Linda Seccaspina

The Tayles of Emileeeeee McPheeeeee

Linda Seccaspina

Linda Seccaspina
July 24
Formerly called The Maiden of Death by Derek Raymaker Xpress Magazine
When you wish upon a star
Linda's column can now be read in The Humm newspaper and online. Also pick up an issue of Screamin Mamas magazine from Florida for a peak at some of my writing.>> My idol is former mentor and OPRAH senior associate producer Elizabeth Coady. Taskmaster extraordinaire but learned so much from her, and if I could be 1/8 as talented as her I 'd be laughing.>>>>> My books "Menopausal Woman From the Corn" "Cowansville High Misremembered" "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities" and "Cancer Calls Collect" now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle >>>>>>>All covers also done by Diana Ani Stokely GRAFIX to go.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> "Cowansville High School Misremembered" book is now out as a fundraiser for the school._______________________ ___________________ Follow her on Twitter @@Mcpheeeeee. Linda Seccaspina was born in Cowansville Quebec about the same time the wheel was invented. _____________________________________ She used to own clothing stores in Ottawa and Toronto Ontario Canada from 1974-1996 called Flash Cadilac, Savannah Devilles, Nightmares and Flaming Groovies. _____________________________________ Her brain tries to writes stories about her menopausal life and a host of other things she gets annoyed at. _____________________________________ She has two sons, Schuyleur and one that does not want his name mentioned. She has a grandson called Romeo who is a Boston Terrier and a grandaughter Bella who is a french bulldog. _____________________________________ Linda loves people quite plain and simple and loves to hug.. Yes, she is one of "those".


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APRIL 21, 2011 10:02AM

If You're Going to San Francisco - A Tie-Dye Story

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A few months ago I did a blog about being a part time hippie in my teen years. I made an occupation of protesting the Viet Nam War with my friends at Place Ville Marie in Montreal. I wore some of the worst outfits in the history of fashion and flowers in my ironed hair. There was one particular purple broadcloth flowing pants and tunic I still remember. My friends always asked me if my father knew what I had on. Of course he had given up on my wardrobe a long time ago, so I just nodded my head.


I was a Seventeen Magazine fanatic and one issue asked their readers to start sending letters to the young men fighting in Viet Nam. It wasn’t too long before I received my soldier’s name in the mail. His name was PFC Dennis Wilker and I wrote him every week. I started receiving letters from him and wish to this day that I had kept them.




On my birthday he sent me a vinyl doll in Vietnamese costume. In every letter he asked me for a picture and after my friends told me that I would scare him away if he saw me I did not send one. I figured they were right in their assumptions and suddenly one day I stopped writing. I felt the same way I have felt most of my life. I just was not good or pretty enough to have someone care about me in my life. It was a mistake I will always remember. No one has the right to forget anyone, especially those fighting in a war.


A year later I heard through one of my friends that he had been killed in action. I felt so badly I had acted poorly that I decided to really help the cause. I started protesting against the war in a large way and wearing tie-dye clothing. I had my war protesting shirts, bandanas and my lime green hippie beads. I was never without them because it was all about freedom of expression and peace for the world. To this day tie-dye remains the one true sign of sixties fashion and peace.





San Francisco and Berkeley California will always remain the point of eternal peace in the world. This is where the hippie movement began and as a teen growing up in Quebec, Canada there was no other place I wanted to be.




Tie-die is still produced to this day and on Saturday I met the "King of tie-dye". Theodore, originally from Michigan, came to San Francisco in the 70’s and started selling hand made leather belts. After dabbling in ceramic pictures and jewelry he started the business that he is known for today. Since the 70's he has made and sold tie-dye in Berkeley. With his lovely wife Carolyn they sell shirts, dresses, children’s clothes all made solely by them with love. They enjoy making the clothing because as he said, it was something that they can be proud of.




