Author Profile: Charlie Hodge

Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, and former Kelowna City Councillor. He spent more than 25 years as a fulltime newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, and strategic planning. More to come!

Last month was tarnished (for me) by the sad news that Kelowna has lost two more quality characters in Graham Takoff and Myrtie Reid.

Both top notch people were of pioneer Okanagan stock.

Takoff was certainly better known by the general public, however both of them touched a lot of lives –despite their almost opposite experiences and lifestyles.

It was my true pleasure and honour to know them each on a personal level.

Takoff was the hardworking son in law of Capital News founder Les Kerry and spent the majority of his life as assistant publisher and then publisher of the local paper. Many attributes and stories about Graham have already been penned in this rag during the past couple of weeks however I must add a few personal thoughts.

Graham was a quality character who loved his job as publisher and, unlike the majority of newspaper publishers, kept his nose out of the newsroom and let editors run the news end of things.

However, he was also fearlessly loyal to all of his staff from backshop and press workers, advertising sales people, and layout department to the whackos in the newsroom

I had the pleasure of being the first reporter ever hired at the Capital News fulltime (after Graham worked for his father-in-law in that role briefly) and the Capital News crew were truly family to me. It was largely due to Graham that we all felt so close and there was such little turnover in staff.

Naturally we always complained about the boss, because that’s what employees tend to do, however we always knew Graham was there for us no matter what.

I drove him crazy, of that I am confident. Despite my unpredictable antics and numerous law-suits Graham always welcomed me back into the fold during my four or five (even I have lost count) separate departures and returns to the newsroom.

When I think of Graham I will always recall his wry smile as I unravelled some tale of why I was late, hung over, paying another parking ticket, in court instead of covering court, or discovered sleeping in the office. In all truth I probably aged the man greatly.

Thank you ‘Mr. T’.

Myrtie Reid was a kind, quiet, unassuming woman who put her family before anything and everything else.

A true gem, Myrtie loved to have company visit her humble home and cluttered farm in the Okanagan Mission area and her gentle persona was always a warming and calming influence. She had to be, as she raised four real character boys Wally, Archie, Keith and Frazer.

The true glue of the infamous Reid clan, Myrtie was loved by all that had the good fortune to meet her. She passed away Dec 15 at the age 97. A memorial celebration will be held sometime this spring.

***

On a more pleasant note my dear friend and talented singer/songwriter Jane Eamon has put her artistic skills into a different genre of late and her hard work has paid off. Recently Eamon had the thrill of seeing her words published in a book format rather than song lyrics.

Titled The Songwriter’s Voice – Conversations with Contemporary Artists, the 176-page paperback creation published by Manor House is an interesting delve into the world of song writing through the eyes and brains of 26 professional songwriters from Canada and the U.S. Included in the question and answer format read are local musicians Barry Mathers, Norm Strauss, and Andrew Smith.

If you are a musician or music fan this is a must have book. Well done Jane – good on ya!

 ***

With Super bowl weekend ahead of us (Tez watches for the commercials) it’s only natural that we should ALL be concerned with the big news out of the Canadian Football League.

The ultimate question on everyone’s mind, (of course) is what should the expansion (folded then came back, then folded, then came back....) team in Ottawa be named?

Since the green and white guys in Saskabush have long been tagged the Roughriders it seems silly for the reincarnated Ottawa club to us that team tag yet again. Apparently Ottawa pigskin pushers are not keen on Ottawa Red-Black, Ottawa Rush, or Ottawa Voyageurs. Hmmm – imagine that.

My suggestions include Ottawa Government That Doesn’t Work, Ottawa Hull-Bashers, or Ottawa Goes To Sleep at 9p.m.

Feel free to make a suggestion - although in the true spirit of what Ottawa really thinks – remember they don’t really care what you think.

 ***

Speaking of somewhat annoying sports trivia questions, is it just my imagination or does Don Taylor of Sportsnet Connected have an imaginary friend?

The Alfred E Newman clone (who has hosted that sports show for way to long), habitually ends every show by over-exaggerating his signoff of the memo on his desk and then pretends to have a conversation or share a joke with an anonymous off-set cameraman or producer.

I’m not sure if it’s his attempt to look cool, a sports reporter idiosyncrasy, or simply too much medication as a child.

Oh well, obviously it works because I still wait every time the show is on just to see if his imaginary friend ever actually shows up.

Sigh.

Our valuable member Charlie Hodge has been with us since Friday, 04 May 2012.

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