryl, and within seconds he can’t move his hand and the swelling is worse. I said, “Let’s go to the hospital”. Now, it’s not a long journey mind you, about two blocks down the street, but the “production” must begin. I have to get dressed, haul the car out without waking up the dogs and everyone else in the house.

Emergency is like a ghost town, no one there, except for one lone lady at the desk. She eyes us with irritation as we disturb her reading and asks us what’s wrong. I show her my son’s hand and she asks if he has taken Benadryl. With the hand now swollen up like The Incredible Hulk I want to scream that we are beyond that at this point. When asked to produce his health card the son has of course lost his health card and his hospital card. She asks if he has ever been here before. I want to laugh and say, “Yes, actually he has been here so much as a child the doctors said they were going to name a wing after him”.

The nurse tells him to come into the emergency section and I hear Larry King interviewing Kathy Griffin in the waiting room TV. “Oh MY GOD”, this is the episode I missed tonight!  I tell him to go by himself, as if he is old enough to drink and vote we are good! I figure if I have to be up at 3am I might as well enjoy myself, and I am actually considering it “a Saturday night out” at this point. I don’t want to seem callous, but I have been through every disease and injury of the week with this son, so I know I can watch  television in peace here and he will definitely pull through.

Thirty minutes later a doctors in scrubs walks by me half asleep hardly able to open his eyes. They had to call someone to come in, as someone went home sick. He looks at me with one eye open and bangs into the door frame–yes, my son will get good care here.

Ten minutes later the son comes out with a prescription for the infection. He is told the thorn is in deep and not to take it out just yet. Larry King interview over, we leave and drive the two blocks home.  By the time we pull into the garage he is almost asleep and I am wide awake. Sometimes you fight being frustrated with your child– for being just like yourself, and remember that years ago– his first breath took yours away–and it still does.




Sept. 4th, 2006 at 1:38 AM

Let it be known I can’t sing. I used to sing in the Trinity church choir in Cowansville- but I was drowned out by really good singers, so no one really heard me. They did however allow me to perform once and that was the end of my dreams of becoming a rock star.

Reverend Peacock would choose one person to sing the weekly solo called  Lead me Lord. I was bypassed all the time until the good reverend decided to give me a try. That week I spent hours in front of the bathroom mirror trying to sing, but my voice in reality made dogs lie down and not move for days.

Sunday comes and I hope someone in those church pews will stand up and say ‘Bravo’ at the end of my solo. But, by verse three people began to cough and covered their mouths with their handkerchiefs. By the end of the song half the congregation had excused themselves to go out in the church hall accompanied with a  lot of laughter. By the end of the song I am hearing sighs of relief like people have been suppressing themselves.

End of song, no clapping, no bravos, and I go back to my pew and see Reverend Peacock look down at me through his bifocals in bewilderment. Miss Watson, age 69, (spinster for life ) the church organist, also gazes at me through her bifocals the same way, stamps on the organ pedals, and rolls into the next hymn at depth defying volume. Actually, the volume was so high you could no longer hear me sing. As Lillie Langtry once said, “I was so bad I swear I could hear the angels singing”- yup, every path has a puddle.






Sept. 9th, 2006 at 11:36 AM

I never owned any generic clothing or a pair of jeans until 1998. Years ago I used to have two rooms of clothes, 43 pairs of shoes, and 67 Victoria’s Secret bras. Today I scratch my head wondering why I needed so many options in life. Because I have always dressed “not like the average bear” people quickly formed opinions about me. Was I from some Gothic cult, or in the local sex trade?

I once visited the lovely tourist town of Gatlinburg, Tenn. and had on black dress pants, a red blazer, and a black mini bra top under a fishnet top. Walking into a local drugstore four women took one look at me and got down on their knees and prayed for me. I got a little miffed with them –after all, this was fashion to me, so I decided to bother them a bit.

I asked the counter lady very loudly if I could have some “sex gum” that was displayed behind the counter. She knew it was a joke, but those ladies didn’t, and the praying got louder and louder. I turned around very quickly and said,
“Ladies, one can buy a gun at the age of 16 in Tennessee and purchase fireworks 24/7 —but you can’t wear fishnet in Tennessee?” 

