By Charlie Hodge
With great sorrow I join a number of hockey friends in saying a fond farewell to all-round good guy and a true ‘teammate’ Larry ‘The Deuce’ Lenarduzzi who died Aug 4. He was just three weeks short of his 68th birthday.
Born and raised in Trail Larry was a gifted athlete and led his minor Trail ball team to the 1962 B.C. Little League Championship. However Lenarduzzi loved to skate and was on the ice playing hockey any chance he could get. It paid off.
After one season with the Trail Smoke Eaters Larry arrived in Kelowna along with Butch Deadmarsh in 1968 to play for the Kelowna Buckaroos. He toiled two seasons on left wing with the Bucks, often playing with future NHL star Gene Carr.
“Larry was the consummate teammate. A hard hitting and talented player who was also a lot of fun. He was one tough s.o.b. on the ice. I always felt safer knowing he had my back and when he was on the ice I had a lot more room to dance,” Carr recalls.
Indeed it was his fisticuffs more than puck skills that earned him a regular spot on the club.
Larry and wife Carol were married in 1971 and raised two sons Butch and Larry Jr. Sadly Carol passed away earlier this summer on June 15.
“I’m hoping to see her soon, I miss her,” Larry told me during a phone conversation just a week before he died.
Larry’s love for hockey continued long after he quit playing and in 1975 he started coaching minor hockey at various levels in both Kelowna and West Kelowna.
Deuce requested no funeral service take place, instead (typical of the man) asking that in lieu of flowers donations be made to any minor hockey association of your choice.
During our recent phone chat I promised to visit Larry as soon as the smoky skies cleared. It goes without saying that I now regret waiting.
Are you thinking about running in the upcoming civic election?
If you are contemplating such I suggest you pick up papers soon at City Hall and check out the criteria needed.
I encourage anyone who loves this city to put their name forward and take part in the process. Win or lose just taking part in an election campaign is a unique, rewarding and eye-opening experience I fully recommend.
A few thoughts for those who may be considering the adventure in Kelowna.
If you are successful and earn a spot on Council the supposed ‘part time’ job will take up a minimum average of 18 hours a week if you hope to be effective. That does not include any time spent serving on committees or Regional District. In addition a lot of public events you are often requested to attend take place on weekends or evenings during the week. These are often a lot of fun however still nibble away at your own world.
I easily average 25-30 hours a week. Some veteran councillors may average less but not by much. In reality the job should be and pay fulltime.
I am supportive of the four-year term over the old three year version, however it does take more time away from family and private life.
Speaking of private life, once on Council that will diminish greatly since one elected the public believe they own you.
Make sure you love people, have thick skin, and a healthy sense of self-worth. Once elected you will soon learn you are always wrong, dumber than a sack of hammers, and have suddenly become a corrupt, evil, untrustworthy dirt ball.
As much work as council is the campaign is probably the most stressful and tiring. Expect to spend a minimum of $3,500 for your campaign especially if you have not run before.
Last but not least, if you have not served on a council in the past do not seek the mayor’s chair on your first dive in the pool. Easy as that job may appear from the outside it is not. Anyone who thinks they can simply jump directly to the throne and do a great job is either arrogant or ignorant of the task ahead of them.
If you have any questions about running for council I would be more than happy to chat with you.