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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Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 18, 2011 10:08AM

99%- Yes, Houston we have a Problem!

Rate: 53 Flag

I hear the droning voices on the nightly newscast speak about the Occupy movement growing all over the world. Sometimes I am fired up about ‘the occupation’ and then other days it wanes on me. I wonder if anyone is listening to the voices of the people or will it end up hitting deaf ears like the marches we had for the Iraq war.


How about the rural towns?  Do they care or do some of them just view the 99% as a bunch of “radicals”?  With no official leader can we expect a tsunami sized movement in the near future and when will people finally wake up and realize they can do something!




This is an organic movement now and I hear complaints that people are tired of reading about it because one article is almost a duplication of the other.  I remember the faces I saw in the crowds of some Occupy marches and try to figure out if anyone stood out in my mind. What we need now are faces that belong to this movement to inspire everyone to lift their protest sign in unison.


On a wet day in Oakland last week I found such a face that intrigued me to find out why she was there. I had snapped a lot of pictures of this regal looking white haired woman only to have them not turn out. This made me think maybe it was intentional so I could write about what made this woman tick and why she was there. I instantly felt like she was real people - like my neighbour or maybe even yours.





I was hooked the minute she began to speak and found out that she knew my friend Kevin. As he began to film her she told us that she remembered when things were good and that this corporate greed needed to stop. According to Houston she was born in 1936 in North Platte Nebraska. She also says she was a good girl and never coloured outside the lines for most of her youth.


Houston however has been a lifelong advocate for equality and justice due to her enormous roots in her Christian faith. She admits that most of her advocacy is done on-line these days but felt a need to connect with an "Occupy Wall Street" movement near where she lived.


Not stopping there, she also fights for other issues such as: environmental, racial, LGBT, financial and economic issues. She was also member of the Oakland/Berkeley Rainbow Coalition in its last days in the 80’s and did a lot of work on the Jesse Jackson for President campaign.




Her frustration and anger grew while watching a minority of people controlling the country’s out-of-control greed. When President Bush asked us all to “go shopping” that was the icing on the cake for her.

We both agree that we are a democracy - not a communist or capitalist state and something has gone very wrong when you see the middle class disappear.


“Don’t they know there can’t be an economic recovery without a strong middle class?”


Houston grew up in a time that I heard about daily from the elders in my family. They saved their cooking grease and tooth paste tubes and turned them in for the war effort. The kids bought savings bond stamps at school, pasted them in their books, and when the book was full, they went to the post office and bought bonds.


“When I was in kindergarten, the whole class was knittin’ for Britain.”

We didn’t put WWII on a credit card.”  


We both ask ourselves why money is being wasted on a war that no one is winning when it could help the population of America. She is also disappointed how the “yes, we can” momentum of Obama’s campaign got bogged down in political and bureaucratic realities once he was in office.


“I was hoping for a voice of leadership articulating a progressive agenda to us the people. We didn’t get the cheerleader, and because he was such a newcomer on the national scene, I don’t think we were prepared for his quiet, deliberate functional style. And flipside, he was probably not prepared for the reality that his consensus building skills (which I think he has) would not be useful in the growing dysfunctional context of the legislative system.”




I too watched Obama sit on Oprah Winfrey’s couch one day and watched him say he was not ready to run for president. Did someone push him into the race and does he regret the choices he has made?  He advocated for change, but that eventually played out into being a compromiser that baffled his supporters.


She like me has her doubts about health care for everyone. She thinks that a single payer plan comes closest to being the most equitable and cost effective, but the chances are probably slim in the current political climate. States are allowed to pass reasonable alternative plans under the implementation of the Obama plan and she thinks her state needs to focus on getting a single payer plan passed in California.



My continual question is if free health care has existed since the 60’s in Canada why can't it be put in place in this great country? I hear complaints about people not wishing to “pay for someone else” or they fear unemployment in the insurance company sector if this should ever happen. Just the fact that they state they do not want to work together for free health care just digs up the old problem of greed in this country.




Like me Houston is also worried more about the working poor than seniors.

“We older adults have some strong voices to protect our interests. The working poor don’t. Social Security and Medicare are hot button issues. I don’t think they are in mortal jeopardy and I think adjustments to SS have to be made. After all, we can have longer working lives now that we are living much longer, healthier lives."


“I’m the new 75. You know, we can expect to live 26% of our lifetimes as older adults now and only 5% of us are considered the frail elderly. We older adults not only retain our passions, we acquire the freedom of age to act from the motives of our hearts."



I asked her if she knew about the Canadian based internet magazine Adwares  that initially started this movement with a cover piece. Befuddled with the media I also queried if she thought they were taking this movement seriously.