The whole place just roared, and the ladies kept on praying for my “fishnet covered soul”.

It’s 20 years later now, and at 66 my wardrobe has changed–drastically. Today a cashier began singing hymns while she checked my groceries out and stopped when I left. I thought about it for awhile and wondered if I was really that strange, or am I just some sort of a ‘limited edition’? 🙂



Apr. 21st, 2007 at 4:27 PM

I used to read Seventeen magazine all the time, and in 1966 the popular teen magazine had a contest to win a possible part in the movie The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. At that moment in time I had long blonde hair, and was in one of my anorexic stages, and weighed about 100 pounds.  


As I read the article over and over; I thought I would be perfect for the movie so I filled out the contest form very carefully and sent a photo. I was so excited that I bought the Carson McCullers book and practised  Mick Kelly’s  lines over and over. This was my part, my mind insisted, and every night I would take the carefully folded article out of my drawer and hope that no other gal in the Eastern Townships had entered. One day I got a letter from Seventeen magazine and to my chagrin it said that yes, I could have been a contender but sadly, I was Canadian, and the contest was open to only US citizens.


What? To be denied my chance because I lived on the wrong side of the border? At that time and space I thought my whole world had ended, but today I am relieved I didn’t win. Sondra Locke, who won the Mick Kelly part, began a romantic relationship with Clint Eastwood during the filming of Josey Wales. Okay, so would my fate have been the same?  Would I too have lived with Clint Eastwood?


Clint and Sondra lived together for 12 years and her autobiography The Good, the Bad, and the Very Ugly includes a harrowing account of her years with Eastwood. When their relationship ended in 1988, Locke brought a suit against Eastwood and Warner Bros, Inc. In 1999, she settled out of court with Warner Bros. and Eastwood for a reportedly large, undisclosed amount and left Hollywood.


In retrospect I’m glad I never won that contest. The thing is: you can’t control fate, and I guess things happen for a reason. I didn’t get the part, I never dated Clint, and thankfully never experienced any of Sondra’s relationship glitches. Of course Clint is probably relieved too, if he has ever read about my youth. You know the saying: “if you didn’t do wild things when you were young, you will have little to smile about when you are old”– and thankfully I am still smiling.



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)



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



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Home Economic Winners Lanark County Names Names Names– Drummond Centre

Home Economic Winners Lanark County Names Names Names– Drummond Centre




Front row, left to right; Martha Church, Pat Stewart, Jackie Mast, June Greer, Beth McPhail, Barb Philips, Barb Saunders. Back row, left to right; Mr. Youngs (principal), Helen Enis, Marilyn Barber, Ivy Moore, Norma Devlin, Eleanor Erwin, Lois McConnell, Mrs. Biewarld (coach).


I put this photo here as it was impossible to come up with the 1929 gals and I just loved this photo



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  02 Aug 1929, Fri,  Page 20



The following is excerpted from an actual 1950’s high school Home Economics textbook:

ADVANCE: How to be a Good Wife

HAVE DINNER READY: Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal–on time. This is a way to let him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned with his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home, and having a good meal ready is part of the warm welcome that is needed.

PREPARE YOURSELF: Take fifteen minutes to rest so that you will be refreshed when he arrives. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift. Greet him with a smile.

CLEAR AWAY THE CLUTTER: Make one last trip though the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up children’s books and toys, papers, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you lift too.

PREPARE THE CHILDREN: If they are small, wash their hands and faces and comb their hair. They are his little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

MINIMIZE ALL NOISE: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise from the washer, dryer, or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.

SOME “DO NOT’S”: Don’t greet him with problems and complaints. Don’t complain if he is late for dinner. Count this as a minor problem compared to what he might have gone through that day.

MAKE HIM COMFORTABLE: Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest that he lie down in the bedroom. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.

LISTEN TO HIM: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.

MAKE THE EVENING HIS: Never complain if he doesn’t take you to dinner or to other entertainment. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his need to unwind and relax.




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


Sunday Morning Breakfast Movie —High School Girls in Trouble —1955

Sunday Breakfast Movie—The Trouble With Women- 1947

Sunday Morning Breakfast Movie -Darn Barbara, Why Can’t You be More like Helen?