Theodore says not a lot has changed through the years they have been selling in Berkeley. Some say you cannot wear tie-dye without someone thinking you are either a pot smoker or going to a Grateful Dead concert. Last year Lauren Pierce brought out a tie dye fashion collection to die for as they say. When Carolyn showed me a beautiful Indian tie-dyed kurti on Saturday it did not spell out a war protesting outfit, it was fashion.   





Carolyn and Theodore are institutions on Telegraph Ave and although their corners may change from week to week a trip to Berkeley would not be complete without visiting them. Mark Twain once said,

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect.”

So I say it’s time to dig the tie-dye out and protest for peace. It worked once;  and maybe we should try it one more time and make ourselves heard again..

I think the younger generation needs to be shown how you really do it!


Text and Images: Linda Seccaspina 2011

Thank You Theodore and Carolyn for making my day!

Lauren Pierce designs from Google

Linda will resume Poetry Corner when she feels better.

                                      Short Shorts- Beware of Dog!

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A nice story about you, your connection to San Francisco, and the people that give the Bay Area its colorful personality. This could have been part of the Horses with No Names series...great job bringing it all to life.
I bought two tie-dye shirts from that corner vendor in Berkeley the last time I was there. Thanks for the memories.~r
Rugrat: LOL
You and Kevin keep "horsing around" with me with this series haha

Joan: Such nice people and such hard work.
I loved the Tie-Dye look, along with my headband and army jacket and of course with my worn our bell bottoms. I didn't get to San Francisco until 73', but I loved that city and went to many concerts there. Thanks for the memories~
I can't picture you in tie dye clothing! This does make me re-think my huge aversion to that fashion a little, though not enough to ever wear it!
And more horses please!!
Love this and My Fave un East Coast Place. r.
I'm in. Our 40th Annual Inman Park Street Festival is a week away and there are always tie-dyers in at least one booth. I'll buy my top and wear it in your honor, Linda. :D

I stand here reading this in my mis-matched tie-dye footie socks : )
Which make my feet look like Easter eggs....
It is definitely time to stand up and protest what's happening to our country -- protests from the more liberal and peace-loving Americans!!
Love the Pig Pen and Janis shot on the video front...
Can we protest about the music of these days too!!??
Or is that just me....?
Fascinating. And, I'm glad you got Scott MacKenzie in here (if you hadn't, I would have reminded you). This song was an "anthem" to both San Francisco and to the whole "hippy" nation. Thanks, Linda.
I have a tie died shirt, I'm digging it out. I spent most of my time in SF looking for a place to park. No, seriously!
Beautifully done tie-dye sure can change your mind about whether one is fashionably hippy or just hip and fashionable. I am wearing one of my wrap around, silk patch skirt I got in the Haight. It is not tiedye, but I have had many compliments on these hippy skirts I wear sometimes.
Here in these parts, we have Tye Dye Mary. I love the look, but I'm too timid to wear it myself!
Scanner: so many memories and as life flashes you by you sit and remember.

Yserba: You and Rugrat> sighhhhhhhhhh> I love you both
Jonathan: Love Child hugs to you
Lezlie:: ahhhh so sweet.. I have a hard time seeing you in tie dye too hahaha
I struggle to take fashion as seriously as many others do, but I admit there was and still is something different about tie dye.

I have a similar time honored favorite dyer/vendor in Madison, WI. Another husband/wife team I usually find on a corner across from the weekly farmers market. It seems like today's tie dye is better looking than the stuff from the early 1970s.
Just Thinking: I swear I can see your feet.. Okay there was some bad music but we still remember and I can listen to them over and over.

Walter: I can remember this song and Eve of Destruction. Even if I lose my memory some day I will remember.