“I’ve been handed a reprint today from an Adbusters article and I look forward to reading it.  I’ve not been very tuned-in to the media coverage but I have heard a report about Eric Cantor. He calls us “mobs” and Peter King says (in paraphrase) they can’t allow the Occupy movement to get any legitimacy because he remembers when the leftwing took to the streets in the 60s and it ended up changing policy.” 




Unless you live in New York City the Occupy media coverage is not number one on the docket on most TV news. The media is owned by corporations and this morning the only TV coverage granted the local movement was an altercation between protestors and the police. Tonight the fourth headline was: "The Tremendous Toll that the Occupy Protest is costing the Taxpayers." Let's face it - corporations don't want the little guy to win.


Houston is one of the people who is not going to allow this to die as she has faith in this movement. If you think about it, it all goes back to the saying, “If you don’t have faith in something you have nothing.” 


Surely we want more than 'leftovers' and if not for yourself, then protest for your family and the generations to come. Houston does.


“Life is a process, not a destination. Don't focus so much on what you do or fail to do. Honor who you really are deep in your bones and look forward to your years as an older adult when you have the opportunity to midwife the rebirth of the real you. Although I was born too soon, I know I'm a rocker at heart and the "Grandma Rocks" tee shirt I got from my grandson proves it." - B. H Robertson



Linda Seccaspina 2011

Photos by Linda Seccaspina

Photo of Houston by Kevin Army


 Thank you Houston doing this made my week!

Kevin Army can be seen interviewing Houston here (she is the 4th one)



Houston Robertson

Houston Robertson's
for the Renaissance Years


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I love your way of making universal stories so personal, Linda.
Speaking of rural place, there evidently was an Occupy Perth! But it really would have been hippies, or ex-hippies: I'd probably know everybody there - the usual suspects.
these bits are so much better than another rant from me - thank you for getting out there and doing this important work.
Linda- This was beautifully done. Houston is so awesome, and there are so many Houstons at these Occupy events. Thanks for bringing this to the personal level, and for speaking from your heart.
jon and kevin; I worked harder than I have ever worked before on this piece. This woman is amazing and I wanted a face put to the marches. And Houston was it.

Myriad: I would have loved to go to that one..

Snowden: I don't know if I ever will do another piece on the occupy's going on but I needed a face put to this then a mass.
This belongs on the cover and widely read. It is a great piece about this movement and it helps put it in a context.
Sheila: I have a very hard time with this movement sometimes.. I need faces not a mass to tell me whats going on. I need personal perspective.. Thats just me.. but 1000 marching people does not fill my heart. I need details :)
Another great post Linda!
Greed is global. Stopping it is a problem for lawmakers and lobbyists and loyalists - yanno, the 1% who don't find unfettered capitalism a problem.
Thanks Susie, I worked really hard on this one..

Thanks Belinda: Its all about greed isn't it. It makes me so mad!
Linda, thanks for presenting this personal and fascinating look at one person's perspective on the Occupy movement! Also, that's a great title to go along with your post!
Excellent post, Linda. I am worried about the poor and the seniors, since my mom has Alzheimer's and lives in a nursing home now. She would be out there protesting if she could. She voted for Obama whens he could still walk, but she, too, is disappointed he has caved on so many issues. I wish he would make a presence at one of the Occupy sites. R.
Designanator: For this to succeed it has to get personal. Too many people identify with radical protesters and not who they should be ; the real people who are marching for them.

Erica: If I was him I would be out there talking to as many people as he can not campaigning.
Thank you for introducing us to Houston, Linda. She is a true inspiration to all of us who feel we might be a little too old to get out there and make a difference.

This used to be a hail of a good con-try. - George Hanson, Nicholson's character in Easy Rider.

Nice words and photos, Linda.
Lezlie: I fear for this protest that unless a majority gets behind it it is going to fizzle out.

Matt: Well said my friend
What a posting...between the words and video...they say it all. Linda, this isn't going away. If there's one word that's supposed to define what citizens should expect from democracy, it's fairness. And when we don't have it, we should expect anger and frustration. We're 'takin it to the streets' and, like Houston, we aren't stopping. Her generation (which is also mine), are experienced protesters and know what can be accomplished when all of us speak with one loud voice. Govt. isn't working because politicans in Congress have one goal - to retain power and oust Obama and country be damned! Well, NOT ON OUR WATCH!
Haven't heard that song since the seventies. You did an excellent job, as usual, on this. You should be proud!
Marsha: I wish there were 100's more like you and Houston. You guys would set the world on fire.. Well you already do.