Sunday Morning Breakfast Movie


Join us and learn about the history under your feet! This year’s St. James Cemetery Walk will take place Thursday October 19th and october 21– Museum Curator Jennfer Irwin will lead you through the gravestones and introduce you to some of our most memorable lost souls!
Be ready for a few surprises along the way….
This walk takes place in the dark on uneven ground. Please wear proper footwear and bring a small flashlight if you like.
Tickets available at the Museum, 267 Edmund Street. Two dates!!!

OCT 28th
Downtown Carleton Place Halloween Trick or Treat Day–https://www.facebook.com/events/489742168060479/

Here we go Carleton Place– Mark Your Calendars–

October 28th The Occomores Valley Grante and Tile Event–730pm-1am Carleton Place arena-Stop by and pick up your tickets for our fundraiser dance for LAWS. They also have tickets for Hometown Hearts event at the Grand Hotel fundraiser

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Should Girls Speak to Strange Men in Uniform? 1917

Should Girls Speak to  Strange Men in Uniform? 1917



Women’s fashions in the 1920s reflected radical changes affecting many areas of post-World War I American society. Many of them rejected, at least temporarily, the traditional roles of wife and mother and instead entered the workforce of the thriving businesses of the period or enrolled in colleges and universities, which were also experiencing rapidly increasing enrollments.

The working girl and the coed were typically young, simultaneously more liberated and more apparently frivolous than their mothers, and intoxicated by the attention lavished on them by the popular press. “Is the Younger Generation in Peril?” asked a long 1921 Literary Digest article. Typical of journalism investigating youth during the decade, it focused almost exclusively upon young women’s fashions in dress and cosmetics.

Image result for women of virtue 1920s

Articles of this kind inevitably linked short skirts, the rejection of the corset, and bobbed or shingled hair with “licentious” behaviour—smoking, drinking bootleg whiskey, listening to jazz, dancing the Charleston or Black Bottom, necking, and petting.

Selling shame–The cosmetics industry boomed during the 1920s, and … was immediately suspected of being immoral — a woman of “easy virtue. By the late 1920s, “permanent waves” were also available to women willing to  change their hairstyle was immediately suspected again of being immoral—a woman of “easy virtue.



Unidentified dance troupe.. The photo went for over 150 dollars at an auction– way over my budget- Photo- Linda Seccaspina


Clipped from The Winnipeg Tribune,  08 Oct 1917, Mon,  Page 6




Sexual health posters from the 1940s reveal how warnings against STDs focused on prostitutes, pinning them as dangerous disease carriers and advising soldiers to resist temptation.

Dozens of campaigns portrayed these women as wily temptresses, referring to them as ‘good time girls’, ‘pick-ups’, ‘procurable women’ and ‘victory girls’.

Others mimicked the style of war propaganda, calling on men to ‘fight syphilis and gonorrhea’ and using images of dutiful soldiers to encourage them to get tested.



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


Are You the Perfect Woman?

Women Arrested for Wearing Pants?

Women Smoking Pipes?

The Taber Business College- Women in the 20s

A Tale of Two Women

How Many Women Does it Take to Replace a Team of Horses?The Doukhobors


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Friday October the 13th– 6:30.. meet in front of the old Leland Hotel on Bridge Street (Scott Reid’s office) and enjoy a one hour Bridge Street walk with stories of murder mayhem and Believe it or Not!!. Some tales might not be appropriate for young ears. FREE!–




Here we go Carleton Place– Mark Your Calendars–
Friday October the 13th– 6:30.. meet in front of the old Leland Hotel on Bridge Street (Scott Reid’s office) and enjoy a one hour Bridge Street walk with stories of murder mayhem and Believe it or Not!!. Some tales might not be appropriate for young ears. FREE!–

Join us and learn about the history under your feet! This year’s St. James Cemetery Walk will take place Thursday October 19th and october 21– Museum Curator Jennfer Irwin will lead you through the gravestones and introduce you to some of our most memorable lost souls!
Be ready for a few surprises along the way….
This walk takes place in the dark on uneven ground. Please wear proper footwear and bring a small flashlight if you like.
Tickets available at the Museum, 267 Edmund Street. Two dates!!!