Satori! LOL I know it is awful!!
Oryoki: To me you will always be a love child..:)

Jeanette: I love her, she is so authentic..:)
Another Steve: Better dyes:) RIT never seems to cut the cheese..:)
You always have the best stories!!!
Linda, thanks for sharing your story about the days of when the Viet Nam war was still going on, your generous letter writing and peace activities. Tie-dye garments are beautiful to look at and it was interesting to read about Theodore in your post. I remember seeing far more people wearing them back in those days, but they are certainly still made as your story illustrates!
ha ha!! I meant the music of now needing protesting against : )
I am married to a Deadhead type-- hence the mis-matched tie dye footies....
Time to dig out the tie-dye and maybe some smocked dresses too! Rest up and feel better Linda. xo

I hope somewhere Dennis W. is reading this. Thanks again for the song.
I once had a tie-dyed tie. My, my was it fly. I know: ugh.
Good story. Rated
I once had a tie-dyed tie. My, my was it fly. I know: ugh.
Good story. Rated
Just Thinking: LOL
I think I love your husband hahaha

Designanator: Haight Street still has many stores that sell them too.
But these two special people make this by hand..A lost art.

Scarlett: Oh I wedged myself into a kidney infection from not taking care of myself and I am going to try and walk and drink it off today. Should I dedicate this song to Dennis??:)
You are so cute,
I can't rhyme,
So toot toot toot..:)
Linda, I grew up in LA during the sixties, and have never worn anything resembling tie-dye. I moved to Germany, fathered two sons, one of which at 27 still wears tie-dye. Go figure.
Out on a limb: I have two sons that are very conservative..Go figure hahahah
I really enjoyed your story! Tie dye will always bring to mind the 1960's.
Haha, this reminds me of when we'd put rubber bands all up the legs of our Levis and dunk them in bleach. We were thumbing our noses at "the establishment" in a big way. I think the younger generation better save our butts any way they can because our tails are on fire. If they want to wear tie dyed chiffon with sequins or plaid pleather (ewww) then fine by me, I just want peace on earth.
I like to hang out with the Deadheads in Second Life. They have lots of tye dye and one fellow plays Dead music wonderfully. We dance on a field of green grass every Weds and hang out in the Darkstar parking lot. Tye Dye is symbolic for me too and I sold lots of it in art pieces. Thanks for this post.
Right you are about the younger generation. We devoted heart and soul in protesting one unjustified we have three wars to protest.Where is everybody?
Enjoyed your story on tie-dyeing...very colorful piece.
Susie: Hugs to you
Bleue: You did that too? LOL Yes pleathered peace on earth
Zanelle: the field of green.. so comforting.. I think of Sting:)
Steve: EXACTLY: Where are the protestors? Looking at their iPhones..:)

Maurene; I wish would have kept it all. Who knew we would be doing blogs..:)
I had a pair of paisley jeans that I wore all the time and did a few tie dye t shirts. The part about the soldier pen pal is so poignant, Linda. You've grown into a beautiful woman.
I love these throwbacks. Flower power! Remember Woodstock? ;)

Tie-dye tees and skirts are still popular. Some of the floral motiffs are found on swimwear as well.

Interior decorators also make a fortune using the 60s theme.

I'm a fan of paisley patterns and prints.
You haven't lived until you live in San Fran. Nice story. R
Maurene: Remember all the snail mail letters we wrote? I have about 50 here a friend sent me that i wrote her. She sent them all to me.

Sarah: There has not been a day that I have not hated msself. It turned into eating disorders and suicide attempts. tahnkfully I have my head tied down now.
Belinda: Not a friend of prints but DO love Paisley
Thoth: Its a bubble of sanity and peace
Going to the city now to try and walk this crap off and see what trouble I can get into.:)
Linda, I love that song- my family really thinks I was a flower child that ODed in my last life. Quite possible. Great story and as always I love you video "thought of the day," no sign of any dog there lol
This is a moving story about your involvement in the war protests. How sad the soldier you corresponded with was killed. How inspiring that you used the experience to find your protester's voice.

I loooove tie dye. It's easy to find in Portland, not surprisingly. I think I'll show my kids how to make tie dyed tees this summer.