Scanner.. Thanks buddy of mine.. HUGGGGGGG
Excellent observations about Occupy. Great photo essay. As always, rated!!!
Christina: This needs to get to the next step and soon..
Superb essay, Linda. Especially important to read these words when OWS burnout sets in, or people start swallowing the bullshit that Fox News feeds people about the protesters.
This was so inspiring and intelligent - I think you've accomplished your goal to write an "Occupy" article that stands out from so many others. Great job, and congratulations on the EP!
What a fascinating look at this woman who had been an advocate for years and years. We should listen to our elders. Great post, Linda.
Houston Robertson...that's some woman. She's an inspiration.
Love reading your posts. You've found your calling.
Rated, Reddited, and Stumbled.
Chillerpop: Its the burnout I am worried about

Alyssa; Of any post I ever wrote this took me the longest.. Almost 5 hours.. I needed it to be done right and I still was not happy with it when I finished it. It was that important to me.

Miguela: The credit card line of hers says it all to me.

Dennis: I have always spoken up in what I believe in to the point of people not being able to shut me up. :) Then the internet came along..:)
ahh little willie thank you those reddit guys are not so nice hahaha
I scoff and shake ny fist at those who bemoan the cost of #occupy.

Where were these fiscal hawks when the lives of thousands and trillions of dollars of our great country's wealth were squandered in the loosely defined #OccupyIraq and #OccupyAfghanistan?

Old Dante Allegheri is heating up the tar and froging lead cloaks for those who write the headlines you've quoted. (Barrators and Hypocrites in Circle 8)
What a great eye you have, Linda, that you found that one person in the crowd who could put matters into such glistening perspective.
Fantastic post Linda- Houston has a mind-full of great ideas. Thanks for sharing her wisdom and your own. OWS is more than a movement- it's a change in consciousness!
Congrats on the EP!!
Sadly, I spoke to my mom the other day, and as Denmark is facing financial hardship, so is the excellent socialized medicine there. To be sure, part of what will need to change about it is the reality that we are living much longer lives, and expecting more and more from medicine. It is not impossible, or even impractical. We must change our attitude about life, work, community and integration as a whole, and the economy will follow. We have learned what happens when we train our lives to the economy and allowed Capitalism to become the Pied Piper. As the American Dream has already debunked itself as a useful theory, it is time to create a new one.
R! Lot's of great stuff here. Good work!
This is this best most comprehensible post I have seen on the OW movement. You excel at making complex issues understandable,
I am always happy to see your posts her.
Rated with love
It starts with kids and old men and woman like Houston, it invariably ends with grim faced soldiers. I am waiting for the ending.
“What we need now are faces that belong to this movement to inspire everyone to lift their protest sign in unison.”
Thanks for the laugh, when hundreds of people lift a different sign, makes for one confusing set of demands. To say the least, it’s going to be interesting when the police finally do their job. Unfortunately, based on the amount of protesters wearing masks, I seriously doubt the movement will stay non-violent.
Thanks for putting this together, you tireless soul ~ & thanks for introducing Houston, indeed the "lady next door."

I love "We didn't put WWII on a credit card," & especially the last one :

"You never know how strong you are ... until strong is the only choice you have."

Wishing the US revolution more power to its elbow.
& you, Linda :-)
Great piece Linda. Houston is an inspiration.
Another Steve// its going to take a lot to make this mountain grow

Sarah: I liked her the minute I saw her

Rei: Too bad we did not have a million like her

Thanks and hugs A Walrond

Oryoki; I agree and soon before it slips under water

Thanks Ron!
R Poetess: I worry about my words that they are too plain but they are from my heart
Jack jack jack my love: say it ain't so

Johnny Fever: If it is a war of words you want you will not get it from me. What I say is what I mean and end of story. It's my opinion just like your comment is yours.

This is the problem with this movement in my eyes right now. Too many nay sayers wanting it to fail. I agree the Iraq marches were treated as a joke with 100's of thousands called a few splinter radical groups by the Bush cronies. You feel like it will not work so let's trash it and hope for the ultimate outcome of failure. Has this become the American way? How tragic is this?
Kim: Thanks for the comments and the credit card one got me too. So true.
Yes she is Trilogy like all of you who write here.
What a wonderful report, Linda; beautiful work. R
All should familiarize themselves with Adbusters. I've been a reader since the inception, and, have found the highest irony purchasing copies at corporate book chains.

Adbusters, like OWS, is about singularity. The more folks who learn this and retire antiquated thinking, the sooner the world becomes a place for one and all instead of 1%.

Idealism so often conceals ugly truths, however. To the Iraq War protests, if there had been a draft at the time this moment would have been then- there is no other reason they didn't succeed, plain and simple.

