Hodge Podge with Charlie Hodge – August 11th

Ah yes, summer in the Okanagan and the living is easy.Not sure about your household but I am always amazed how in the month of August a plethora of long lost friends and relatives suddenly remember I am alive and living in Kelowna. Hmmm, wonder why that is?I suppose that anomaly may have been how my parents learned that the key to a quiet summer in Kelowna was to find a private beach spot or camping area nearby and simply hide out – conveniently away from the phone. (Hiding was easier then as there was no such thing as a cell phone or a lap top – and thankfully most of the dinosaur population had died off).As a youngster I was blessed to have an aunt and uncle who rented property at Coral Beach (near Okanagan Centre) and Mom and Dad would ship me off there for a week or so before they finally made the retreat themselves. What a wonderful place that was for a young boy to romp and play by the water.I was equally blessed by also spending a lot of time at the Okanagan Anglican Church Camp between the ages of 7-13 attending either a church hosted summer camp or a cub camp. Teresa and I paid a visit to the facility last week to visit camp coordinator Keith ‘Poppa’ Thom and a flood of wonderful memories hit me as I walked around the place. I am pleased to say it looks a lot the same as it did some (gulp) 45 years ago. The new additions and the improvements to various buildings have not taken away the charm and warmth of the camp.


Speaking of charm and warmth – one of my favourite musicians is returning to a Kelowna stage next week. Rann Berry is back with an updated and exciting performance of his popular One Hit Wonders concerts. Set for August 10 at the Kelowna Community Theatre, Rann’s show takes music fans through their musical memory banks by performing some of the greatest songs from the 1960’s and 70’s. Among the tunes you may hear are Seasons in the Sun, MacArthur Park, To Sir with Love and Indiana Wants Me.This is a dynamite show, filled with the flair and look of a Las Vegas showroom. Rann has surrounded himself with an amazingly talented crew of eight musicians (including a horn section) and go-go dancers to enhance the show. I highly recommend you take it in.“We had such an unbelievable turnout and response to this show when we first started out here at The Kelowna Community Theatre last summer and we can’t wait to do it again,” says Rann.  During this past year Berry took the One Hit Wonders Show out on the road performing numerous sold out shows, and consistently receiving rave reviews along the way.“We’ve added some new songs and segments that are sure to bring back some pretty strong memories and feelings,” promises Berry. Tickets at www.selectyourtickets.comKicking off the month on August 4 from 11-3 is a unique event located near the former MacDonald’s site on Highway 97. That’s the day that Jim Ripley kicks off a local example of Touristradio.ca an on-site information radio station designed to inform tourists. Touristradio will offer a barbeque, live music, and information kiosk amongst other goodies during the day-long event. Touristradio.ca supports the Thompson Okanagan Tourist Association’s 3,500 members and is in turn supported by RapidTime Network.TouristRadio.ca is another great Ripley idea. One of the key sponsors for this opening event is realtor Sara McClellan of Century 21 – another dynamite business person I have recently met through Peter Comrie and RapidTime.Good luck Mr. Ripley.Writer extraordinaire Darcy Nybo has a winner concept in the works as well. Titled The Art of Words, Nybo is joining forces with artist Donna Lee and text artist LucasGlennCo in hosting a series of three workshops on Aug.14, 21 and 28 at the RCA Alternator Art Gallery. The events inspire participants to blend creative writing with various art mediums and then display the creation.Sounds like a lot of fun and enrolment is limited so check it out now. For more go to www.alwayswrite.ca or contact Donna Lee at My Studio in the RCA building.And more congratulations this week, this time to Bruce Maki of Smart Betty who is teaming up with Jim Belshaw and Soles4Souls to fundraise to buy and wrap a vehicle.”We have several drop-off locations throughout Kelowna and the Okanagan and we’ve been in need of a vehicle for pickups for quite some time. Bruce and the Smart Betty team approached us and asked what they could do to help.  I’m really excited about the Wrap the Ride initiative with Smart Betty,” Belshaw says.For more info contact Maki, owner of Smart Betty Okanagan at 778 478 0765 or go to www.smartbetty.com

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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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