Have a lovely day.
We did a lot of tie-dye in my childhood, using ochroes and potatoes to form patterns.
The video is blocked here on copyright of my favourites songs, too. it but dont have anythese days..but had a peace symbol. And hitchiked, like a fool. I did have one pair of bell-bottoms a village could live under. Love this look back. xxoo it but dont have anythese days..but had a peace symbol. And hitchiked, like a fool. I did have one pair of bell-bottoms a village could live under. Love this look back. xxoo
If you're going to San Francisco
be sure to wear your tie-dye shirt.

Okay, so you inspired me to write a whole parody of the famous song which I titled Protest Oil Wars.
Tie die and Seventeen Magazines. . . Linda, you bring up memories of a youth we shared without ever knowing each other. It must be nostalgia day on Open Salon. Hugs from Montreal.
In my head I'm still 16 and a hippie- and I still have and sometimes wear tie dye T- shirts...
Oh yes, Tie Dyes...I don't have one anymore...but it's only a bottle of dye away...thank you for reminding me of being a little kid in California and seeing all the 'cool' people in tie dyes and was really something to see...especially as a small child...great short short! xoxoxox
Reading these wonderful posts of yours, Linda, gives me what seem like acid flashbacks. I can't drive for at least an hour afterward.
My daughter recently made her own tie-dye shirt and pillow case. She loves it!
The Sixties time of protest was part of the Second Turning, a time of Awakening. There are no protests now because we are in the Fourth Turning, a time of crisis.

The basic theory of the Fourth Turning is that Anglo-American culture goes through four twenty-year turnings every eighty year period, and the fourth turning is a time of transformation. The protests of the sixties were the second turning of the current cycle.

Past fourth turnings were the Revolutionary War in 1770, the Civil War in 1860 and World War II in 1940. According to this theory, we have just now entered the fourth turning of the next cycle.
Great post, Scott McKenzie is a FB friend, I will post this on FB for him to check out. Great work.....
Oh Linda, you must have read my mind because I was just thinking about trying to tie-dye something myself....I always liked the look and technique not to mention the sentiment that went with it in the sixties. Try not to be too hard on yourself about errors made in your youth. If we didn't ever mess up how could we ever learn anything about ourselves ? rated
Hayley : of anyone you are a true Flower child.

Rei: the kids will love it. I used to make them and sell them as a teen

A Walrond: You did the true dyeing.. Veggie dyeing as opposed to ROT..:)
Cindy: I hitchhiked too.
Surazeus.. I just read it. It was wonderful
Fusun: yes Mam .. between your Peyton Place and this we have a match hahah

Enemy: I knew that hahaha
Robin: green hippie beeds I wore everywhere..wowwww..

Nanetehay: okay LOL
Matt: Oh wait until tomorrow.

Bluesotcking: I knew you would show your daugher
Sheila: I remember you told me about that!!

Rosy: One huge regret of mine but it made me fight for freedom of war.
It was great rubberband technique.
We stopped a war now lets get busy and stop these.
Surazeus: Very interesting.. I shall check that out.
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect.” I like that. I'll bet he had a few tie-dyed shirts in his closet. Did you also use Bonne Bell Lip Smackers?
Umm, May I protest with you in the silk skirts I just bought from Bakara? It looks nice on others it is just something I cannot bring myself to wear. I like how you brought the history of protest in with the tie die though. I liked this blog and what it told me about you too. I always love reading about you Linda.
Margaretttttttttttttttttttt:) LOL Bonne Bell was the bomb. The thing was you could not get that much of it in Canada. BUT yes the lip smackers. What was it.. baby love or just LOVE... that powder smelling cologne.