To what the far left, who I often agree with far more than vigorously, says about what they wanted our BLACK HAWAIIAN FEARLESS LEADER to do right away denies the nature of 4 centuries of shackles and chains, a civil war which hasn't ended, and, the just plain prejudicial hate of people of color entrenched in far right authoritarianism, if Obama did all we wanted they South and much of the Midwest would have erupted, heck, it actually did in Tea Party town meetings for no reason at all other than institutional racism, in the violence that is the hallmark of far right authoritarianism and its credulous followers. To deny how they feel about "uppity" is imply to wear blinders ... one must know the enemy, as they 99ers know the bankers, to succeed in any struggle for the ages.

This group's a winner, no way things backslide now. And the beauty of the organic birth is all the good Tea Partiers, who never wanted the hate, can simply climb on board- Welcome Friends & Neighbors!

Aloha Kakou
History as it's made.
Ohausurfer: This group's a winner, no way things backslide now.. exactly.


Let's hope Fusun
She's certainly fighting for the right causes Linda but she's wrong about WW2. Much of it was put on a credit card, though with plenty of shared sacrifice while it was on. And afterwards there was a massive infrastructure investment that got plenty of people working while providing a host of ancillary benefits for business. Unlike today, the tax system was fairer and today's ridiculous salaries at the high end were non-existent.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"
--sinclair louis

"One withstands the invasion of armies; one does not withstand the invasion of ideas."
--victor hugo

occupy wall street, my speech to the masses
What a wise, wise woman. This illustrates so well what I have been feeling in my heart about these brave people. I feel the same as you, Linda. I like to hear stories and see individuals come into focus from among the protest signs. Thanks for bringing her words to us. You are doing such important work. Rated with admiration.
Honestly, I'm confused by the whole thing. I do think some leader needs to be appointed for this to really take flight. But, then I am too distracted to know enough. I like the idea that humans are taking any stand ,but I wish it was coming into focus,as you say.
Abrawang.. I was not around for that era but I remember my grandmother saying something close BUT I agree that no one is willing to suffer to get anywhere like they did during he WW2 era and thats a shame.

Thanks Vsn..:)

Michelle: These are real people that are doing it.. I dont think people get that sometimes.

Fernsy: I agree with you.. right now there are too many cooks and not enough chefs.. We need faces to put to this thing
Leave it to Linda...I don't ever want to stop reading or hearing about it.
ahh Margaret my sweet... thank you.
What to say? I could write ten paragraphs and it wouldn't be sufficient.

Health care: Yes, single payer is the only sensible solution. It's long been my belief - and it's deepened by talking to a few of the Europeans here - that the biggest reason Americans are more stressed than the rest of the developed world is that their safety net is the weakest.

Today there is a story on the NY Times website arguing that Obama's vigorous campaign for his jobs bill will piss off people who are tired of partisan rancor. But when he doesn't push his agenda, nothing gets done and everyone accuses him of being weak. He can't win.

Also I heard that f**king dimwit Mitch McConnell say, "But he's the President of the United States. He set the agenda. He got everything he wanted." No he didn't! He got nothing, you dipshit, because your GOP hack cronies blocked every reasonable idea he came up with!

Time to get my blood pressure medicine.
Cranky: I just do not understand how people do not see what the Gop has done.. They should be ashamed.
Thanks Zuma... hugggggg
Congratulations on the EP!
Wonderful interview, Linda.
Thanks Sheila and Divorced Pauline..
This was one of your finest posts, Linda, and I like how you zeroed in on this one woman as a lens and context for what's developing.
Thanks Various.. I worked hard on this and needed to put a face to the occupation
Thank you for this slice of OWS life. Love the Robertson quote.
I'm sorry I missed this before, Linda, this is just so good. One of the best of yours I've ever read. You just keep on telling us in your inimitable way...and thank you so much for doing so.
Nicely done. We need to know there are good people out there and that we haven't been over run by the self serving and the selfish. Thank you.
I love your blog. I wish I was as appropriate as you. Was living in my RV and rented a movie "Inside Job" was riding my bike across the bridge of the Kaw and saw "Bras across the Kaw". Our breast cancer awareness program. The next week found my landlord in town who is a New Warrior and he left me a page of the LJW whose online site I have been kicked off of with 5 identities. They covered the story of Occupy South Park. I couldn't help of "Inside Job" which I had seen a week earlier. My employer is a realtor...and buddhist. Bless you. YOu are wonderful !
well from your first paragraph

(written days ago)

already there's progress.

do as many livestreams as you can every day
How the hell did I miss this?
Excellent as always, Linda. There is just one thing I take issue with:

"He advocated for change, but that eventually played out into being a compromiser that baffled his supporters. "

From where I sit, part of the problem was that he had no supporters beyond the election. Everyone went home. We heard him, but didn't listen when he said, "change has to come from the bottom up." We all yelled, "yes we can" and then waited for him.

People finally get took three years.
Linda, are you back?? Heard about you, but your exit was just before my entrance....