OCT 28th
Downtown Carleton Place Halloween Trick or Treat Day–https://www.facebook.com/events/489742168060479/

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90 Day Fiance and Mail Order and War Brides

90 Day Fiance and Mail Order and War Brides



Everyone has a guilty pleasure, and mine just happens to be 90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After? on TLC, Sunday nights. (repeated throughout the week) I can tell you that TLC rounded up some real “sweethearts” this season and I wonder if they went out of their way to find “love” to shock us all.

Most of these male candidates on the new edition of the series are so much older than their future brides and I swear they act like they shouldn’t be allowed within 300 feet of their local high school.

The show’s shock and awe premise is based on couples who must marry someone they’ve met from another country in 90 days, or their special US “K-1 fiance visa” is revoked and the partner is sent packing.

Brides have been coming to this country for years in one form or other. There were mail-order brides which originated on the western frontier in the 19th century.  At that time, the number of men in the west far outnumbered the number of available women. Lonely farmers and ranchers would seek wives from “Back East” by placing ads in newspapers and magazines.  Interested women would write back and send photographs, and the couple did not usually meet in person until the woman showed up for her wedding to a man whom she had never actually met face-to-face.

My Grandmother was a War Bride after the first world war. In Cowansville, Quebec there were many women who had married military personnel in times of war or during their military occupations of foreign countries.

Mary Louise Deller Knight said she found herself coming over to Canada in a ship loaded with women. The war brides came because of the man they loved, and most brides had no idea what life in Canada would be like. They arrived tired dusty and weary, and some were met by their husbands and some had no one as their husbands were still deployed in the service.

My Grandmother was invited to a wedding shower within a few months of her arrival, and she went with a smile, but had no idea what it was. She thought that a shower was just a form of hospitality from a neighbour blessed with water. Mary Louise used to complain about the Canadian weather from the day of her arrival until she went back to visit England in the early 60s. She returned  from the UK saying she would never go back there because she froze the whole time because of their terrible heating system.

For a not-so-fortunate few, there were disappointments. The government had only undertaken to pay travel fares one way—so an unwelcome or unhappy war bride with no means of returning to her family faced a precarious situation. Eventually, they found help, from the Red Cross, sympathetic neighbours or communities, and managed to return to their families in Britain. In 1946 a total of 61,200 war brides and children came to Canada after WW11 and only 50 disgruntled women announced their return to England because of Canada’s high prices and housing and clothing shortages. Life wasn’t the romantic dream for Brit women who married a soldier.

Tens of thousands of Canadian soldiers had arrived and were turning the heads of young British women who were desperate for a distraction from the misery of war. No matter what year it was, the brides from any era were finally free to begin a much bigger journey. Good or bad—just like 90 Day Fiance.




Janice Shail sent me this: My mother in law is Patricia Crawford …this is her story:

My mother in law is a war bride who came to Carleton Place at the end of World War 2. When she came, she and many others arrived on a special train for war brides. She travelled across the ocean, arrived in Halifax, and got on the train Many stopped in the middle of nowhere and she remembered they let off a young girl with her suitcases and continued on down the track. Many times she wondered what ever happened to them.
She herself was just 18 years old and that is amazing to think about–to come to a country for the love of a young Canadian soldier. She is now 90 and her husband passed away awhile back— but the memories of the war are there for her too in so many ways.

Thanks Janice




Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  15 Jun 1946, Sat,  Page 13



Clipped from The Winnipeg Tribune,  19 Dec 1946, Thu,  Page 9


 - HUSBANDS FIRST. L ' i i Sir: Our husbands have...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  14 Aug 1945, Tue,  Page 6

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.




It Pays to Advertise… Classified Ad Brides

Pallbearers and Bridesmaids–A True Story

No Country for Old Bridesmaids Dresses!

Splinters of Sinders Nichols and Brides

Women in Peril– Betrayed by Heartless Scoundrels 1882

The Home for Friendless Women

Laundry Babies – Black Market Baby BMH 5-7-66

Embroidery of the Insane?

Women in Peril 1868 — Mathilda Routh

Did You Know About the House of Industry?

The Very Sad Tale of Hessie Churchill

All the Single Ladies?

I’m Every Woman?