Heart: I cannot wear this stuff either as I look like a parade.
So much we did and it is so nice to blog about it now and have people we love on OS to read about it.
Wonderful, wonderful post. I loved it.
I was at the end of the generation. I think I was much too serious about everything though. RRR!
Hope you feel better soon.
Sheba: you were serious??:)
Tie dye - something else I love, like Soul to Soul love and chocolate.
Just Jali Smiling and rating of course.
A couple of years ago when an out-of-state friend and his wife were expecting a baby, we Bay-Areans made and sent them a tie-dyed layette. =o)

Don't know if tie-dyes had anything to do with ending Vietnam, but maybe it's time to be fashion backward-forward, again and see what happens.

Oh, I love tie-dye! It represents peace.
I remember them from the days I spent on Telegraph Hill, another great LS story.
Rated with love
omg - my 8 year old daughter is wearing a tie-dye shirt today and I can assure you she does not smoke pot or know who the Grateful Dead are!

I am actually one of the co-leaders of the Military Support Group at my employer. It's like an employee special interest group. We send care packages to the troops and we are currently in the process of partnering with a wonderful organization called Wounded to Work that helps find jobs for injured military personnel currently on medical holds while waiting for their official discharge from the military. Let me know if you know of anyone who needs a care package!!!

Jali: you have got it!!
Shiral: that was so cool of you and yes we need to stop these wars
Sweetfeet: That it does

Romantic Poetess.. HUGGGGG
Rebeckah.. I am glad she doesnt ..:)
good for you for doing those things.
I still adore tie-dye. My daughter and I had tie-dye jumpsuits when she was 6. I identify with hippiedom though I didn't do the drugs and free love part...just pretended I did. My daughter's midwife was and we had a great time talking about our past after she birthed my grandson and we were in a middle of the night search for her keys. -r-

Sorry...I tend to yell when talking about RIC TRESA banners!
Donna Reed corresponded with the soldiers during WW II. When she died, her kids found out that she kept the letters all those years. I thought that was cool.
Yes, I remember the days. I even had the ironed hair.
mimetalker: so glad that everything went well
Xenon:I was the first one of 2011.. Its been up there for months hahaha
Cranky: I wish I had
Triology: Did ya singe any?:)
I still iron my hair.
Leepin: I know that but you need a better conditioner hahha
i had a (faux) leather dress, with one zipper from collarbone to crotch. wore that with beads and bells and moccasins, i was so cool! ha!
The story about your pen pal gives me the chills. I will never look at tie-dye the same way again...
Dianaani- were we not cool??:) or maybe not hahah

Grace: I know, I will never forget it
Nice memento piece Linda. I'll try to look them up the next time I'm in Berkeley, and I'm quite overdue for a visit. While photos of the day certainly make me look like a hippie, I shunned tie-dye and blue jeans. Not that I'm exactly proud of those tight, bright rusty colored, double knit bellbottoms I wore to my first Stones concert. Nor the, to put a spin on it, flamboyantly paisley matching top. Decades later my nephew wore the very same outfit to a Halloween party. Yikes.
Abrawang : I am sure you can still work that paisley shirt.:)
We went to SF once, 10 years ago, but loved it and had a blast.
Tink Picked!! Cause I can!!

I'm like the Canadian MTV, only I don't show videos and uh, my TV camera is busted! But otherwise...;D

Linda, you just described both of the tie dye shirts that I own, one with the Dead bears on back, the other a 4 20 shirt. : P

I don't wear either of them any more, but have kept them for old time sake.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect.”

Yes, it is!

There is so much to protest these days, I would hardly know where to begin.
I fully admit to owning a favorite tie die t-shirt. I will not part with it. Nope!
Linda--the last time I was in San Francisco was 1985 and I had taken along my sone, then 14. We walked from our hotel near the Mosconi Center out Market St. to Haight-Ashberry, where I regaled him with tales of the 1960s. On the way back, coming down market St., a young woman with a tie-dye T-shirt emerged from a subway entrance and asked us if we knew the way to Haight-Ashberry. I suddenly felt as if 20 years had been swept away. The 60s--may that spirit never die.