HodgePodge: Goodbye Dean

HodgePodge: Goodbye Dean

HodgePodge by Charlie Hodge

Know someone who deserves a thankyou for their kindness?  Let me know who that angel of good deeds is, and I can include them in next week’s Charlie’s Angels Christmas List before Christmas.

For 20 plus years now my festive holiday Charlie’s Angels has saluted folks who’ve made a difference in someone’s life – be it by small gesture or magnanimous outreach. Send me an email with a name and reason while they deserve Angel status, and I will print it next week. Deadline is Monday midnight.

Speaking of Angels, I’ve had several make my world a little brighter this year including a guy that knows all about brightening people’s lives – Chris Campbell. Tez and I eagerly went to plug in our Christmas lights last week only to discover those furry little rascals known as black squirrels chewed through the lines. We were a tad frustrated considering the lights had been installed only last year and the idea of attempting to lug an oxygen tank up and down a ladder while hanging lights seemed a bit daunting. That’s when I was reminded my recently met friend Chris made a living doing such tasks. Sure enough a few days later three of his workers from Mr. Winter’s Holiday Lights arrived with ladders in hand and replaced the chewed lights with fresh sparkling functional ones. The men were quick, efficient, nice fellows completing the challenging task in no time, returning smiles and Christmas cheer back to the Hodge household.  (Mr Winter … is the cold season subsidiary of Chris’s main company Synthetic Turf Kelowna).

While I know the bill is in the mail I must commend Mr. Winter for their promptness and pleasant professionalism. It’s so nice to see happy, hardworking people spread a little pleasure to others. Tez is Christmas crazy and the idea of not having outdoor lights this season had her wearing a sad face. Watching the smile reappear on her merry mug when seeing the lights more than justifies Chris’s Angel status. Thanks Chris.

Next to lights, music and baking makes Christmas special for me.


A couple of close friends are cooking up some great tunes this week which you will not want to miss.

Pappa Dawg (Rick Halisheff) will be joining forces on stage with harmonica monster Sherman Doucette and Deb Dunnigan for some great tunes Saturday, Dec. 17 at DunnEnzies Pizza Company. I love listening to the Dawg (and Sherman is always a joy as both musician and person), so it should be awesome. The venue is top notch for a relaxed night of great Chicago style blues with great staff, good food, and the best London Plain tree in the province.

Meanwhile on Sunday, Dec. 18 B.C’s very best singer/songwriter Barry Mathers and the amazingly talented vocalist Rachel Matkin will be mesmerizing the fans of original music at Dakotas Pub. Hosted by another talented singer songwriter Rann Barry, Mr. Mathers will perform an evening of some of his best original tunes, a number of which have won him numerous awards and Juno nominations. It’s been my pleasure to meet a lot of talented singer songwriters over my 50 years of involvement in the B.C. music scene, yet I can safely say no one holds a candle to Mathers for the volume of remarkable songs written. Truly a Canadian musical icon. Tez and I will be there to enjoy. Hope to see you there.


Speaking of Dakota’s, it’s with sad heart I acknowledge the community’s loss of a fine fellow Dean Taylor. A popular bartender at Dakotas, Dean died last week from a quick, vicious bout of cancer. His shocking demise is a reminder to all of us how precious life is. Dean was a true friend to many, a strong supporter of the music industry, and a fun man to be around. His ruckus sense of humour and quick wit endeared him to thousands of customers and friends over the years. A Saskatchewan born lad Dean was the perfect bartender with his magnanimous personality, quick smile, and sensitive insight. Over the years Dean served many in various locations including Mickey’s Pub and the popular Jonathan Seagulls. He will be greatly missed.


More merry music mentioning’s (must be magical music month) two more good friends have recently released tunes you can hear on the net. Guitar player extraordinaire Mike Jervis reminds us of his talents with his impressive original Little Boy Lost rocker. A poignant tune, Little Boy Lost not only brags Jervis’s guitar and writing skills but also gives us a glimpse into the survivor world that is Mikes. In the process of a well written tune Mike also gives us a wonderfully produced song thanks to Dana Barnes of Mainsail Sound and the solid saxophone playing of Barry Parmet.

Finally, childhood brother by choice Danny Thiessen provides us with another gospel heart-grabber Be Still. Written for and inspired by his sister. Be Still reminds us of the hope and strength many find in faith. It’s a powerful well written song featuring Dan’s unique voice and clear conviction. Be Still is one of Dan’s best tunes in my view and another pleasing piece from his Kindness Project compilation.


Send me your Angel names today to charliehodge333@gmailcom please and thank you!

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.


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