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I have been writing about downtown Carleton Place Bridge Street for months and this is something I really want to do. Come join me in the Domino’s Parking lot- corner Lake Ave and Bridge, Carleton Place at 11 am Saturday September 16 (rain date September 17) for a free walkabout of Bridge Street. It’s history is way more than just stores. This walkabout is FREE BUT I will be carrying a pouch for donations to the Carleton Place Hospital as they have been so good to me. I don’t know if I will ever do another walking tour so come join me on something that has been on my bucket list since I began writing about Bridge Street. It’s always a good time–trust me.

Are You Ready to Visit the Open Doors?


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Don’t Cry for Me Argentina– Heart Disease, Anger and Gnomes

Don’t Cry for Me Argentina– Heart Disease, Anger and Gnomes


For those reading this going through the same thing I just want you to know you are not alone.


They say heart surgery or even receiving a diagnosis of heart disease can change someone’s personality, pretty much like any psychological trauma. Sometimes there can be changes in the brain that cause personality changes, but more often it’s just the shock of recognizing that you have a serious condition.

Every day I sit outside between mosquito attacks dwelling on the lack of time I might have had. When you have cancer in most cases you have time to say goodbye. When I had my strokes I was lucky to be able to talk to my kids. But when you have heart issues sometimes you might not be granted the chance to say any last words when a heart attack hits.

I was briefly told about mood swings, but never to the extent I am feeling them now. Chances are if you angered me 10 years ago, it’s been dug up in the past month and I am mad at you again now. Absolutely ludicrous? I agree– but welcome to my world. Right now there are no solutions for reigning in this rage I have. Talk to someone you say? In reality, years of talking to learned folks never helped me as I am one of the most stubborn people you have ever met. Honestly, I am my own worst enemy, and I listen to no one, and still not about to now.

Today I went all Anthony Scaramoucci on a neighbouring kid. I don’t like having to lock my gates but I have too. The vandalism got so bad at one point in our yard that we had to make a decision to build a gate and fence and basically lock the world out– but things still happen.

This morning I was fuming at WordPress because I couldn’t update anything due to a bug, and then I heard a loud bang outside. I knew trouble was afoot and I recognized the kid from previous events I’ve had to call him out on. It wasn’t a big deal, but he had pushed one of my three foot gnomes over on purpose. You don’t mess with my gnomes trust me.

Instead of just carrying on with life the steam began to rise and I decided to water the garden to calm down. I really believe that all of us have a lot of darkness in our souls– anger, rage, fear, sadness, and I think that in the course of your life you figure out ways to deal with that. When I asked one of my son’s staff how long it took his father to get over the feelings of anger after his heart attack he looked at me sadly and said–“he never did”. Honestly, I  don’t want to be that person, and really want to stop saying daily prayers to the devil as Bob Marley might say to me.

Ten minutes later I saw the kid come back and he put his arm through the fence ready to push the gnome over again. I went ballistic, and the conversation went something like this:


“What in the hell are you doing there?” (In an off the Richter scale volume)


“Oh, I just want to touch him.”


“No you don’t —I saw you push him over before-now leave him the ^&&*& alone!”


With that he pulled his arm back and ran off to tell his Mother what the miserable woman who lives in the “abandoned house” (as he calls it) across the street did again. I in turn went and moved my gnomes back 4 feet so he couldn’t touch them again.

They say you should never go to bed mad and just stay up and fight. I have sadness in me. I have heartbreak in me, I have anger, and I can’t seem to move forward. I have to accept that I have heart disease which is never going to go away and I have to deal with medication every single day that I hate.

If you have never had a heart attack it’s hard to explain how I feel and how easy it is for some to say that I should appreciate that I am alive–but– I have 206 bones in my body that I can break and only one heart. Every minute a woman dies from a heart attack and heart disease kills more women than all the cancers combined. It could have been me three weeks ago, and at some point I need to learn to draw the line so I can be responsible for myself again.

But, that is easier said than done, and I have no one else to blame– it’s my choice.

For those reading this going through the same thing I just want you to know you are not alone.


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.


What Becomes of a Broken Heart?

And Suddenly I Became Sad for NO Reason at All….

Survivor’s Guilt —Set Adrift on a Memory Bliss

I Had a Stroke – I Didn’t Break My Leg!




Is Almonte Now Powered by Gnomes?




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